I know that you’re embroiled in tax season right now, and the last thing you think you have time to contemplate is life after tax season.
But as the cliche saying goes, failing to plan is planning to fail.
If you’re not planning out what your post-season is going to look like, then tax season is going to suddenly end and you’ll be left wondering, “What now?” Sure, you have some returns on extension that you’ll be taking care of, but what about the rest of your time?
If your business model circles entirely around tax season revenue, then great: You get the rest of the year off. But if you’re operating a year-round practice (or trying to…) then you need to be thinking about your summer business plans NOW.
Here are some things to consider when it comes to your post tax season planning:
- What services will you offer the rest of the year?
- Will you focus on servicing individuals or businesses?
- Will you be working full time or part time?
- What marketing will you be doing to arrive at your off-season revenue goals?
- What marketing will you do to your existing tax prep clients to cross-sell other services to them?
- What marketing will you do off-season to generate tax prep clients for next season?
No matter what you choose to do during the off-season, you need to start planning for it now. April 15th is rapidly approaching, and you cannot just keep your head down for the rest of tax season and not plan for what happens after. Taking this approach is simply a poor business practice.
For practitioners that focus on working with individuals, and live heavily in the 1040 world, I’m a firm believer in what I call the “3-season tax practice”. This basically breaks the year into three distinct tax seasons: Prep, resolution, and planning. If this is how you operate, or want to operate, then NOW is the time to start getting ready for “resolution season”, and starting to get new tax resolution marketing campaigns ramped up.
For practitioners that have a significant business focus in their practices, things are slightly more complicated. If you have monthly and quarterly service clients, then you are constantly in both marketing and service mode. If you happen to shift focus to the 1040 market for tax season, then you need to be planning on how to get back on track with your primary business objectives. I will also add that if you are primarily a business service provider, then there is something wrong with your business if you have to jump into the 1040 prep game every season if you’re doing it just for the extra revenue.
No matter what the focus of your tax business, if you’re in business year-round, the hustle and bustle of tax season is somewhat of an interruption of your normal mode of operation. Just as you have to prepare for tax season, you need to prepare for the end of tax season, and put into place a plan that allows you to seamlessly transition back to “normalcy”.
Beyond anything else, I encourage you to heavily consider your off-season objectives and put a plan in place to accomplish them.