When you start your career in accounting, it is beneficial to work for a larger firm for a few years. You can learn essential business skills, make connections with seasoned accountants, and experience a variety of accounting work to see what you really like.
Once you've put your time in at a large firm, you may decide that you are ready to venture out to start your own tax practice. This type of decision requires a lot of personal investment of both time and money.
As a tax professional, you need to think like an entrepreneur and focus on strategies that will help your business grow.
Choose a Niche Accounting Service
One of the best ways to start and grow a tax practice is to choose a niche.
When your tax work is focused on a particular niche, like tax resolution or payroll services, you give yourself more time to become an expert in that field. Experts can charge more for services.
Choosing a niche makes you focus your skills. You become quicker at the work and will be able to take on more work. It also makes your marketing strategy easier.
When you have a niche market - it's easier, and sometimes more cost-effective, to target your potential clients.
A few ideas for you as you decide on a niche for your accounting business: Personal taxes, business taxes, tax resolution, IRS controversy resolution, business valuation, accounts payable, forensic accounting, audit, sales tax, nonprofits, etc.
Get Involved with the Community
Go to community business events to meet other professionals in your area. Networking with other business owners will help you find new clients and will keep you connected to trends in the local community.
Another way to find new tax clients is to give classes in your local area. A good place to start is your city library or your Chamber of Commerce.
There are number of apps you can also use to start "meet up" groups. Hosting your class at a cafe or a local restaurant is another great way to support other local businesses while also growing your client base.
You don't need to be a college professor to teach accounting. Everyone needs more financial eduation - simple accounting topics would be very helpful to many individuals in your community.
Stay Organized with a Tax Practice Software
As a business owner and the accountant, your time is constantly pulled in multiple directions. You need to maximize your effectiveness and remove all processes that eat away at your time.
For example, a tax resolution software like Canopy has your clients enter their information and auto-populates that information into necessary tax forms. That's just one less thing you as a business owner has to worry about.
Start an Email Marketing List
An email marketing one of the simplest ways to stay engaged with your tax clients. It's also a great way to nurture contacts that may become clients in the future.
Focus on Referrals
Referrals are one of the best ways to find excellent, loyal customers.
When clients give your name as a great accountant to one of their friends, that means they are not only satisfied with your services, but happy enough to recommend that their friends use you.
If you want to grow your practice with more referrals, simply ask your best clients if they have any friends that may need accounting work done.
Another way to generate referrals is to ask for feedback. Your clients will remember your initiative to create the best possible experience.
As you start your tax practice, keep in mind that it does take time to develop a solid client base. Make sure you have enough money saved to account for the first year when your client base may be lower. Once you hit your cash flow goals, you can celebrate the growth of your tax practice and plan for the next phase of expansion.