Your income tax firm's success is heavily dependent on on the business it generates during the first five months of the year. It's a competitive business, and advertising is really the only way you have to set yourself apart from the other tax services. If you're not affiliated with a national firm like H&R Block or Jackson Hewitt, and haven't got the benefit of their national advertising, you must work all the harder to get the word out! You only have a small window to advertise, so be creative and persistent.
Hire people to hand out fliers outside your business and in the parking lot, if you have one. If you're in or near an area with high foot traffic, like an urban area, commuter train or bus station, train station, position your flier crew in these areas as well. Offer discount services such as savings on core services and cheap 1040EZ filings, as well as discounts on first-year tax returns for individual filers and small businesses.
Place advertisements in the classified ads of local newspapers. If your budget allows, you can submit small regular ads with a logo and full message about your business. Small newspapers such as the Metro (distributed at transportation centers in major cities) offer reasonably priced ads. Check with your local newspaper about its local flyer and coupons distributions.
Buy radio ad blocks with your local stations. Advertise on stations that are commonly heard by people in the community where your tax business resides. Just call into your local radio station and ask for a sales representative. Tell the rep that you are advertising an income tax business and allow her to suggest an ad package. Concentrate the majority of your ads in January (for the early filers and those who are getting refunds) and during the last week before taxes are due in April.
If you haven't already done so, set up a website. It doesn't have to be elaborate, but it should look professional. Potential clients will judge you both on whether or not you have a website and also on its appearance. They are trusting you with a critical element of their financial lives, and won't feel comfortable about it if your website is amateurish. See the Resources section for an inexpensive website-creation option (templates included). Be sure to have someone proofread it and test it for accuracy (phone numbers, addresses, and links).
Send targeted ads to people in your area using an online ad service such as Google Adwords or Yahoo Search Marketing. Whenever someone enters "income tax services" along with your city and state, your income tax business's Web ad should pop up with a link to your website and directions to your store. Include offers on your website to bring people into your store.
Small businesses often frighten potential clients away because they don't pay attention to detail. make sure every word in your advertising is spelled correctly, and that all addresses, telephone numbers, and website URLs are absolutely accurate!
If your flier cdistribution team will be working on private property, such as the shopping center where your office is located, check with the property manager beforehand.
Louise Balle has been writing Web articles since 2004, covering everything from business promotion to topics on beauty. Her work can be found on various websites. She has a small-business background and experience as a layout and graphics designer for Web and book projects.