Who to Hire First and How to Do It with Jessica Albee


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By Ben Robinson. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Jessica’s personal style is hyper feminine, but deep down she likes math and numbers. That synthesis is where the moniker Sparkle Bookkeeping came from.

[2:50] When Jessica was in college she had an opportunity to work for a cannabis tax firm, and got a feel for the industry as well as learned bookkeeping directly. After a while, she wanted to try something new. She felt like she would be able to do it on her own and she discovered Bookkeeper Business Launch.

[6:20] The mindset aspect of the business has been a big part of Jessica’s journey. By applying what she learned in the course, her business has started to really take off.

[8:00] Working for yourself is a rollercoaster ride with really high good days and some pretty terrible bad days, but it all evens out after a while if you can push through.

[8:35] Jessica currently serves 17 clients mainly found through referrals. When she first started, she didn’t really picture much more than just herself and the books, but having found success, she believes that she could do more.

[10:20] Jessica needs to get granular about what her business is going to do for her. Putting together a vivid vision is a way for her to make decisions about her business, based on whether it will move her closer to her vision or further away. The vision can give you a rulebook for your business.

[12:30] Making her own schedule is probably the best part of her business. She’s been careful to make sure the business doesn’t take over her life, but that’s the struggle that most entrepreneurs have when building their business from scratch.

[15:45] You have to be intentional about building a business that works around your life. You have to state what you are going to do, and then you figure out the how.

[16:35] Jessica is able to pay for herself, and her day-to-day costs so she’s not financially strapped, but she would be happy to make more money. Not having her back against the wall puts her in a position of power where she doesn’t have to work with clients that aren’t aligned with her business.

[19:25] We can’t talk about people without talking about processes, and we can’t talk about processes without talking about people. Right now, Jessica doesn’t have many processes written out, but she does have some checklists put together that have been helpful. The first step to creating processes is to record yourself doing a particular task while narrating what is happening, transcribing the audio, and turning that into a checklist.

[25:15] Creating processes and checklists is the first step in hiring someone. A checklist should be able to fit on half a piece of paper and be less than 10 steps. If it’s any longer, it should be broken down further into separate processes.

[27:10] Most of us hire the wrong way. We find someone and just throw them into the job and that sets everyone up for failure. And if they are someone who can do everything, if you come to rely on them without having written processes and they leave, your business is in big trouble.

[29:00] One of the biggest misconceptions in the business is that we need to hire someone with bookkeeping experience. That’s not true, we should almost always hire a virtual assistant first. Bookkeeping experience is really just a bonus, not a prerequisite.

[31:45] Document your processes as they are, not as they should be. Once you’ve got that done, take that task and give it to a VA. Start small, you can begin with as little as an hour a week. There is no need to spend the money and make a commitment until you get your processes down.

[36:40] Once you start creating processes and giving them to a VA, you’re going to become addicted to the process. It could be over a year or more before you need to hire an established bookkeeping professional. It may even make more sense to graduate a trusted VA into the position by providing them with additional training, instead of finding someone who already has experience.

[38:55] Jessica is more comfortable with letting go because breaking things down into individual tasks is much less daunting than letting a whole client go. One big tip is to encourage your VA to be critical about your processes and suggest improvements.

[41:30] Hiring someone and bringing them into your business is an exponential gain in your business. Changing your CRM is an incremental gain. Start with platforms like Excel that everyone is already comfortable with, don’t try to do both at the same time. Once you got the ball rolling, that’s when you can explore different project management options. All the tools will work, it’s just a matter of finding one that works for you.

[44:45] Jessica’s first action will be to write down her three-year vision for her business and get specific with what she wants. In terms of practical actions, Jessica is going to create process videos for one of her easier clients, and get them transcribed. Ben recommends putting a date on each action item because that makes them real.

Mentioned in this episode: Sparkle Bookkeeping

33 episodes