3 Things to Stop Doing IMMEDIATELY in Your Bookkeeping BusinessJan 22, 2024
I want to start this out with a simple equation that my fellow left-brained geeks will love:
Making more does not equal doing more.
A wild concept, right? As a rule-following, Type A, hard-working, task-oriented, people-pleasing hustler, I know that this concept doesn't come naturally to you—it definitely didn’t come naturally to me.
But even if it feels strange, there are a few things that we need to undo in order to break you through to the success that you're craving in your bookkeeping business…especially because I know that this bookkeeping business that you're pursuing isn't all that you've got going on.
You've probably got a day job. Maybe you’re going to school. Maybe you have a bunch of kids…or a combination of all of the above. Not to mention having a house to maintain, eight glasses of water to drink a day, ten thousand steps to get in, seven hours of sleep to strive for, and homework that you either need to do or check.
If you feel like you're barely keeping up with the bare minimum…trust me, I get it. Which is why I’ve created something that is going to help you make more in your bookkeeping business while doing less.
But first, we’re going to discuss three things you need stop doing in order to start making more.
I’m going to be discussing this from the viewpoint of running a bookkeeping business, but if you don’t have a bookkeeping business, all this is still relevant for you. If you’re a different kind of service-based business owner, just translate “bookkeeping business” to whatever you do!
Scheduling Sales Calls The “Old-Fashioned Way”
I firmly believe that admin tasks, while some can be hired out, are best systematized and automated when possible in your bookkeeping business. That includes scheduling sales calls.
When I had my first couple of client calls for my bookkeeping business, before I knew of any of the systems that could help me—and before I learned lessons the hard and painful way—those conversations looked something like this:
Somebody would reach out about my services via text or email or DM, because I didn't have a system in place, and that would result in a multi-step email or message exchange asking a few questions, but never enough questions to understand what that potential client was looking for, what they were willing to pay, or to prime them to buy.
If we could make it to the point where we decided that we wanted to get on a call to figure out if working together would be a fit, we'd have an even longer exchange about when we could hop on that call.
You and I are not the only busy, overwhelmed people in the world. Our clients are exactly the same. And when you don’t have a lot of time, finding a block that lines up with someone else who doesn't have a lot of time to sit down and have a conversation about whatever it is that they want to hire you for is extremely difficult.
At least, it’s difficult if there's not a simple system in place.
So even if the client and I completed that process and managed to book a call, not to mention if we miraculously both made it to the call without one of us forgetting about it, the call would still be a bit unorganized.
I would ask questions that they hadn't considered answers for yet. They'd mention things I wasn't prepared for. And if we made it to the conversation of pricing on the call, it was so uncomfortable because I had no idea if the price that I had in mind was in their budget.
So to recap the reasons to stop scheduling sales calls the old-fashioned way:
Too Many Cycle Breaks
There are too many breaks in the cycle here, meaning that there are too many gaps in the time between a potential new client reaching out to you about your bookkeeping business and them getting a clear solution to their problem.
By leaving those gaps in place, you risk the issue of their need for bookkeeping ending up on the backburner, or them finding someone else who's easier to get connected with.
Too Much Back and Forth
There's also too much back and forth, which is confusing and annoying for both you and your potential new client. Now you both feel the pressure to keep checking your texts, emails, and DMS to continue the conversation just so the gaps that we mentioned previously don't happen.
Thirdly, you end up having weak boundaries in place.
This puts you in a position where you have less control of your already-limited schedule, because when they're telling you what works for them, you're trying to make it fit where you can versus you telling them what works so they can make it fit.
Even if it means waiting a little bit, getting it booked at a time that feels right for everybody is better for everyone, right?
Chaos Isn’t Attractive
With this hectic attempt to get things scheduled, you’ll begin to feel chaotic—and you’ll come off as chaotic to the potential client, especially more sophisticated clientele…AKA, the kind of client who will be your best client.
Chances are, your best client knows how to manage their business and their workflows and their scheduling a little bit better, so if they reach out to you and find your bookkeeping business is full of clunky processes, it will feel chaotic to you and to them.
I can sense this energy when I’m hiring someone, personally. And if it doesn't make me bounce immediately, which it often does, it will likely cause a disconnect that sometimes I can overcome, but sometimes I can't.
