Tag Archives: Jared Rogers Bus Bench

Our 10th Year Anniversary!

 

Thanks for the past 10 years!

Thanks for the past 10 years!

So this tax season was a little more challenging than anticipated; thus the reason this post is coming out in October.  Needless to say, back on September 14, 2005 Wilson Rogers & Company came into existence.  That means that 2015 marks 10 years of us being in business!  A lot has happened in that time frame.  So with this post, we thought we would not only recap our history, but just how we were able to make it that long.

2005
So after years of Jared getting “hey, your’re an accountant, I have a tax question for you.” he and Aaronita Wilson decided to start a tax company.  “What are we going to call it?” was the question for a while.  “How about we call it Rogers Wilson” Aaronita would say.  “Nah, how about Wilson Rogers?” Jared replied.  “Kind of sounds like a person.  Some estately dude on a horse playing polo.  It also sounds like another tax company we know…”  And with that, Wilson Rogers & Company took form.

2006
This was the first year that we actually started doing returns for pay.  Some of the key highlights:

  • Mr. Asberry becomes “client number one” by sending us his information.
  • Mr. Simpson becomes the first transmitted return as he was quicker to process than Mr. Asberry!
  • Jared and Aaronita get married on September 22, 2006, thus effectively removing a person named “Wilson” from the company.  Don’t worry, people still ask to speak to Wilson Rogers when they come to the office!

2007-2010
These were the “slow years” for the most part as there really wasn’t much that changed.  Client levels stayed pretty consistent and revenues were largely flat.  This was primarily due to the fact that both Aaronita and Jared maintained full time jobs within Corporate America.  This would start to change in the following year.

2011
Sometime towards the end of 2011, the decision was made that Jared would leave Corporate America to head up our first “retail” office.  Up until this point, all the tax returns were done “in house” by making appointments to pick up documents, preparing the returns at night and then providing the completed return to the client at a later date.  2011 was filled with decisions about health insurance, resignation dates and how to outfit the new office.  Somehow, someway, it all managed to come together.

2012
Tax Season? Ready, Set, Go!

Tax Season? Ready, Set, Go!

So this was the first tax season with the new office.  If you want to read the recap on how it went, you can check that out here.  Some of the things that you won’t see in this post:

  • Mr. Campbell had the honor of becoming “retail client number one” on a cold day in January.  He had all his paperwork…we didn’t have the nice frilly folders to give him his tax return in. Oh man…the early days!
  • At the same time we were opening the office, Jared was moonlighting with the fine folks of Intuit with their Turbotax Ask A Tax Expert (ATE) team.  It was also the year that he broke the wrist on his dominant hand and had to finish out tax season using his left hand.  Talk about bad handwriting!
  • We also took many steps into the marketing world to help get the word out.  One of these included developing relationships with sites like Teaspiller (which was later acquired by Intuit)

2013
So we survived another retail office tax season.  That recap can be found here.  The one standout item for this year was that Teaspiller was purchased by Intuit and folded into the TurboTax brand.  What that did was drive additional tax preparation business to us that was above and beyond what we had projected.  It also continued Jared’s relationship with Intuit, which further broadened in late April when he became certified as a Quickbooks Proadvisor.

2014
This was the year that we hired “employee number one” so that Jared could have a little help.  You can read all about Stephanie in a little interview that we did here.  If you want to read about the season, that is located in this post.  That post will also talk about how we began using bus benches to advertise to local traffic in our area!

2015
This was our fourth tax season with the office, and man did things really pick up.  They picked up so much that we hired Patricia as “employee number two” to keep up with things.  This was also the year that we launched www.fileoldtaxreturns.com to offer those needing to file older tax returns an option to do so.

How Did We Survive 10 Years?
Everyone knows the statistic that most businesses fail to make it to the 5 year mark.  While we have been lucky enough to avoid the top 5 reasons businesses fail, we must admit that it takes a little more than that to last for 10 years.  So what are the keys to the castle?  In summary we think:

  • Provide good service.  If you don’t do that, you’ll be lucky if you last beyond a year.
  • Value your customers. We have wonderful customers and we try to let them know that as frequently as possible.  Without them, there would be no Wilson Rogers & Company.
  • Stand out from your competitors.  We’ve all heard that insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.  If you look, sound and act just like your competitors, expect to get their results – average!  So be bold. Do things differently. Give the public what they want, not what YOU think they want.
  • Make adjustments when necessary.  Getting to 10 years has not been a straight line drive.  We’ve had to adjust and pivot along the way.  Have we made mistakes? You bet! Have we learned from them? Continuously.  The key is to make adjustments when needed, forget the past and try to do better in the future.  If you can do that (combined with the above points), then maybe one day we’ll be reading about how you survived your first ten years.

