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What's holding you back

Updated: Apr 1

In today's blog, I am going to share with you an email that I have received from one of our podcast listeners, which is in response to a question I asked in another podcast: "What's holding you back from doing the program?"

I asked if listeners would kindly email me because the more I understand, the more I know,

– the absolute more I can help you, and the more I can tailor everything.

Bookkeepers discussing The Strategic Bookkeeper Transformation Program

I've got the email here in front of me, and I'm actually going to start at the bottom and just mention that this wonderful listener said that she is a absorbing all my content, which is exactly what I asked. To rinse and repeat, if you're a bookkeeper in practice or a bookkeeper at the beginning of the journey, wherever you're at, I have worked my bum off to build the entire The Strategic Bookkeeper project to serve you. And let me tell you, that was no small feat.

And, to help you as best I can, if you are not yet in my Transformation Program and you really want to get the most out of me and my content before you join – I would really love for you to use me. Just like this amazing bookkeeper who I mentioned has emailed me, and now, I can help.

So, she said that she's absorbing my content – and that's what I want and need you to do.

I need you to read my book once, twice, three times, four times – it's an absolute how-to guide! Listen to my podcast, join Book Club, and grab my free training Profit-first: How to build and maintain a highly profitable practice.

Now, if you completely immerse yourself in all those content, I guarantee that you're going to be able to kick goals, and then you can get in The Strategic Bookkeeper's Way Facebook group and ask questions, or even make podcast episode suggestions.

Because, this particular bookkeeper that emailed me has said that she is struggling with finding the cashflow. And, the $99 a week to invest in the program – even though she knows that investing in the program is going to give her an ROI that pays for it – she's just struggling at the moment to find that. So, what I'd love to do is maybe help you find a bit of that through my content, but rather than going on a sprinkler focus absorbing other content that's out there, which is wonderful and fantastic too, please absorb my content on a fire hose focus, so that I can help you best. And again, lots of gratitude for this wonderful bookkeeper for doing that.

Now, the next thing on the email, this bookkeeper's trying to decide – she's been in practice, she's had clients, and then she's been down a path where she's exited practice but she didn't like being an employee. That really struck me because honestly, those of us that are entrepreneurs, those of us that are self-employed and on the Entrepreneur's Journey, we are filled with uncertainty and lots of other things – the total opposite to having a job.

But, I truly believe that those of us that choose that path and that journey, it is where we're meant to be, and there's a good reason that we love it. So this bookkeeper is at that point where she's wondering: she would love to go back into practice, but there were issues last time she did. There were things just not working the way she'd like them to work, and she's once bitten, twice shy. So she is talking about the direction she wants to take on this and more.

The first thing I'm going to say here is plan.

What I want this wonderful bookkeeper to do, and we're going to call her Trish – Trish, what you need to do and what everyone needs to get clear on (I do this with all my entrepreneurial clients as well as my bookkeepers, and they kind of scratch their head and just go, how am I just not seeing this?) —

You must understand the destination that you're trying to head for.

Let's take Trish for example. Now, I'm not sure how old Trish is, but the destination we are heading for and what we need and want is going to be different at the different stages of our life, okay? I'm 51. What I want now is different to the goals that I was setting back in my 30s. So the basic way to look at this for Trish, for everyone, is to start with money.

Start with going, well, this is the income that I want, and you can think short term, medium term, long term, and yet again, depending on where you're at, okay? So start with money, and then go for time wealth. The reason I say that is because once you've got that goal in mind – let's say you want a take home income before tax of 100,000 or 50,000 or 200,000 –

only when you know exactly what you want to earn, can you work back from there to create the small but mighty practice.

In this case, I'm going to say that Trish's goal is just to have $80,000 a year in take home income before tax, but that's net profit for her to take. It is one thing to say, oh, we want 400,000 take home, and absolutely you can aim for that and get that, but it is up to you to decide. Don't let anyone tell you what your goals and what your dream on your term should be, okay? Let's just say Trish only wants to take home $80,000 a year, and she wants to work 20 hours a week.

