2017 is finally (finally!) here, and that means it’s time for self-improvement. Are you looking to lose weight? Exercise more? Quit smoking? And if so, is “right before tax season” a good time to start something like that? (As Lloyd Bridges says in the classic Airplane, “Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue.”
How about this year you pick a resolution to help build your business? Why not resolve to take control of your business on your terms rather than let yourself be pushed around or intimidated by clients?
We’ve all heard the saying that if you’re not the lead dog, the view never changes. Well, in every relationship between you and your clients, one of you is the lead dog, and one of you is the dog whose view never changes. And you’re going to be a lot happier if you’re the one leading the way.
Taking control of your business this way is a lot easier to accomplish than losing weight or quitting smoking. Here are some comments we’ve received in just the last two Wednesday Member Call-Ins that prove the point. (I’m withholding the names simply because I don’t want their clients to find these examples; you’ll soon see why.)
“Running your business how you choose with clients you choose is the most important thing TaxCoach has given me. The first few years as a member we had explosive growth. This year has been less growth but more of a refinement of how we want to prepare for future growth. It’s a sweet place to be!”
“If there is anything I have learned from TaxCoach it’s that I only accept clients that meet three criteria: no price negotiation, being responsive, and understanding the value of my services.”
“We have recently changed from hourly billing to value pricing per month. Most of our clients are welcoming the change. Our position on those that don’t want to make the change is to let them go. These clients seem to be the clients that continually complain and devalue our services.”
“I had a client send me an email today re: his 2017 engagement letter. This letter showed a $30/month price increase for his maintenance plan. He was balking at the price increase but I was quick to point out to him that we’ve saved him approx. $21,000 over the past couple of years and I anticipate saving him about $7,000 again this year. Hopefully reminding him of the value we bring to the table should quiet him down. In the distant past, I would have come up with a way to recalculate his fee and probably would have lowered it for him since he complained.”
We found this last member, when we first met her several years ago, to be sweet and unassuming – the type of smart kid who wound up doing homework for the bullies. We’ve now officially titled her the Badass Tax Warrior-Princess, a title she wholeheartedly embraces – because these days, she simply will not allow anyone to control the terms on which she does business other than herself, and is a much happier (and wealthier) woman for it.
You can do it. And you’ll be a lot happier, too. So what are you waiting for?!?