I believe the same negative compounding effect is what happens to accounting firms who are just too busy to "market" during tax season. The lesson to be learned - gardening and marketing have a lot in common. You cannot assume past efforts will carry you forward all on their own. You must continually market to have a growing firm; replacing poor clients with better ones and revitalizing your existing clients with a steady dose of fertilizer and attention.
The month of March is your prime "planting" time to harvest new work in the summer and fall. At a minimum you must give extra attention to your existing clients to guarantee firm health and viability.
Pick your top 10 percent of clients.. Make sure to fertilize these clients with new ideas to help their business grow. When you deliver their tax return, include a business building book* or article. Even more importantly, make a date in May to "circle back around" (this is what cool tech people refer to as a meeting) to discuss the book/article and its implications for their business.
By-the-way, healthy bulbs generate more healthy bulbs. Likewise healthy/happy clients generate equally valuable referrals. Marketing during tax season doesn't have to be a big deal. Just focus a little extra attention on your best clients this month. This will yield an abundance of opportunities for you to follow-up with in the summer and fall.
*Suggested books & Resources:
www.inc.com - search on "performance improvement" or "critical number"
The E Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni
Three Signs of a Miserable Job by Patrick Lencioni
Raving Fans by Ken Blanchard
From Good to Great by James Collins