Your bookkeeping business is YOUR business

Oct 01, 2021

Your bookkeeping business is your business! You get to create it the way that works for you.

You are in control of the work you do and the people you work with which means that you are in control of your own destiny and you can create a business that you truly enjoy.

This might be a revelation for some of you but did you know that:

  • You don't have to be at the beck and call of your clients who have their own priorities, urgencies, and demands. 
  • You don't have to work with clients who don't value what you do
  • You don't have to work hours that don't work for your family and your lifestyle
  • You don't have to work for client's who don't pay you on time or quibble about every last minute
  • You don't have to take on clients at less than the pay that you deserve
  • You don't have to do work that you find uninspiring

Decide what you want your business to look like and create it from there.

How you do that is the kind of thing that I work with my clients on but it's typically things like:

Opportunity not obligation

Approach your initial conversation with any potential client as an opportunity not an obligation. 

You don't have to take on every single prospect that you talk to. Use your initial meeting to discern whether you and they are a good fit or not, and it's OK if they're not. Remember, you are creating your business so that it works for you. That means taking on right-fit clients.

You are doing them a disservice by taking them on if they are not a good fit. It will only lead to resentment and unhappiness and business that does not work for you.

Manage expectations

Set the expectations upfront about when clients can reach you, how you can be reached, when to expect a reply and how you will best work together.

It might be a good idea to have some sort of onboarding or welcome document that lays out expectations around this kind of thing.

Part of the value of laying this out in writing is that you get clear on it yourself. What works for you? What doesn't? Create your expectations framework around that.

Hold your boundaries

Once you have set the expectations you need to maintain and hold them.

There's no point saying that you can be reached between these hours, or that you reply to emails at these times, if you then pick up the phone every time a client calls even if you're in the middle of another client's work or if it's outside of your business hours.

Hire others

If there is work in your business that you now find uninspiring or unrewarding, you can find another bookkeeper to do this work so you can focus on more challenging and inspiring work.

Don't assume that just because you don't like doing this kind of work that every other bookkeeper feels the same way, or that every other bookkeeper is building their own business and therefore you won't be able to find anyone.

That is simply not true. There are other bookkeepers who are happy to do the work that you don't want to and will be happy for the opportunity and for the work.

Fire non-right-fit clients

If you have clients who are disrespectful to you, you do not have to keep working with them.

Disrespectful behaviour includes repeatedly not paying you on time, using language or tone of voice that upsets you, your staff, or even their clients and staff. 

Right-fit clients pay you what you're worth and are happy to do so.  You don't have to chase right-fit clients for money. Right-fit clients tell you that they value what you do and that they are happy and grateful to have you on their team.

Put your rates up

Sometimes the best way to cull your client base and open up space for better clients is by putting your rates up and having clients deselect themselves because they don't want to pay you any more than they currently do. 

I see it often that our worst, most demanding clients are often also the ones on the lowest rate. They shouldn't be rewarded for their poor behaviour with discounted rates when your best-fit clients are happy to pay you what you're worth. 

As the saying goes, nature abhors a vaccuum, so let them deselect themselves so that space for a better fit client opens up. 

This is your business

Building a business is creating a business. You are the creator.

You do your business your way, my friend.

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