Hot take: I’m not taking on a single new client until May. This will be a new norm in my business model: we don’t take on new clients between the busy months of December through April.
I know what you are thinking….
Chika, that’s bat shit crazy!
How can you leave all that money on the table during peak demand for tax services!?
I hear you. In a sea of thousands of online followers… quality interactions need to be capitalized on.
This decision was about as calculated as it could get for an Accountant like me. Making a conscious decision to turn off the incoming revenue faucet should not be taken lightly.
Let me explain…
- When and how I decided to stop taking on new clients
- How this has benefited my mental health and energy
- How this has improved my relationships with my current clients
- How I pushed through the guilt and fears of this decision
I’ve been an entrepreneur since 2010. For most of the first 8 years, I ran my business accepting any and everyone who wanted to work with me. I learned the hard way what a lack of boundaries can do to a business owner.
- I’m talking 12-hour workdays, weekends included.
- Countless nausea-inducing conversations with clients who didn’t want to pay the invoice even after the work was complete.
- Working through midnight on tax deadline days because of clients who never responded to my emails or calls until tax day was only days away.
I have been through THE MOST.
I remember experiencing one of my roughest tax seasons ever. That’s when I had an a-ha moment and got smarter about hiring, filtering out clients by having them apply to work with me before booking a call, increasing my prices, etc.
Prior to the a-ha moment, I operated my business from emotions. I didn’t want to let anyone down. In the process I suffered. I was letting myself down.
These days, I take the emotions out of running a business. I focus on building systems, processes, and rules in the business. For example:
- Know your prices and charge your prices. Do not negotiate. Do not get sad if a person doesn’t sign up to work with you because they deem your prices to be too high. Their mindset issues do not belong to you.
- Have a system for how new leads can work with you. I have an application process that prevents me from saying yes to folks who just want to get on a quick call to pick my brain. If the person doesn’t apply then it means they weren’t interested in working with me. Time and energy saved.
- Understand the demands and needs of your current clients. As a Tax & Accounting company, the months of December to April are extremely busy. To add new clients to the mix was chaotic, exhausting, and unfair to not just me but to my team and my current clients. Those people deserve a certain level of attention no matter what time of the year it is.
I’m looking for clients who are aligned with my business model and core values.
One day, I listened in on a Tax Webinar about how successful accounting firms had a rule where they did not take on new clients between December and April. Whaaaa?! I instantly knew that to maximize my clients’ transformation and provide immense value, while keeping my sanity, we had to implement a similar model during tax season.
New leads are always welcome to apply to work with me. They can apply any time of the year. When a “good fit” lead application is received between December and April, I reply candidly that you are indeed the type of client I want to work with. However, we are not accepting clients until May.
Yes, I understand that there is a chance they will find someone else. And that is 100 percent okay. My peace stays intact. I’m not emotional or anxious about the decision. Many of these
As an introvert, talking to new people can be exhausting. There’s so much unknown an often I need to put on my detective hat for these calls with new leads. I often get anxious before, during, and after the call. With the relieved pressure of no new clients, I can focus on my existing clients and run my business with authority. This has cleared up my mental space and has inserted so much fun into my days…even during the busy tax season.
Internally, I can focus on team building, systems, and social media marketing at a pace that is more my speed.
Externally, my current clients get my undivided attention. These are people with who I have built trust over the years. We can laugh, disagree, banter, talk sports, AND get shit done. I am better able to navigate the stressful space of the busy tax season without burn out.
Fears about losing revenue…
Did I have fears about losing money? Duh! It’s February and I’m looking at my bank account, there’s more money going out than coming in….for right now.
I believe in abundance. Those clients who need help right now, might find another CPA before I am available in May. That’s ok! The abundance mindset means that come May, there will be a slew of ideal clients ready to work with me. That’s what I believe to be true.
Let me be clear… I am only interested in building authentic, valuable client relationships. It’s not about transactional work; if all someone wants from me is to prepare a tax return, that is not my ideal client.
In order to attract the type of client who desires a proactive CPA they can build a working relationship with, I can’t be overwhelmed or distracted. I’m here to empower and provide something unique for my clients. This is why they pay me and stick with me for years.
I could write a book on this topic, but I just had to share some thoughts. I’ll be doing storytime and talking more about the abundance mindset which led me to this decision on my Instagram all week!
Make sure you are following and let me know you’re from the Maximize Community! I would be honored to share your content ❤️