Workflow, Convenience, and the Value of Your Services

Workflow is something most of us want to improve. In fact, it's a buzzword in our profession right now. Why? Because done right, your workflow means you can get more done, consistently and more profitably. Good workflow makes it easier to scale your business, expand your workload capacity, or even take more time off, if that's what you're after.

But what does your workflow mean to your clients? Can good workflow help you attract new clients? The answer is, YES!

Here's an example that illustrates what I mean that happened just this past week in my own business…

I had a phone appointment with a potential new client that came through my website. When we started the call, the first thing out of his mouth was how impressed he was with my automated appointment setting system. He was delighted at how easy it was to use, how professional it was, and how convenient. Needless to say it started our conversation off on a high note where he viewed me as very professional and cutting edge in the services I offer as a virtual bookkeeper.

So your workflow is not just about getting your work done quickly and efficiently with your internal processes. It's also about how it affects your client when working with you. When you can make your client's experience a pleasant one (most clients hate dealing with the details of their financial records), your value as a bookkeeper soars in their eyes.

Automation + Convenience = Value

When considering improvements to your workflow, could you include automation too? Think about how it will affect your client's experience as well. Will it contribute to an impression of professional and high quality services?

Regarding my automated scheduling system, I put that in place a few years ago. The first reason was for my own convenience. It was much easier to use a simple link to my calendar rather than attempt the tedious and time-consuming back-and-forth of coordinating appointments and meetings via email. From there, I integrated the new system into my website to make it easier for potential clients to speak with me personally as well. So a win-win automated scheduling tool that integrated with Google Calendar was a good fit for my bookkeeping practice. (If you're dying to know which one it is, I use Schedule Once and am very pleased with it)

The lesson here is that when something is convenient, it is worth a lot, both to you and your clients. What part of your workflow that affects your clients could you make more convenient? Where could you remove any existing pain or friction?

This is an important point. If you want clients to view you as highly valuable, you need to make it easy for them to work with you. Clients hire us to remove the pain of keeping up-to-date and accurate financial records themselves. Making this easy for them so that they truly feel served is of very high value. That's value that will set you apart as a premium quality bookkeeper who deserves a premium level fee.

Oh, and yes, value goes both ways. I pay a monthly subscription price for that automated convenience in my appointment scheduling workflow. But I'm fine with that because it saves me time and frustration. The convenience and reliability contributes toward high quality relationships with existing and potential clients. In turn, that makes me more profitable. Those benefits are worth far more to me than the $19/mo I pay for the app.

So how can you use this idea in your bookkeeping business? It's not about whether or not you use a scheduling app. It's about thinking of the ways you interact with your clients, and how you can make it easier and more convenient for them to work with you to get the results they want most.

A great example of this is right at the front-end of your workflow. It's a real sore spot for most of us bookkeepers (and clients). That is, getting the information we need from clients on a consistent basis so we can get the bookkeeping done in a timely way!

Have you thought about ways that you can improve your current workflow to resolve this friction point? Can you use automation tools? Designing your workflow to work for you and your clients, as well as choosing apps that fit your needs is how we can truly streamline our results and upgrade our clients' experience so everyone wins. If finding solutions to your workflow sticking points is something you're interested in exploring, consider joining my new Facebook community surrounding this exact topic. TFB Workflow & Apps Lab where fellow bookkeepers and accountants brainstorm and share what's worked.

What have you found to improve your workflow and boost your value in your clients' eyes? Please share what's working for you so far.

Freelance bookkeeper, trainer and consultant who works with internet savvy business owners and bookkeeping professionals to maximize cash flow and build true win-win relationships.

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