One of the biggest problems people have is that they’re not piecing things out.
What do I mean by that?
When you talk about accounting, you need to piece everything out.
You need to piece out setups.
What’s a setup? The setup is where we’re setting up someone’s system from scratch.
It’s not like they set it up in the past and they have all these freaking errors.
It’s never been done.
They don’t have a Quickbooks file.
They’ve never really integrated bank feeds with anything.
They haven’t run reports before.
They don’t have a chart of accounts. There’s just nothing. It’s a blank slate.
They might have a bank account. They might have transactions. But they’ve never implemented an accounting system.
We have to get that setup.
That’s different than a cleanup.
A cleanup is where we set this sucker up and we tried to do it ourselves.
Let me tell you, this turned into a big pile of dung. This is not a good situation.
All these numbers are wrong. Revenue is just spiking like this every quarter.
You’re looking at it and you’re like, this is 100% wrong.
I’ve got some people here that I’ve been working with recently that I’ve been trying to make them do these new reports and I look at them and I’m like, yeah that’s wrong.
That’s 100% wrong. I said, if that person sends me that report again, I will know it’s a 100% wrong.
So they’re getting wrong reports. And they’re saying we need help with cleanup. Now there’s also AP and AR. Maybe they need help with AP, AR, and also inventory, fixed assets, basically sub-account management. So sub-accounts on the financial statements that have transactions that we might need help doing.
And then we’ve also got monthly accounting.
Which is really the reconciliations in the month end close.
And then we’ve got controller work and we’ve got CFO work.
Now controller work I would define as something where there’s some complex accounting.
Like there’s intercompany transactions, there’s accrual accounting, there’s foreign currencies, there’s something going on that sort of complicated where we need a controller level support.
And a CFO is something that we’re doing that’s going to make the company money.
Something where we’re helping them increase margins, increase sales, reduce expenses, increase the value of the company. Anything where we’re actually helping the company make money, just call it a CFO service.
So all of these things guys need to be priced separately.
These four are all monthly recurring services. These are one time services at the beginning. And they’re priced differently.
And I’m not going to have time to go through all of these today, but I will go through these four right here.
Typically for these four, we are going to charge $500 a month for every $500,000 in annual sales per tier.
Now these are each tiers. One tier, two tier, three tier, four tier.
Because sometimes you’re doing multiple tiers.
You’re doing the monthly accounting, but you’re also providing CFO services.
You’re helping them with job costing and project costing.
You’re helping them implement sales commissions or bonuses.
You’re helping them do something that is making the company more money.
How do you answer someone who says, “You’re 1500 miles away, I’m used to dropping off my receipts. Sounds kind of shady.”
I mean look, it’s one of these things where that person’s probably not aware, right?
That same person probably responded on their iphone, right?
They probably have Amazon Prime.
They probably purchased their car insurance on Geico and got on the phone with somebody that was in an office in Arizona or something.
So, I just respond with funny things. People like that.
I’m just like, “Look, if you think we need to touch flesh, we can totally see about potentially meeting up if we were to decide to work together. But honestly, I can’t tell you that for this niche in this industry, there’s going to be anybody better than me.”
I mean just mess with them. Send it, move on.
I’ve kind of noticed recently, it’s been kind of interesting because my experience is sort of going in waves with the pockets of people that come through the program and the problems that people have. I think a big problem that I’ve been seeing recently, speaking with people in the program, and I’ve been talking to a lot of customers because a lot of people that are existing Next Level Firms customers are coming to that Tax Planning Bootcamp….
I think a big problem that people get into right now is they take the leads too seriously, right? They take the prospects too seriously prospects.
You should not take the prospects too seriously. If it’s good and it’s working and we’re going to take the next step, great, let’s do it.
Let’s get them signed up, let’s get them excited.
But if a prospect throws out a complaint, really don’t take that to heart.
There are so many prospects, right? So many prospects.
It’s kind of insane. If you have a girlfriend….actually take that back, let’s think about it like this….
If you’ve got a date with somebody, you should treat them pretty well.
If you’ve decided to get into a committed relationship with somebody and dating relationship, you should treat them pretty well. Right?
Very well for both of these categories I would say.
Then if you decide to get engaged, I mean you should treat that person extraordinarily well.
If you decide to marry somebody, you should treat them extraordinarily well. If you have children with that person, you should treat them extraordinary extraordinarily well. And I would say as you kind of go through these various levels of commitment, I think you want to treat that person better and better and commit more and more of yourself to them.
