Being an expert in your industry isn’t enough to make your business succeed. It’s a reality that makes a lot of small business owners uncomfortable, and tax professionals are no exception. Many tax professionals would prefer to focus on their craft, but if you own your own practice (or aspire to) you need more than just accounting or tax skills to grow your practice. Let’s take a look at a few other areas you should be focusing on.
Grow Your Business Skills
If you own or work at a small tax practice, you don’t have the luxury of focusing solely on your craft. You can’t afford to limit your expertise to taxes or bookkeeping or accounting. You also need to be an expert in marketing, sales, and client relations and retention if you want your business to grow.
Obviously, you don’t have to learn how to do everything at the same time. Just pick an area you want to focus on—sales, for instance—and spend three or four months getting really good at that one thing. Try attending a sales seminar, reading books on sales, or participating in a webinar on sales techniques. Pick a few key performance indicators (KPI’s) to mark your progress, and work hard to achieve them. Once you’ve improved your ability to sell your services—including getting the proper processes and software in place—it’s time to pick another skill and repeat the process. It’s not easy, but it is the kind of thing you need to do to grow your practice.
Grow Your Product Offering
Expanding your business skills isn’t the only way to grow your practice. It is just as important that you offer a variety of useful product offerings to your clientele. So consider adding new services to your current offering, such as bookkeeping, consulting, or tax resolution. Not only does adding these services help keep you busy (and the cash flowing) outside of tax season, it will also help you attract and retain more clients. The more services you can offer, the more opportunities you will have to grow your practice.
Grow Your Network
I’ve found that many tax pros want to expand their product offerings and improve their business skills, but they’re not sure how to go about it. Of course, learning from ebooks and conferences is good, but there’s nothing quite like calling up a fellow tax pro you trust and asking for advice.
So get out and start meeting people. Go to the networking events at the conferences you attend, join local groups or associations for tax professionals, or even just attend business socials put on by your local chamber of commerce. As you grow your network, you’ll find that you have more opportunities to grow your business as well.
Want to network but not sure how to get started? We’ve got the perfect post for you: 3 Tips that Make Networking Easier (And More Successful).