In episode 11 of Tax Pro Nation, 37-year veteran tax pro and entrepreneur Glen Wielandt speaks about scaling franchises with the “Big 3” tax franchises and what it takes to succeed in the tax business. He has trained more than 100 area developers and 250 franchisees. He is the former Director of Franchise Business Development at Fiesta Auto Insurance and Tax® and has owned and operated 18 tax preparation offices in the Denver, Colorado, area.
We asked Glen to speak about how independent tax pros at the multiplication step of The Pronto Path can succeed at growing their team and their business.
With only a few players in the industry that have managed to build up to operating hundreds or thousands of offices, Glen has an inside view into these rare few. He’s worked with all the big companies that have scaled up to that level: H&R Block, Jackson-Hewitt, and Liberty Tax.
Many independent tax pros struggle when they hit this phase of trying to ‘multiply’ into more offices, more employees, etc. We talk about why so many people struggle with the multiplication phase of the tax business.
For the companies that do succeed in growing, Glen talks about the characteristics that allow these companies to scale up to having a larger operation.
Glen also served in the Army for 20 years and shares how the military taught him organization skills that helped him during this multiplication step in his career.
Being personally mentored by John Hewitt, Glen has plenty of great insight into the mind and motivations of the great entrepreneur.
We also talk about what running various offices and having a bunch of employees does to your actual tax preparation work. Do you need to give up doing client work? Can you both do a lot of client service work and multiply your business?
Glen shares his marketing insight he learned from Liberty Tax, who was known early on for the genius of their guerilla marketing.
After his time at Liberty Tax, Glen built a tax franchise for Roni Duetsch, expanding it rapidly into 65 office locations.
He also shares about his time at Fiesta Auto Insurance, a company that wanted to add tax services to their existing insurance offices. Glen directed the expansion of their tax department and took the company from doing 500 tax returns per tax season to over 25,000 tax returns per season.
We also talk about the recent challenges — increase in self-filers, new tax law supposedly simplifying tax filing — in the tax business and why it is still a great business.
[13:06] “It’s not the number of offices you own, but it’s the amount of tax returns you do in each office that’s important.” —Glen Wielandt
[19:04] “If I had delegated the amount of tax returns that I did myself and paid more attention to my offices, I probably could have been more successful.” —Glen Wielandt
[24:37] “It’s really important if you are going to be a multiple-office owner that you really learn more about business than taxes.” —Glen Wielandt
[53:38] “As you grow, you need to take care of the people that take care of you.” —Glen Wielandt
Tax Pro Nation is sponsored by Pronto Tax School, Inc. Sponsored links include: