Sometimes saying what clients need to hear is tough. But absolutely necessary.
With my practice I take on many roles other than bookkeeping. Small businesses’ come to me with more than their bookkeeping headaches. Often times my office becomes safe place to speak out about the stresses of life and running a business. This week I had a husband and wife team schedule an appointment to figure out where their business is going. That session quickly went from Advisory Services to Marriage Mediation! But I get it. Feelings are an important part of business. If you don’t feel anything then you are not pursuing your dreams.
But sometimes those dreams do need to have a touch of reality provided by a Advisor. Hence the topic for my blog post today.
Being an Advisor, to me, is the next step from bookkeeper. You need the bookkeeping expertise to understand the financial health of a business. Then the Advisor skills are needed to direct the business to pursue their dreams. But you need to afford a bed to fall asleep in before you dream!
Note: There are also some great Cloud Accountants out there who provide the same thing. They especially excel at the tax implications!
My relationship to my bookkeeping clients is pretty much the same as how you would raise a family. Open communication is necessary. My clients speak to me before making any big decisions. These decisions could be but not limited to:
- Purchasing a Building
- Investing in Equipment
- Expanding Operations
- Hiring Employees
Being an Advisor means taking the call and talking about an opportunity or idea with your client before an investment is made. What this does is prevent hardships after the fact. Here are some of the hardships small business have endured by making investments with out seeking an Advisor who knows their bookkeeping story.
- dried up cash flow
- falling behind on vendor payments causing withheld shipments
- employee layoffs causing poor moral
- Falling behind on government remittances
- bank account seizure from Canada Revenue Agency
- social capital (media) criticism
So this week when a small biz sought my advice to purchase a building for their restaurant I literally did said “You can’t even afford a frying pan!” My response was harsh; but so is the situation they are in. The follow up was for them was to focus on Profit! But that’s for another blog.
Here’s hoping your day isn’t a flash in the pan!
Resources to help small businesses are: