While a good CPA practice always has some work to do, “tax season” is always busier than the rest of the year. So when most of your clients’ taxes have been filed and the pace has mercifully slowed a bit, what can you do to keep your firm strong during the less busy months? Our advice falls into three categories: care for your team, your current clients, and your future.
Really thank your team
Whether you’re a solo CPA, have a large practice, or are somewhere in between, thank your staff in a way that makes them really feel appreciated. The best way to thank them depends on your particulars, but it should be special. You could give a little time off or a few half days without using vacation time (if you’re solo, how about taking a long weekend away?). An office party or staff night out says thank you while building team relationships. Or give a special gift, something unique to each person, if possible, to show that you really know the person and you really care. One person might like a gift certificate to a favorite shop or restaurant. A coffee aficionado might like a year’s subscription to a coffee-of-the-month club. Or have a role reversal day, in which the supervisors bring staff their morning coffee, take orders for lunch, and serve the meal.
Nurture your clients
The most important people, after your staff, are your current clients. Make sure you reach out to them and thank them for trusting you with their personal or business finances. Ask them how you can improve to serve them better, and what else you can do for them. This has the dual benefit of making them feel wanted and helping you determine any other services you can provide them. Your current clients are really your best source of additional income.
Build your future
Make goals for the short, medium, and long term, in revenue or number of clients or service offerings. Then determine what you need to do to get there. A few suggestions:
- Update website content and user experience. See how you can improve your website to make it more user-friendly and provide valuable content, such as blogs and videos, that will draw new potential clients to you.
- Develop an ad campaign. Digital campaigns are very valuable, such as AdWords or Facebook ads, but don’t neglect advertising in your local community.
- Ask for reviews and referrals. If you’re nurturing your clients, this should be a great source of new business opportunities.
- Provide workshops and seminars, online or in person. These should be marketed to both your existing clients and potential clients. What are some of the most common questions you’re asked? What are some common mistakes people make? Provide valuable content and you should see your client base grow.
- Continue your own education. Take time to complete your CPEs and maybe learn additional skills in areas that clients indicated they needed help with, so you’ll be able to offer those services.
- Prepare for next year. What worked well this past tax season and what didn’t? Do you need to update any software? With your goals in mind, will you need to hire more staff? Now is the time to straighten these things out.
Take care of your team, your clients, and your future when things are slower so you’ll be ready to dive in full steam when next tax season begins and your practice will grow and thrive.