The burgeoning market for Hispanics in tax prep work responds to a certain type of advertising, and in certain states is ripe to explode, according to Blaire Borthayre, a speaker and corporate trainer specializing in Hispanic culture, and author of "Marketing to the Hispanic Community: A Comprehensive Guide for Tax Preparation Offices." Borthayre, who conducted a survey of Hispanic clients at a tax prep office she worked with, said that the majority of clients heard about this particular office through radio advertising, followed by "a friend," "a flyer," and seeing the office signs in Spanish. "Word of mouth is huge in the Hispanic community, much more so than the American community," she maintains. "You want to say you're a place that speaks their language, treats them fairly and understands their issues." She added that marketing is especially effective in the top states with Hispanic buying power: California, Texas, Florida, New York and Illinois. The tops states seeing increasing buying power of Hispanics include North Carolina, Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee and Alabama. She recommends starting your marketing campaign right at the front desk, putting signs in Spanish and English. Then, she said, contact the local Hispanic newspaper and request that a paper box be placed near the front door of your office. Also, make sure that client intake forms, in Spanish, are on the front desk with clipboards as clients arrive, thus sending the message that Hispanic clients are expected and welcome. Other tips include: a children's play area, since many Hispanic tax-prep clients come for such services with family members, and having a bilingual employee put a message on your answering machine in both English and Spanish. Multi-language marketing appears to be catching on. The Massachusetts Society of CPAs, for instance, now offers a search engine on their site (www.mscpaonline.org) to look for members by languages served, including Spanish and some 29 others.
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