This morning, as usual, I dropped my son Oliver off at school and headed home to start work. I was listening to my favorite news radio so that I could get an early dose of the unrelenting gloom and abuse that most of us just laughingly refer to as “2020” when a commercial caught my ear. “Owe the IRS back taxes?” the announcer asked. But before I could finish tuning it out, I discovered that Jackson Hewitt, the nation’s second-largest tax-prep chain, was offering resolution services.
Time will tell, but I think it’s a smart and necessary move. Jackson Hewitt has over 6,000 locations across the country, including 3,000 inside Walmart stores. Millions of satisfied clients. And a reputation they’ve built over decades. Why wouldn’t you pick them over some fly-by-night scammer like Roni Deutsch promising a clean slate for just $20? The advertisement itself says, “With 35 years of trusted tax experience, count on us to take immediate action to help.”
But here’s the real reason why Jackson Hewitt’s move makes so much sense: up until this move, 100% of their business came from tax preparation. That’s not a very diversified portfolio of businesses. And tax preparation is facing a climate change-level threat to its very existence. For 40 years, technology has been making it easier for tax preparers to do their job. But now, artificial intelligence and machine learning are threatening to start doing that job for them. And that, in turn, will mean fewer customers, falling revenue, and a desperate fight to hold on to an ever-declining share of a shrinking business.
On Thursday, October 22 and Friday, October 23, we’re hosting our first-ever Virtual Green Light Academy. Hundreds have already registered for these eight hours of discussion. It’s free to attend, even if you’re not a TMN member. And we’re kicking the whole thing off with a presentation on the future of the tax business, post-Covid. You can be sure that we’ll be discussing this move, and what it means for you. (Click here to join us!)
Here’s the thing. You have two ways to grow your business. You can find more customers for what you’re already selling (the “volume” approach). Or you can find more things to sell the customers you already have (the “margin” approach). The customers you have already know you, like you, and trust you. That makes it easier to succeed with margin than volume.
The margin approach makes even more sense in an era of shrinking opportunities. Jackson Hewitt’s move into tax resolution is a flashing-red indicator that a firm doing millions of tax returns a year sees it necessary to diversify into service that can’t be replaced as easily by robots.
Here at TMN, we think you should be making a similar move. Tax planning is a terrific first step to get you out of the “numbers in boxes” business, and working with higher-income, higher-value clients. But tax planning is just a first step down a road that leads from “tax shop” at one end, through comprehensive financial services, to Fractional Family Office® at the other.
And now TMN’s partner company, Sofos Investments, has a new tool to help you dip your toe in that water. It’s called Incomize, and it’s designed to help clients within 10 years of retirement craft a portfolio that avoids running out of income.
You’re invited to test and use Incomize to provide retirement income investment plans for completely FREE, with no obligations. If you’re licensed, play with Incomize and create some test cases with clients. See what they think of how you can plan their investments. If you’re not licensed yet, we still suggest you try using the program. You'll see just how easy and intuitive it is, and you'll learn about the type of help you’ll be able to provide once you are licensed.
Go to access.app.appliedbehavioralfinanceinc.com and create a free account.
It’s that easy.
The sample plan we created during Wednesday’s Business Development Call presentation is here.
Your logo and marketing message can easily be added to a plan you create by going to Settings.
You’ve got less than a week until the 2020 tax season is officially over. You’re probably looking forward to taking a breath of relief before finishing out the year with a slew of PPP forgiveness applications. And you deserve that break! But 2021 will be here sooner than you think – assuming we don’t get hit by a comet, of course – and with new challenges to your livelihood. So join us for the Virtual Green Light Academy to follow Jackson Hewitt’s lead and start robot-proofing your business!