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Happy New Year!

posted Jan 3, 2010, 8:49 PM by Jeff Wagner   [ updated Jan 3, 2010, 10:48 PM ]

Sure I went just about completely broke in 2009, but I'll still call it a pretty good year. Pretty pretty good. (Curb Your Enthusiasm Video) I moved on from Canon to a really good career that could turn spectacular if I get some results. Technically I started my tax preparation business in 2008, but I filed my first taxes in 2009, so that was a positive. Not only that, I realized that, while I can prepare taxes, my specialty seems to be marketing. Since my new career limits my tax prep time, I've shifted my focus to helping other independent tax preparers market their businesses.

I know New Year resolutions are cliched, but 2010 will be a pretty clean break for quite a few people - including me. I haven't been as public about it, but my employer is Hurst Chemical Company. I don't want to take away from one or the other, but I'm really trying to keep that separate from my own business ventures. With them I'll work to increase their market share by implementing both traditional & alternative marketing methods. So far I've set up an email newsletter program, social media profiles, on-site demonstrations, a letter writing campaign & good old fashioned telemarketing. Hurst is a leading manufacturer of supplies for the commercial press industry based in good old Santa Barbara.

Last year I opened a small tax office in a partnership with an old friend in the insurance business. We filed close to 100 tax returns in our first year with me only working part time, which wasn't a bad start. With that office came the idea for VacationTax.com - We file your taxes. You take a vacation! I started that site originally to draw traffic to our office; however, we drew most of our clients from advertising on Spanish radio (Oh, you didn't know that I speak Spanish?). 

This year, circumstances prevented me from opening that office again. Not only does my new job demand more of my time, but my partner may be moving out of his office as well as his business. I'll be setting up shop on weekends & few late nights at a new office (Tax.Taluy), so that will present new growth challenges. That doesn't stop me from believing in my dream for VacationTax.com. I knew it was destined for more than a small office in South Oxnard. Soon, once the new site is completed, you will see my true vision.

I recently heard on the radio that the best marketing will outperform the best poduct or service. Some may not like the way that sounds. Does McDonalds make the best burger. (I happen to like the Big Mac) Well they have a heck of a marketing team, so they sell more than anyone else. Yes I encourage you to do your best work (that's where repeat business comes from), but no matter what, you need to beat the competition in marketing. That's what I learned, and that's what I want to share. To continue with my theme of renewal for 2010, I launched VacationTax Pro to spread my message. It's surprisingly tough to communicate that you want to help tax preparers promote themselves, so I think that site finally gets it right.

So here we go in Twenty-Ten. We got a new family portrait (I think our first official one with The Boy). We have a new financial plan - no more uncontrolled spending. My family is healthy, loving, supportive & motivated. My professional goals are specific & attainable: Help Hurst grow by at least 10% every month, increase my tax prep business to at least turn a profit (radio ads are expensive), at least one VacationTax Pro client in every state, three new SendOutCards distributors, five Complete Social Media Management Service clients and finally (& most importantly) the elusive POSITIVE CASH FLOW!!!

Thanks to my friends & family for your support. Your posts, blogs & emails keep me motivated. Please stay in touch. I'll talk to you soon!!!

The Jeff Wagner

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