Strategic Accounting Is An Investment In The Success of Your Company

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Strategic Accounting Is An Investment In The Success of Your Company with Jeannie Doherty

In this episode, we explore strategic accounting and the financial side of the business with Jeannie Doherty with Cloud 9 Strategic. Much of the time we focus heavily on sales and marketing, which are necessities, but we forget about the financial side. How much do we need to sell our product for? How many do we need to sell? Planning goes a long way to financial success.

About Jeannie

Jeannie runs a Strategic Bookkeeping practice on the beautiful Gold Coast, Australia.

She has a unique business background, having been raised by high-profile, successful retail entrepreneurs she was privileged to attend the “school of hard knocks” and learn from the ground up what it takes to truly scale a business.

Jeannie has dedicated herself to product innovation (in her industry) to develop methodologies, with a foundation in numbers, to help her clients transform their business from surviving to thriving.

Jeannie’s niche is “working dads”, primarily trades and services and because of this, she’s passionate about the impact her work can have on families. Helping families thrive is what gets her out of bed in the morning.

Personally, Jeannie is a proud mum, lover of Latin Dance & an advocate for putting your health first.


Cloud 9 Strategic Website

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Business Podcast » Finance » Strategic Accounting Is An Investment In The Success of Your Company

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Strategic Accounting Is An Investment In The Success of Your Company with Jeannie Doherty

Tue, 9/21 9:09PM • 43:25


business, numbers, sales, people, paying, cost, clients, benchmarks, leads, plan, started, planning, money, Jeannie, turnover, targets, CFO, marketing, businesses, revenue


Jeannie, Roy Barker

Roy Barker  00:09

Episode of The Business of Business Podcast, I’m your host Roy course on our podcast we bring you a wide variety of guests that can talk about a diverse set of topics. Some things we you know, meet we introduce may be new. Some things we introduce you may already have on your radar. And we give you professionals that can, you know, give you a helping hand and maybe help you through some troubled times.

And you know, we want to say success for all businesses for sure. So today is no different. Today we have Jeannie Doherty. She runs a strategic bookkeeping practice called Cloud 9 Strategic and she is on the beautiful Gold Coast of Australia. Jeannie, we want to welcome you today. Jeannie has a unique business background having been raised by high profile successful retail entrepreneurs.

She was privileged to attend the school of hard knocks, and learn from the ground up. What it takes to truly scale a business. Jeannie has dedicated herself to product innovation in her industry. To develop methodologies with foundation in numbers to help her clients transform their businesses from surviving to thriving. Jenny’s niche is working dad’s primarily trades and services. And because of this, she’s passionate about the impact her work can have on families. Helping families thrive is what gets her out of bed in the morning.

Personally, Jeannie is a proud mom. And Mom, let me rephrase it. It’s in Australia. She’s a proud mom, lover of Latin dance and an advocate for putting your health first. Janie, thanks so much for taking time out of your day to be with us. I certainly do appreciate it.

Jeannie  01:51

Thank you, I am very excited to be here and share something of value with everyone.

Roy Barker  01:55

Yeah, of course. You know, we don’t talk enough about finance. And we had a conversation leading up, you know, in the, in before the show, too, that, you know. Most people put a lot of focus on marketing and sales. And we kind of don’t talk about the back end until things go horribly wrong. Unfortunately, a lot of times, but before we kick off into that, yeah. Tell us a little bit about you know, growing up and have been in an entrepreneurial family. And just, you know, kind of how you ended up here in this space.

Jeannie  02:29

Jeannie’s Story

Yes, so Okay. So yes, bit of a unique background. My parents were, so we started out quite poor, like many people. So when I came along, yeah, we didn’t have much money. So they worked very hard. And they built a retail business that slowly evolved into, I guess, what became, you know, a really successful venture. They had it a long time, they actually did. So then business twice, there’s a whole story behind.

Roy Barker  03:05

Wow, that’s always good.

Jeannie  03:08

You should register it Right, exactly. One of their businesses after selling it for millions, but to the cost of IP registration. So that’s another cool story. And so then second time around with them when I was older, they restarted their retail enterprise. And in this case, they were hoping it would be just a nice little retirement venture. But their marketing campaign worked so well, that we had to decide if we would leave it where it was 10 million turnover, or grow it to $100 million turnover with the goal of selling it to a public company. And we did that. And my job was to I call it I was the cleanup girl.

