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The Tax Industry is Changing
The old way of doing business just doesn't work anymore.
Tax preparation and accounting have always been competitive businesses. There’s no shortage of CPAs, EAs, storefront preparers, and bookkeepers looking to steal your clients. These days, do-it-yourself software is taking even more of them out of the market entirely. Let’s face it . . . recording history has become a commodity. How can you grow a business if you’re selling a “me-too” service that forces you to compete on price, shrink your profits, and leave picky clients with too many other places to turn if they become dissatisfied?
But now that trend is accelerating even faster. It used to be that advancing technology helped you do your business more efficiently. Now, machine learning and artificial intelligence are threatening to do your business for you. If you’re in the business of putting numbers in boxes, bailing faster won’t save your sinking boat. You need to find a new boat entirely.
Clients need to know how much they owe. They want to know how to pay less.
If you want to succeed in building a business, you have two choices. You can sell your clients something they need. Or you can sell them something they want. Accounting and tax prep will always be services they need. But why compete with everyone else in the industry to give clients something they need, when you can set yourself apart by giving them something they really want?
Tax professionals who add planning and advisory services quickly elevate their status and take themselves out of the “commodity” realm entirely. Telling clients how to pay less gives prospects an immediate reason to do business and an extra benefit that most tax professionals simply don’t offer. Clients still need to eat their vegetables. But offering them a tasty dessert gives them a reason to sit down at YOUR table, not anyone else’s!
Today's business success is built on trust and relationships.
The high-end consumers that you’ll need to keep you in business in the face of technological change aren’t satisfied doing business with faceless companies or impersonal apps. The clients you really want, want to do business with people. They want to know you, like you, and trust you.
They want experiences and relationships that transcend the documents you produce and the services you sell. They want to know they can count on you to have their back!
A weekly column on marketing and business planning for tax professionals and financial advisors looking to better serve clients and grow their business.
A bi-monthly column devoted to technical tax topics and strategies. Written by a recognized expert, this is a must-read for tax planners.