Advice needed.

SittinGrumpy

Guest
I have been doing taxes on my own for about nine years, mostly for friends, family and coworkers; however, I really want to build my clientele.

So, what I want to know is what would I have to do, say or show you for you to let me do your taxes?

I am not asking to really do YOUR taxes; I am asking what you look for when you are looking for someone to do them.

I cannot offer the Jackson Hewitt payment now, what I can do is have the refunds back via direct deposit in 10-13 days. The fee for filing them is $23.90, my fee varies based on how many forms/issues you have. So far, have NEVER charged more then $200 for anything.

As a preparer, I sign the forms so I am the one taking responsibility that what I put on the form is true to the best of my knowledge. I have a pin I use, that was assigned to me by the IRS. I took classes at Jackson Hewitt to do taxes, I have a bachelors in accounting, working on my masters in accounting and I am studying to sit for the CPA exam. I have references that my new clients may contact if needed. I have also held a secret security clearance for my jobs with the Army, so I have a good background and one that the government thought they could trust.

So, what do I need to add to my list to make me your choice?
 

Unhappy Camper

Hells yeah
Founder
Mar 10, 2008
5,012
25
178
Fayettenam Area, NC
So, what do I need to add to my list to make me your choice?

It's 2011. If a business, even a mom and pop shop, does not have an E-store or identity then its an automatic NO GO for me.

Web sites are today like business cards were 20 years ago, have a shitty one and it shows.

And I don't mean one of those shit park pages with just the words 'do yer tax', a stock photo of a roll of 20's and a ph# on it, I mean an actual well kept page with a local phone # and the Tax pro busness statement on it. (at the very least )

Sounds trivial and trite? Too bad ... its the wave of the future, get on board or wave as your competition plows on past you.
 

SittinGrumpy

Guest
I do not think this is trivial. I had not thought of this as a major idea, so thank you for telling me how important you find this.
 

Unhappy Camper

Hells yeah
Founder
Mar 10, 2008
5,012
25
178
Fayettenam Area, NC
how important you find this.
To put it more speficially :

1. I need a thing.

2. I open YELLOW PAGES dot com and look for a place that would normally have the thing.

3. YP,com returns a list of how ever many. The ones at the top paid extra $$ to be listed first. so I know that they are not necessarily the 'best'.

4. BUT .. the ones that have NO link to a site get an automatic no go.


Result :

1. A business with no web identity misses out on a customer, I'd say this has happened 30 to 50 times in the last year when I used the YP to find a thing.
 

Toao

Family
Nov 19, 2010
184
0
16
44
My biggest thing is your abilty to put a check in the box about the tax return being prepared by a professional.
 

Absinthe

Moderator
Staff member
Founder
Mar 2, 2008
658
2
18
I think a professional looking web site is a huuuge plus. When I check out a business I always try to find reviews. So having a few listed on your site and maybe forums that deal with reviewing local businesses would help. That's what I am looking for.
 

Capt.

Dude!
Jan 18, 2011
79
0
6
41
Tennessee, USA
When designing ANYTHING to catch the attention of the public, remember a few things. I am a retail manager in charge of placement marketing, here is a few things I learned.

1) PEOPLE ARE STUPID: Big words and long drawn out explanations will impress less than 25% of the public. Keep it simple, short and to the point. There is a reason that commercials are 30 seconds or less. Big shapes get attention, brighter colors and lower prices will beat common sense everytime.

2) LESS CHOICES PROVIDE QUICKER RESULTS: If you have what someone needs, hold their hand and walk them down the road. If they have to pick a direction at a fork in the road themselves, they are more likely to go find someone who will lead them.

3) PEOPLE WANT SOMEONE TO BLAME: Standing behind your work means making sure that your policy is extremely visible to your customer. When something comes up, BE ALREADY PREPARED to accept blame and have a gameplan ready. "Its not my fault" is a customers favorite crutch.
 

funeeman

Spank Me!
Founder
Mar 3, 2008
586
1
16
45
North Main Street
Sounds like your issue is getting the word out. You're not probably going to compete with the H & R block or big boys with the amount of advertising. But what you can do is pick something out you do that might set you above the rest of your competition. It doesn't even have to be unique to you but something you can hang your hat on. For example in the Monument business all of my competition uses shape carving (hand sculpting). I advertise that we an artesian on staff to ad dimension to your stone. People come to me when they want that, even though everyone else does it too. Even better is that the competition then comes out and says . . .well. . .we do hand sculpting too. Now it looks like they are trying to be me. Why go with the guy who's trying to imitate the competition? If they are imitating them then the other guy must be the best.

Maybe in your instance you offer a free analysis to how they could get a larger refund next year or you have daycare provided while they meet. Or list your average refund that you file. I know if I see someone who's average refund is $3,000 and I'm getting $200 I want to know why my guy isn't doing better for me. Get creative.

I would guess cash flow for advertising is tight if you are starting. You need simple, effective, affordable. Facebook has a pretty good set up. You can put in a $5 a day budget, narrow the impressions down to a zip code or two, etc and run it for a spell. I like to do Tues-Thursday two weeks in a row. Then skip a week and do it again. You might try craigslist under services. . .it really depends on who you want for a client. BNI is a good group to join too that will give you area referrals. Or perhaps is someone sends a new customer in to you, they get their federal filing free.
 

SittinGrumpy

Guest
I always found this odd when people say they want a large refund.
I agree but it is a great selling point to get business. Personally I just want to break even, I prefer getting more in my paycheck throughout the year.
 

funeeman

Spank Me!
Founder
Mar 3, 2008
586
1
16
45
North Main Street
I always found this odd when people say they want a large refund.
Yeah. . but there are two types of people when it comes to refunds. Those who have the simple form but get more back because they claimed married and single and have 20 kids. They don't understand they could have had that money every check.

Then there are the type that operate their own business and or have a job where they are responsible for their own expenses. The payment to uncle sam is variable based on those things. I used to get pissed off when I was in the news paper business. I ran the Circulation department and managed 250 people daily. I could deduct a few things like fuel and some close but by and large not much other than normal itemized things. My buddy who was the advertising director wrote off about everything. He had his fuel and clothes but also cable tv, magazines, Internet, you name it because he had to stay current with market trends in advertising. That fucker came out every year with like 10 gs. One year he and his wife actually got 18 grand back from "itemized" expenses that were variable because of their jobs. I think that guys average return was around 6 grand but he specialized in sales executives. I always wanted to try him but I wasn't going to fork out $500 bucks for him to do my taxes.