Have you wondered if you can start as aÂ part-time freelance bookkeeper while still working your day job to minimize risk? Then you'll want to listen to Tracy's amazing story and how she was able to grow quickly. If you've been working solo for awhile and wondering how you can take your bookkeeping business to the next level, you'll also find the steps Tracy took (and the sage advice she offers) extremely valuable (I know I did).
I recently spoke with superstar bookkeeping business owner, Tracy IrwinÂ of TI Payroll and Accountancy, to see how sheÂ went from a full-time office manager job to the owner of a thriving bookkeeping business with 12 staff members, all sparked by a casual conversation over drinks!
Watch or listen to this interview now! Total running time is 38 minutes.
Would you rather just listen to the interview? Â Download Audio Here (right-click and “Save As…”)
- Started her business by recognizing a specific need by business owners that was not being served and made that her specialty, which enabled her to get 20 new clients within 6 weeks right from the start!
- She worked at a day job while building her business, employing family members as she grew
- Changed her mindset from playing it small and safe to stepping into the role of a true business owner, with amazing results – since 2010 her business has doubled… every year!
- Her biggest challenge was maintaining high customer service while her business grew so quickly. She developed procedures to address weaknesses immediately, including a team approach and internal “Not Done Right the First Time” form. She also maps out each client's workflow so that problems in the system can be identified and improved quickly.
- Tracy attributes much of her success to the habit of spending 90 minutes every day working ON her business growth and development (instead of only IN the business seeing that the work gets done) first thing in the morning
- A big lesson Tracy learned is accepting that she couldn't do everything, and learning how to delegate and outsource so she could focus on the best use of her time. It's really a matter of practicing what we preach to our clients!
- Tracy's favorite quote that hangs on the wall in her office is, “Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain.”
- All bookkeeping for clients is done virtually, but Tracy visits her clients in person at least quarterly; all of her clients are using Profit First in their businesses
- Tracy believes that people (clients) buy people – so your website should have your picture and your story so that clients can connect withÂ you.
- ToÂ further focused her payroll specialty, Tracy supportsÂ accounting firms by subcontracting the payroll work from them, since many do not offer payroll in-house, but with Tracy's help, are able to do so for their clients
Links and Resources Mentioned
-Â Xero – online accountingÂ software
– Profit FirstÂ – the book featuring the cash managementÂ methodsÂ Tracy uses with her clients for value-added services
-Â Profit First Professionals – the organization for adding Profit First advisory to your service offerings
-Â Short video for ProfitCon 2015
– Receipt Bank – for virtual document conversion / management
– InfusionSoft – for CRM and automation of email reminders
Tracy's best advice for bookkeepers who are justÂ getting started or struggling? Start or join a mastermind group with other business owners.
Can't get enough of Tracy? She was recently interviewed for the Grow My Accounting Practice podcast too.