But one guy that you meet when you’re walking the dog, if he rejects you is that really anything that we should pay attention to it?
No, not really.
So if it doesn’t work out, just move on and don’t think much about it.
It’s the same thing with these random prospects that just shoot back these crazy emails. “Oh, unsubscribe me. Oh, how did you send this? Oh, I can’t work with people unless I can touch flesh.”
There’s so many jokes I could throw out with people that need to meet in person and everything that are varying levels of appropriate.
But the point is that you can’t take these people too seriously. You need a lot.
I spoke to somebody the other day and they said, “Andrew, I haven’t got any strategy sessions. I haven’t got any strategy sessions!”
From the date of July 11th to September 12th. I talked to them yesterday, September 12th, and this is a woman who’s very experienced.
Her business will do almost a million in sales this year.
She’s worked with me for two years, but she’s never really done the active marketing.
She’s an incredible sales woman and she’s got a lot of connections.
So if she can just stay top of mind, do a great job at sales, packaging and pricing…..We worked on that and growing the business a lot…More than doubled, probably almost tripled at this point.
But the point is she’s just starting active marketing and through that period she had 120 email email contacts from LinkedIn.
Guys, that is extremely low.
If you have 120 emails that you get from Linkedin, I wouldn’t be surprised if you didn’t get any strategy sessions.
And I told her, you’re used to doing work where the majority of the time you get the result.
So for example, if you’re doing work for a client, let’s say you’re doing monthly accounting work…..okay, we got a request over, all the documents, all the access, all the bank feeds, and the bank statements…..Okay, we got to integrate the bank feeds, we got to set up the Quickbooks file, integrate the bank feeds, got to set up the chart of account.
We’ve got to bring all the transactions in.
We’ve got to reconcile the transactions.
We’ve got to set up rules. We have to run the reports, get the reports together, send it to the client and resolve any errors throughout that process.
All of your time is sort of utilized.
But whenever you’re doing marketing, it’s the complete opposite.
So if you’re doing accounting and you’re actually working on accounting services, 98% of your time is utilized.
If you’re doing marketing or really sales or marketing, 98% of your time is wasted. Wasted. I got 149,000 people that have said, “Oh, I’m interested in working with Andrew. I’m interested in working with Andrew.”
Only 2,500 people ever signed up. Think about that.
That’s like a 98% failure rate, but that’s the way it is.
So you just have to completely reverse your thinking and your expectations.
A lot of times people will get started with the marketing and they’re like, okay, I only want to connect. I only want to request people on LinkedIn that are a perfect fit because I don’t want to accidentally request someone that might not be a perfect fit, right?
Or I don’t want to message somebody that might not be a perfect fit.
More. Try to get it there. People don’t update their LinkedIn profile correctly. You’re not going to get it 100%. You’re going to message people that aren’t the right fit.
I use the story of the Superbowl. The Bud Light commercials. They got these guys on there and then there’s like 7 year olds in the crowd and people that don’t drink alcohol.
They’re still seeing the ads for Bud light.
You’re always going to have promotions where people see it that don’t want it.
That’s the vast majority of promotions.
When somebody comes along like this, to go back to Jeff’s question and says, oh, it’s not a good fit….Guys, if it’s not a good fit, say something snarky. Say something funny and try to crack it back open and get the deal.
If not, move on and don’t think about it.
Don’t let these prospects get into your mind. They’re crazy, they’re crazy.
There’s so much craziness going on in the internet and emails, promotions, advertising, comments, and twitter. There’s just this craziness out there.
Just focus on the next one and somebody where things connect.
Somebody where there’s a need and let’s have a real conversation with them and try to close it down.
Maria says, “How would you follow up previous strategy sessions that did not close? Both clients had an existing CPA. I still believe they could benefit from tax planning, but the owners don’t seem to get the importance of tax savings. What would you do? Call or send follow-up emails?”
Oh, Maria….we have a woman here, her name is Santana and every time she does something good I always play that song “Maria, Mariaaaaa! You remind me of the westside story.”
I always think of that too when I see Maria Tabudan’s name. So we should somehow get somebody to post in here that youtube video for Maria for this amazing question.
Because Maria, what you need to do is you need to play that song, pony up, and get on the phone.
Get on the phone, let’s call them.
Let’s freaking call them!
Maria it is 3:03pm. Call them right now. If they don’t answer, call them from another area code.
Here’s the thing….
