5 Secrets to their Success - How a 2-partner firm went from nearly broke to a team of 12 in 4 years

inspiring stories Feb 14, 2022

 

Here is another inspirational case study from a multi-award-winning bookkeeper in Canada, Teresa Slack.

As always, if you would prefer to watch the full interview, you can find it on my YouTube Channel here: https://youtu.be/MlXQpU_TxKI

 


 

Teresa Slack’s Success Story

 

Teresa runs Financly with her sister Connie which they started seven years ago. From day one, they decided on being a virtual firm, and they grew really quickly thanks to networking events. They decided it was time to hire staff and hired three bookkeepers.

But they quickly realized that their hourly rate of $35 wasn’t enough to cover paying their staff and business expenses, and things got bad. In a recent interview I had with Teresa, she told me, “We actually hit a point where Connie and I had to put our own personal funds in just to cover our payroll. That was extremely stressful!” Teresa found there was nothing left after paying their staff to allow them to get paid, or to invest in tools or training that would help them to get better. 

At that time, Teresa met me at QuickBooks Connect in Toronto in 2016, attending my session on value pricing. In her words, “This blew my mind!” Teresa and Connie came out with a plan. They created 3 packages - entry, full and premium - put a monthly price to them, met with their clients, and they loved the fixed pricing and signed immediately.

 

The situation got worse

 

However, that wasn’t value pricing, and the situation actually got even worse!

Teresa and Connie could do the work for their clients in 3-4 hours, but their staff were taking 8-10 hours. So, because they were paying them hourly, there was no money left.

At this point, about 6-8 months after first meeting me, Teresa decided to invest in my Value Pricing Academy. Teresa said, “That’s when things started to turn around for us. We needed to make this business a profitable, successful firm, and that’s when we got serious. And I’ll never look back!”

 

How Teresa and Connie changed their firm

 

Firstly, Teresa and Connie decided to revamp their packages and pricing strategy. They no longer priced based on an average amount of hours.

Teresa told me, “The hardest switch was changing our mindset and being able to recognise the value of the work that we do. So it took you drilling that into our heads to help us change our mindset and revamp our packages to really focus on what our clients valued and cared about.”

When they noticed that shift in mindset, Teresa and Connie started to notice some incredible results!

 

Repricing their existing clients

 

Teresa told me, “This was the most exciting thing for us! You taught us how to reprice our clients and gave us the tools for that, and we did that over a three week period – we repriced all of our clients.”

But, before Teresa did that, she reached out to me in a panic because her and Connie were terrified that they would lose all their clients. And that’s a really common fear with repricing.

I reminded her that if you increase your prices by 20% and lose 20% of your clients, you have freed up 20% of your time which you can use to find better clients AND you’re making the same amount of money. In our interview Teresa told me, “That was a huge lightbulb moment for me!”

 

“Within six weeks, we increased our revenue by 25%”

 

When Teresa and Connie went away and implemented this repricing strategy, Teresa told me, “Within six weeks, we increased our company’s revenue by 25%. And what was really exciting was a lot of our clients didn’t know about the other great services we were doing for them, so we could sell them more services because they realised they needed these things." 

By the end of those three weeks of meetings, Teresa and Connie were astounded by the results. They did lose a couple of clients, but they were clients that needed to go anyway.

Other than those clients that left, Teresa noticed they had no pushback. She told me, “The reality is, our clients knew they were getting incredible value for a seriously reduced price. So when we met with them and I showed them the packages, they were on board.”

 

Using the Effective Pricing software

 

Teresa used my Effective Pricing software a lot in this process of repricing and getting amazing results. It allowed her to build her packages and make changes to those packages on the fly. Teresa said, “It was the most amazing feeling to know that you could help them, and they were excited at what we could do – the pricing was open, honest and in front of them. They could see how the prices were being built up and it made them feel a part of that process”

Teresa also noticed a reduction in scope creep since the client could choose exactly what they wanted doing and knew what it was worth.

 

Teresa’s Top Tips

 

Teresa told me that this repricing process took her and Connie from constantly struggling and feeling stressed, to building a successful, profitable business. They now have eight amazing bookkeepers working for them, and they are profitable and growing!

I asked Teresa what her top tips would be for anyone else who might be struggling with pricing. She told me:

  1. Look inside yourself first – Our biggest challenge with this shift to value pricing is mindset and confidence. Have a little brag book where you write down every time a client thanks you or you do something you’re proud of and remind yourself of those things every time you start attacking your pricing.
  2. Put aside time to work on your business – it’s so easy to go month after month and do nothing! We need to block off a certain amount of time every single week to work on our pricing and business.
  3. Remember that it’s okay to make mistakes – this is something I struggled with for a long time. Remember it doesn’t have to be perfect first try. You will make mistakes and get things wrong, but that’s okay. Every time you do it, you will get better!

 

If you want to watch the full video with Teresa, go to: https://youtu.be/MlXQpU_TxKI

 


 

If you found this valuable and would like to learn more about value pricing, I run a free live online training session every month with a topic chosen by you. Attend live and you can ask me any questions you have. Click here to register and I will send you an invitation to the next session.

And if you would like to join a community of like-minded accounting professionals learning to price more effectively and confidently, you can join my Facebook Support Group here.

 

Wishing you every success on your pricing journey.

Mark Wickersham

Chartered Accountant, Public Speaker and Author of Amazon No.1 Best Seller “Effective Pricing for Accountants”

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