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Sept. 3, 2019

How to Double Your Revenue with Brooke Swan

How to Double Your Revenue with Brooke Swan

Brooke started off in the industry as an account manager with a construction company, until one day she got fired which was a first for her. Brooke was a day trader for a few years after that but once that became stale, she started looking for other...

Brooke started off in the industry as an account manager with a construction company, until one day she got fired which was a first for her. Brooke was a day trader for a few years after that but once that became stale, she started looking for other opportunities. She had always wanted to start a business and after doing some searching, she found Bookkeeper Business Launch and decided it was the right fit.

[4:10] Brooke’s business is now one year in and she serves a number of clients, some of them are other Bookkeeper Business Launch members.

[5:50] Brooke really enjoys bookkeeping so she’d be happy to just do it all for a while, but she knows that eventually if the business keeps growing, she’ll hit a wall. Training a team to take some of the work off her hands is probably going to be in her future.

[7:00] In terms of income, Brooke is still trying to boost revenue but she’s specifically focused on increasing her average client billings first.

[8:10] Higher-end, service-based businesses are the niche in which Brooke focuses. Working with motivated business owners is one of the best parts of working with her clients.

[10:00] Freedom is definitely Brooke’s favorite thing about the bookkeeping business and being able to shape her work around her lifestyle. At this point, she can’t imagine working for someone else, which is a very different perspective from what she had when she was younger.

[11:55] Not knowing what you don’t know has been one of Brooke’s biggest challenges with growing the business. Being able to reach out to the Bookkeeper Business Launch group has been extremely helpful in understanding what to do next.

[14:00] Brooke really likes cleanups while at the same time kind of hates them because of how crazy they can be, but once the books are reconciled and everything balances, it’s very satisfying.

[15:30] In terms of activities that Brooke avoids, it’s more the business-owner stuff that gets pushed off, partly due to uncertainty and partly due to a general dislike.

[17:10] By this time next year, Brooke is hoping to double her clients and hire two other bookkeepers and outsource the work to them. She wants to have the right pieces in the right places before she starts to scale.

[20:15] Brooke’s struggle is whether or not to hire someone to run her business for her or should she hire bookkeepers so that she can step into the business owner’s shoes. In every business, there are only three parts: marketing, administration and operations. Whenever you bring someone on, they should complement your weaknesses.

[21:50] One of the things that distinguishes business owners is our ability to market and get clients. When you’re getting started, you shouldn’t outsource your marketing because no one will have the same vested interest in your business as you do.

[23:10] Finding the time to work on her business has always been difficult due to Brooke’s workload. Ben recommends booking four, one-hour sessions into your calendar next week where all you do is plan your business; preferably at a time when you are at your sharpest.

[27:30] You may have to retrain your brain into being able to work on the high-level activities that move the needle. Sometimes the easy things we love to do are the ones that get in our way.

[28:25] Do a task audit and list every single activity you do in your business and then assign a dollar amount to each one. The point is to not get bogged down doing the low-dollar work and focus on the activities at the top of the list. Once you’ve got your list, look through all the tasks and try to identify your unique abilities; the things that you love to do and could do all day. Everything else are tasks that you should be looking to eventually get off your plate.

[30:55] Acknowledge what you have done to get to where you are. This helps build your confidence and to be grateful for what you have.

[34:40] Make your business building work environment a special place that is physically separate from where you do your usual work. Take your vision for your business and then figure out how to connect where you are to where you want to go.

[37:00] Brooke is the one running the show in her business. If she wants to do the bookkeeping, then that’s what she can do. She gets to decide what her business looks like.

[38:15] The lowest-level activity on your task audit is a prime candidate for outsourcing to a VA. The best time to document your procedures is right before you hand it off to someone else.

[40:30] One of the biggest mistakes that new business owners make is to hire someone and then throw some clients in their lap. Always start with a task and then once they have that down, you can start giving them more work.

[41:20] Brooke’s action items include booking the business building hours into her calendar and to complete her task audit. One of Ben’s tips with regards to to-do lists is to put an “I” or an “O” next to each item: “I” for “in the business” and “O” for “on the business.” This will give you some perspective on where you are actually spending your time.


Mentioned in this episode: Clarity Bookkeeping