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Salt Lake City Bookkeeping Blog

Small Business Sales Lessons From A Car Salesman

Posted by Matt Roberge on Apr 30, 2014 7:00:00 AM

My car finally died.  My 1999 Subaru with over 180,000 miles died after I had been driving it for over 11 years.  The car didn't owe me anything.  It had seen some abuse going up and down the canyon roads and more off the beaten dirt roads in Montana than I can remember.  So after my car died I had a choice; pay for an engine repair or go car shopping.  I hate car shopping.  I think it is the feeling that you are getting ripped off even if you think you are getting a good deal.  However, I got some lessons from the car salesman I dealt with.

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Topics: Sales Advice, Small Business Sales

Three Things Your Accounts Receivable Can Tell You About Sales

Posted by Rick Roberge on Nov 22, 2013 7:00:00 AM

Rick Roberge frequently comments on this blog.  He's been a salesman for decades, but is recognized as an early adopter of tools, technology and techniques that help salespeople sell more effectively. He shares freely and has helped develop many 21st Century Sales Rock Stars. In his own words...

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Topics: Accounts Receivable, Sales Advice, Small Business, Small Business Sales

What A Fishing Guide Can Teach You About Your Small Business

Posted by Matt Roberge on Oct 18, 2013 7:00:00 AM

Today our sales manager Joe and I will be on day two of a three day float fishing trip on the Madison River so I thought it was fitting to post a fishing/business blog.  On the trip in addition to fishing we are talking 2013 financials, business opportunities and problems as well as 2014 forecasting and budgeting.  It's nice to clear your head and step out of the office to get a different perspective on your business.  Enjoy the post...cheers from the Madison in good old Ennis, Montana.

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Topics: Business Ideas, Sales Advice, Small Business Growth, Small Business Consulting, Small Business, Fishing and Business

5 Things You Can Do While Growing Your Small Business

Posted by Matt Roberge on Jul 10, 2013 7:00:00 AM

I_Cant_Grow_My_Small_Business.jpgAs I look back on growing my small business, I realize that I wasted a lot of time. I had a few clients and when my operations work was done for the week, I stopped working. It might have been that I was younger then and valued my free time as much as money.

However, now that I have had time to reflect, I realize that I could have grown my business faster if I had wanted to.

I think I knew some of the things I could be doing to grow my business, but I didn't know how to execute, or just didn't want to. Here are five things you can do as a small business owner to help grow your business.

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Topics: Sales Advice, Small Business Growth, Small Business, Entrepreneurship, Scaling A Business, Growth Coach

Why You Need To Stop Working In Your Business Today

Posted by Matt Roberge on May 6, 2013 7:00:00 AM

Right now are you working in your business or on your business? If you don't know the difference let me explain.  I equate working in your business as the operations or deliverables; the tasks that immediately bring money into the business.  On the other hand I consider working on your business to be tasks that are not billable.  Things like networking, online marketing, prospecting and sales are not billable now, but will hopefully lead to billable hours down the road.  So are you working on your business or in your business?  Which area should be your main focus and why?  Here is why I feel you need to consider working on your business to be your main focus. 

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Topics: Sales Advice, Grow Your Business, Small Business, Scaling A Business

Service Based Business: Stick To Your Niche Service Or Expand?

Posted by Matt Roberge on Apr 19, 2013 7:00:00 AM

If you are a service business you will eventually hit the crossroads of a tough question; stick to your niche service or expand into other services?  Scaling a service based business is difficult enough as it is.  As an entrepreneur you will eventually hit a limit as to the amount of business you can handle on your own.  Most business owners instinctively want to expand and grow without asking a very important question: are you truly ready to grown your small business?  I've seen some service based businesses successfully scale their current service.  I have also seen businesses successfully expand into offering other types of services and gain more market share.  However, I have seen businesses (and more of them) fail at both growing their current service and/or expanding into other types of services.  Before you expand into offering other types of services here are a few things to think about.  

Do What You Are Best At

There is a lot of value in focusing on what you are best at rather than doing a few things that you are good at.  By focusing on what you do best you will benefit in several ways.  First, success will come naturally when you focus on your niche service.  You will also have the ability to become an industry expert in one service in the eyes of your business network.  Lastly, you will have the opportunity to emerge as a thought leader in your niche service.  All of these are good things that will lead to a more successful business and career.   

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Topics: Sales Advice, Grow Your Business, Scaling A Service Business

Why Is Scaling A Service-Based Business So Difficult?

