I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about my business – just as any business owner should. Why do I do what I do? What do I love the most about what I do?
Well, my passion is analyzing businesses, departments and processes, and then helping owners understand and improve their businesses. I accomplish that by interview, analysis, financial review, and then discussion. I’m the quiet one who sits in the back, takes it all in and then speaks up. Mostly with shockingly accurate scenarios and next steps. I’ve heard more times than I can count, “we should have listened to Linda. She is the only one who figured it out.”
I’ve always been able to take all the separate pieces from different perspectives and then put it back together as a whole to see what’s working and what’s not – to see if I’m being told the whole story. The most important part of that process is that I can explain it to owners and managers in terms that they understand. They aren’t CPAs or EAs and don’t have finance degrees. I speak their language.
I use the accounting department as the starting point with my small business clients. Small businesses are defined as businesses with less than $38.5 million in gross revenue (billings or invoicing) and usually fewer than 50 employees – according to the SBA. I look at accounting, payroll, employee benefits, and department and project budgets (or lack of budgets) to present to my clients the overall health of their business and then how to make it more profitable so that the owners can keep more of their profits.
I teach small business owners how to understand the financial health of their business and how to put the processes in place to build their businesses and still have time to enjoy their life and the fruits of their labor.
Let me tell you a little about ‘my ideal client’ – Robert. Robert is new to business (3 months as an entrepreneur). He’s never done pricing for clients. He’s never done billing. He’s never run a payroll. He has, however, been a fabulous electrician and can look at a project, tell you how long it’s going to take and how much the materials are going to cost. He’s managed staff – his team of electricians – but not the HR portion of managing staff. He works hard but is totally confused by that list of things he now must do.
He asked his wife to help in the ‘family business’ but she’s not a bookkeeper either and she has a full-time job. She can do a little just by watching videos and fiddling around with the programs that they think they need – at least an accounting program, a scheduling tool and a contact manager tool.
He reached out to me because we worked together at a developer where I was in the sales department (supporting sales managing escrows) and he was the Electrical Trades Manager. While working together, he saw how I worked with the architecture team, the sales team, the construction team, the trade managers, the site managers, project managers, purchasing and accounting, and how I could get everyone into a room and get them all the understand what each was trying to say – but all saying it in their own language or jargon! Every trade or business has its own language. It takes an interpreter sometimes to get everyone truly on the same page.
That’s what I love to do.