For me, I like more if I can aim to work around 12, but sometimes I might work 40 or 50. Well, that is the entrepreneur's journey. Tomorrow morning, even though I've been a little under the weather, I'll get up at 5:00 AM I'll kick some big goals. I do lots of work for my tribe. I'm actually currently rolling out a really great module around events and workshops for them, and so I'll be up at 5:00 AM doing that.

The entrepreneur's journey is not the job person's journey.

I've done the podcast there – but let's say, on average, Trish wants to do 20 hours a week, $80,000 a year. Well, that's the destination, how do we get there from where we are now?

Let's say Trish has exited her bookkeeping practice. So she's just been doing a little bit of work for other people and she wants to go from zero clients to a chapter of her own clients that is going to give her $80,000 a year income, 20 hours a week, and she's filled with purpose and valued.

Here's what that could look like: Trish will be aiming for approximately 10 to 15, erring on the side of caution, really high-value strategic bookkeeping clients.

These clients would be paying Trish $10,000 or more per annum, with a very low cost of sales. We could be aiming for up to double of $80,000 a year here, but I'm erring on the side of caution. We could say, 10 ideal clients who pay Trish 10,000 or more a year, and then she has a low cost of sales and business expenses – like The Strategic Bookkeeper Transformation program.

Let's imagine Trish is paying me $99 a week, because once she gets some traction, she invests in the program because in there, this stuff is exactly where we're at in helping you ongoing, and it's always evolving and changing. But as I mentioned in another podcast, one of the bookkeepers in the program, I've helped her come up with a plan that'll pull about $90,000 more profit out of her existing database with no new clients. So I think, this top 10 clients is a great one for Trish to aim for.

So imagining that and in terms of the plan that we're making... so Trish's got my book, my podcast, the book club, and the Profit-first training. Using everything that I give Trish in there, then what she's going to want to do is come up with the best way to find at least one good client that can pay for the Transformation program. Because then, if we bring Trish into the program... looking at the mind map below, or what I call the business big picture—

The Strategic Bookkeeper Mind Map by Jeannie Savage

On the left-hand side is everything that you need to have ideally nailed for before a PC knocks on the door. And then on the right-hand side, I've got all the moving parts of how we make it all work.

Right now, on the left-hand side, you've got the entrepreneur's mindset. You've got the work smarter, not harder, which is less clients, more revenue on profit. You've got pricing system, which is outcome, billing, price for profit, minimum viable rates. Then you've got productised service.

So you need a simple suite of productised service, something I call the 80/20 rule. So 80% is the same, all the time, and you need to be able to offer up Strategic Bookkeeping, also known as advisory. Then you need your product ladder in place. That is content, welcome lines, core and succession, and you need a killer conversion process that allows you to convert more PCs into clients, and then VIPs without price as a priority. That includes needs analysis, welcome lines, video, sales letter, and follow up. So all of that on the left-hand side is going to take Trish a while to nail. If Trish worked diligently using all of my content that I've given her, that I've given all of you, it's going to take anywhere between a year, two years, five years, to get all of that stuff, version one nailed. Whereas when you come into the program, it is served up day one on a silver platter, and then we help you with how you implement it.

Now, how I do that is a little bit of magic because when I ask the bookkeepers in my tribe, even they don't think they have nailed these. And then when I show them how they've got it all in place now, they're simply surprised. I knew that I wanted bookkeepers to get runs on the board immediately, and so I knew I wanted to serve all that up. So I think, the smartest thing for Trish to do would be to do some smart things based on my content.

For example, if I'm looking at the right-hand side of my mind map, we absolutely need to generate business. We talk about find new clients, and Trish may need to find new clients but ultimately, what she needs to do is generate business, remembering that we can generate business from existing clients as well as our market, our prospective clients from partnerships and more.