As they wrote up his 100 million dollar company, I went around behind them fixing everything, and cleaning everything out. And it was it was so much fun. Because it was lots of problem solving. And if I’m not problem solving, then I am rocking in a corner. So that is really my background. And then because I had done all things business, I was really I was really involved in finance in that business as well so heavily into the finance department.

So then when I was having I decided I’ll have my own, I’ll have a child. And I thought you know what, bookkeeping, that’s fine to be flexible. It’s fine to work around my child when he comes along. And I thought every business needs great numbers work. Right, right. So this will be perfect, but I have to say I never knew how much I would love it.

Roy Barker  04:48

That’s awesome. Well, I think that’s such a good thing to be, you know, brought up in that entrepreneurial spirit and, you know, being able to see and be involved in that growth. Got one. I think that’s an awesome story.

Jeannie  05:03

Thank you. Yeah, look, I do feel privileged. And I got to see, you know what I got to see the wonderful side of it. And I got to see the dark side of it. Now, my parents were very successful in terms of money was the cost to it? Yes, it probably was. So these days, I love to help business owners chase what I call the prosperity synergy. And that is time, money. Freedom.

Roy Barker  05:27

Cost of Sales

Yeah, let’s talk about that a little bit. You know, like we kind of said in the in the lead in that, you know, so many new businesses, especially, it’s just the focus, sales, marketing, and nobody really thinks about the back end and taking care of the money that we’re bringing in the door. And, you know, there’s so many reasons for that. But that’s kind of, you know, I think what you have built your practice on is kind of helping people to realize and unfortunately, with you as same with others, you know, you usually don’t get called in until things have gone bad.

Jeannie  06:01

Yes, it’s true. And so that is definitely one of my favorite misconceptions. So focusing on sales and revenue, and sales and revenue is really, really important. But my mom used to have a little joke, she would say, anybody can sell something for nothing. And let me explain what I mean by that, when it comes down to the numbers. And it’s this is so important, this little piece of information can save on making money immediately. So we go out with focusing on sales and revenue. But how are we going in terms of cost of sales? How are we going in terms of collecting the money after we sell something? And so

Roy Barker  06:46

if we, if we collected

Jeannie  06:51

Revenue is Vanity, Profit is Sanity

and there’s a notice saying around that, and that is that revenue is vanity, profit is sanity, and cash is king? You know, I love that. Yeah, and the time that we end, and I find when I meet a lot of business owners, they’re often hunters, and I’m, look, I’m a natural Hunter, as well. So in terms of sales, were a hunter or farmer, and hunters, you know, we want the next kill, we want the next sale. And it does make us feel great, right?

There’s a, there’s a reason reason we say revenue is vanity. But what we find is, and what I see is that business owners are often talking about all the sales they’re making, but if I look at the financials, it’s not translating into the bottom line, right? And sometimes they might be aware of that, and they want to bury their head in the sand, rather than face up to it and do some meaningful work to, to fatten up that bottom line.

Roy Barker  07:47

Yeah, and you know, being a numbers guy, that’s, you know, kind of always my, my, my answer when people tell you, you know, I’ve got a $25 million company, or, you know, we got 25 million revenue. And in my sometimes I don’t say it, if it’s somebody friendly, I may, but I’m always like, well, that really doesn’t tell us much. Because if it costs you 50 million, in order to get 25 million in revenue, you know, we’re upside down, and we’re not it’s really not a business, it’s more of a charity or a giveaway.

And yeah, you know, and the other part of that is we talked about is I don’t know how people, price products, good services, whatever they’re selling, because if you’re not watching your numbers, and don’t keep up on what is it that, like you said, the cost of sales? What is that? How do we know where our price points? And then how do we know, our markup to get our correct margins? It’s hard to figure all that stuff out.

Jeannie  08:44

Pain Points

Yes, yeah, exactly. And look, I work with a lot of service businesses and small businesses, primarily our service base. And so the pain points that we see are definitely cost of sales. So Job Costing wages, because that’s your other cost of sales, even in hospitality wages. So those two things are the main pain points that I see that need deep work done to improve them. And with regard to that, it’s also business owners not understanding numbers wise, what optimal business performance looks like.

So in terms of sweat out chasing sales, and maybe we’re not thinking about cost of sales, and even if we did look at our cost of sales, and we go well, you know, it’s it’s it is what it is I charge $100 for this, I pay my staff member 30 that seems okay to me. But there are industry benchmarks, right everywhere that you know, it doesn’t matter where you are in the world, you can easily access industry benchmarks for us in Australia, that’s available on our taxation website takes two seconds.

And then let’s say you’re a plumber, you’re able to have a look at what plumbers are doing on average. Okay. What is the average cost of sales for a plumber? And how are you in comparison to them? So that numbers work. It’s it is also about understanding, well, what does optimal business performance look like for me?

Roy Barker  10:17


Yeah, yeah, in, you know, here in the US, I know, we have a lot of a lot of large associations for different industries. And, you know, one that I was in, worked in for a long time was the senior living industry. And we had two or three very good sources of, you know, what we called benchmarks, they could talk to you about everything from, you know, what they’re paying in property tax to real estate to general and administrative, you know, labor, and it’s good.

It’s a good check mark. And, you know, we, we, every business that you work with, when you try to when you first roll out benchmarking is like, they the standard answers, well, we’re different, you know, we’re all different, like, you know, well, you’re all different, but you’re all the same. And, you know, the benchmark is not it’s not something what it does, it helps us to define if you’re close or not, and if if you’re not, if there’s an explanation for it, just like some people would use a dietary.

The food component for marketing, they’d have dinners and this and that, but yeah, those dollars should probably be flown over into the marketing budget. But it really helps you determine, you know, are we way off in some areas? And if we are investigating, want to see if it’s appropriate or inappropriate?

Jeannie  11:40

Yes, yes. And it’s interesting, you know, I listen to what you say, right? And I tend to like, I want to challenge your listeners, to you know, you were saying a lot about business there. But if we really listen, it’s all it’s all about the numbers, right? And I like to say your numbers are like the slab of your house, they are the absolute foundation. And with regard to those benchmarks, exactly, they’re not everything. But yes, business industries are same, same, you know, there are variables, but they are same, same.

And so just to elaborate on that a little bit for anyone who doesn’t, you know, fully understand what we are talking about there. So one that I would tend to point out is something we call the rule of thirds. So let’s say you’re a service based business like myself, so bookkeepers, accountants, consultants, to a large extent trades as well. The rule of thirds is a beautiful benchmark where you can work on, and that is that so we have a turnover, you should have a third for cost of sales, a third for operational expenses, including your wages, and then a third is left for profit.

And if you can work towards that and get that right over time, then what you have is your business has turned into an investment. And the other thing that I want to mention about benchmarks is it’s all about all of your expenses as a percentage of turnover. So that’s how you use a benchmark. For example, rent as a percentage of turnover. So let’s say you have a factory, you might find that the industry benchmarks are the average that people are paying for a factory, in your kind of industry is 6% of their turnover. If you’re paying 8%, then that seems okay.

If you’re paying 4% Yeah, if you’re paying 15%, and you’re wondering where all the profits going, this is where the gold of benchmarks is. So don’t be afraid of it being something if you’re only a little business, if you’re a one man band, or if you’ve got 10 stuff, or 100 staff, don’t be afraid that you can’t use this even if you’re small.

Roy Barker  14:00


Yeah, and the other thing kind of going along with that is the you talked about wages earlier is that there are a lot, not a lot, let’s say there are people that I have dealt with in the past that if they paid their employee $20 an hour, that is all that they would build in, you know, if they were sending their person out to your house, they’d say, Oh, I paid this guy 20 I’m gonna send him to you, you pay me 20 and we’re covering our costs, but we you know, you know, number one, especially in the States, there’s all kinds of employment costs that go along with that.

Which, you know, the 20 depends on your benefit structure and a lot but your $20 an hour employee can then turn into a 30 to $35 ours, you know, easy, but then we also have to put our profit margin on top of that, and I don’t want to get off into the weeds but just think about there’s a lot more that goes into this. And this is why we have to know like you said build our numbers as the foundation of our house because Because this is how we know how to price our goods and services based on all of these inputs.

Jeannie  15:06

Yes, exactly. And that’s Yeah, this is the kind of thing we say all the time. And the only way you know is to look at the numbers, and it’s not about. So the other thing to know is that you don’t need to look at the numbers and get this right. On day one, I say to all of my clients, so we are on day one of a 365 day journey, exactly the day we’re going to get started and I owe the guy and I don’t operate like a high end accountant, I love to get, I love to be real.

And I tend to say, let’s get into the numbers, let’s be vulnerable, let’s not expect to have all the answers. Let’s scratch our heads, let’s get dirty in the numbers and just start putting one foot in front of the other. Because if we do that, we aren’t going to get some way we’re going to move forward. Whereas if we stand still and do nothing, where are we going to go? Yeah,

Roy Barker  16:01


yeah. And you know, in the States, sometimes we have this idea that well, we, you know, our taxes are due on April 15, generally, so we think, oh, we just need to talk to the bookkeeper. March 10, March 15, you know, we take the shoebox full of receipts and dump out, and we just think about the taxable component of getting the stuff done to pay the taxes and move on. But I think what you said is, right, is that, you know, these are conversation if we want to get it right.

These are conversations that are throughout the year, maybe they become a little bit more intense around tax time to get that done. But you know, the planning and everything, it’s not, you know, plan once and forget it. It’s like, this has got to be something that’s constant. Because, you know, as you go from June to July to August, did wages spike, you know, do you need to change your pricing structure, because of that, you know, what else is going on in the business? You know, that we have to monitor and set up KPIs to be very diligent about looking at?

Jeannie  17:08

Yes, exactly, exactly. And that’s, I mean, that we, I only engage with clients who are engaged, we keep everything up to date, weekly, for example. And I recommend that whether you’re doing it yourself or having it done for you, that you absolutely, so there are five parts to my number system, and with numbers one to one that is up to date, accurate accounting records, and that’s up to date weekly.

If you can’t keep it up to date weekly, talk to someone and find out what it’s going to look like for them to do it. Because the money that you spend in this area, you can turn into an investment. Okay, we see clients get five to 10 times return on their money. And often that’s early on. I mean, it’s not unusual for me to sit with someone for an hour and save them $100,000 in that hour kindergarten stuff for me, right? But they needed somebody to shine the light on the numbers, could I run their business for them? Absolutely not.

They’re the expert in their business. But I can shine a light and I can show them what they need to see to make the decisions they need to make to save or make money and so numbers one to one up to date accurate accounting records, you need to get that done. And I was only thinking the other day, you know, when it comes to accounting and bookkeeping, nothing has changed. double entry accounting is double entry accounting, it’s actually the same today as it was 100 years ago. But the difference is that now we actually have amazing AI artificial intelligence apps that will do it all for us. So if you treat numbers one by one like baking a cake and that is you need the recipe you need the ingredients and you need the timing right, then it can actually be really really easy.

So what I’m going to say about that is is one of the main rules there is please don’t mix your business and personal expenditure within your business bank accounts. If you get that right. Then the rest will flow a lot easier then get yourself some really nice tech leverage the heck out of it and get the tech doing most of that numbers 101 job

Roy Barker  19:26

yeah, and you were talking about you develop this numbers one to one for your clients and for others to help them out. But you said there are five major components I guess one is the the up to date. And then the number two or maybe not in this order, but the second one would be to separate your your business and your personal to make sure there’s a delineation and that again, let me just say, not from experience, thank goodness but that is one of the things that will get you in trouble.

The Fast is here. Because what if they notice a little thing, then it makes him want to look for bigger things. And so sometimes that leads to trouble. So it’s much easier and you may save a few dollars by trying to run this expense through the business. But let me just say it’s not worth it. It’s not worth it for the price that you end up paying, you know, if you get caught doing that.

Jeannie  20:24

Yes. And it’s not like a success strategy is tax evasion. Anyway, exactly, exactly. success strategies around sales and marketing, cost of sales, all those things. I’ve never met a business side of it says I made my fortune to tell the tale. So yeah, look, one, two numbers one and the thing that I really passionate about numbers, when and why. If you’re thinking to yourself, oh, but I’m so busy, I challenge you and say, you know, if you want to run a successful business, there is no successful business owner that doesn’t know and use their numbers.

