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, more consistently, more profitably and in less time.
We all want that, don't we? And guess what? So do our clients!
Good workflow makes it easier to scale your business, expand your workload capacity, or even take more time off, no matter what your business model is.
But what does your workflow mean to your clients? Can good workflow help you attract new clients? Can it even make them happy to pay you more, instead of always trying to get you to lower your fees?
The answer is, YES!
Workflow and Your Clients
Here's an example that illustrates what I mean. This is what happened recently in my own bookkeeping business…
While on a phone appointment with a potential client (which had come through my website), 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, this started our conversation off on a high note because he viewed me as professional and cutting edge as a bookkeeping service business. It served as a great first impression, but also positioned my practice as a leader in my field. That also means that I likely don't charge budget fees (I don't).
So your workflow is not just about getting client work done quickly and efficiently for your internal processes. It's also about your clients' experience when working with you. When you can set up your workflow so that it's smooth and easy for your clients (most of them hate the details of their financial records), your value as a bookkeeper soars in their eyes.
Client Experience Workflow Success
When considering improvements to your workflow, could you include automation too? Think about how it will affect your client's experience. Will it contribute to an impression of professional and high quality services?
With the example of my automated scheduling system, I put that in place years ago. The first reason was for my own convenience. It's much easier to give a link to my calendar than attempt the tedious back-and-forth to coordinate meetings via email.
From there, I added the new system to my website so it's easier for potential clients to reach me as well. So a win-win automated scheduling tool that integrated with Google Calendar was a good fit for my bookkeeping practice. (There are many available now for free or paid subscription. I use Schedule Once and love the functionality, but a popular free tool many use and like is Calendly)
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? Could you remove any existing pain or friction?
Workflow Pain Relief = Premium Value
This is an important point. If you want clients to view you as highly valuable, your workflow needs 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. Making this a smooth (even pleasant) experience 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 value goes both ways. I pay a monthly subscription price for automation convenience too when adding automation to key areas of 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. Good automation should more than pay for itself and contribute to your bottom line.
So how can you use this idea in your bookkeeping business? It begins with recognizing what your workflow is now and how you're interacting with your clients. What does it feel like to work with you?
Have you documented your current workflows? Have you considered how you can improve them with automation? If you'd like a deeper dive and some practical steps you can take right away, then you may want to join us this month in The Freelance Bookkeeper Premium class that's all about Engineering More Effective Workflows.
What have you found to improve your workflow and boost your value in your clients' eyes?