So this "generate new business" is a phrase that I'd like you to really embrace. In terms of Trish finding and onboarding some ideal clients without price as a priority, well, I'd suggest that finding one new client wouldn't be too hard. If I'm looking at the right-hand side, you've got brand, digital ecosystem, audience, attractions, strategies, database capture, database nurture, business development, and standard operating procedures. Now, Trish might have an old database, and in my free training that I offer you, I talk about database in there, as well as in my book as well as in my podcast.

Database is the diamonds at your feet.

So simply reaching out to past and inactive clients is usually the low hanging fruit, and you can do this.

Trish was also saying in her email how she would love to rebrand and get the right assets in place, et cetera – but this is all a big job right now. Looking at your database and looking for past and inactive clients is something you can do without any collateral, without anything. Literally, I've got bookkeepers and people at training events who do it and they say, Jeannie, oh my goodness, it works. I just reengaged a past client. I just reengaged an inactive client – and voila, we have new business, we have a new client. We've really generated new business from someone on our database.

So for Trish, for everyone, I promise that generating some cashflow to be able to join my tribe can be done by finding a client. And then when Trish finds that person, you can work on your conversion process using book club as your guide. If you join in – and I am not promising that that will be available forever because my job is to push you out of procrastination and get you doing it – you'll get all my recorded podcasts where I go into each chapter completely free. When I did the conversion chapter, I explain how to convert a PC into a file health check first, increasing your overall conversion rates. Let's say you convert five out of 10, you're going to convert seven out of 10, boom. And then that will give you more time for them to be in the customer journey, to get to know and trust you. You can do all these without any collateral. You can get runs on the board and generate enough income to join my program by doing these simple things.

Zero collateral – all you've got is that you are a really great, technically skilled bookkeeper, and you are ready to do the mechanics and mindset and the productivity. You're ready to make no excuses, and no failure. If you can give me those two things, together, we can get a run on the board in order to help you be able to afford to pay for the program, so I can serve it all up done for you. And I would love to do that.

So, if Trish finds someone, then that person on the database is already going to know and trust her. They might really appreciate the manners message that says something like, Hi, Sally, we haven't spoken in ages. I just thought of you and I wondered how everything's going. Make sure that they know you're the bookkeeper reaching out, so you can say things like, Are you keeping up with the books? I thought I'd just check if you need a hand, because if you do need a hand, I'm just a phone call away.

I talk and train on this a lot. Birthdays – we must be working the heck out of our database, okay? Use Microsoft Excel to start. That's where I recommend Trish starts: database.

The next place I recommend Trish starts is to hang her sign out on social media. And I'm not talking business social media, I'm talking personal social media.

Use all the collateral I've given you and then go into your personal social media.

It is the new networking room for the entrepreneur.

I know that it can feel a little icky because social media can feel a bit yuck, but everything has the meaning we give it, and I don't find it yuck. I use it the right way. So hang your sign out, make sure everybody knows what you do. If you are starting a business, social media. Just like I say in my book, all you need is to post three times a week to show up consistently. Your version one is perfect, my friends. Whatever you put out for version one is your perfect version one. If you don't have a website and you want to get a website, contact my friends at Bizink. Mention The Strategic Bookkeeper and they'll take care of you wonderfully. It breaks my heart when I see bookkeepers spend tonnes of money on terrible websites, and so we've sorted that relationship for you.

But, what I'm going to say to Trish and everyone is, if you don't have a website right now, it might be smarter to get a run on the board to be able to afford my transformation program, which is exactly what Trish wants to do in this email. I would not be serving you if I didn't tell you that, okay? That would seem like the smarter thing, and honestly, you can access my tribe members in The Strategic Bookkeeper's Way Facebook group and just go, anyone in the tribe, what can you tell me about this, or what have you saved or leveraged through the website collateral from TSB?

Matt, the head of Bizink, when he rolled out the second website for one of our tribe members that's using our collateral, our marketing, and marketing copy, he rang me and said, Have you seen it? Holy cow, it is the best bookkeeper website we've ever done!