The other thing around numbers when I want if you’re going to say, Oh, yeah, but I just my my business and personal accounts are kind of mixed at the moment, because I’m busy. And I don’t really want to do this. And that I would say come back to the cake. So if you’re going to bake a cake, and you choose to use the wrong ingredients, and you choose not to follow the recipe and you choose to leave it in the oven for half the time, we’re not going to get the cake.

So numbers one to one is easy, as long as you’re willing to lean in and follow the recipe and make it easy. And from there. Once you’ve got that foundation in place, you can start to be able to move on to numbers knowledge, it’s our second step where you can start to get educated around what it all means. So the head scratching part of it. From there, once you start to have those aha moments and understand what it all means you can move on to getting those numbers to be more strategic. And what I mean by that is it might be that once your numbers are in order, we were to look at your profit and loss.

And we were to establish, okay, well, you might scratch your head and say, cost of sales, right? Well, why my wages are actually cost of sales. If we put those numbers up into the cost of sales area, that’s when you’re getting strategic, because when you get those numbers looking right, when you’re strategic around the placement of them, you are ready to set targets. And once you’ve set your targets, which come from the benchmarks that we talked about, then you’re ready to monitor your targets. And that is, okay, my target or my budget, or my KPI, these are all the same things. Because sometimes these terminology can be a bit like, Ah, so these are all like, what was what did I want to do in sales?

What should my cost of sales be? Once you have those targets, and you come back to their financials at the end of the month? You can say, Okay, well, this was my target, what was my actual? What’s the gap in between? And what do I need to do to get my actual closer to my target? Boom, you’ve got an action plan? Yeah, right. You know, so I want to, I want to help everyone see that it’s not as hard as it might seem.

Roy Barker  23:17

Yeah. And we don’t have to make an avalanche. Like you said earlier. You know, this is a, I guess it’s a lifelong project for the business. And so we can start putting in little changes, we can investigate, you know, if we find differences in these benchmarks in different areas, we can investigate the reasons why, and start bringing them more in line. And so again, it’s not just, we’re gonna do this once and have a consultation and send you off, and life will be good, you know, especially yourself, you will work with your clients all through the year, to not only keep, you know, to let’s get on track, but then keep them on track, as well.

Jeannie  23:56

Yes, absolutely. Absolutely. You really need to be engaging in those numbers regularly to make the decisions that you need to make. And that is, you know, that’s a combination of things. So we sat down with a client or a client come to came to me a little while ago. She said she, you know, she really wants to invest in administration help, but she’s nervous. And so that was just a matter of sitting down. And having so her virtual CFO on our team sat down with her, how to look at the numbers. Because we do everything in a very realistic, relevant way.

And this is small business. I call it let’s do some back of the napkin stuff. So we run the numbers, we do what we would call a what if analysis, again, a fancy term, but it means what if I hired an admin, what would happen to my profit, right? Okay, this is what will happen probably over the next few few months. And then but we know that if you can leverage that and you’re employing these new people, then you will be out Get this because you told us your demand is this. So that’s an end that that client said without looking at the numbers with her, and shining that light and helping her to make a decision, she would not have employed that administrator, she she would have stayed still, she wouldn’t have moved forward.

And the truth is that she shouldn’t have hired admin at administrative before she looked at the numbers because you do meet need to make sure that you can afford these things that it’s viable. Do we need to go and get some more capital? So it’s really important to be looking at your numbers on a regular basis, and usually getting somebody to to help you even if that’s a little mastermind group that you’ve formed, and you’re holding each other accountable. But getting someone to help you.

Roy Barker  25:49

Virtual CFO

Yeah, yeah, a few key words that you said through that is, you know, delegation, and the virtual See, CFO, but I want to talk about that for a minute sometimes that we think we can’t afford to hire people, but then we also have to take the look at for whatever time that frees me up, is it worth it? In my personal life? Is it something, I could take that time and focus more on sales, marketing, production, other things that are out there. So you know, it’s typically it is a good trade off, to get to be able to delegate and get you some help.

