August 19, 2015

Branding is Useless

In this week's session, I’ll talk about branding and why it is useless for most small businesses. Large businesses have large advertising budgets and, even with those large advertising budgets, much of their branding does not help them. They do it to make themselves look good to their investors or shareholders, to Wall Street or to the media. It is very difficult, if not impossible, to track the effectiveness of any branding focused advertising. Advertising reps will always be hovering around trying to sell their “next big product” that will drive your business. Small businesses, however, should stay focused on direct response marketing and advertising.

If you are going to spend $1 on advertising, you need to get back $2 or even $20 in sales and be able to measure the results of that. It just doesn’t make sense to spend that $1 if you can’t track the results and have a return on your investment. Your goal in business needs to be simple. To sell something. Period. You shouldn’t be worried about copying your competitors in the industry just because they are doing a certain type of advertising or marketing even if you think you can do their version of those ads better.

In the tax business, getting it right is even more important than other small businesses as we only have 4 months to bring the majority of our revenue for the year. So if you aren’t measuring and tracking your results, you are in trouble. You need to have the right message out to the right people at the right time in the right media. And that’s not always as easy as it sounds. The good news about that is it is also not easy for your competitors to get it right. Many large and small businesses I see waste thousands, if not millions of dollars, on marketing programs that don’t work.

I need to make a confession. In my past 13 years in the tax business and, especially in my first couple of years, I was someone who made many of those same mistakes. And they were costly. I followed the status quo and listened to advertising salespeople and tried it all. I was, however, always monitoring the results so I didn’t make the same mistakes twice. And I figured out 13 rock solid proven marketing techniques that always work in the tax business and I systemized them. And that’s part of what Happy Tax franchisees get access to. Our marketing plan is just one of the great benefits that come along with owning a Happy Tax franchise. We offer guided marketing on when to do what and even give you the marketing pieces pre-done for you to use. You’ll have a support person to talk about implementation and also a direct line to me for more complicated issues. As the summer winds down, the time is right to get involved with Happy Tax as a franchisee so you can be prepared for the coming season. Plus, our franchise fee discount decreases each month from now until November so by getting in sooner, you’ll save money. Contact our franchise opportunity department at for more information.

Finally, I’d like to make an announcement that I am very proud of. We have set a date for my upcoming book "TAXES MADE HAPPY: The Definitive Strategy Guide To Launching and Growing a Successful Tax Preparation Business." It will be available on October 5, 2015. And I picked that date in honor of my awesome son, Frank’s birthday.

Have a wonderful and productive rest of the week and take care.

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