How NOT to solve your staffing problem

Another business lesson from that hotel in Utah…

Yesterday, I mentioned the unnecessary discount. That discount was on top of a ridiculously low rate to begin with.

How low?

I paid about $60, including tax, to stay in a brand new hotel during the peak of tourist season.

Now here’s the interesting part: The hotel bistro was closed because the cooks and waitstaff were turning rooms.

Think about that. A profit center for the business was closed because they hotel was understaffed in the housekeeping department.

Why is the housekeeping department understaffed?

The manager told me it was because they weren’t able to find any people, and that students going back to school were draining their labor pool.

If he had been a consulting client, I would have told him that he didn’t have a staffing problem, he had a revenue problem.

The hotel was charging half the local going room for a night, on the misguided notion that it would bring in guests. But when you’re cutting revenue to the bone, you don’t have the money to maintain the most essential functions of the business.

If they were at least charging normal room rates, they would have the money to incentivize hiring. They could pay new hire bonuses, offer a higher hourly wage, provide some benefits.

Instead, they find themselves cannibalizing one profit center of the business just to support core functions of the business.

Asinine. Absolutely asinine.

I predict that within a year the major hotel brand that this location is part of will revoke their franchise license.

Key take away for you: Charging adequate fees is what gives you the money to hire quality staff, pay for the marketing that brings you better clients, and provide you the lifestyle to which you would like to become accustomed. If you set your fees too low, that’s YOUR fault, nobody else’s.

So if you know your fees are low, drop EVERYTHING else and FIX IT. This is priority #1 in *any* business.

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The one cliche I insist you embrace

“Riches in niches.”

It’s a cliche, because it’s true.

If you’re sick and tired of hearing me wax poetic about niching for the past two weeks, GOOD. That means you’re listening. 🙂

Look, you can ignore it all you want. But it’s true. If you want to make more money, you need to niche.

When I grew a tax resolution firm as an employee, it was already niched — tax resolution only. We then niched a step further, focusing heavily on construction trades. That’s when things really took off.

When I went into private practice, things were just sorta OK until I stumbled into the trucking niche. Then, it took off like a rocket.

Moss Adams, the largest accounting and consulting firm headquartered in the western United States, and the 15th largest accounting firm in the country, is heavily niched within the real estate development and telecommunications industries.

When you niche, it makes everything in your practice easier. Way, way easier.

How does it make things easier?

And how exactly do you select your niche?

For that, you’ll need to read the August issue of “The Profitable Accountant”. And TODAY is your last chance to subscribe before it goes to the printer, because I’m sending it off first thing tomorrow morning. In this issue, you’ll find:

-the mindset shift you need to make in order to niche
-examples of successful tax resolution niches
-how to leverage your past work experience, hobbies, and connections to help you choose a niche
-how to utilize case studies and surveys for business research
-a 3-page exercise to develop your perfect client Avatar

“But wait, there’s more!”

Yes, there’s more. But to get it, you need to become a Gold member TODAY. No more excuses. Click on over to:

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Why do you keep hitting yourself?

I’ve always thought that The Offspring hit the nail on the head back in ’94:

Now I know I’m being used
That’s okay because I like the abuse
I know she’s playing with me
That’s okay ’cause I’ve got no self-esteem

I think we all do things that aren’t necessarily good for us. Some of it is subconscious, some of it we’re fully aware of.

For example: Just three weeks ago I promised myself that I was going to take a 9-month break from the stress and anxiety of hosting CPE seminars on the road. A nice little vacation from the frustration of dealing with hotel contracts and sales people. A short break from the financial pressure and marketing challenges that go with filling a live event. And most certainly a holiday away from the extreme social anxiety that I have to slog through when doing public speaking.

But, of course, this morning my brain said, “Oh come on, Jassen, you’re going to be in Seattle for a week anyway, why not put on a tax resolution boot camp?”

And then, I suddenly found myself calling hotels, scrambling to put together a marketing plan, contemplating curriculum updates, and placing print orders.

Why would I do this to myself?

Maybe I’ve got no self-esteem, and I don’t feel “alive” without something to stress out over. I’m sure there’s something to that, but I’ll play Internet psychologist another day, because I know there’s another answer.

It’s quite simple, really: I love sharing the gospel of tax resolution with my colleagues.

That’s it. Pure and simple. All the stress and anxiety is worth it, because I literally have the best job in the world. I get to share a subject I’m passionate about with people that genuinely want to learn about the subject, and then YOU take those learnings and help save jobs, save small businesses, save families from the wrath of the IRS.

That’s why I keep hitting myself.

What about you? Why do you keep hitting yourself?

Here’s an even better question: What work are you slogging through that frustrates you, annoys you, and stresses you out — but that you don’t have a passion for?

On Tuesday’s levy release webinar, I gave the example of no longer accepting clients that come in under active levy, because of the inherent frustration and annoyance that it creates for *everybody*. So, I just stopped accepting those clients.

What … Continue reading