Summer can be slow for some accounting firms and especially some tax firms. But it doesn’t have to be if you know what to do. Here are three ideas you can use to boost not only your summer revenue, but your revenue all year long.
1. Go where the client’s pain is right now.
What reports are due in July for your prospects and clients? For my business, it’s payroll taxes and state sales tax. There may be some small businesses that are just about to incur a big fine for paying taxes or filing late. They need you now!
State and local taxes (SALT) has become an incredibly complex area. I’d be willing to bet many businesses are doing it wrong, taking shortcuts, and have not been properly advised in this area.
If you have a newsletter, send out an article on SALT. If you have profiles on social media, you can easily tweet out “Are you confident your state sales tax form is completed correctly? If not, give us a call.”
For those who don’t do SALT, tweet it out anyway and refer it to a CPA you want to get business from.
Wash, rinse, and repeat in October, January, and April. (See why July is the best time to do this?)
2. Extend your busy season.
For some tax firms, September should be your best month, not April. When you make this mindset change, you will be able to smooth out your workflow much better.
The straight truth is very few people want to think about taxes right now. The most cost-effective time to get new tax clients for the individual returns is December through April. Right now is the best time to start planning what you’ll do to not only market for new clients, but also to smooth your onboarding process so you can intake a full year’s worth of work in those 4-5 months.
If you offer bookkeeping, then one way to extend your busy season is to offer quarterly cleanup so that it doesn’t hit all in January. You could even offer a special in September for clients who want to get their books cleaned up through third quarter so that your October is super-busy and so that you can take even more clients in January and the spring.
3. Know your client’s seasons.
When your client is in their highest revenue months, it’s unlikely they’ll want to start a big project with you. But there are some exceptions. Be aware of when you clients are busy and when they have time to work on projects to improve their business.
If you have retail clients affect by the Christmas buying seasons, they need help right now getting their systems ready because they are buying inventory for Christmas now. Don’t ask a Christmas retailer to move to the cloud in November; you’ll probably get turned down.
If you have construction or real estate clients, they are swamped right now. The best time to help them with their systems is in the winter. However, contractors may need help with reporting or job costing right now, since they are billing heavily during the summer.
Dentists are swamped with kids being out of school, so a good time to help them is in the fall.
It’s All in the Timing.
Looking for a 1040 client right now is like swimming upstream. But looking for tax resolution clients right now or those with FBAR deadlines could work well. Don’t curse your marketing if you’re doing this; it’s likely not the marketing. It’s the timing.
When you can tune into the ebbs and flows of your client’s business and their corresponding accounting needs, you’re more likely to get a yes when you approach them for additional business. This will boost your revenue this summer and all year long.
Author Bio: Sandi Leyva, CPA, CMA, MBA, and founder of Accountant’s Accelerator, has helped thousands of tax and accounting professionals earn more, work less, and serve their clients better through her innovative marketing, training, and coaching services. Author of 30 books and hundreds of CPE courses, Sandi has won 12 awards for her thought leadership. Visit her at accountantsaccelerator.com and acceleratorwebsites.com.