But you know, the other thing, especially with people just starting out in businesses that we know, I’ll say this, because I’ve done it in the past is, you know, we feel like we have to do everything, we have to touch everything. And we don’t think about for a minute that you know, if you’re good at sales, or you’re good at marketing, or if you’re like the production guy, then that’s what you need to focus on where your skills or talents. Just because you’re find yourself in business or being an entrepreneur doesn’t mean that you have to perform each and every task of this business.

So sometimes it makes sense to look to see if you can find that numbers guy. If you can find that person, then, you know, a lot of people were small or grown can afford it. But now like you mentioned, we have virtual and fractional where you don’t have to pay for this person’s entire salary for their year, you get them for the little bits and pieces that you need them through the year.

Jeannie  27:32

Yes, exactly. And that’s exactly right. So if you’re a business, and you’re interested in scaling, and scaling is different to growing. So growing is traditionally just growing that revenue. But scaling, you know, it is so much more scaling is also so I’m all about scale. And about five or six years into starting my business, I was successful in getting it to a point where I call it I could just pop it on autopilot, I could work a few hours a week, take lots of time off, and the business ran without me. So that is scaling. And that’s but the only way you’re going to scale is to leverage those things.

So in terms of like when I talked about setting those numbers, targets and monitoring those targets, when you get to my favorite part, which is action planning, and then taking that meaningful action, the action that you take. Let’s say you’ve looked at the numbers, and you’ve looked at your targets, and let’s say you’re three or four months in and you’ve established with your virtual CFO and bear in mind, virtual CFO can be as little as $50 a week like this doesn’t have to be a high end accountant. So let’s say you’ve established You know what, there’s some more money that we could spend on some other things. The action that you take, when you look at the budget versus actual, I like to say is always in five areas.

So it’s around planning, team marketing, selling or your standards. And I’ll give you an example of that. So let’s say we’ve looked at the numbers, and we’ve gone through, you know what, we’re just not hitting those turnover targets, we’re not hitting those turnover targets. What action Do we need to take? And you talk about the business and you say, well, and I’ll give you a couple of examples. Well, we’re really not generating enough leads we’re generating leads is marketing. That’s what it is. Okay, well, if we’re not generating enough leads, what do we need to do? Okay, we probably need to go into planning mode because everything needs to be planned, even if it’s on a napkin, even if it’s 10 minutes, right doesn’t need to be grand.

You just need to sit down with a pen and paper, come up with a plan and then swing into marketing so you can see how that action is taken. Another example might be where we go, okay, the sales are low, but what we’ve established is the business owner, as you were saying why maybe they love being the technique. But they don’t love doing the sales and they’re avoiding it. So then we’re going to swing into some action around team, again, we’re going to go back to planning, and then we might be, I think we need to bite the bullet and look at getting, you know, someone part time I call it a sales mom the best way, you know, and so we’re going to take action around team.

So to scale our business, we are going to need to dig in and recruit people, you know, find suppliers. And the other thing is I like to say about scale. Personally, I don’t like to grow my business in a manner where I couldn’t replace myself. So anything I do, I asked myself right at the beginning, how can I make sure that this was a job that I could hand off to someone? If it’s all about me, I can’t scale it, I can’t scale myself out of the business.

Roy Barker  30:55


Right? Yeah. And gets back to planning to is that we, you know, if you have to think about in the beginning, it’s a tough conversation is and it’s good to, to speak with other people, other trusted advisors to have this conversation is do you want to grow this business? Do you want to scale the business, because if you do, the these, these things need to be part of that strategic plan. We can’t wait until you know, it’s Monday where you’re at, it’s till Sunday night where I’m at, but I can’t wake up in the morning and be like, wow, I really need to add a marketing person to sales people.

And a fractional CFO, you know, it’s like, we need to think about well, what’s going to trigger these things? You know, when when does it outgrow me? When is it outgrow the staff that we currently have? So we can be proactive? And so we’re not scrambling? Because you know, kind of on the the recruiting and the hiring side is we want to make the best possible hires that we can or even if we’re bringing in fractional people, we want to get a good match for ourselves. So these are things that we need to have some lead time on.