I talked about this this weekend, right?
You have an idea.
Maria has an idea…..I’d love to work with that client.
And then she does what? She asks the question. And the question is, “Should I work with the client?”
So Maria has step one. She thinks about the client and then she asks a question which is, should I call the person?
Should I call?
And she’s thought about this.
I guarantee you she thought about this before this Q&A call. And so she’s been thinking about this and then she comes on the Q&A call and then she asks, right?
That’s the question. Instead of question, just action. Call, just call.
Most of the reason that I’m so productive is because I don’t even ask questions.
Because I’m like, look, that question has no answer. There’s no answer. There is no way to answer that question.
Should I call?
Think about that.
Let me grab a water here.
Getting a little raspy. It’s a bad question. It’s a bad question because there is no answer.
There is literally no answer.
So instead of even asking the question or if you do ask the question, I’ll give you a break because sometimes questions just come up in our head, right?
I’ll give you a break. You can ask the question for a split second, but then you have to realize that’s a bad question and you just have to take the action.
Because while you’re pondering this question, I’ve already done 10 of these.
Think about that. That’s a huge thing guys. If you have a question in your head that you could just get the answer to by doing it before even finishing pondering about it, just do it.
Then you won’t have to ask the question, you just get it done.
So Maria, it’s 3:05pm now, we’ve been talking about this for two or three minutes. Let’s call them.
When you answer that phone and when you set up an appointment for later today or Monday or Tuesday, how do you start it?
You basically start it like this.
“Hey Craig! How’s your day going? Great. Well, I wanted to reach out because I was thinking about it this last week and I’ve been doing this business for a while and I’ve just been getting this business off the ground, doing my own accounting work or tax work, whatever it is. And I was thinking about it this last week and I’m starting this business and I’ve been doing it for awhile and it occurred to me that a lot of people out there have a lot of problems. And I realized that I never even made a point to reach out to the people that are the closest to me in my life to just make sure that they’re okay. And I wanted to take a few minutes today to just see how the business is going and whether or not I could provide any advice or guidance or we end up working together in any way we’ll have to see…. But I figured I’d reach out today and set up this call. So tell me, how is the business going so far this year in 2018?”
Not Weird. Caring, helpful, interesting. Compelling, right?
There’s a way to approach these where it’s going to be interesting for the person.
It’s not going to be something where there’s this major, massive issue.
Where it like has to be super awkward.
So when you reach out, the first thing you have to do is have a good introduction. You have to have a good introduction.
And the introduction is all about setting the agenda, right? Setting the agenda.
You guys didn’t even notice this. And taking the lead.
How did I set the agenda? Well really I just wanted to reach out and see how things are going.
And if there’s any way that I could help out, whether it’s guidance or advice or if we end up working together.
I’m talking about this call and what the purpose of this call is.
It’s to see if we’re going to be working together.
So that’s a very specific and clear agenda.
They’re not even consciously registering it.
But when I say that it’s going to give me permission to walk through everything as we go along.
And then I say taking the lead. Where I say, “Tell me how things are going this year in 2018.”
So boom, I hit with questions.
Now, you notice how I really did it slowly, right?
My mother used to say, “Andrew, it’s not what you’re saying, it’s how you’re saying it.”
And I said, “You’re stupid Mom!”
I was probably like 8, right? That’s stupid. It’s what I say. It’s not how I’m saying it.
And I didn’t realize that until many years later that when you do consultations with potential clients, when you do sales, and when you’re trying to close the deal….
What you say is really honestly….just….it’s really just as important as kind of….you know, how you’re saying it.
Notice how I changed my cadence there.
My tone, my speed, right?
I’m a pretty quick guy who yells.
But that’s not a good thing for talking to a potential client on the phone.
Financial Consulting, there’s a lot of different things to consider.
I’ll just tell you one aspect of it.
This is for people that are switching from services.
I work with people sometimes where they used to do services, but they switched to training, right?
And they’re doing some sort of training.
I’ve got a client right now that helps people exit their business. She does exit planning, she does training, she does events and seminars, and she has an online program.
I help people that do personal financial coaching where they’re helping individuals and business owners better understand their finances.
I’ve got another client, Chad Davidson that helps startups raise money and he does that through a training program.
When you first start a training program, typically you want your training program to be 6 to 8 weeks, sometimes 12, depending on specifically what the clients need.
And for your first 10 clients, you’re going to charge $2,500.
For your next 10 clients, you’re going to charge $4,500.
