Bookkeeping Tips: 5 Lessons I Learned From Pivoting My CFO Offer

for bookkeepers podcast Jul 18, 2022
Bookkeeping Tips



This story starts in the fall of 2020.
Thanks to the onset of pandemic life and all the changes it brought along with it, one thing that truly took off was online business. So many of my clients were suddenly finding themselves making more money than they ever had before…and while this was amazing for so many reasons, it also brought along a whole host of new problems to tackle. Problems that, at the time, my offers weren’t fully designed to solve. There was a need there for my clients that wasn’t getting filled by my service, and while I could have let it stay that way, I made a different choice: I started trying to figure out what it would look like to support my clients even more. While I didn’t have the capacity to do it for everyone who was interested in my services (so this certainly wasn’t made into a PUBLIC offer), I did feel confident that I could make room to go that extra mile for the clients I already had.
With some help from my coach, I put together my first CFO offer and presented it privately to my clients. In the end, about a third of them accepted, which was fantastic! I got everything arranged, got excited, and launched right into it. But it quickly became apparent that there were some things that needed to be adjusted, and through the process of pivoting that offer to be a better fit for my clients, I gained a few new bookkeeping tips for anyone looking to build a new offer. You might have heard some of these bookkeeping tips before outside of the context of new offers, but I want to shed new light on them today. Without further ado, let’s jump into five lessons I learned about building an offer so you don’t have to!



Lesson 1: Listen to your clients to create your offer.

One of my new bookkeeping tips is this: when gearing up to present a new offer, always speak to your clients about their needs. By listening to what they need, you’ll be better prepared to curate an offer that suits them. For me, this might have given me a little more insight into whether or not this offer would work as a group offer. When I started out with this offer, I thought it would work best as a group offer, and that was how I first presented it to my clients. However, as time went on, I soon realized this wasn’t working for my clients…or for me! Our monthly meetings required me to show up ready to “perform,” as it were, and even after making sure I could schedule them at a time when I was in the right headspace and had enough energy, these meetings still ended up being low-attendance and low-participation. So not only was it stressful for me, but something clearly wasn’t working on my clients’ end, either. Which leads me to my second bookkeeping tip…

Lesson 2: When something isn't working for you, it likely isn't working for your clients.

Number two on my list of new bookkeeping tips: don’t ignore your gut feelings. If things aren’t going smoothly on your end, your clients are probably feeling the disconnect, too! It can be easy to fall into the trap of assuming you’re the only one struggling, or maybe it’s harder for you because you’re in charge of the offer, or any number of things, but the truth is that if you’re not falling into the groove of things, your clients are probably feeling the lack of rhythm. When something is working well for your clients, you’re a lot less likely to feel like something isn’t functioning the way you hoped, so pay attention to the vibes you’re getting. One of my most crucial bookkeeping tips, for this and just about everything else? Your instincts are often right.



Lesson 3: If something isn't working, get creative about how you can change it.

Most problems don’t come with one-size-fits-all solutions, but don’t let that intimidate you! Don’t give up on your offer—get creative and start studying it from all angles to find the best solution. Sometimes you may have to throw the whole thing out and begin again from scratch, but most of the time, you’ll only need to adjust a couple facets rather than the entire offer. Don’t be afraid to get creative and shift pieces around until they fall into place—and don’t be afraid to change it up more than once! Not every problem can be solved in one or two tries, but if you keep pushing forward and challenge yourself to look at it from new angles, you’re sure to eventually untangle the knot. This applies to bookkeeping tips, of course, but it applies to a lot of other things in business, too—creative thinkers always excel! Trying new things could lead to your offer transforming into something you never thought it could be.

Lesson 4: Don't be afraid to change things.

Fear of failure is real, and failing publicly even more so. But when something isn’t working, changing your approach isn’t a failure—it’s proof of your adaptability! So the next bookkeeping tips on my list? Don’t be afraid of failure, and don’t be afraid of change. Clients are far more likely to appreciate your willingness to stop, reassess, and revamp than they are likely to lose trust in you because an offer has to be adjusted. This ties back in to listening to your clients. By having the humility to stop and acknowledge that something isn’t working, you prove to your clients that their experience matters to you, and that you want your offer to be the best that it can be for them. This might even make them more likely to accept other offers from you in the future, knowing that there’s room for collaboration and adjustment and they won’t potentially get trapped in an offer that doesn’t work as well as they hoped. One of the most important tips for bookkeeping is to build trust between you and your clients, and this is one way to do that!

Lesson 5: If getting your clients to complete a task is difficult, take the lead.

Big-time bookkeeping tip: your clients lead busy lives, and sometimes it can be easy for things to get lost in the shuffle. If getting them to complete a task is taking too long, don’t be afraid to take charge! For instance, instead of asking them to tell you a time that would be good for them to meet with you, what time they have available to jump on a call, etc., try choosing two or three time slots and offering those to them. By taking away the broad spectrum of possibilities and narrowing it down to two or three options, you still allow them flexibility, but you take away the open-ended question and replace it with a concrete choice that they can make very quickly. This might feel pushy, but trust me, it’s not! Your clients are still free to choose which option works best, and if nothing you offered them works, they’re more likely to come back with an alternate suggestion right away. One of the best bookkeeping tips you can take advantage of is simply to take charge when you need to.



Take these lessons and get ready to build!

Now that you’re armed with these five bookkeeping tips on how to build an offer that works for you and your clients, I hope you’re feeling confident in your ability to build a new offer yourself! While it was definitely a learning experience, it gave me more bookkeeping tips that will save you from making some of the very same mistakes that I did. Get creative, get adaptable, and get to building the best offer you can!
If you're looking for more tips for bookkeeping, insight on how to become a bookkeeper, and how to say hello to a more confident business model, enroll in Become A Bookkeeper (BABs). 
Or to learn more about growing your bookkeeping business and hiring a team, enroll in Life By The Books™ (Libby).
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