How I Lost Five $15,000 Per Year Tax Clients Within 12-24 Months

By Andy Frye

This is one of those blog posts that’s very uncomfortable to press “Publish” on but I think it will help some of my fellow tax professionals (and plus it will spur continued sales of our new Business Tax Verified Training Program), so I’m going to go for it.

This is one of those blog posts that’s very uncomfortable to press “Publish” on but I think it will help some of my fellow tax professionals (and plus it will spur continued sales of our new Business Tax Verified Training Program), so I’m going to go for it.

The story is called “How I Lost Five $15,000 Per Year Tax Clients Within 12-24 Months.”

It’s 12-24 months because I’m not sure when exactly during that time period we lost some of them, but I do know at the end of 24 months they were all gone, as were the fees we could have collected as a result of working with them.

A Splendid Failure

Back in college, I heard what William Faulkner said about his most well-known novel, The Sound and the Fury; he said it was “the most splendid failure.”

That quote stuck with me and I ended up adapting it into my life as a businessperson, and I promised myself that if when I fail, I’m going to fail splendidly.

I figured I would try to minimize the failures if at all possible but if they were going to come, which they likely would, I would strive  to add some element of splendor to them.

The most splendid failure of my tax business career (so far) was a service called “Pronto Start Smart.”

I created this service because–guess what–I wanted to work with more business entity tax clients.  Because I clearly saw, that’s the growing and healthy segment of the market, and that’s where the “real money” is being made.

The service was essentially an “all in one” Business Start-Up Package.  I created this long and quite detailed checklist of all the different things you should do when starting a business.  Budgeting, product costing, setting up your bookkeeping, incorporation or LLC formation, etc.

The whole shebang

A to Z.

I knew it was a bit of a gamble (if no one else was doing that for clients, it probably meant it would be tough to make a profit) but I was willing to give it my best shot.

I teamed up with a couple other service providers and then started doing some sales.

We promptly sold something like $14,000 worth of Pronto Start Smart packages within about a week–maybe it was a month, I don’t remember how fast the sales came, but I remember they came fast, we got a great response, it seemed like this was a service that start-up businesses really needed and wanted.

This was the most money I had ever seen come into our tax office a during a week (month?) in the summer, so needless to say, I was pretty dang excited about Pronto Start Smart.

Oh, But Then You Have to Actually Fulfill What You Promise

Like so many business people who start to get success realize, the hardest thing in the world is to follow through on what you promise you’ll do.

Once you get the hang of sales, it’s pretty easy to sell stuff to people, as long as you have a needed service.  Once you’re good at sales and have a needed service you can pretty much stay as busy as you want.

But fulfilling the promise of your service, when you’ve promised something significant and complex (like helping someone start a business), well that’s when the the real challenge comes in.

Without going into all the gory details, we experienced some “hiccups” in the process of “smart starting” our first seven businesses who hired us to help them get started.

I discovered exactly how much I did NOT know about how to perform corporation, S corporation, and LLC tax work…turns out those CPAs actually did know a lot more than I knew.

The Good News

The good news was, and still is, that we pushed through all obstacles and we fulfilled everything we said we would do–and more–for those new business owners.

We did not let them down.

The even better news was, and still is:

Six of these seven companies TOOK OFF, and are today enjoying amazing success.

Six out of seven of those companies we helped start are over $500,000 per year in revenues, starting from zero, and five of those six are on pace to hit $1 million in 2017.

Out of 7 businesses that we helped people start back in the summer-through-fall of 2013, over 70% turned into $1 million businesses–I’ll take that percentage to the bank any day!

And we were there at The Creation, doing the “grunt work” to get these folks up and running the right way, encouraging them, being their teammate, putting in work.

No, we weren’t perfect with our Pronto Start Smart “roll out,” we didn’t “have it all figured out,” but if you look at the RESULTS we helped these companies achieve, I definitely feel that the “splendid failure” criteria was met on this one…

The Failure Part

The failure part comes in when I look and see that out of those six major success stories, only one of them is still our client.

The other five successful companies have gone elsewhere, and are paying various CPAs thousands upon thousands of dollars every year, to help them continue to grow their companies while minimizing their tax liabilities.

Back when we were working with these folks, they were hassling us about paying our dirt cheap prices, because they were on a shoestring budget.

Now they’re raking in sales and the CPAs charge…whatever the CPAs charge.

We could have kept those clients, we could have grown with those clients–but we didn’t have the training necessary to really service their needs.

I wish these clients only the best, in fact I’m still in touch with all of them, but the fact is just from a numbers perspective that our company missed out on a lot of revenue by saying goodbye to them just when things were starting to get good.

Missing out on a lot of revenue, when you’re in business, is (generally speaking) a failure.

Maybe there are some rare instances where not making money is a good thing but generally speaking I think it’s safe to say that when you let opportunity fall out of your hands into someone else’s it’s not what you’re looking to do.

Nothing like that is ever going to happen to me again because I now have the training I need to service growing business clients, after studying under CPA Adam Shay while developing the new Business Tax Verified Corporation, S Corporation, and LLC Training Program.

I no longer have to feel uncomfortable and un-confident when I see a client’s business growing beyond the confines of Schedule C.

On the contrary, that’s when I start to shine–and it’s when I start to get PAID, too.

If you’ve had similar experiences, and you’re similarly determined to avoid said experiences in the future, I’d humbly advise to take a look at the new program.

You don’t have to keep losing your best business clients.

There is another way.

You also have a moneyback guarantee within 14 days on the Business Tax Verified Training Program, so if you want to just pop in and see what it’s all about, you can do so with zero risk.