Stay In Your Lane

Posted by JasonBlumer on May 16, 2017 in

If you are trying to grow a company, then you have to stay in your lane. As the Founder or CEO, your lane may involve the strategy and vision of the company. If you keep scanning documents, then you are stepping out of your lane. And when you are partners, then you can often cross over into each other's lanes. Your company will be 2x more productive if the partners and team will stay in their lanes.What is a lane? Your lane is basically your Job Description. And your team has a Job Description, too. Everyone has to have one. When everyone has a Job Description describing the lane they are supposed to stay in, then it's harder to step over into someone else's lane without them noticing. And if you have a culture of trust, honesty, and accountability, then someone will feel the freedom to say: "Hey! Stay…

We Are Strategic Business Accountants

Posted by JasonBlumer on May 8, 2017 in

We support the tax, accounting, and business growth endeavors of creative agencies all over the US. Some leads want us to be tax experts only, while some clients are confused as to why we offer business coaching to help agencies grow. We have intentionally crafted our business model and built a team that allows us to manage all of the strategic business needs of the creative agencies we serve. In essence, we have become experts at what an agency needs to operate, stay compliant, grow, and monitor/analyze how they are doing during the process of growth. We are the full package!Our value is in knowing how all of these strategic business building blocks fit together. Here are questions we know the answers to: - How do complicated tax elections affect the personal taxes of the owner(s)? - How can we use new technology platforms to turn the…

Sowing and Reaping

Posted by JasonBlumer on May 2, 2017 in

Business building can be confusing. You will enter seasons of prosperity and possibly seasons of decline. It's hard to know what to do when these seasons show up. In some seasons you may overspend, while in other seasons you may deal with the fear of making payroll each month.The concept of sowing and reaping is an important principle to help you understand what you are experiencing. Sowing and reaping happens in all of life; growing your business is no exception. Here are some sowing and reaping principles that may help you deal with the ups and downs of building your business:-You don't reap in the season you sow - consistent marketing, solid accounting principles, and new hiring processes are all concepts you will see benefits from months, or years, later. Build now, but be patient to reap the rewards in a later period. So, if you need clients…

Less Clients, More Money

Posted by JasonBlumer on Apr 17, 2017 in

I love real stories of smart business decisions that lead to more profit and relief for the owners of agencies. One of these stories came up the other day when I was coaching with some great partners of an agency.Last year, they made an intentional decision to let go of a lot of smaller clients that were not profitable. As usual, fear was a factor in making the decision - "are we getting rid of revenue?" "can we replace them?" The partners helped each other through the emotional decision to prune clients. During the coaching session, we were comparing one quarter of financial activity with the most recent quarter of financial activity in their agency. And even though they had less clients this quarter than last quarter, they made more money. The were doing less work with less clients, and they feel less stressed and overwhelmed.This is a…

Staying in the Safety Circle

Posted by JasonBlumer on Apr 4, 2017 in

We told our kids when they were young to stay in the safety circle. There was an imaginary circle around my wife and I and our home. If our little children would stay close, within the reach of the safety circle, then we had the ability and power to protect them.Your company is a safety circle, too, and it is meant to protect your clients and your team. If everyone can stay in the safety circle within reach of the leadership, then everything will be fine. Everyone will stay protected. And when we are protected, we can stay healthy and grow!But sometimes people venture outside of the safety circle. When this happens, it's hard to tell what the result will be. That's no man's land! Clients can get hurt, service models can be broken, and team members can become confused. As the leaders of our businesses, it's imperative…

Playing Chess [in Business]

Posted by JasonBlumer on Mar 7, 2017 in

Playing chess is all about the strategy and planning of your moves. Planning your next move at the right time while you also consider your opponent's moves, are what allow you to win. It's a thinking game!And so is business. Business is a chess game. It's all about making the right moves that others are not willing to make. How do you define the right moves? Making the right moves means taking significant risks to move you forward without being so risky that you hurt your business in the process. Here are 3 ways to play chess better: Be confident! Analyze your moves all you want, but when you are ready to make the move, go in strong! You may take your time deciding what to do, but once the decision is made, be bold. You could even trick yourself that you don't know what you are doing if you…

Great Strategy Requires Vetting

Posted by JasonBlumer on Feb 28, 2017 in

Make sure you know what strategy is before reading this post. I wrote about it here.As business leaders, we all want to be good at laying out a right strategy that helps us grow our companies. But if you are developing strategies on your own, then you are possibly not getting the most out of your plans. Strategies are really just 'guesses at where the future is headed,' and that is an easy thing to get wrong. I remember when I ran our companies by myself. There was no vetting at all. I just did what I wanted, or failed to do what I didn't know I should be doing. Either way, my strategies were right sometimes and failed other times. But I really never knew why.There is a better way to develop great strategies, and it involves other trusted people who are allowed to vet what…

Risk is Always Relative

Posted by JasonBlumer on Feb 10, 2017 in

I've always loved Richard Branson quotes. He is not a risk averse entrepreneur, and he inspires me to take risks.I do, and have, taken risks. Honestly, it hasn't always worked out very well. I have learned a hard lesson - risk is always relative. A risk for me may not be a risk for you. And certainly, a risk for Richard Branson is not the same as a risk for my firm. When Sir Richard says, "every risk is worth taking..." remember that he has a gajillion dollars in the bank when he is assessing the risks to take. You and I do not have a gajillion dollars in the bank, so our decisions to take risks should probably never begin with "every risk is worth taking..."The decision to take risks is always relative to the amount of money you have in the bank, your comfort with risk,…

Structure Brings Freedom When Scaling

Posted by JasonBlumer on Feb 7, 2017 in

One thing I enjoy about being an entrepreneur is the freedom to work when and how I want. I really enjoy the days when I have a lot of choice to spend time on things I think are important. But I've learned over the past 2 years that this freedom can become a curse as your work increases, you start doing more complicated work, or you need to begin focusing on high level strategy (instead of details).So, freedom in how you work may be okay when you are small or while you are building a lifestyle firm, but it really becomes a hindrance as you begin to scale an organization. Scaling means you have more responsibilities, you are forced to delegate, and you probably have more team responsibilities (since scaling a company often involves team building). If you stay loose and continue to embrace your freedom, it may become the…

Diverse Revenue Streams Bring Less Risk

Posted by JasonBlumer on Jan 26, 2017 in

As a business tweaks its revenue model, it also inadvertently adjusts its risk. Examples of tweaking your revenue model are (1) beginning to value price instead of hourly bill, (2) selling pre-defined packages, (3) creating a retainer model of revenue as opposed to a project-based revenue model, or even (4) beginning to draft your prices instead of sending out invoices. There are many ways to tweak your revenue model, and it's worth exploring in depth. You can think strategically about how you are trying to grow, and then try to match up how you earn your revenue to the growth you are trying to achieve. It takes work, but you will be at a competitive advantage if you do this, because few business owners take the time to think through it.But there is always a risk component involved in any change an entrepreneurial company makes to its business model. If you don't also…