Secure Your Success: Why Women in Accounting Need Systems
Picture this: you walk into a restaurant with your family on a Thursday night, ready to have a nice night with some good food — and there’s no hostess stand at the entrance.
You look around and you don’t see anyone that can help you. So, you make the decision to grab the table nearby and just sit and wait for someone to come to you.
Ten minutes later, you’re walking out the front door with your family in tow and an empty stomach, ready to never come back again.
Now, imagine if something similar happened at your firm.
This is what happens when women in accounting don’t have systems in place: your business operations slowly but surely fall apart, your services start to lower in quality, your client relationships deteriorate, and your reputation sinks.
Here’s the thing: there is no standard system that you need to set for your business. Your systems are as unique as you are!
The key to building effective systems for your business is figuring out what works for you — and what doesn’t. But, there are three kinds of systems that are essential for the success of your 6-figure business:
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Invoicing: Get (and protect) your coins!
Invoicing is how you get paid with your business; so, it’s important to create a system out of it!
What I always recommend for women in accounting is to set up automatic payments for your clients. This will keep you from falling behind with your invoices and make sure your clients are paying you. Setting up a system around automatic invoicing ultimately frees up the amount of energy and space in your mind that you would’ve spent making sure you sent out that payment or wondering about whether your client’s paid you yet, to focus on the bigger picture of your business. Plus, with an automated system, you can set up time-specific triggers to remind clients of an unpaid invoice with a preferred method of text, email, or call that they input as part of your onboarding process.
Automating your invoicing can also help you manage expectations with your clients. I’ve seen this happen a few times: you’re going back and forth with a client, you give them your rate, and after some more back and forth, they agree to the specific services and rate. Come payday, they’re trying to haggle with you about the number on the invoice — after rendering your services!
With an automatic system, there’s no nickel and diming: a client is only ever interacting with the automation you’ve put in place. With an established and effective invoicing system, you’re not just making the process more efficient for your business and your mind: you’re communicating your value loud and clear to your clients.
Bookings: Are you booked and busy?
Do you hate going back and forth with your clients? Is the worst part of your day answering emails over logistics?
As women in accounting, we’re service providers: there’s no avoiding interacting with clients. But, if you can cut down on the amount you have to take the time away from your daily tasks to communicate with them...why wouldn’t you?
Here’s a quick and easy way to avoid going back and forth with potential clients and current clients: set up a calendar scheduling function.
Using a calendar tool, you get rid of the ping-ponging that happens with scheduling a call, which sometimes makes you chase after the client even when they’re the one who initially reached out to you. It’ll also do something we’ve already talked about: communicate your value to your clients!
Why is that? Your client will get a glimpse of a calendar that says “booked and busy” and helps establish you as an authority in their eyes. “You have that many days already blocked out? I better hurry up and schedule my call, then.”
It’ll also show your client that you’re organized: you have your days scheduled out to the nines. And, your client will see that you’re serious about what you do — they’ll see some of the results in your calendar itself.
Strategizing: Your future isn’t a coincidence!
That’s right: you need to create systems not just to secure your success, but for your success itself.
If you don’t know what you’re specifically working towards, what are you working towards? If you don’t spend time thinking about what you want to achieve, and when, and how, and most importantly, why, then how are you going to know what to do to get there? How do you even know where you’re going?
If you don’t make time for planning, your outcome is going to reflect your strategy: haphazard, poorly thought-out, and unable to stand on its own.
For women in accounting and finance, I recommend holding regular strategy sessions each week to review your objectives and reflect on your progress towards them. I’m talking weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual goals. Each of these requires different systems, which will each have different objectives. To create an efficient system that will be easy to keep up with, create templates for each of these systems so that the process becomes automatic.
The key here is to avoid getting too bogged down in your day-to-day life. If you get caught up in the smaller details of your daily schedule, you’ll start to let these sessions fall by the wayside — and so will your success if you let it. Even if you’re only able to meet for 10 minutes a week to do this, set that timer for 9 minutes and 59 seconds and do it!
I have seen so many entrepreneurs get in their own way because they started without any consideration for how they needed to build their business.
Don’t get me wrong: when it comes to starting versus not starting, I’m definitely on the start-your-business side. But, I’m all about starting smart. Don’t hit the ground running just to stay on the floor!
For the success of your 6-figure business, you need to build it — and building is not the same as launching. This is what I help my clients do as the 6 Figure CPA Coach. Discover the systems that work for your business, optimize your process as you move forward, and you’ll see just how smoothly and efficiently you make your way to billing 6-figure months for your dream clients.
What systems have been invaluable for your business?