That client is not going to not be attracted to that chaos in your bookkeeping business’s systems. It's going to repel them, and they're going to start to wonder if starting a conversation with you feels like this...what is working with you going to feel like?
With weak scheduling systems in your bookkeeping business, you have a greater risk of a no-show, meaning you arranged your day around that call—maybe you even paid for a babysitter or called in a favor—just to be ghosted. That is the worst feeling.
Lastly, there's no priming to buy. You've left a lot of potential priming on the table by waiting to be face-to-face with the client for both of you to get on the same page about what they’re looking for and what they're willing to pay.
When you're face-to-face, if you haven't cleared up where the budget starts, what they're looking for, or when their start time is, they'll start feeling a little overwhelmed too. They don't know what it's going to cost. They don't know if you're about to sell them something they can't afford.
Overwhelm can quickly result in them ghosting you and/or them not moving forward with you and your bookkeeping business.
Stop Invoicing Manually
The second thing you want to stop doing in your bookkeeping business is invoicing your clients and following up on payment each and every month.
Back when I had just five clients, I was a penny-pinching bookkeeping business owner trying to avoid bank fees and the cost of software, mostly because I wasn't clear on what my hour was worth and because I was undercharging my clients in those days. So to avoid fees, I would manually invoice the clients and ensure that I was paid every month.
As a busy mom who would often forget what day it was, I meant to bill on the first day of each month but would often forget. Sometimes I would even be late by as long as five days, and then I'd have the fun of remembering to track the payments as they did or didn't come in, which is overwhelming even just for five clients. Not to mention I'd have to follow up with the clients if the payments didn't come in, which was not only a nuisance, it was also super awkward.
Those are conversations nobody wants to have. You don't want them, and your client doesn't want them. And chances are your client wants to pay you—you're just not making it easy enough.
If invoicing becomes a monthly task for you in your bookkeeping business, it will absolutely eat at your capacity for serving your clients. This means you're going to quite literally lose money if you're not getting paid easily and automatically.
The reason we're in business is to get paid. It needs to be simple.
The truth is, no one means to not pay you, but they're busy and overwhelmed too. I pinky promise you that they would prefer to be on auto-pay and have it come out without having to think about it.
The third and final thing to stop doing in your bookkeeping business in order to start making more is spoon-feeding each client on how your bookkeeping business works.
One of the things that you'll find yourself doing if you're not automating this task is repeating yourself.
Not only that, but you may end up saying something too late because you forgot what you did or didn't tell them. So by the time you remember to say it, a client has already made a mistake.
Maybe they did something you didn't want them to do. Maybe they did something without asking you. Maybe they did something that changes their system. Maybe they did the wrong thing in terms of hiring because you didn't tell them things up front.
You’ll also find yourself needing to answer questions about pressing matters at inconvenient times…like when you're riding shotgun on a sixteen-hour road trip with one other adult and five kids in the car. Ask me how I know.
One of the things that I've done to help is implement a client FAQ page. It covers everything the client needs to know, and it’s a resource that they can refer back to as they run into new problems after we start working together. But there are other ways to automate this in your bookkeeping business as well….
Get the FREE Workshop!
Now that you know what you need to stop doing in your bookkeeping business in order to make more…let’s go over what you need to start doing.
I have a free resource I’ve put together to help you get all of this in order: AUTOMATE YOUR ADMIN TASKS, an hour-long workshop that will tell you everything you need to know to get these admin tasks automated in your bookkeeping business and free your time up for more client-facing (AKA, money-making) tasks!
You can opt in to this free workshop by following the link below! Easy peasy, right?
Opt in to the Automate Your Admin Tasks Workshop for the full experience: www.katieferro.com/automate
For a LIMITED TIME, get 3 months of Kajabi for only $99 a month! (Expires 1/25/2024): https://app.kajabi.com/r/K2WSUjRh/t/37ifcjny
Did you miss the above promo? DM me for the current promotion price: www.instagram.com/orderlyaccountingbykatie
To see the entire workshop library and find more resources for your bookkeeping business, visit https://www.katieferro.com/coaching now!
Need to boost your bookkeeping basics? Join BABs now: https://www.katieferro.com/become
CONNECT WITH KATIE:
For first dibs (and the best prices!) on new offers from me, follow me on Instagram, then subscribe to my email list:
Email Opt In: www.katieferro.com/email