Case study: Small 20 -year-old bookkeeping firm seeking ways to reboot and progress Linda was looking for a magic bullet that would help her get her company back on track. She felt over-stressed, overworked and had no interest in keeping things the way that they were. We evaluated what was going on with her customer […]
Linda was looking for a magic bullet that would help her get her company back on track. She felt over-stressed, overworked and had no interest in keeping things the way that they were.
We evaluated what was going on with her customer base; many of them were very small businesses that required a lot of time, a lot of resources, but didn’t pay her a whole lot. Then she had the larger customers who expected her to stop running her business several days per week in order to sit at her desk.
Looking at it from a financial perspective, both of these activities took time and energy away from doing the things in her company that only she could do! The result was that she was working nearly around the clock and not billing enough to justify the work. She was stuck.
We worked with Linda over a period of six months to help her address the challenges she was having head-on.
One of the things that took a lot of energy out of Linda was the relentless hours she worked. During the time that she should or could be working, she wasn’t nearly as productive as she could be, making her productivity much lower than it could be. In order to help with this, we helped Linda develop a schedule and monitored her success on the schedule.
Secondly, we evaluated the tasks that were being done. She had three sets of tasks: Things that only she could do, things that only a qualified bookkeeper could do and things that an administrator could do. By taking away some of the work that could fall into the hands of her staff, she gained even more time, which she could use to find new customers.
Thirdly, we looked at how to rebuild her pipeline. Linda was a heavy networking, meaning that she was bumping into potential customers nearly every time she went out. She also had customers that she had for years, and she had a website, all of which could be leveraged to bring her new business.
We had her get her information into a CRM system that would help her keep track of all those who she had contact with, allowed her to score the likelihood of doing business with them and to manage all communications between her office and the customer. This way, sales opportunities didn’t fall through the cracks when things got busy.
We got her to tap into her network with a referral program, getting her network to refer business to her in exchange for something of value for them. Of course, the referral program is no good if no one knows about it, so we encouraged her to use her newsletter system to keep her company top of mind while reminding them about the ways they could benefit through working with her.
We evaluated her offerings and her customer base in order to determine which products would be most profitable, which clients had the most potential and how to get the right products into their hands that would meet their needs while ensuring the company’s profitability. We would recommend showing clients how they could save money by having a bookkeeper work on site instead of Linda, at a lower cost to the client, outsourcing some of the smaller clients’ work while ensuring quality of deliverable and seeking to build a ratio of clients to serve – a maximum number of each level of client, versus taking anyone who comes through the door, or banking everything on maintaining one or two clients to bankroll the company.
Lastly, we redesigned her website with the goal of making attractive, functional and navigatable, while encouraging visitors to the site through a specific path that would lead to converting into a customer.
All said and done, Linda had a number of options to work with that would produce a viable future for her and her company. She was in a much better position to make decisions and create a long-term plan for her company. Her husband found a way to work that would help to keep the family afloat and Linda’s business got back on its feet.