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April 2, 2019

Team and Execution with Jaime Rodriguez

Team and Execution with Jaime Rodriguez

Jaime has been running his bookkeeping business for the past two years and has acquired 13 clients in that time. He’s hoping to get more clients and continue growing, but it’s a scary thing to think about. [3:10] When Jaime first started, he was...

Jaime has been running his bookkeeping business for the past two years and has acquired 13 clients in that time. He’s hoping to get more clients and continue growing, but it’s a scary thing to think about.

[3:10] When Jaime first started, he was going to partner with a friend of his that had a degree in Bookkeeping. He discovered that a lot of random tasks end up on your plate as a bookkeeper and felt that he just didn’t want to work for someone else anymore. His friend wasn’t ready to make the leap at the same time though, and Jaime decided to go out on his own. He discovered that he was in over his head and looked for help; when he found Bookkeeper Business Launch it changed his business.

[7:10] After signing up for the course in April, Jaime got his first client in June. He reached out to his former colleagues who had ventured out to create their own firms and one of them said yes.

[9:00] One of his clients has been very influential in helpling Jaime find new clients. He has referred Jaime to a number of individuals and created new connections for him. It’s important to have as many referral sources as you can.

[11:10] Jaime had to overcome his fear and negative mindset before starting his business. We are all limited by fear but we have to bust through it.

[12:20] One of Jaime’s biggest challenges was something that many people might find easy, putting a photo of himself online. When Jaime got started, he didn’t know that he would be serving attorneys but it ultimately worked out really well.

[16:00] Jaime enjoys putting the puzzle of a client’s messy books together. It’s one of the few tasks in bookkeeping that has a definitive end point. One of Jaime’s least favorite activities is receipt management.

[19:10] Jaime has been really challenged with his systems recently. He recently lost a contractor and has found that the systems he has in place may not be sufficient. In many ways, this is actually a good problem to have and should be celebrated.

[23:00] Jaime started documenting things via screen sharing. He would record himself doing the task and then upload the video to Dropbox. Processes before people, the processes that Jaime has developed have been largely the same for all of his clients. It’s important to limit the procedures that you have that are unique to one particular client, which is one of the advantages of operating in a specific niche.

[27:25] When handing off the receipt management task to a contractor, Jaime realized that he didn’t really explain what he wanted accurately enough so he found the contractor was making a lot of the same mistakes. In the beginning, it’s important to spend more time holding their hands and walking them through the way you want something to be done.

[31:00] We often try to bite off more than we can chew. You should offload one task at a time, not look for the perfect person for every task. When you bring someone on board, they will not care about your business as much as you do. Give them a small puzzle to work on and get rid of the tasks with the lowest hourly value first. Handing off too much at one time is recipe for disaster. Don’t hire by client, hire by task.

[37:30] Overloading a new hire is a big mistake. Give them one task to master, then once they’ve got that down, give them more to work on.

[39:20] Jaime’s first contractor was a virtual assistant that did some simple tasks like managing email that he found in a Facebook group. One of his favorite ways of getting to know a potential hire is asking them, “What Star Wars character would you be and why?” Ben recommends asking the unique questions because one thing he has discovered is that the people with prior bookkeeping experience usually come with bad habits that you have to work to fix.

[44:45] People want to work in fun places with people they like. Bookkeeping is a relationship business. Going after trained bookkeepers isn’t the best approach. You may train someone and they leave, but that is just the nature of the game. Set the relationship up right before you hire, put them into real world situations that they will actually experience and see how they work.

[48:15] Never stop hiring, and never stop marketing. You never want your pipeline to run dry.

[48:45] Give your team a say in how the work gets done. You want your team to take ownership of their work and to treat your clients with respect. If it doesn’t work with one person, you’ve learned something that you can take to the next person. Once you master this concept, you can scale up your business.

[51:52] Jaime’s homework assignments are to celebrate his wins and start putting potential hires through the real world tasks they are going to be taking on.