Jeannie  32:06

Yeah, look, I’m for me, you if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. I’m in a small business, I do planning in a realistic on the fly way, but I plan, plan, plan, plan plan. It is constant with clients where I get them and they say, Oh, I’m going to do this. And they’re usually quite down when they go, I’m going to try this. And I say No, No, No, we haven’t. We haven’t made a plan. And a good example with that might be let’s say I get someone come in. And this is a real story. So that Oh, Jamie, I don’t have enough leads. So I’m just going to do Google AdWords.

That’s an example if you’ve jumped in in the middle without a plan, and it like I say, even if that’s a little plan, so I might say, okay, you’re gonna do Google AdWords. So what happens when the phone rings? and john might say, I don’t know what happens when the phone rings Jamie? And I say, Well, do you answer the phone? No, I probably not. Because I’m too busy. And I say okay, so they’ll probably bring somebody else for that service. Because that’s how AdWords works. Yeah, yeah. Oh, okay. You know, and then there’s Oh, and it’s like, okay, and also your, let’s say, You’re an air conditioning installer. We’re in September, I know about to get really busy. Oh, yeah, I am. And so let’s talk capacity.

So just, you know, just that, and we actually, that day, we spent an hour with my big whiteboard. And we just wrote a whole lot of stuff down. And at the end of it, he said, I’m not going to do Google AdWords. You know, and, you know, his after we did a lot of, you know, mini plans and constant planning on the go. His his first real marketing campaign ended up rather than spending money on something that probably wasn’t going to work. When we dug in and understood the business. I got him to do what I love.

It’s called the kit marketing, keep in touch. So I said you’ve got these database, right? How about we do manners marketing, where we reach out and we say, Hi, Sally, just checking in to see how your air conditionings going, and that no cost marketing campaign? Got him lots of business and lots of PR, so plan, plan, plan, plan plan.

Roy Barker  34:26

Just a couple things like not to get off the track in under marketing, but you know, the follow up component the people that we already know, we tend to always overlook them and when we think we need to always be covering new ground and I think there’s a lot of sales opportunity, you know, in these leads other even if they’re happy and everything is good. Do you know of somebody that may be having an air condition troubles that she may want to refer to us and then on the other part of that they’re busy.

This is hard to understand, but you They’re businesses that have gone out of business because they had too much business. And, you know, like you said, he, you know, starts this Google campaign and the phone ring and nobody’s there to answer. Then it starts getting in Yelp and all these other places about, you know, how this person never answer their phone and they can’t deliver. And it can be as bad as not having any business. Well,

Jeannie  35:25

exactly. And the end, the way that it relates to the numbers is at all I mean, as you know, I’m a strategic bookkeeper, right. So all these conversations, starting the numbers, you know, they don’t. And when Paul went, I’m going to do Edwards, he didn’t start in the numbers. You know, if I’m looking at the numbers, and I’m truly thinking about Paul’s business here and air conditioning, business, but coming up to some, I’m looking at the numbers, I know you panicked, because winter was really quiet.

So all these conversations started in the numbers. But I also love Roy, what you said then, like keeping it simple. People won’t go in the older Edwards before they do the simple things, you know. But yeah, all these conversations, definitely start in the numbers. Because that’s where, you know, that’s where we see what’s happening in the business.

Roy Barker  36:19

And then the second part is, if you would have gone ahead and gone with the add words is, we need to set up monitoring, how much are you spending? How much are we bringing in? What, what is the is that? You know, after a few months, six months, whatever, is it really even paying off? Is that what we need to do, or? But then we get into a lot of other things like we have to ask our clients, you know, where did you hear about us?

And how did you get a hold of us, you know, all these different things that lead into helping us make better decisions, a lot of data. It’s simple. It’s simple as asking a question takes about two seconds. But a lot of people just don’t do it. So we don’t know. You know, on that budgeting advertising side, we don’t know where we really need to put our dollars because we don’t know where all these people are coming from.

Jeannie  37:07

Yeah, 100%. And when we when we’re looking at numbers, like let’s say we’re looking at cost of sales, and we’ve establishes that it’s too high. To be honest, the first thing you’re always jumping into is plan because it’s that Oh, okay, what business? Am I running again? What am I benchmarks like he’d going into just let me just set the scene here, you know, and that’s what the planning is always let me just set the same. Let me scratch my head and remind myself who’s my target market again, who do I want?

