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Building a Business by Helping People Build Businesses

We talked with Director of Franchise Support, Dundalan Sain, about using Mailchimp and QuickBooks to market One Stop Taxes and empower their customers.

If you were to focus just on the name, you would think One Stop Taxes is just about, well, taxes.

But the accountancy, started in the founder’s parents’ basement, has grown from simply preparing taxes for friends and family into a national franchise that helps people build their own tax preparation businesses.

To do that, they offer a “Business in a Box” product, which offers all the business advice, assistance, certifications, and financial knowledge a person needs to start their own online franchise of One Stop Taxes. It includes things like articles of organization and EIN forms, even advice on obtaining funding and loans.

Each franchise is owned and operated by a virtual store owner, or VSO. One Stop Taxes is always signing up more VSOs around the country, which means more people are able to open their own businesses.

But the entrepreneurialism expands beyond taxes. VSOs can use their tax preparation earnings to open additional businesses. One Stop Taxes also offers a product type allowing VSOs to buy properties and flip them, and will soon begin offering one that assists in opening a restaurant.

We sat down with Director of Franchise Support, Dundalan Sain, and talked about marketing their Business in a Box model.

What’s One Stop Taxes’ mission?

We want to help our VSOs prosper, and we want to give them the financial education to do that. We all didn't come from silver spoons, so we’re able to even the playing field, to give them the kind of education that’s out of reach for a lot of people. Our VSOs are making life-changing sums of money because of it—some people can stop living paycheck to paycheck, some are paying off their mortgages for a year, some are buying cars.

And then, once they open a business and start making a profit, they might wonder how to keep growing, and even how they could build a million-dollar enterprise. In every aspect, we want to teach people how to take their business from wherever they are, and be successful in whatever they want to do. It’s rewarding to see people do that.

How did you first see success using Mailchimp?

We started collecting email signups from social media posts and now have added paid ads as well. We also run billboard ads and find them effective at driving people to our site where they can sign up for the mailing list. And at the beginning we were just looking for ways to get people to look at our emails. We had something like a 1% open rate. So we looked at what we were sending, and played around with different content and subject lines. We would try sending things that weren’t directly related to taxes, like savings and finance information, and could figure out what people wanted to read.

When we started adding content boxes, images, and lots of links within the email, we saw more engagement. And for customer-based emails, there’s a good chance that if someone clicks into one of the emails, they become a client.

Mailchimp analytics helps us gauge interest in where to hold our events, and then we keep our audience engaged with automations, tags, and customer journeys.

We use QuickBooks for our own business accounting software, and also recommend it to our clients. It's something you can use without having to do a lot of manual work.

What are some of the ways you use Mailchimp now?

We use Mailchimp analytics to gauge interest in where to hold our Super Saturday events. These events focus on attracting 2 types of customers: people who want to learn about the business as VSOs, and people who want to be customers of our tax preparation business. So we’ll send an email to cities in say, Texas, and find that most of our engagement comes from Houston. So then we know to hold the event in Houston. 

We also use Mailchimp automations, tags, and customer journeys. When we have an event and someone’s interested in being a VSO, we import their contact information into our Mailchimp contacts at the event and tag them according to that interest. We put them in a welcome automation to give them more information about our company. Once they decide to be a VSO, they're tagged again to reflect that, and we take them on a journey to get their tax preparation credentials and website. If we notice they’re missing something to complete their credentials, we can tag them and get them what they need to finish. Once they complete the journey, they go into another audience, our corporate email group.

How do you use QuickBooks?

We use it for our own business as our accounting software, and we also recommend it to our clients. QuickBooks is something that you can use without having to do a lot of manual work. When you connect a business bank account, QuickBooks imports and categorizes all this different transaction information, whether it's income or expenses, all in one consolidated place. It helps with finding business tax deductions—that's the main thing we tell our customers. QuickBooks is a good tool to help them stay on track. It shows what they’re selling, how many sales they’re making, and their business growth, which helps them stay ready for tax time.

How could you see yourself using both platforms together?

Now that you mention it, I can see how using QuickBooks and Mailchimp together would definitely help us, so we can see the money made from each event. For our Super Saturdays, we promote in something like 20 or 30 cities. Seeing how many products we sold, how much revenue, and how many VSOs we got from those events would help us put more marketing into those cities, or show us if it’s time to move on to a different city. 

I think it would also help with the real estate portion of the business and the launch of our new restaurant product, to be able to see what kind of revenue those promotions are making.

Published: May 9, 2023

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