Small business owners know April well (March if you’re a Partnership or S-Corporation), and you know it as tax time. For many, tax time can be a big, big bummer. Unlike those on corporate payroll, you manage your business’s taxes. Talk about a business-owning buzzkill. Hopefully you can find solace in knowing you’re not alone. Here are some stats:

  • 46% of small business owners don’t work with an accountant.
  • 80 hours – the amount of time 40% of small business owners spent dealing with federal taxes in 2013.
  • 106,776 – the number of small businesses audited in 2013.

Now that you’re thoroughly discouraged (but at least finding comfort in that you’re not alone), here are some stats, according to The Motley Fool, that might perk you back up:

Where will your customers spend that $943 (1/3 of the average $2,860 refund)?

Don’t count yourself out of the race for their tax refund. Big box corporations are spending beaucoup (“buku”) bucks targeting these refund receivers. But you don’t need the heavy marketing spend to do the same in your area. Encourage your neighbors to shop YOU this tax season.

6 Creative Ways to Get Them Spending with You Instead of the Big Guys
  1. Go back to basics with signs and banners. Customers with unexpected refunds tend to increase foot traffic at local retail stores. Capitalize on this increase in traffic by posting signs and banners around your store, featuring special offers during tax season. Pro tip: Our buds at FedEx Office specialize in print orders for small businesses, and they provide local business advice as well.
  2. Create a tax season hashtag. American Express’ well known “Small Business Saturday” campaign famously encourages people to “Shop Small.” Why did it gain so much traction? Aside from that pesky marketing spend we mentioned earlier, it’s catchy. It also invokes a feeling that shopping “small,” or shopping locally, means contributing to a good cause. #taxtimeteethcleaning
  3. Create a custom promotion or online offer. Come up with a special offer just for this occasion. Make it extra enticing, since it’s seasonal and is likely to bring in a large amount of traffic. Again, get creative. Since you’re competing with larger companies who have a tad extra moolah in the bank to get the word out, your offer should be able to stand up against theirs…and maybe even beat it.
  4. Consider paying for some extra clicks. We talk about pay-per-click (PPC) advertising via search engines because it is a really effective, measurable way to invest your marketing dollars. Consider increasing your budget cap on these ads for a month or two around tax time.
  5. Don’t forget to update your website. Updating your ads and social promotions during tax time should help. But, don’t overlook your website. Add a tax time hero banner featuring your special offer, include coupons and don’t forget a solid call to action.
  6.  Just flat out reach out! Email your customers reminding them you’re there to help. This may sound simple, but being top-of-mind when someone’s got a refund burning a hole in their pocket will be well worth your time.

Sound like a lot of leg work for someone who has to spend that 80 hours navigating taxes for your business? Let us carry the load. A quick conversation can show you where we can help.

Let’s chat.