“Tough times never last, but tough people do.”
– Robert H. Schuller
March and April is your busiest time of the year and sometimes it can be easy to forget that it won’t last.
Pure Bookkeeping co-founder, Debbie Roberts encountered similar stress every year with her business in Australia.
In the land down under, how the Australian tax period works is all businesses report their taxation obligations by filling out a Business Activity Statement (BAS) form by a certain deadline.
Just like in Canada, there is always a rush to complete taxes.
Here is her story of what she went through, how she made her situation better and the importance of marketing your business even during busy times:
BAS-ON/BAS-OFF – BAS-ON/BAS-OFF – BAS-ON/BAS OFF – BAS-ON/BAS-OFF
A bit repetitive isn’t it? For years when I was growing my business and personally responsible for preparing dozens of BAS’ for lots of clients there were only two speeds – frantic during the BAS period (BAS-ON) and busy when it had finished (BAS-OFF). During BAS-ON I worked 12 hour days and didn’t see much of my family or friends (sound familiar?). It was exhausting when we only had 4 weeks to lodge the BAS. As a Registered BAS Agent, it is a relief we can take advantage of some client extensions, but the hidden cost is BAS-ON now lasts 6 weeks instead of 4. So let’s break that down: Out of say, 48 weeks of the year, there are 7 National Public Holidays (in Australia) and perhaps another 3 or 4 State Public Holidays (depending on what State you are in). BAS-ON lasts, say, 6 weeks (although this can be extended further). If you are frantic during BAS-ON as I was then let’s wipe that out as well (in terms of being able to market your business consistently). So out of 48 weeks, we need to deduct another, let’s say 28 weeks (6 x 4 = 24 plus say 2 weeks Public Holidays). That doesn’t account for any sick leave.
That means you have 20 weeks in the year to systematically market your business, recruit great bookkeepers and manage everything else. That’s really not much time is it?
What was detrimental to my business growth was I didn’t actively and systematically market my business during BAS-ON because there was simply not enough time. Lots of other “important, but not urgent” tasks also fell through the cracks. Perhaps you are saying, “but I don’t want any more clients.” That’s fine if you want a Practice and not a Business. With a practice, your biggest challenge will be turning people away who you know you can help. You realize the only way of remaining sane when you are working on your own is to choose the clients you want to work with and how many hours a week you want to work and sack the rest. So, if you want to grow your successful practice to a profitable business you may be asking yourself if it’s possible.
The good news is the answer is yes (I’m the proof). The bad news is you can’t rest during the BAS-OFF period. The other bad news is the very action you have probably put off taking is the very thing that will save you from a life of going from frantic to busy. That action? Creating documented systems you follow and you teach your team to use as well which have a proven outcome you trust (I can hear that collective groan again). Let me say I know how you feel. Out of the 10 years since I started my business, I have spent the past 8 writing detailed systems (and improving and re-writing over and over). I started with bookkeeping systems (as that was the key). So,I know how hard it can be. We’ve estimated it took me over a year full-time! OMG! I’m not expecting you to take a year off to write your systems, but what I am saying is if you don’t start using systems in your business, your life will be at the mercy of BAS-ON/BAS-OFF – BAS-ON/BAS-OFF – BAS-ON/BAS-OFF – BAS-ON/BAS OFF. And, believe me, that’s not a place you want to stay in for long!
You can begin helping yourself by starting to think about what bookkeeping systems you can introduce into your business to take the pressure off you.
Some great insight and advice as always.
One system you can start implementing right away even during hectic times is the 7×5 Marketing plan which includes client attracting strategies such as…
• Talking to People You Know?
• Join A Networking Group?
• Create & Distribute Flyers?
• Partnering with Accountants?
If time is tight, utilize the “People You Know” (PYK) and “Online” strategies to work for you.
People You Know
With PYK, you can quickly spread the word to your family, friends and colleagues that you’re looking for clients. When speaking with them, make sure you clearly communicate what your ideal customers would be, so they have a good understanding and won’t send any complete duds your way.
Utilize your social media to advertise your client search. Post status updates on your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages stating you’re ready to offer services.
These options don’t require much time and, in some cases, can be completed within minutes.
If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch and if you are curious about finding out more about the Pure Bookkeeping System, we are running the 7 Secrets of Growing Your Bookkeeping Business seminars in a city near you soon. We spend a fair amount of time on the 7×5 Marketing plan.
Click here for dates and locations.
Thank you for your time and good luck!