More and more individuals are relying on professional tax preparers as the tax code becomes increasingly complicated. Further, as the American middle class continues to feel the pinch of tough economic times, it is more important than ever that they claim all the credits and deductions to which they are entitled.
Since filing a tax return is something everyone must do, the tax preparation industry is virtually recession-proof. In 2012, the industry reported revenues of $9 billion and that amount is forecasted to reach $11 billion by 2018.
While there is certainly plenty of business to go around, not all tax preparation firms are able to flourish. If you have recently opened such a business, you need to understand what it takes to be successful. What follows are just some of the ways you can position your business so that it stands out among the competition:
- Give the people what they want. Successful tax preparers inspire confidence as a result of their knowledge and experience. When clients approach you with a complicated tax problem, you must be able to solve that problem quickly and effectively. This requires that you make a commitment to ongoing training and education.
- Identify your target audience. While your busiest time of the year will be from January to April, in order to sustain your business you will need to market yourself as more than just a tax preparer. When you provide services such as tax planning and bookkeeping, you ensure that you will remain busy throughout the year, not just during tax season.
- Invest in the right technology. Income tax software is the most important investment you can make in your business. The right software program will allow you to prepare individual, business, federal and state returns. You also need software that will allow you to offer your clients a wide-range of other services, including things like financial tax management and payroll services.
- Choose the right location. Statistics show that most people choose a tax preparation service that is close to where they live or work. When choosing an office location, consider one that is easy to get to and is near shopping or other businesses.
- Get your name out there. Make sure you effectively market your business. You can be the best tax preparer in town but if no one knows who you are, it won’t matter. Building a website and being active on social media are low-cost ways to market your business and increase its visibility. You also might want to consider promotions that will attract buzz around your business and ask your current clients for referrals.
Tax preparation can be a lucrative business. The key is to make sure that you stand out as a knowledgeable and dependable tax preparation firm. If you do this, you can be sure that your business will be a success.