Here at TaxCoach, our experience over the last 13 years has confirmed our original vision that tax planning can transform practices. We’ve seen members come to us before they even have full-time practices, and make the jump from working for the man to full-time self-employment. We’ve seen one member take his practice from $50,000 in billings to over a million. (We’ve seen lots of members take their practices to over a million, actually.) We’ve seen members sell single plans for five and even six-figure fees.
But getting started isn’t always easy. As the saying goes, “a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.” But that first step can feel like climbing a mountain if there are mental roadmaps keeping you from putting that first foot out.
Let’s talk a bit about human nature. People love the opportunity to do something new that boosts their status. And adding proactive tax planning to your service – transforming yourself from a scrivener who records history to a trusted advisor – will certainly boost a tax professional’s status!
But people are loathe to risk a hit to their currentstatus. Nobody wants to try something new and fail, especially if they fail in front of others.
Now, let’s be clear, this isn’t a failing of any sort. I’m not pathologizing it, or being judgmental. I’m just reporting an observation that I think most of you will agree with.
But it does create a huge hurdle that new TaxCoach members often have to overcome before they can start unlocking the benefits that tax planning brings to their service. And if this is the objection that’s keeping you from starting, don’t worry . . . you’re in good company. This is a very common worry among members:
“What do I do if I show my client a great strategy, and they ask ‘why haven’t you done this for me before?’”
There’s always been an effective answer, and it sounds something like this:
“Well, for the past few years, I’ve focused on compliance, which means getting your returns filed properly. I’m proud of the job I’ve done there, and it’s included making several suggestions that have saved you along the way. (This is where you itemize those suggestions.) But now I’ve decided to add formal tax planning to my service, which can save you a lot. And I’d rather bring you these sorts of ideas now than not at all.”
Clients really will be fine with that answer. They want to see you save them money, and they really are rooting for you to succeed.
But your answer here is a lot easier now if you’re tying your new tax-planning service to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. If you frame your engagement in terms of, “let’s do some planning to take advantage of this brand-new law,” you’ve got a built-in reason you never approached them before. You didn’t have the law to plan around!
Now, if you took your car to the mechanic because there was a tear in the radiator hose, and the mechanic found there was also a problem with the alternator, you’d want him to fix the alternator, too, right? The same principle applies here. If you “open your client’s hood” to make sure they’re taking advantage of the new qualified business income rules, and you discover that they really ought to be an S corporation, you’ll take care of that problem, too.
But the bottom line here is, the new law gives you a reason to take that look under the hood in the first place – and heads off the question, “why haven’t you done this before?”
And it takes away that big excuse not to do the sort of proactive tax planning that can really boost your status!
So, what else are you waiting for? Join us on our next Wednesday Marketing & Management Call with any other reasons why you just haven’t been able to take that first step, and we’ll see if we can help you overcome those obstacles!