Here are some areas of focus to give you ammunition against the big box preparers.
Availability – Big box companies have more preparers under one roof, so they have more availability for scheduling than smaller offices do. They are also able to stagger preparers to work later hours and accommodate those who work during the day. One of these big companies offers a huge convenience to their customers – a drop off service, so they can leave their documents and have the forms prepared while they are at work.
Advertising – Since the big boxers are regionally known chains, they have the funds to spend on one Radio or TV messages for all markets. When you factor in production and air time, these can be very costly for a private office. There is even one large company known for hiring additional staff to stand outside the office in costume and hold signs in an attempt to draw in business.
Promotions & Coupons – These offers were all found from one company to entice customers:
- Switch and save. 1St time customers pay $50 less than what they paid for tax prep last year.
- $20 off tax prep
- Refer-A-Friend program, each gets $10 off tax prep
Software – A few months ago H&R Block announced it’s partnership with Xero, a small business on-line accounting platform. They claim that this technology simplifies bank reconciliation and invoicing. These large companies invest so much in their software it is imperative that your tax pro software can stand up against the competition.
We know that UltimateTax would not be here without our clients, which is why we are here to help you combat the big box preparers.
Availability – be more flexible and even do appointments outside of your hours.
Advertising – check with your local cable companies, they love to give great deals. The peak times for your advertising is December through March. If potential clients don’t know you during those months, you probably aren’t going to get them anyway.
Promotions & Coupons – you can tie this into your advertising message, add a coupon to your website, or distribute coupons at local events and businesses.
Be ready for change – It sounds goofy but the only thing that is consistent in this industry is change.
Don’t forget about the Tax Pro Software! Not only can we provide you with great low-cost tax software, we can also help you with:
Co-branding for your office – We are able to design the software to have your logo.
Website analysis – We are happy to review your website and give you suggestions for making your season better. If you don’t have a website we can get you a website before the season starts!
Marketing strategy – We can review all of your current efforts and give you a plan to take your business to the next level!