Are you tired of wasting time going to clients and want to become a virtual bookkeeper instead? The latest TFB Spotlight interview can help!
HearÂ how you can follow in the footsteps ofÂ our latest guest, Deb Howard Greenleaf, and free yourself from the inefficiencies of working with local clients. Deb has been working on a virtual basis with her clients since 2006, and shares her story with the TFB community.
When Deb started her bookkeeping business, she never wanted to visit her clients on-site. She is located in a very rural area of Pennsylvania, so serving clients virtually just made sense. Listen in as she sharesÂ how she was able to get her business up and running with some smart marketing methods (yes, this totally fits with our current 30-Day Marketing Challenge theme) and a little bitÂ of elbow grease.
Would you rather take the interview with you? Â Download Audio Here (right-click and “Save As…”)
- Deb bootstrapped her bookkeeping experience and training after leaving the corporate world, working in a small CPA firm and with QuickBooks software. She started her bookkeeping business very part-time from home, doing QuickBooks Consulting in 2006 and her practice blossomed from there into a full bookkeeping practice with virtual employees.
- One of the biggest challenges has always been being lured into new opportunities and directions that can send her in too many different directions, but she shared how she has gotten where she is now and finally found herÂ specialty.
- Her primary focus now is not in finding new clients (see her marketing tips below), but in improving efficiencyÂ so she can do more with less; she currently has severalÂ virtual employees and they use online tools to keep the workflow smooth
Profitable LessonsÂ to Learn from Deb’s Story:
- If you need experience, offer to work forÂ small CPA firms during their busy season part time (tax season)
- Get involved in online association forums / groups for virtual assistants and other complementing professionals by answeringÂ questions to build relationships andÂ become the go-to referral partner for bookkeeping and software
- Let your existing clients know the type of referrals you’d like to get, and also ask for testimonials that you can add to your website, QuickBooks ProAdvisor profile and/or LinkedIn
Tools DebÂ Uses:
- Asana – free online project management software
- Gmail -Â for use with multiple email addresses using colored labelsÂ (she sends email on behalf of clients)
- Dropbox – for file sharing and management
- SmartVault – for payroll documents and anything with a SS#
Deb’s best advice to fellow bookkeepers:Â
- Volunteer and give help to others, “Give freely and it will come back to you many times over.” Much of the growth in Deb’s business can be traced back to helping others either virtually or in person. You get experience, confidence, improve your skills, make relationships and learn to build systems. It’s a true win-win strategy, when done in a balanced way.
DebÂ is a long timeÂ TFB Premium member – monthly business training for freelance bookkeepers
Learn more about Deb Howard GreenleafÂ atÂ Greenleaf Accounting