And then for your next 10 clients plus, you’re going to charge $5,500 plus.
You can charge more. Sometimes for the exit planning deals, they’ll charge $20,000. So it depends. As you get the value more and more nailed down, you can charge a heck of a lot more for going through this.
And that’s specifically for people that are doing training.
I’ve also got some pricing information here for financial services for people.
If you’re doing financial services and you’re selling insurance or you’re trying to bring assets under management and you’re not charging for financial plans…..
I had a guy yesterday, he’s doing what he calls asset maps, right? Which are really just a financial plan.
You need to wrap in the financial plan and wrap in the tax plan.
Put that together. Whether you call it a financial plan, a tax plan, a tax and financial plan, an asset map.
I don’t care what the heck you call it.
You need to have the value clearly solidified for that call.
How much you’re going to save them in taxes.
How much do you think they can make based on working with you for retirement based on their current income.
And you need to be charging $2,500 to $5,000 or more for that deal.
And whether you need to create a separate entity so it’s separate from the brokerage and everything, you need to be doing that.
You can’t be giving away the massive value on the front end of these financial plans and these asset maps and these tax plans and doing that for free.
You need to be charging on the front and then getting your commissions on the back.
Okay, so look guys, that is just a taste.
I’ve got probably another three hours of pricing training going into detail on this.
Doing case studies of specific examples of how to calculate all this.
Worksheets on how to do this for clients. If you are doing this, remember what I said before….
If you are hitting these numbers, you will be able to hit these sales numbers with these margins and these numbers of team members.
So you can do lower pricing, but you’re going to be like, “Andrew, I’m doing $100,000 a year in sales and I already feel like I need to hire people.”
Well that’s because you got bad pricing, you got bad deals.
Lou says, “Hello Andrew, I need to hire an assistant. Do you recommend a virtual assistant or someone physically in the office?”
That depends. So I think about that like this. I might’ve had a different opinion on this maybe six months ago or nine months ago or what not.
But it depends. It really depends.
What type of business do you want to build?
Do you want to build a business that’s doing $250,000 a year in sales where you work remote and you have no employees, no actual, team members. I like to say team members because I classify team members as employees or contractors.
But for this sake I’m talking about the taxable side of this.
You paying payroll tax, you having benefits and everything.
Do you want to have something like that or do you eventually want to have a business that does 3 million a year in sales, has an office, and has employees.
I was talking to somebody yesterday, Hector Bilbo came by my office yesterday and we hung out for a couple hours.
Somebody told me this a couple of months ago and I never really knew this because I’m not a big chess guy…..
But apparently if you ever want to really get good at chess, you have to study the end of the board.
So what does the board look like when you win?
That’s like the first place that you start studying chess. I’m sure some of the basics also like what does a pawn do.
But if you want to study chess strategy and what to do from day one, from move one, from moving that first pawn, you start with the end game.
So you start with the end in mind.
So the answer to your question is different.
If you’re trying to do this, I’d hire a remote person.
Maybe you can get somebody from the Philippines.
I had a great assistant from Indonesia. She was from Indonesia and we had her for years and she was great. Occasionally she would still do a couple of small things, just legacy stuff. And that works and people will tell you these stories that they have people that are working for $3 an hour in the Philippines and they have 17 of them or whatever the case may be.
These are sort of strange things to be proud of, but people have them and there’s nothing wrong with doing it.
If those people are excited about it in their country, that can be an amazing economic opportunity. It can be the best thing they ever have.
So if you want to do this, hire them remote. Hire them overseas. Hire them working off hours, it’s not a big deal.
If you want to do this, I say let’s get started. Get started, bring them in, commit, get a physical place for you guys to go to that you can get out of if you need to grow.
Start it with a real office if you’re trying to go big. I would say really anything over $3-5 million plus.
I saw great explanation of this recently.
They were saying that if you’re at $500k to $3-5 million versus $5 million plus, this is sort of a lifestyle business versus a performance business.
So this business is meant to perform. This business is designed to achieve results for the marketplace, for the clients, for the customers, for the shareholders.
This business is designed to perform.
This business is generally designed to improve the quality of the lifestyle of the owner. How much time that person is working and what their income is.
And these are two very different things. My business is a performance business, right?
We’re trying to take things to another level. We’re trying to grow.
We’re already over this level by quite a bit.
So there’s nothing wrong with this, but the point is that you can have a $2-3 million a year business and it can be a lifestyle business where you’re not working that much. You could even do it remote or working from home.
But once you get in this sort of 3 to 5 million range or more, it almost becomes more of a headache to be in that remote environment, at least from my personal experience.
Which doesn’t mean that that’s everyone’s experience.
I was watching a podcast the other day and some guy had a billion dollar company and it was all remote and he was talking about the challenges and whatnot.
But obviously it’s possible. So pretty much you can make anything work. But in my estimation, from all my research, everybody that I’ve seen, everybody that I’ve talked to, if you’re thinking about hiring somebody early on, how you hire them will depend on what your kind of thinking.
Do you want to do a big performance company?
Do you want to have something like this?
And I would say if you want to do a performance company, you want to get there quickly, you want to do over a million a year in sales, or over over 3 million a year in sales….I’d get an office and hire them as a full employee in person.
Cody says, “Love it, Andrew. Thank you. I know how to quickly calculate the savings through self employment tax reduction using S corp, but I’m less familiar with the other strategies for potential tax savings. Self employment tax savings alone could seriously bump the fee.”
Think about it like this…..When I think about tax planning….we’re going to talk about this at the bootcamp and I’m going to bring some guys down that are going to be talking about some pretty complex strategies….But when you think about sales and you think about actually making a business out of this, I’m not so concerned that you know complex things.
I like to think about it like this…..What are the simple strategies that are going to apply to most businesses?
And then what percentage of people does this apply to?
If you want to have a good business, it’s good to have simple strategies.
When we talk about simple, this would be more simple, this would be less simple or complex.
You want to have simple strategies where the percentage of people that this applies to is high, right?
So high percentage, low percentage.
I like these kinds of tax saving strategies that are really simple, like just getting somebody incorporated.
Because it applies to almost every single person.
You can do volume. Almost every single person can pay $3,500, $4,500, $6,000.
So they’re super simple methods and they apply to a lot of people.
That to me is good. When you have really complex methods that don’t apply to a lot of people, there’s nothing wrong with it.
And I’d rather that people know both.
But think about it like this…..If you could get these every single day…….And there’s a bunch of people in the group that do this, they get run of the mill tax plans everyday.
You get 20, 30 tax plans in a month at anywhere between $2,500-$9,800. And then of those 10 to 20 tax plans that you get a month, 10-20% of those will upsell into a more complex plan or a more complex implementation for $20k, $30k, $40k, $50k.
Just because you don’t know the complex stuff doesn’t mean you can’t have a business doing it.
A lot of the people you see posting wins, posting successes, and getting clients are not helping clients with these super complex tax strategies.
They’re helping people with the basics.
Because most people don’t even have the basics down.
And that’s what applies to most people.
There’s no right or wrong way to do this.
You can still have a great business even if all you sell is really niche strategies that are very complex.
The other problem that these people kind of tend to have is that people are scared of complex tax strategies because they worry about litigation and everything.
So the simpler it is, the more likely they are to go for it.
You kind of feel like they’re like, “oh no, I’m going to do this myself.”
But I generally have not found that to be the case at all.
So that’s kind of the way that I think about it.
I wouldn’t feel too bummed about it.
You want to learn more things and you want to have those in your back pocket.
But if it’s been working and you’ve been closing deals on the simple stuff, let’s just do more.
Julian said, “I’m at the end of week 3, curious if you’re going to recommend a specific legal form down the road mainly for tax advantages. I believe somewhere you said it would probably be an LLC tax as an S corp for most people.”
That’s true. For most people, that is true because most businesses…..93% of businesses in the US make less than $250k in sales a year.
So for most people, that’s generally going to be the best thing to do.
That doesn’t mean that it’s going to be the best thing for you.
We’ve been working on a brand new entity selector for the tax cuts and jobs act.
So we will have that out right after the tax planning bootcamp.
It’s basically going to show you for anybody, what legal entity should they have?
Should they have multiple legal entities?
How does the QBI deduction factor in based on the type of business that they have and the amount of sales and what they’re paying themselves.
So we’ll have an updated sort of excel spreadsheet that’ll walk you guys through all this at some point later this year.
But because most people are sort of in this range, it’s better to be incorporated once you have some business.
But it’s probably going to be better to have an S corp at the early stages, which is where almost everybody is.
So you have to go through the analysis for anybody to see what makes sense.
But that is what happens to make sense for a lot of people because they’re small and because of the tax advantages around self employment tax and now the QBI deduction.