Another growth ring added to your tax prep career
Today is the final day of the tax season! (UPDATE: April 18th was actually the final date) Those of us in the tax industry measure industry experience by the number of tax seasons we've endured, adding another growth ring to our history of experience.
Like trees, your growth rings may change from year to year. There are great years where you enjoy success, difficult years where you face challenges, and mediocre years where it seems you've plateaued.
Reflect on the past tax season
As you wrap up the tax season, take time to reflect on the past tax season while it's still fresh in your memory. Here are few things to consider before you take that well deserved vacation. Conduct an audit of the past tax season, and if you have office staff make sure to include them in a post-season discussion.
What was effective and worth repeating next year? What can you learn from competitors and are there principles or tactics you can apply to your business next tax season?
- What was the most effective promotional tool that you used?
- Did your competitors offer products or services that appeared to attract more business?
- What were the most effective competitor promotions in your area?
- Did customers provide positive feedback about products, features, services, etc. that you should continue to offer or enhance?
What didn't work?
Use free survey tools like SurveyMonkey to capture client feedback. Looking back, were there any common pain points that clients shared with you?
- What was the most time consuming process in your tax preparation workflow?
- What were the top 2-3 client pain points?
- Did you lose any customers and did you discover why they left?
- Were clients confused about certain topics or products? Is there a better way to communicate that information?
What can you improve for next tax season?
Can you identify solutions that address problems and solve real issues for you and your clients?
- Are there 2-3 simple things you can do to prepare a return faster?
- Can you identify 1-2 things you can do to reduce unnecessary calls from clients?
- Are your fees competitive? Are you undercharging? Overcharging?
- Are there products or services that clients are requesting which you aren't offering but should next year?
- Are you taking advantage of free marketing resources that TPG offers?
Once you've taken time off to recoup from the tax season, revisit your list and you may have some fresh, new ideas for solving challenges you faced this tax season. Getting time away will help you gain perspective and attack problems with a fresh perspective.