Our franchisees and independent contractors implement marketing, handles sales and offer initial concierge level customer service for their clients and we only staff CPA to prepare our tax returns, resulting in a higher level of service available anywhere.
I had the privilege to interview Happy Tax Founder, Mario Costanz based in Miami Beach, Florida. He discovered that most retail tax preparers don’t have a lot of experience and only 5 days of tax training. So whenever you have complicated issues you have to hire a private firm CPA to do your taxes. To revolutionize the industry Mario Costanz and his co-founders decided to change the way taxes are done. They only have licensed and certified CPA’s preparing taxes with years of experience. They are required to stay up to date on changes to tax law and have continuing education and regularly attend tax seminars. Happy Tax uses cutting edge technology and provides advanced tax solutions. To provide the most convenient service, Happy Tax franchisees will meet clients anytime, anywhere including your home or wherever you are comfortable meeting.
Happy Tax offers complete transparent pricing and concierge level customer service. If you are looking to get your taxes done or you just want more information you should check out their website where they offer a lot of free information like tax saving strategies, tips for business owners, home owners and financial planning. When it comes to tax planning for any person or business the complexity can give you a headache. To save time it’s best to have a professional accountant handle your taxes. It is great to see how they revolutionize the tax industry and inspire others to challenge the status quo. Read more about Happy Tax in my interview with founder Mario Costanz.
How did you come up with the idea for your business and weren’t you concerned that tax preparation industry is already slammed with players?
I have been an entrepreneur for the past 20 years and a tax industry entrepreneur for the past 15. I learned early on that the tax business is a very stale business with little innovation. An industry that needed a shakeup.
After I sold my chain of traditional tax offices back in 2014, I took my lessons learned and had the unique opportunity to start from scratch in a brand new way. One of the key challenges in the tax business is staffing due to its seasonal nature. Finding people who are great at tax prep as well as sales, marketing and customer service can be very challenging. Typically, people are great at one side or the other. For years, I only found 5-10% of the people that I recruited to be awesome at both. Another challenge is that there typically isn’t upfront pricing and consumers have very little convenience in getting their taxes done. We set out to create a new paradigm by building something brand new from the ground up much the way Tesla has done in the auto industry.
Actually, the tax industry is probably one of the most fragmented industries around, not slammed with players. You might think that it is controlled by a few national brands but actually the opposite is true. Almost 80% of the assisted tax preparation industry is controlled by independent tax business owners with only 20% or so to the major national brands. We see this as a gigantic opportunity for consolidation using our unique new model.
What business problems are you tackling and what solutions are you provided?
There is a low level of customer satisfaction across the tax industry. Upwards of 30% of taxpayers change their preparers each year (in many cases some offices or chains lose 60 or 70% of their customers each year). Much of this is because it is difficult to be skilled at tax law as well as be of a personality profile that clients are attracted to and want to say with. Instead of trying to find people that do not exist, we separated the roles so all of our team members can specialize in what they do best. Our franchisees and independent contractors implement marketing, handles sales and offer initial concierge level customer service for their clients and we only staff CPA to prepare our tax returns, resulting in a higher level of service available anywhere.
Many other national tax companies employ tax preparers with as little as 5 days of tax training. In order to be a CPA, you must complete a bachelor’s degree in tax or accounting and typically at least two years of work experience in the field along with passing four certification exams. Unlike unlicensed preparers (that are the status quo in the industry), CPA’s are required to take continuing education to stay up to date on changes to tax law. Our CPA’s all specialize in tax unlike some other CPA’s that may concentrate in other areas of accounting.
Our franchisees come from all walks of life. Some have other relates services in the insurance, real estate, financial planning or investment industries. Others just have an aptitude or ability to learn about sales and marketing. Basically anyone who is likable, personable and has a willingness to implement our techniques.
Consumers are tired of having their taxes prepared by incompetent or unlicensed preparers. And in many cases they need to take an entire day off of work just to get their taxes done. Driving to the location, sitting in the waiting room, sitting across from a potentially unqualified preparer.
When did you launch?
We founded the company on 12/13/14 and publicly launched on April 15, 2015. Yes, we picked both of those dates by design. 😉
What previous enterprise did you launch?
I had previously owned and operated 99 tax offices in 5 states as well as a dozen or so other businesses in other industries.
Do you consider yourself a serial entrepreneur?
No, I consider myself an entrepreneur and entrepreneur coach.
What do you like about starting new business?
I love to create something that was never there before I launched. I love the energy of working towards something that will better the lives of my family, my partners, my franchisees and our team members.
What is your mission?
To inspire others to challenge the status quo. We believe that being different is awesome.
What has been your greatest achievement so far?
In life it is my wonderful, beautiful and smart children. In business, I have yet to achieve it.
What’s your best advice for other tech entrepreneurs who are starting a business?
Create something innovative. It takes planning, thinking and making mistakes. But get out of research and development with your product as soon as possible. The markets will help you pivot if you have something and you are a little off. Trying to create something perfect out of the box is impossible. If your idea is a good one, you are passionate about helping people solve a problem and you have some capital, you still have a very slim shot of making it. Just kidding, go for it. We have but one life, don’t take your inventions with you to the grave. Go out and find great people to join your team whether you can hire them or not. Have a combination of industry leaders and those trying to make their mark. My intention (and this isn’t for everyone) is to leave a dent in a the world. Make yours.
Where can our readers find you online?
Happy Tax franchise opportunities can be found at https://GetHappyTax.com, consumers can interact with us at http://HappyTax.com, our youtube channel with well over 1 million views is at https://youtube.com/happytax, and I can be found at https://www.linkedin.com/in/mariocostanz and https://www.facebook.com/mario.costanz.