The Biggest Mistake I Made Running My Bookkeeping Business

bookkeeping bookkeeping business Jan 04, 2024
Bookkeeping Business

Because I’m a trained accountant, transitioning from my corporate job to the independence of running a bookkeeping business seemed like a natural fit. New business owners often stress and sweat over spreadsheets and financial reports, but as a CPA, these were my very specialty! 

But I soon learned a harsh truth: running a business is a very different skill set from bookkeeping and accounting. 

And I made a lot of mistakes along the way.

While I’m grateful for everything I learned, I wish I could have avoided some of the initial headaches that came with starting a bookkeeping business

And that’s why I love supporting fellow bookkeepers and accountants in their own entrepreneurial journeys. 

Everyone makes mistakes, but I hope to help you avoid them along the way! 

My Biggest Mistake While Running My Bookkeeping Business

The biggest mistake that I made when starting my bookkeeping business was not intentionally designing, systemizing, and standardizing my business from the get-go. 

This was the first time I had started a business, and it felt strange to set up systems at the beginning when I only had a handful of clients.

But the results were:

  • Working more hours than at my corporate job, for less pay
  • Feeling incredibly stressed out
  • A constant feeling that I was just “winging it” and “flying by the seat of my pants” 
  • Zero work-life balance
  • Approaching serious burnout 
  • Inability to grow or scale the business

As you can see, I’d just created another job for myself, trading my time for money just like I had before “escaping” my corporate career

Not being efficient meant I was limiting my income by the number of hours I could work in a day, even though there were much better approaches.

How I Fixed It

I took a step back to re-evaluate my goals for running my bookkeeping business. The purpose of the business was to fill me with purpose and satisfaction while earning enough to live my ideal lifestyle. 

It was time to create my business by design, instead of business by default

At the time, the scalable business model I envisioned didn’t exist yet. There were no resources to help me. 

So, I decided to create it myself. 

Reverse Engineering my Bookkeeping Business

The first thing I did was take some time to clear my mind and really reflect, and then I followed the following process:

  1. Wrote down my business and personal goals
  2. Used my goals as a starting point to reverse engineer my ideal outcomes
  3. Created a business roadmap
  4. Determined my business processes and workflows
  5. Documented and mapped out every step of each process and workflow
  6. Looked for ways to standardize and automate as many steps as possible
  7. Continually tweaked and updated systems to make them more efficient and effective

What are some examples of workflows and processes that can be standardized and automated?

  • Lead generation
  • Sales
  • Onboarding new clients
  • Pricing
  • Service packages
  • Client work and communications 

The High Upfront Costs

If it sounds like a lot of work upfront, it really is.

But after many years, thousands of dollars, and diligent trial, error, and research…I was finally able to build a business model that operated like a well-oiled machine. 

Today it is known as my 7-Part Proprietary S.U.C.C.E.S.S. System. 

The results made it all worth it because it meant:

  • My business began to grow and scale exponentially faster 
  • My workload decreased significantly, as I made more money while working fewer hours
  • I built a small team, which wasn’t possible before because everything was in my head rather than in documented processes
  • More time for family, friends, and everything I enjoyed outside of work 
  • Work was satisfying again, which makes all the difference as an entrepreneur
  • The business could run without me, enabling me to sell it when the time was right

After I sold my business, I decided it was time to apply what I’d learned by starting another business.

And then I did it all over again, but 20 times faster because of my S.U.C.C.E.S.S. System.

Since then, I’ve launched, scaled, and sold multiple 6 and 7-figure financial service and franchise businesses. But most importantly, I’ve been able to help thousands of bookkeepers, tax professionals and entrepreneurs launch, grow and scale their businesses. 

Running a Bookkeeping Business with S.U.C.C.E.S.S. 

I spent many years and sleepless nights developing my 7-Part S.U.C.C.E.S.S. System. By joining Bookkeepers IGNITE, you can avoid many costly mistakes and get right to the fun parts of building and growing your own business. All Bookkeepers IGNITE members learn my Proprietary S.U.C.C.E.S.S. System, and so much more! 

Get in touch today, I can’t wait to help your business grow!

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