So when you are collaborating with us, you're going to turbocharge that relationship. But coming back to Trish's email and what I want for everyone, it is to get runs on the board so that if what's holding you back is not being able to find that $99 a week, then I'm helping you right now with how you find that. And then the other thing, to rinse and repeat, is make sure you know what you're working for because as I say, I would be looking for Trish to have a handful of small but mighty clients.

Now, there are other things in Trish's email – she's had staff before that didn't go so well. Who can relate to that? I certainly can. I've been the people pleasing manager. I've made all the mistakes. I've been there, done that. I would say that these days I have a lot of mastery in that area, and that's something that we can help you with in the program too. But let's work hard and let's get started by doing it ourselves, and that's what Trish would be doing. So in terms of team, I would absolutely recommend that anyone out there in this kind of position is going to go and look for a handful of high value clients and do the work yourself, and then come into the program and we'll make staff easier. Otherwise, there's a lot of high value content in my book, but being part of our tribe, you'll get the support from not just me, but the entire tribe.

Everyone in the Transformation program, absolutely everyone, even the members who clearly are levelling up to become experts and ambassadors that will one day be coaching you as well, I get so excited to have that level of support around things like staffing. It's impossible for me to even convey how transformational that is. So absolutely, for Trish's email, that is what I talk about. And the reason that I'm connecting so heavily to the program is because Trish said that she knows she should be jumping in with both feet and joining the program, but she's not doing it because she can't find that $99 a week.

And so that is why I'm explaining the answer for Trish in how she's going to afford it, and to help you with that too, okay? And other things that Trish said is that she is really keen to work in advisory. This is exactly what I need to hear. If you are keen to go beyond basic bookkeeping and into strategic bookkeeping, then we're going to give you the keys to the kingdom and all the collateral to not just do the strategic bookkeeping. Because, my friends, that is the easy part. But to build demand and desire for strategic bookkeeping so that your PCs and clients can't press go fast enough, and you're able to build this beautiful, small but mighty practice to build your thriving practice, delight your clients, and live your dream on your terms, that is the goal.

So the other thing Trish did say, in terms of rebranding, I'd rather let us help you do that. We will save you bucket tonnes of money. So the Transformation program at $99 a week for a minimum term of a year with a 100% money-back guarantee, is a fraction of what you'll give to what will probably be a very average marketing person, okay? I just had an entrepreneur tell me he's paid $20,000 for a website a long time ago, and he hasn't even seen it yet. And this is a common tale which I hear from bookkeepers too. It is much smarter to come in and work with a veteran bookkeeper who specialises in brand marketing, selling, and administration for bookkeepers, my friends.

The other thing that Trish said at the end is that she'd also like to get into one-off, one-on-one training for, say, Xero or QBO. Now, we do have a standalone course available to you called Be a Brilliant Trainer. I am a very gifted trainer and assessor myself; I've been told by clients when I train them in software that there is no comparing the way that I train to others. And obviously, I train in The Strategic Bookkeeper Transformation program as well. So I decided, based on demand, that I would create this standalone course. And so if you're interested in that, you can find out all the details here.

Be a Brilliant Trainer is a beautiful short audio course that you can do while you're out and about driving, going for a walk, whatever. You'll be certified in two hours. You'll learn what you need to know, and you will learn when it works and when it doesn't work in terms of training – and you'll be given a productised service that allows you to charge a thousand dollars for three hours of training, which pays for 20% of the program. You'll also be given a special qualification badge by me, and you'll be able to display that in your marketing collateral as a competitive advantage. And, it is also counts for CPD, okay? I am a registered BAS agent here in Australia, and that entire course is CPE points for you as well.

So that answers Trish's last question. Trish also expressed her gratitude for everything that I'm doing, and I'm really grateful for that. The Strategic Bookkeeper Project fills my cup. I do believe it's my Dharma, and so it's my privilege to show up and serve everyone.


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