How To Become Your Clients’ Trusted Business Advisor

The off-season can be very stressful for seasonal tax professionals. This month we want to relieve some of that stress by sharing some great ways to create year-round profit for your business. If you missed last week’s post, check it out now to learn how to turn tax preparation into year-round profit.

You may already be doing tax related work year-round and still need more income sources. Or you may just need a break from taxes during the off-season! Either way, we’ve got you covered. For the next three weeks, we’re going to share a few options for creating more income during the off-season, starting with business consulting.

On top of increased revenue (yay!), offering business services outside of tax preparation could help your business out in two big ways:

  1. Stop competing based on price. By offering a higher level of service, you’ll be able to command higher rates and land more high-end clients.
  2. Deepen relationships with clients. The first time you give advice to a client that leads to something great for their business, you’ve locked them in for life.

Becoming your clients trusted business advisor may not be easy, but it will be worth it. Here are 4 things you’ll need to do to get there.

  1. Keep interactions informal. This will make your clients feel comfortable asking questions and helps to deepen your relationship with them, which will build up trust. Instead of meeting in your office, try meeting over a cup of coffee or lunch to relieve some of the pressure. And instead of only showing up for business appointments, make a point to show up for your client’s personal events, too (when invited of course…not in a creepy way!) Consider supporting their son’s little league team or taking your significant other to see the community play they’re performing in. Efforts like those do not go unnoticed. Trust us!
  2. Provide more than data. If your clients are asking for your advice, chances are they’ll need your help understand the data you provide. Include a written report that explains the numbers they’re looking at and clearly lays out what is most important to look at in order to gauge success. Be as succinct as possible but make sure your clients have all the necessary information.
  3. Make connections for them. You have a lot of financial data at your fingertips. Share historical data and connect it with its impact on the company moving forward. Help your clients see the story of how their company is moving toward or away from its objectives. Provide the context they need in order to move forward intelligently and avoid make the same mistakes again.
  4. List key performance indicators. Work with your clients to determine the most relevant metrics and then explain to the client how those metrics can impact their cash flow. More money for them means an even happier client for you, and that’s always a good thing!

If you can become your client’s trusted business advisor, you’ll see higher customer retention, leading to more consistent ongoing income without the daily struggle to find more clients. Being a great business consultant will lead to better relationships with your clients. And happy clients refer their friends, meaning even more business for you!

Want even more ways to earn year-round income? If you use the space you work from year round (and it’s not your home), great! But if you don’t, you might literally be sitting in a goldmine right now! By leasing office space when you don’t need it, you can substantially supplement your income during your slow season if you play your cards right. Come back next week to learn how!

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