Posted by Matt Roberge on Feb 20, 2013 7:00:00 AM

Grow Your Service-based BusinessI posed a question to the LinkedIn Inbound Networkers Group where I am a member. The question I was looking for feedback on was: How do you scale a service-based business? My question set off a pretty interesting and enlightening conversation, as you can see by all the comments here. I asked the question to get the thoughts of others. I had some ideas of my own on the subject, as I have been scaling an outsourced bookkeeping service for years. However, I wanted to get some feedback from more experienced business owners. The question that I presented to the group served its purpose: I learned what other people thought about scaling a service business. So, I have come up with some thoughts on not only how to scale a service-based business, but also why it is so difficult to do so.   

The Vision Of Scaling

One reason I believe people think that scaling a business is so difficult is because of the vision they have. Entrepreneurs tend to think big; it's kind of in their blood. Therefore, if they aim big and come up even a little short, they think they have failed. I think that the vision of what you are trying to scale your business toward is very important. Having that vision clear in your head will allow you to successfully scale your business. Knowing what you want is crucial. Carole Mahoney of Unbound Growth gave me some great feedback on the subject of understanding why you want to scale. Carole said:

"Ask yourself; why do you want to scale your business? What does scale mean to you? (don’t you hate it when people answer a question with two more questions?) If you can’t answer these questions, STOP RIGHT THERE. Scaling a service-based business is very hard. If you don’t know what is motivating you to put your feet on the floor every morning, your likelihood of success is not on the positive side of the statistics. And if the thing that motivates you is not bigger than yourself, then it is not likely to be motivating to anyone else."

This thought rang true with me and my experience in scaling our business. First, I wanted to scale our business enough to allow me more freedom to ski and fish. I had a "real" motivator behind why I wanted to grow the business. Second, I had a clear vision of what I wanted to scale toward. I never wanted to grow to be a huge firm in a large office downtown; that sounded like a headache to me. I wanted to work in a small business environment and have our clientele be made up of small businesses. I wanted to work with like-minded people who had a passion for other things outside of the office. I had a clear picture of why I was attempting to scale the business, but I also understood what scaling meant to me. I knew what I wanted our business to look and act like.   

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Topics: Sales Advice, Scaling A Service Business, Growth Coach

5 Benefits Of A Dialed Bookkeeping System

Posted by Matt Roberge on Dec 17, 2012 7:08:00 AM

A dialed bookkeeping system can really be beneficial to a business.  Having an updated and accurate bookkeeping system can help you make crucial business decisions.  While I feel there are many benefits to having a bookkeeping system that works, I wanted to give you what I feel are the five biggest benefits of an updated and accurate bookkeeping system.  

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Topics: Efficient Bookkeeping, Bookkeeping Services, Cash Flow Management, Sales Advice, Grow Your Business, Hire A Bookkeeper, Outsourced Bookkeeping

Financial Troubles: Cut Expenses Or Increase Sales?

Posted by Matt Roberge on Dec 3, 2012 6:51:00 AM

When a business starts having financial troubles it seems that everyone’s first instinct is to cut expenses. I tend to disagree with this mindset. The reason I disagree is I would be more concerned with increasing revenues than I would be with cutting expenses. I feel that a business should always be operating under expenses that are paid attention to and controlled. If a business is not operating under a budget then it is a business that is already out of control. Those businesses that put a budget in place and stick to it have no choice when faced with financial issues; they must increase sales or go out of business.

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Topics: Cash Flow Management, Financial Forecasting, Business Budgeting, Sales Advice

Holding Everyone Accountable In Your Small Business

Posted by Joe Mazur on Nov 30, 2012 8:21:00 AM

Being a manager for a small business can sometimes feel like you are sitting in the captain's chair.  Holding everyone accountable in your small business can have some adverse results if handled incorrectly.  Will your ship crash if you take your hands off the controls?  Being bookkeepers, we get to see a lot of different businesses practices from working on such a wide variety of industries.  The reoccurring theme we usually see from both our clients and from our own books is holding everyone accountable.  I'm talking yourself, employees, vendors, and sometimes your customers.  With these areas held to the highest standards, you are really setting yourself up for success.  You are able to accurately grow, obtain short term and long term goals, and predict the future for your business.

Holding Vendors Accountable

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Topics: Accounting Services, Bookkeeping Help, Sales Advice, Small Business Growth