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Spotlight on Tax Firms

Five tips to take advantage of the calm before the storm.

Tax season is quickly approaching, and the relative lull at the end of the year makes this a perfect time to evaluate tactics to increase both growth and revenue while preparing for the busy season ahead. Consider these options to help boost your business.

Sever Ties with Cumbersome Clients
Firing clients who don't contribute to revenue can be distasteful and seem ruthless, but if said clients require more handholding and personal contact than the value of what they bring to the firm, they simply need to go. Eliminating these relationships allows you to focus on clients who serve your objectives and increase profits.

Change How You Charge
Compared to hourly billing, value-based billing allows you to charge for the full worth of your services rather than just the time it takes to perform a task. Value-billing is relatively new for tax firms, but it will likely continue to grow in popularity. Test this initiative on a few clients to gauge their reaction.

Find Your Niche
Specialists almost always charge more than generalists. Grow revenue by becoming an expert in a particular industry or client segment.

Expand Your Sales Team
Tax firms expend most of their energy and resources in servicing existing clients. While client satisfaction is critical, the ability to bring new clients into the firm ensures sustainability. Include client acquisition in everyone's job description, and encourage all staff to become more involved in sales and marketing. With an improving economy, consider bringing in a dedicated business-development person.

Establish Who's Next in Line
Whether succession is going to happen in four years or 40 years, arranging for it should be a part of every strategic business plan. If you don't have a written succession strategy, take the time at the end of the year to seriously consider if you are bringing in the right talent to increase firm value, which will help prepare for a future sale.

Have a succession-planning mindset in which you constantly share industry knowledge and expertise with others in your firm. Encouraging new skills not only positions your firm to thrive in the future, but also improves staff effectiveness and client service today.


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