You know, so And same with revenue. If we haven’t hit that revenue goal, we’re going into plan. If our wages are too high, we’re gonna start in plan. Our rent is too high as a percentage of turnover, even we’re gonna make a plan to talk to a landlord or move. So and then once you know that, you’ve got that, what is it give me give me six hours to chop down a tree and I’ll spend the four first four sharpening the axe, something like that. You know, the first action you take from the numbers is always going to be sharpening that axe. Yeah,

Roy Barker  38:12

Wrap Up

exactly. No, that’s good advice. Well, Jeannie, we certainly do appreciate you coming on. Is there anything else that you want to mention before we wrap up?

Jeannie  38:22

No, I only that. Look, I I absolutely just am so passionate about giving small business owners something that they can take, and use to make or save money straight away. And so if you please feel free, if you do have a look at our website, which is cloud nine, strategic Comdata you.

We do offer and if you have a look at that one forward slash strategy, you’ll find links to register for our free webinars and do our scorecard and just things that you can opt into.

That will educate you even further and help you further we’ve also got lots of blogs, lots of tools and tips and hacks, because, you know, every business owner has to invest, invest constantly in education, and there’s lots of great free stuff out there. So just start investing in that education.

Roy Barker  39:14

You know, there’s, there’s never been a better time to be in business because we have so much data and information at our fingertips, we can do so much research, it’s really never been a better time but we have to make the time to take advantage of that I think is the big message to so what is a what is a tool or a habit? Something that you use in your daily life professional or personal that you feel adds a lot of value?

Jeannie  39:42

Yeah, so one that I definitely do so it’s actually around prioritizing. So I like to have I love the number three and I think a lot of people love the number three, it’s easy, you know, three things to do three things to think about. Always, always be writing these things down. I like to have a big picture three focuses. So my number one focus, and it’s something I ask everybody to consider putting first is their health.

So I put my health first, and that is mental, spiritual, and physical, those three things. My second focus is my beautiful little boy. So if I’m healthy, and at my best, I can give him my best. And my third focus is my empire building. We’re all building a little Empire justice, fun, money is only the product of doing something really well. So when I had those three priorities, a couple of things happen. Number one, your health has to come first.

So you’re well enough to do everything. But I’m always able to ask myself and they’re written down and they’re on my whiteboard. Is my focus today, in this moment around one of those things, anything is, I’m pretty sure that I’m going to get things right. Because I’m moving in the right direction.

Roy Barker  41:01

Yeah, that’s awesome. And that gets back to our, to our planning, we need to think about what we really do. And today adding value in is that where we need to be spending our time and attention. So that’s great. I love that. Well, Jeannie, thanks so much for being with us. We appreciate it. Again, tell us who do you like to work with? How can you help them? And again, tell us again? How can they reach out and get a hold of you?

Jeannie  41:26

Yeah, lovely. So my absolute niche is working dads often often work working with men. And they are running service based businesses trades on my absolute favorite see plumbers or electricians, you trade businesses, outside of that other services, under 10 on the team, so anywhere between your one man then and 10 on the team.

That’s my absolute sweet spot niche, you can reach out to me by visiting my website. So Cloud 9 And that’s the number 9 in there. And if your proper forward slash strategy, we’re going to have a nice page where you can opt into those free resources in Yeah, that’s how you get in touch with

Roy Barker  42:10

Okay, awesome. Well, we hope that you have a wonderful week. We appreciate you starting it off with us and bringing this great information y’all go over check out Jeannie’s site, get a lot of good information. Let’s dig into these numbers. And you know, we still have some time during this year to get out there and make a difference we can end the year on a high note. And then once we’re in the groove, we’ll we’ll just keep it going into the next year.

So never too late to get started. Let’s jump out there and do that. So that’s gonna do it for another episode of The Business of Business Podcast. Of course I am your host Roy, you can find us at www.thebusinessofbusiness we’re on all the major social media networks. We’re on all the major podcast platforms Stitcher, Google, iTunes, and Spotify, where you are. A video of this interview will also go up on our YouTube channel when it goes live. So until next time, thanks for listening and again take care of yourself and take care of your business.

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