Our client was stuck. She felt over-stressed, overworked and had no interest in keeping things the way they were. She didn't know which way to go, but she knew that what she was doing wasn't working.
Our client had run a small business bookkeeping firm for about 20 years. She’d reached the point where she wanted to find some ways to reboot the business and create an infrastructure that would support hiring additional staff and taking on new customers. While she enjoyed what she did, it felt like the business was getting stale – both to her and possibly to her market. Her frustration was that she found herself working all hours of the day, but she was not billing enough to justify the work. She was stuck. She felt over-stressed, overworked and had no interest in keeping things the way they were.
We evaluated what was going on with her customer base; it included many very small businesses that required a lot of time and resources but didn’t pay her a whole lot – they simply weren’t profitable customers. She also had much larger customers who would expect her to stop running her business for several days per week in order to sit at a desk at their location. Looking at it from a financial perspective, both activities took time and energy away from doing things in her company that only she could do! This resulted in her missing out on both revenue and profit opportunities and required that she worked many more hours than she was getting paid for.
We worked with our client over a period of six months, helping her address challenges head-on. One of the things that took a lot of energy out of our client was the relentless hours she worked. She wasn’t nearly as productive as she could be, making her firm much less profitable. We helped our client develop a schedule and monitored her success. We identified three sets of tasks at her firm: things only she could do, things only a qualified bookkeeper could do, and things only an administrator could do. The idea was to take away some of the work that could fall into the hands of her staff. Our client was a heavy networker and her online assets could be leveraged to bring her new business. We asked her to get her information into a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system to keep track of all those who she had contact with. This allowed her to score the likelihood of doing business with them and manage all communications between her office and the customer. We also identified 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.
Thanks to our solution, our client gained even more time, which she could use to find new customers. By improving communication, we also ensured sales opportunities didn’t fall through the cracks when things got busy. We got her to tap into her network with a referral program. She was encouraged to use her newsletter system to keep her company on top of people’s minds, reminding them about the ways they could benefit by working with her. Our client was able to show clients how they could save money by having a bookkeeper work on site. By redesigning her website, we allowed visitors to go through a specific path, ultimately boosting conversions. At the end of the day, our client 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 keep the family afloat and our client’s business got back on its feet. As a result of what we were able to CREATE|DESIGN|BUILD, the client enjoyed the following results:
- More time to pull new business
- Getting the firm back on its feet
- Higher website conversions
- Having several options for a viable future
- Better decisions and long-term plan