Do you struggle with knowing how to price your bookkeeping services?
Do you hate having the pricing conversation with clients?
Do you feel you are working crazy long hours for too little reward?
Trust me, you are not alone.
I know far too many bookkeepers who are underselling themselves and not getting enough money for the work they do.
I’ve noticed that people in the accounting profession are not typically very good at communicating their value to clients.
The ultimate problem is when clients don’t see the value of the work you do, they don’t want to pay a premium price for your services.
That’s why bookkeepers price so low. But you are worth so much more.
I hate seeing bookkeepers being under appreciated for the work they do. I’ve been there myself.
That’s why I have created this new ebook ‘How To Price Bookkeeping’ with these 5 easy steps to getting better prices:
Step 1: Change the way you price - stop quoting hourly rates and move...
If you haven’t used Trello before, it’s an amazing piece of software. I use it daily to organise my business, plan big projects, delegate and manage my staff workflow and many other things.
I pay for the upgraded version because I love it so much, but you can get a really good version totally free.
The idea of Trello is to create boards. On these boards you can create different lists, and within each list you can create individual cards. Below is a picture to explain what I mean…
You can attach all sorts of useful information to each card including links, images, descriptions, checklists, labels, deadlines - there are tons of features. You can move these cards along your boards to help organise your workflows and processes.
I use a board as my Weekly Planner. On this board, the first column is a list called ‘Ideas’. If I ever think of a great idea, something I can do to improve my business, I...
As people move away from hourly billing and move towards value pricing, the first step in the process is being able to give a fixed price.
One of the problems with hourly billing is that the client doesn’t know the price until the work has been completed. If we can give them a fixed price they will feel more confident and more likely to buy.
You can watch the video here.
Just to be clear…
Fixed Pricing is not Value Pricing.
However, it is an important first step to have a system for coming up with a fixed price. Once you have this system in place, it is much easier to move through the steps towards value pricing.
So, how exactly do you come up with a price…
#1 - Work out the scope
For every service, there are primary scope factors.
These are factors that will determine how long the work will take. For example, the primary scope factor for payroll is likely to be the amount of employees. For bookkeeping, it may well be the number of transactions.
“I’m just starting an accounting / bookkeeping firm. How do I grow it? How do I win clients?”
People ask me this question a lot, so I decided to put my answer down here in this blog. I’m going to share 12 strategies that every accountant and bookkeeper should know to help build a bigger business…
You can watch the video here instead if you prefer.
1 - Referrals
This is nothing new. You should be actively seeking referrals. Make sure you have a process in place to systematically ask for referrals. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.
2 - Joint Ventures
Who else do you know that has a similar audience to you, but that you don’t compete with? It could be your local bank manager, or local financial advisor. Having their clients would be great. You can start a strategic marketing alliance - you can help them, and in return they send clients your way.
3 - Networking
You need to get out there and talk to people. There are some great networking...
Every client is different. They all want different things, they value different things, and they are willing to pay you different prices.
You need to make sure you always give your clients choices - customers love choices.
You can watch the video I did on this here.
I recently bought a new car...
...it’s a Jaguar XF. I find the whole car buying process fascinating. It’s a big, important purchase. When I went onto the website to do my research I notice they gave me lots of choices.
They had three different model of the Jaguar XF. There was the Prestige which is the cheapest option. Then the R-Sport was designed for people who were more interested in the sporty extras. And finally, the Portfolio was the luxury model, it was the premium version. This one was aimed at people who wanted the highest quality and luxury.
That’s the first choice they give you. The three packages. I call this Menu Pricing. Creating a bronze, silver and gold option.
They gave me so many...
Do you sometimes feel like you aren’t making any progress? Perhaps you’ve set yourself some goals and you never hit them? Or you aren’t making as much money as you want. Your practice isn’t growing like you want it to.
Are you feeling those frustrations?
Let me share with you my thoughts…
Do you have goals set in the first place?
Have you got a clear picture of what you are aiming for?
The reason many of us fail to progress the way we want to is because we are doing too much stuff. We don’t have a clear direction and we are constantly busy with the wrong things.
Here’s a process to help you get clarity in your mind, clarity that will help you achieve the things you want in your business or in your life.
You can watch the video here.
Think about your business and consider:
What will my business look like when it is finally done?
Think about that end point. What is your vision? How big do you want it to be? What profits do you want it to...
I’m guessing, if you are a CPA, accountant or Enrolled Agent, you probably prepare hundreds of tax returns a year.
If you could increase the price of these by just £100, or $100, that would multiply across and make a huge difference to your profits.
I’m going to share with you three ideas that you should be doing to get those higher prices.
You can watch the video here.
#1 - Charge different people different prices
Everyone is different. We value things differently. So give people choices.
One way fo doing that is Menu Pricing.
That means creating a Bronze, Silver and Gold package of services. Think of what the Bronze, Silver and Gold version of a tax return is. You can get creative here.
You have to start by understanding what is important to different types of clients. Some clients may just want the bare minimum compliance work doing. Some may be more interested in saving tax so would prefer a premium service.
You need to have an option available to those people...
I am going to share with you the three S’s of niche building.
It’s critical that you start developing niches, develop a real focus and find your specialism. The specialist always makes more money than the generalist.
If you want to get better prices, win more work and earn more money and better quality clients - you need to focus and build a niche.
Let’s look at the three S’s of niche building…
You can watch the video here.
Is there a particular industry that you are particularly fascinated by?
It could be the dental industry for example. Or perhaps doctors. Maybe you are interested in the construction industry, or the restaurant industry.
There are a lot of sectors to choose from, but you should pick one that interests you.
Think about the life-cycle of of a business.
They start, and at some point the business owner may sell their business. Think about the different types of businesses, the circumstances they could be in.
It may be you...
How do you feel about selling? I’m guessing a little bit uncomfortable. It’s common in our profession.
Here’s the good news...
You can stop selling!
Instead change your mindset. You aren’t selling to clients, you are allowing them to buy.
You are an expert in what you do. Experts don’t need to sell - people will come to you.
You don’t need to be using sales techniques. You just need to allow people to buy.
You can watch the video on how to do that here.
Some people aren't a good fit
When you meet potential clients, the goal is to establish if they are a good fit for your business. Do you feel you could work with them? Do you think they would be a good client? Do they have the right characteristics, personality and business? They will be doing the same thing with you.
You will find some people are not a good fit - it’s totally fine to walk away from those people. Make it your mindset that you can walk away from clients that aren’t...
You can’t right price the wrong clients.
Let me explain what that means…
A huge problem in our profession is accountants and bookkeepers working crazy long hours and not making enough money.
One of the main reasons this is happening is accounting professionals have the wrong mindset. We want to win every single client out there. We want to grow our firms and keep taking on clients.
But not every client is a good client.
Watch the video I did on this here.
There will always be some clients out there that no matter how much you build value, communicate value, give them choices, options, use menu pricing - all of the best value pricing techniques - they will still not value what you do.
You will never get the right price with those people because they have unrealistic expectations. They are probably just looking for the cheapest provider and that’s not what you are.
They may be the sort of person that has cashflow issues, or they may be a brand-new business start-up...