I was recently asked to compile a list of information needed prior to terminating a bookkeeper. I’ve compiled a list of things that you may need to retrieve from your bookkeeper, controller, or office manager below.
Even if you have no plans to terminate, pretend like you are firing your bookkeeper or controller and start getting access to anything you currently don’t have access to or cannot easily obtain without the help of the person you are terminating. It’s important to have control over this information. What happens if the office manager gets hit by a bus tomorrow? Your business needs to keep humming along regardless of who is sitting in the bookkeeper/office manager/controller chair.
Termination Retrieval Checklist
It’s common for small business owners to measure their financial health based on their income statement or bank account balance and deem their business “fit” if the bottom line looks good. To reveal why this approach can be deceptive, let’s apply a dieting metaphor.
Only looking at the bottom line is the equivalent of “sucking it in” when you look in the mirror. Sure, it looks like you’ve lost some weight, but what happens when you exhale? You might appear skinny for a moment, but that version of the situation isn’t accurate.
I have recently acquired a new hobby. I bought a glass kiln and I’m experimenting with fusing glass. On Saturday, I went to the local glass shop with the intent of purchasing a mold to slump a vase. I walked in the door and was immediately greeted by the owners who asked what I was looking for. I told them I needed a handkerchief vase mold and they responded that they didn’t think they had any. A look on the shelf confirmed it.
That’s it. The end of the story. I REALLY wanted to buy a mold. I had money in my pocket and I was ready to hand it over to them. They had great service until they didn’t have the inventory item that I needed. Then they dropped the ball. They sent me to a competitor. No, they didn’t say “try our competitor” out loud, but they didn’t offer me any other options. They could have said: “we can order one for you” or “the next shipment is due on XXXX”, but they didn’t.
I’m certain this local mom & pop shop needs my business, but they are lacking some pretty basic customer service skills. The absence of those skills is costing them money. I witnessed this very thing happen to another customer on my previous visit. I wonder how much revenue they’ve inadvertently given to their competitors.
I was talking with my daughter today and she declared her math paper was “chop filled” with information. I asked her if she meant “chock-full”. She replied: “No, kids in my class say chop filled. It’s chop filled, mom.” I could almost hear the “duh” behind her response.
Are you chop filled with with information too? Do you act as though you know everything and no outsiders could possibly understand? I think we all behave this way in at least one area of our lives or business. Often it’s not even intentional. We simply don’t know what we don’t know, so we assume we DO know. For your business to be successful though, it’s imperative to show a little humility. Admit to not being the expert on everything. Ask for help.
I work with a business consultant from time to time. The advice I get is often the same advice I give to others. Sometimes even when we do know the answer, it’s hard to implement the solution for ourselves. Gaining perspective from an outsider can yield great results even if you DO know the right answer. An outsider can often provide clarity or insight that you have overlooked. Sometimes we’re just too close to the problem to see the best answer.
I recently began attending a peer group. The question for our meeting this week is: What book or resource has been essential to your business success?
Interesting question. The word business in the question automatically sends me down the business book path. There are a lot of great business books, but have any of them been “essential” to my business success? I’m not sure. Certainly there are great ideas in many books, certainly some books are inspirational. I just don’t know that I can say one business book has been “essential”…without it I wouldn’t be successful?
Do you manage your business by the bank balance? Many busy entrepreneurs do but what we know is that managing your business by your checkbook is like managing your personal health by the scale. While the number on the scale is a helpful indicator, it certainly doesn’t mean you’ll get a clean bill of health from your doctor. Join us to learn about other financial tools to help you see, understand, and manage your business’ financial health.
Topic: Beyond the Bank Balance – Create a Dashboard to Manage Your Business for Profit & Growth!
Date: Wednesday, June 9th
Time: 11:30am-12:30pm PDT (2:30-3:30pm EDT)
I have a confession to make. I constantly struggle with work-life balance. Like many of my clients, I also find it hard sometimes to work on my business instead of in my business.
I was raised in Michigan with the good old farm work ethic. We work hard, we work long hours and we don’t stop until the work is done. Translation: Work is hard, work is NOT fun. Intellectually, I know that work can be fun when you’re doing what you love. I know that I need to spend time on my own business. I know that my kids are growing fast and I need to focus on them too.
Intellectually, I know what I need to do. I know what will make me happy and what can grow my business. What I’m working to overcome is the guilt associated with redefining work.