This blog post comes about as the result of a personal invitation by my friend and coach Judith Morgan. She has recently written a book aimed at entrepreneurs called Your Biz, Your Way – www.JudithMorgan.com/book – and she has invited 52 of her clients and readers to tell her about how we run our businesses, our way. Here’s my story:
Cast your mind back to February 2008 when things were starting to go pear shaped in the financial world, I remember it so well because we were in the processing of buying a house at the time and we just managed it before everything went into free fall.
Prior to this I had been a self employed accountant for just over 20 years. Shortly after qualifying I decided that working in a stuffy office and wearing a suit every day was not for me, outspoken, straight talking rebel that I am, I didn’t fit in, so I decided I would work from home. Bear in mind this is pre-internet days, shocking I know, and all accounts work was handwritten. You can only imagine how long winded that was, especially if something didn’t balance! So bags and boxes full of paperwork had to be collected and returned together with completed accounts, but I loved working for myself, choosing where and when I worked, still do.
For the majority of that 20 years I mostly sub-contracted work from firms of accountants, taking up their surplus if you like as I preferred doing accounts work to tax returns or any of the numerous other tasks that are involved in running an accountancy practice.
Fast forward again to 2008, matters were pretty dire, companies were going out of business and banks were failing. Up until this point I had always had a steady flow of work and I was almost exclusively working for one accountancy practice. Then at the end of 2008, work dried up…for 3 months, eek! Eventually the work did start to trickle back in but it made me realise that I could not carry on with all my eggs in one basket.
This is when I decided to launch More Than A Bookkeeper https://morethanabookkeeper.com. Online working was well and truly with us, hoorah! So this gave me the opportunity to run My Biz, My Way. I could work online from any location, which is increasingly important to me now that I am what is known as a digital nomad. (I travel around house and pet sitting) I decided that I would offer bookkeeping services only, to women in business and that it would be wholly online. Using the cloud my clients could upload their business info for me and I could produce their accounts. I had a number of female business friends who were desperate for my services, having been let down by previous bookkeepers/accountants and who frankly did not want to do the work themselves, instead preferring to pay someone with my expertise to do it. This gave me the idea for the More Than A Bookkeeper name as I recognised that not only did I have the skills to do the work, but from my many years in accountancy practice I knew want the end result was their accountants needed from me, a skill which many bookkeepers still do not have in my opinion. It also gave me the idea for my byline – liberating you to focus on the business you love.
I love my clients, they place value on what I do for them, they are still all with me and they have kindly recommended other clients to me. I absolutely love working like this and I’ve turned my back on marketing myself in the very male dominated way we are all encouraged to do with sales funnels, up sells etc blah, blah, blah. Instead I prefer a more heart-centred approach where clients come to me because they’ve got to know me via my facebook page https://www.facebook.com/jakkifranciswrites/ or my personal blog, https://jakkifrancis.com and they like what I stand for, what I believe in and from there we might have a connection that leads to us working together and my relieving the pressure they may feel over doing their accounts, leaving them to focus on the business they love 🙂
If you’re not ready to work with me yet but you’re newly self employed or know that you really need to get your accounts sorted out why not buy my low cost ebook showing you how to get started using a simple spreadsheet? I have also included some resources such as sample spreadsheets that you can easily adapt to your business it couldn’t be simpler to get started. Click here to buy.
During the last year we sold our house to go travelling in a camper van and as part of that process we sold our house on Facebook. It was totally unexpected, but worked out brilliantly, plus we managed to save ourselves over £2k in estate agents fees which was a lovely feeling. This seems to fit right in with doing things my way and challenging convention so I decide to write an ebook about how we did it, you can get it by clicking here for only £9.
To read further dialogue on this subject head over to Judith’s blog: www.JudithMorgan.com/blog
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