The Most Important Choice You’ll Ever Make In Your Tax Firm

This week, we’re talking about choices.

At the end of yesterday’s article, I posed some serious questions for you to think about. If you didn’t do that exercise, I’d encourage to stop reading this and do do that really quick. It should only take 5-10 minutes, but will help clarify some things for you.

A number of readers emailed me their answers. While I’m unable to reply to everybody individually, I can tell you that there were several common themes, including:

  • Choices about use of time
  • Choices about service offerings and fee levels
  • Choices about marketing and sales
  • Choices about hiring & firing

These are common themes whenever we discuss practice management and business development concepts.

A lot of these things, of course, come down to money. Either how to allocate what you have, how to get more of it from clients, or lamenting the lack of it. You are, after all, running a business, so that’s all about money. You’re also an accountant, so money is just naturally the language you speak.

Today’s core message is already what I had planned to write about, but the replies to the choice exercise firmly cemented it. It ties in directly to what I wrote about on Sunday (see this post). It’s nothing new — time management is something you’ve heard about a billion times. But, I want to add a special twist on it for you today.

Stay with me as we board the Logic Train…

1). Many of your choices, consternations about choices, and feelings about lack of choice in your business (and maybe even personal life) are frequently tied to money.
2). You live in the wealthiest country on the planet. There is no lack of money floating around.
3). To get more of that money into your business bank account requires making a series of choices.
4). Most of the choices that separate million dollar tax firms from five and six figure tax firms are about the use of time.
5). The most important component to increasing revenue is to spend time on business development.
6). Thus, the most important use of your time is on business development.

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I have believed this for over a decade, and I will always believe it. It is the one universal business maxim that I have faith in. I’ve seen it over and over in small businesses, and when you study large businesses that grow rapidly (and rake in all the money) they have well-developed sales and marketing efforts.

The most important choice you’ll ever make in your tax firm is to choose to dedicate time to business development.

That means lead generation. That means lead follow-up. That means sales.

More revenue is the inherent solution to many, many business challenges. More revenue gives you more flexibility. Money enables choice. Getting there starts with making the choice to spend more time on marketing.

Disappointed at the station into which this train has pulled? Well, sometimes reality is hard to swallow, especially if you’ve been doing things the same way for several decades and are resistant to change. That’s fine, but recognize that you’re making a choice.

Today’s Exercise
1). Open your appointment calendar.
2). Toggle to “week” view.
3). Choose three 1-hour appointment blocks.
4). Schedule an appointment with yourself in all three of those blocks.
5). Set the appointments to be recurring on a weekly basis.

If you dedicate just three hours a week to marketing, you WILL start to see results within a few weeks. As in, new money coming in the door. Money that you can then funnel into other choices. In my experience, three hours per week is the minimum that you must dedicate to marketing in your tax practice if you want to see growth. If you have plenty of time on your hands, then choose more marketing time. There is a direct correlation between how much time you choose to spend on marketing, and how much revenue you’ll generate. But minimum should be three hours a week.

What exactly should you DO during each of those 1-hour blocks? I’ve got plenty of suggestions for you. To learn about three of them, join me tomorrow for a live Zoom session:

To choosing growth,
~Jassen Bowman, EA, CTR, NTPI Fellow