Here’s to a bright future!

Anatomy of Bus Bench Ads

First Generation Bus Bench Ad; Soon To Be Retired...

First Generation Bus Bench Ad; Soon To Be Retired…

When you’re in business, effectively engaging your prospects and potential customers is half the battle of generating revenue.  However, when you communicate via different advertising media (e.g. TV, radio, internet, outdoor, etc), you have to make sure that the design has been properly tailored.  If the ad design doesn’t match the media, you risk the possibility of losing a lot of money.  Case in point; our bus bench ads.

In 2014 we began using bus bench ads to extend our marketing reach around our retail office.  While the bench didn’t “break even” from the standpoint of how much we spent on it versus the revenue generated, it did bring us some customers.  With that said, we went back to the drawing board when it came time to redesign it for our contract renewal.  Why?  Well, we felt that the original version may have been a little too “busy” and cluttered.  Thus, we tried to streamline it so that it delivered our message in line with the media (i.e. quick view, limited space and only a few seconds to capture your “on-the-go” audience).

Revised, Revamped and Ready To Reap Revenue!

Revised, Revamped and Ready To Reap Revenue!

Designing for outdoor media is a challenging communication task.  It requires that one transmit their concept with both clarity and focus.   With that being said, here are the top ten points to keep in mind when developing effective outdoor advertising:

The Five W’s.  You want to convey the what, where, why, when and who in the most expedient manner possible.  Some of you may say that the w’s aren’t in the order that you remember them in from school.  Well, when it comes to advertising, the prospect wants to know what’s in it for me before they even care who is offering it.  Thus, tell them what you’re offering, where they can get it, why they need it, when they can buy it and who you are in that order.  They can always find out who you are, but that isn’t going to initially spark them to continue reading your ad.

Keep your message short. Refine your message to its most basic elements; you may only have 30 seconds of their time if you are lucky.  You’re NOT trying to sell them on the spot so don’t waste your time or money attempting to do so.  Remember, you just want the person to desire to learn more about the goods and services of the company so they will follow your call to action.

Use a “call to action.”  The main reason businesses fail to make the sale is because they never ask for it!  If you want the person to do something, explicitly tell them what steps they should take.  Things such as call now, visit this website or visit us at 123 Anywhere Street are what we’re referring to.  If your space is limited, at a bare minimum the ad copy should be designed so readers have the essential information and are stimulated to respond.

Use bold, vibrant colors.   Colors that complement and contrast each other work best. Using more than two or three different colors isn’t advisable.  Designs have better readability with opposite colors used next to each other for higher contrast. With colors that are too similar, design elements can blend together at a distance and get lost.

Eliminate unnecessary information.  You’re probably not advertising services from Chicago to prospects in Florida.  Thus, eliminate items such as area codes and city names if they aren’t absolutely needed.

KISS.  Keep it simple sweetheart!  Limit the complexity and number of concepts communicated.  The more that prospect has to digest, the harder it will be for them to remember just what it is you do.

Use photos and graphics.  There is a reason that Jared’s picture is on the benches.  Pictures help to create intrigue, convey mental images as well as help an ad stand out.  For example, if you see the bench with Jared’s face on it, you might just look at it simply to satisfy your curiosity as to who that guy is?  Ads with images are viewed far greater than those with only text, so make sure to use those pictures!

Use large, clear fonts. You want to ensure that you copy is readable; especially for the most important concepts of the ad.  In our first generation benches the company name was the most prominent.  In the second generation we changed this so that our services were primary.  Why?  See the five w’s above.

Use intrigue. Make your prospects want to learn and know more about you and what you have to offer.  Thus, be intriguing in both words and imagery.

Keep the layout simple.  Remember, you’re trying to say a lot in a little amount of time.  Make sure that the layout is clean with a clear-cut message and focus.  Remember less is always better.