How to Create Consistent Systems with Simplicity with Dave Rice

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Dave and his wife have been working together for a long time. She took on the bookkeeping side of things, while Dave had been running his pharmacy. After selling off the business and traveling for a while, they got into real estate investing and eventually started looking at bookkeeping itself as a business.

[4:30] Dave knew what his niche was going to be even before signing up for Bookkeeper Business Launch. As real estate investors themselves, they understand their needs and pain points, and currently work with 22 real estate investing clients.

[6:15] There was no secret to Dave’s success. They found their first client on LinkedIn and after working with them for a few months, that client referred another one. Since then, they have referred at least seven other clients as well.

[7:20] Dave eventually migrated away from LinkedIn to Facebook and is a member of a number of real estate investing groups where they post semi-regularly. Dave also managed to get onto his real estate mentor’s podcast and that has resulted in a number of other investors reaching out to them.

[9:40] Dave doesn’t pay for any marketing or advertising. They simply make themselves available on Facebook groups and respond to inbound inquiries. Dave has a one page website that is focused on one thing, to get someone to book a call.

[13:15] In terms of work hours between Dave and his wife, they probably work an average of 50 hours a week. Their goal is to maximize their income over the next 8 or 10 years, and they want to keep most of the business in-house.

[15:50] It’s important to manage your clients’ expectations. Rarely is anything in the business truly urgent, so it’s not necessary to be taking phone calls at 9 pm.

[17:10] As Dave and his wife started figuring things out and writing their processes down, they realized that they did things differently depending on the client. They have started documenting everything, and are in the process of turning processes into concrete procedures.

[19:20] Processes allow them to get the most amount of work done in the least amount of time. It also allows their service to be uniform across their clients. Another big tip is realizing that niching down allows you to become much more efficient.

[23:30] The struggle is mainly taking time out of the day to actually create the document itself while doing the tasks. At the same time, how they do things is still evolving and you can’t document a procedure until you’ve figured out what the procedure is. Dave has started recording some smaller tasks to begin the process.

[26:30] Start with the low hanging fruit, and document the simplest and easiest processes that can be outsourced to a virtual assistant. Each task may only take you a couple of minutes to do, but they add up to hours over the course of the month.

[28:45] Dave has a checklist for his onboarding that he follows every single time. Since Dave only onboards a couple of clients a month, he still uses the checklist even though that’s one of his main focuses in the business.

[30:20] Mundane and repetitive tasks are the first ones you should hand over to a virtual assistant. Just by documenting your procedures and systematizing your business, you will reduce the amount of time you need to complete tasks by 20%.

[31:30] Document your processes as they are, not as they should be. Once you’ve done that, then you can start to improve them. It’s important to have a separate space to work from when you are working on your business.

[34:10] Once a client gets into maintenance mode, the amount of time it takes each month to service them gets really low. The majority of the time spent in the business is on cleaning up new client’s books and getting things in line. Getting the documentation from a new client is one of the best examples of a task that can be turned into a process and outsourced. Break down each major activity into smaller, more discrete tasks.

[39:50] Don’t let perfection be the enemy of getting started and getting things done. Document collection is the area of Dave’s business that he’s going to focus on first.

[41:10] Sometimes it only takes a single nugget of wisdom from something to change everything about your business. Always take notes and write down action items when learning new things, and then actually execute on them as soon as you have the chance.

[43:30] The business model of bookkeeping is spectacular. Dave’s first rule of business is to get paid before you do any work, and once that’s done, overdeliver on the results.

Mentioned in this episode: REI Bookkeepers

33 episodes