“Tax Day” is finally here!

If you specialize in something other than tax return preparation, then today is just another day for you.

But if a significant portion of your annual income is derived from return preparation, then today is obviously a momentous day.

You’ve endured the long days and even longer weekends. The cranky clients, the slow-payers, the procrastinators.

Today is when everything gets tidied and up with a pretty little bow on top and sent off to our Uncle Sam, for tomorrow we party!

Or, at least that’s the fantasy world that the general public believes we live in.

You and I know that’s not really the case.

You have a pile of extensions. You have bookkeeping to catch up on. And every month we have FTD deadlines and other various filing deadlines, through every month of the year.

Which brings me to my main point for you today: If you’re in private practice or at a small firm, and are looking to absolutely maximize annual revenue, then the best thing you can do is maintain the intensity and productivity of tax preparation season all year round.

If you’ve ever worked at a really large firm, or a specialized, niche type of firm, then you know this is how they operate. Tax prep season is nothing special — it’s a just a minor extra blip in the year.

I know you want to relax, soak up some sun, maybe throw back some margaritas. And a little bit of that is good. But now is not the time to rest on your laurels.

As you probably know already, I spent the past 8 years as a one-trick pony, doing mostly IRS Collections representation. No bookkeeping, very little tax preparation, no Examination representation. Even more, I specialized in a narrow arena of Collections representation: 2290 and 941 liabilities for mom and pop trucking companies in five western states.

I did this work year-round, including for over 3 years at reduced yet steady volume while traveling 100% of the time.

More important than the niche specialization was the fact that I had no seasonal mentality about my business.

There are “riches in niches”, but the year-round consistency was a far more important factor for me having my dream lifestyle and a great tax practice.

So even though “Tax Day” is here, I want to encourage you to keep on truckin’. Be that one person in your local market that keeps charging … Continue reading

A better use for your “Black Friday” dollars

Minimalism.

It’s a concept that I’ve embraced for most of my life, in one form or another.

When I was traveling around the world, I took only what I genuinely needed. I reached the point where I could travel indefinitely with just a 9 pound carry on.

Even now that I’ve bought a house and “settled down”, I’m still a minimalist. The house I bought is actually a duplex, and I live in the smaller of the two units. And I have no furniture. The living room is simply the dog’s room.

The dining room displays the only sense of human habitation, due to the three computers, five screens, video equipment, etc. In other words, my office.

Now I realize that this sort of minimalism isn’t for everybody. I get that I’m a rare kangaroo on the landscape of American materialism. So I’m not going to get preachy about it.

But here’s what I will get preachy about: What you spend your money on is a direct reflection of your priorities in life.

Personally, I value life experiences over possessions. Thus, I try to spend my time and money accordingly.

“Hey Jassen, what does this have to do with tax and accounting practice marketing?”

I’m glad you asked. Or, I asked, and I’m answering myself. Maybe that’s a bad sign.

If you actually read the TaxMarketingHQ.com blog, actually read the emails, belong to any of my programs, then you’re indicating an interest in a particular subject: Marketing your practice.

What do you do with this information? What actions do you actually take with what you learn from being part of Jassen’s World?

As you’re being pounded with Black Friday, Small Biz Saturday, and Cyber Monday promotions, I’d like you to think carefully about the material possessions that you’re spending money on. Ask yourself an important question: Does this purchase further my real objectives in life?

To be more specific: Could this money be better spent on something that creates revenue?

Before you spend $950 on that new Sony 55-inch 4k moving picture box (an actual deal on Amazon right now), give some consideration to whether or not that money could be applied to multiplying itself.

For less than that new TV, you can get started with a program like Gruntworx, which eliminates the manual data entry for tax prep. How many additional returns could your team do if you eliminated this manual … Continue reading

5 Reasons Your Tax Practice Isn’t Giving You The Lifestyle You Want

Originally posted yesterday on LinkedIn.

Today is Saturday Sunday. If you’re at the office working on extended 1040 returns, then you’re doing it wrong. (Edit: Even more wrong!).

CPAs, EAs, and attorneys go into private practice for many reasons, but for most of us, those reasons can be boiled down to one word: Lifestyle.

While that word has become overused, hyped up, trampled on, and beaten to death in recent years, the pure intent of going off on your own in the tax, accounting, or legal world is generally lifestyle driven. Whether that means you’re looking for a more relaxed lifestyle, outside the pressures of a corporate firm or the bureaucracy of working in industry, or you’re after the financial rewards that come from being your own boss, we generally go into private practice in order to achieve a certain lifestyle.

Unfortunately, most of the accounting and legal professionals I work with on a coaching basis are simply not achieving the lifestyle goals that they set out to for. As somebody that literally lived the Four Hour Workweek life for over three years while traveling around the world two and a half times, I can attest to you that it’s possible. And it’s awesome.

So what holds practitioners back from achieving the lifestyle goals that being in business for ourselves is supposed to bring? Here are the five most common reasons I see on a regular basis.

1. Failure to focus. There are many things you need to focus on in order build the type of practice that will drive a lifestyle. Two specific arenas where I see lack of focus is in service offerings and client selectivity.

The most successful practitioners are those that are specialists, not generalists. Specialization can exist in both the services you offer, and to whom you offer them. For example, while traveling full time, I offered one service, and one service only: IRS collections representation (more commonly referred to as “tax resolution”). I didn’t do anything else: No tax prep, no bookkeeping, no payroll, not even examination representation (audit defense). I was, and largely still am, a one-trick pony.

When you try to be all things to all people, you’re spread thin. You’re unable to build high-value expertise in any one specific area. This means you can’t charge premium fees for your services, and you end up being stuck with clients that want everything.

For … Continue reading