Home based tax preparation businesses need to focus on marketing strategies even more heavily than their retail storefront competitors. First off you need to have a marketing plan. Don’t think that all of your friends and family will simply come out of the woodwork at tax season and flock to your home to take advantage of your services.
Your marketing tactics need to be softer than a typical retail tax office, as you are typically targeting potential customers that you know or friends of people you know. An often overlooked marketing medium is online social networks. Just about everyone has heard of Facebook and twitter. If you are already utilizing these tools to stay in touch with friends and family, be sure to use it to let them know that your services are available to them. These are great mediums to reach a broad group of contacts within your connected personal network. Do not think that it is rude or obtrusive to solicit customers for your home based tax business. If you feel that way, you will be out of business before you know it. You need to be confident in yourself and your ability to provide a valuable service to these clients and should not be ashamed to promote yourself.
Offering your customers drop off services is another way to differentiate your tax business from the other options out there. Be willing to pick up your clients’ tax documents and deliver their returns to them, if that is more convenient for them. Most tax office utilize an interview sheet which gets most tax information needed for completing the personal portion of a tax return. Be prompt and accurate with you preparation and paperwork, to avoid having to spend more time on the road than necessary. Many clients are email savvy and are willing to provide you the needed information via scanner and email, and you can do the same when delivering their return to them. You must be sure to maintain your IRS paperwork requirements, especially when operating a drop off tax service. The IRS does allow for digital copies of e-file authorization signature pages, so email correspondence is acceptable. Make sure to operate your home based business just as professionally as you would from a store front. Fortunately since you are utilizing a home office for your tax preparation business hub, your expenses should remain lower than the typical retail tax office.