Okay, so maybe we are not jumping for joy at the thought of another busy season. But it does not mean we cannot get excited about the potential for growth in our firms in 2023.
Here are five things you can do this year to set you and your team up for the best success:
1. Get a handle on your prospect pipeline
This might mean you have to clean up the dreaded contact list. If you are not currently tracking your prospects in an organized manner, prioritize finding a system for this year. Whether it be a CRM or a good old-fashioned list, it does not matter. To achieve growth, you need to have a consistent pipeline of new business.
Ideally, you can track where they come from and what their initial service requests are. This will also help you to identify the best places to find future clients and what they come to you for most often.
2. Build a stronger team
Start by protecting them from burnout. Tax season is hard, and there’s not much we can do about the compression of the workload, but you can do more to protect your team from burning out. Especially in a challenging hiring market, protecting your existing team is critical.
Even with the extra work, encourage work-life balance and health. Let’s break the habit of working overtime hours for clients who send their returns in at the last minute and make it a rule that everyone leaves the office at 5 p.m. at least once a week. Building loyalty is critical when the demand for staff is higher than the supply.
3. Create tools for your clients
If you want to operate more efficiently while also appearing to provide higher quality client service, build DIY tools for your clients to have access to. Sure, they are still going to need you for anything, but the basics but having an easily accessible FAQ page, or simple tools like how to calculate their paycheck after changes to a W-4 brings clients consistently back to your website and enhances the relationship.
4. Enhance your existing relationships
Make a list of your best clients and meet with one at least once a month. This should be above, and beyond whatever regularly scheduled meetings they have for services. Ask them for feedback. It always is good to go into the meeting with two to three predetermined questions you hope to get answered. Not only does this allow you to hear directly how you can improve for the future but giving your clients a chance to feel heard can strengthen loyalty.
5. Reshuffle where needed
Take the time to assess your team. Detail oriented review of the entire team’s strengths and weaknesses can help you identify where someone might simply not be in the best role. Match strengths to any potential open positions you have.
Sometimes you already have the resource you’re looking for, and doing an internal musical chair is a more efficient and effective plan than hiring from the outside. When you put people in the right seats on the bus is when you experience the best success.