SBS Client Profile: Sam Woodhouse of Woodhouse LLC

Welcome to another Sound Business Services’ (SBS) client profile. We recently interviewed Sam Woodhouse, managing partner of Woodhouse LLC in Atlanta, Ga. Here is what he had to say about the driving force behind starting the company, how it’s changed and expanded over the years, and what he gets out of the SBS relationship.

Jonathan Bill: Tell our readers what Woodhouse LLC is all about.

Samuel Woodhouse: Woodhouse LLC is a client-focused law firm located in downtown Atlanta. We bring a solutions-based approach to the practice of law to deliver proactive, thoughtful and creative answers to the business challenges that our clients encounter. Our logo is about understanding the challenges and risks that our clients have in managing their business to the bottom line. Our business card provides value-driven services and crafting solutions to the problems that our clients encounter. Our trademark is obtaining outstanding results for our clients.

JB: Tell us about the driving force behind why you started the company, and how your goals/expectations have changed over time.

SW: I started Woodhouse LLC because I wanted to deliver personalized legal representation to my clients. The legal challenges my clients face are very unique and personal to them. Therefore, I believe that it is important to craft solutions to their problems that apply directly to the client. Our goals have changed over time, in that they have continued to expand. We started out just expecting to provide limited services, such as litigation. However, our clients have responded so positively that they have continued to ask us to expand the services that we provide to them. The expanded services include contract law, commercial arbitrations and local counsel assistance.

JB: What sets you apart from the competition?

SW: We listen to our clients and make sure that our services positively impact their bottom line. We place great emphasis on knowing the business of our clients. As such, our legal services are shrouded in an understanding of the pressures and risks that our clients have in managing their business to the bottom line. In representing our clients, we factor in what it takes for them to successfully run their business.

JB: When did you first engage SBS? Why did you reach out to us?

SW: We first engaged SBS about a year after we opened. We had a successful first year and found ourselves in a tax dilemma because our records were not in order, and I was spending a great deal of time on recordkeeping and financial issues. This took time away from representing my clients. I reached out to SBS and they quickly cleaned up my records. My bookkeeping has been top notch ever since then, which was nine years ago. I have saved a ton of time and money once SBS starting handling my bookkeeping.

JB: What services does SBS currently provide to your company?

SW: SBS provides all of our bookkeeping needs.

JB: Please explain the difference that SBS has made in your company.

SW: SBS has made us more efficient and better organized. They provide personalized services to their clients. They are always responsive, and they pay attention to details. In nine years, I have never had a problem with SBS. They work extremely well with my accountant. SBS is simply the best of the best!

JB: Thanks Sam!

Cash Flow Tips to Transform Your Business

For many small business owners, COVID-19 has caused us to change the way we work, made us question our company’s survival, and thrown a wrench in our goals and plans. Through it all, there’s one solution to keep these things going, and get through future disasters: strong cash flow.

Many business owners overlook cash flow, or simply let it go over their heads and do nothing about it. Doing so can cripple a business, and at the very least, keep it from growing.

As a small business owner, cash flow is what matters the most – representing the key to not only survival, but successful business longevity as well. It’s the heartbeat of your business, or the lifeblood to make it flow into the future, and the tell-tale sign behind success or failure.

That’s where the true value of a bookkeeper comes into play: taking your data and providing you with real solutions to take your business to the next level. What goes into discovering that data and making those key cash flow decisions?

Here are some cash flow tips to consider:

Know Your True Balances

Staying on top of your accounts payable and accounts receivable is important. Knowing where you stand provides the balance between what you owe and what you collect, and ultimately, what you can do in the future.

A component of this is staying on top of what you have in the bank, but more than that, it’s knowing your actual cash balance. In other words, you must know if you are truly making money; not just what’s on paper or online, as is the norm nowadays.

For example, just looking at your bank online balance is very risky because you could have uncleared items that don’t show up. This can lead to mistakes that deprive you of your potential to grow and succeed in business.

Projection 

This brings us to projection. It’s so important to know where your business is going. Having some sort of basic projection, even if it’s simple, to map out your upcoming expenses is key – instead of spending just because you have money in the bank.

We will go beyond that by being able to project where your business will be in six to 12 months through regular reporting, getting you the latest information and results when you need it. In putting together your projection, Sound Business Services (SBS) can take over your accounts payable on Bill.com and actually provide you with a cash position email on a regular basis, helping you see your actual bank balances, your receivables and your payables.

Budget 

As a kid, your parents might have told you to budget. They wanted to teach you a key life lesson and look out for your well-being.

As business owners, we often struggle with the same concept, only on a much larger and more serious scale. That’s because spending out of control, or not having a plan for the future, can wreak havoc on your business.

Don’t worry … we are here to help! At SBS, we will not only help you prepare a budget, but also provide you with a budget vs. actual report on a monthly basis to help you track your performance against your goals. After all, you can only spend what you can afford, and it’s our obligation to make sure you strategically plan your spending to generate success and stay in business.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) 

We too often discover that prospects and customers have been given unrealistic information in the past. That’s unacceptable.

With KPI reporting, we get a vision of the key drivers that decide your company’s success. KPI tracking enables us to track the key metrics that determine the goals you are trying to reach as a company, which can be financial or non-financial, such as man hours or closed leads vs. lost leads.

How does this work? It’s a painless process where we meet with you to identify KPIs you would like to track. Then, we help you decide the best way to track them, and then design reporting to show you that data in a clear and meaningful way you can understand. 

That’s a Wrap!

Wrapping together the cash flow process is getting you the systems you need to succeed, such as QuickBooks Online (QBO) and the many powerful apps that integrate with QBO. Of course, we will find the apps that meet your specific business’ needs.

Feel free to contact us today to learn more about cash flow or start the process, and you will be on your way to transforming your business.

Disaster Recovery: Act Now Before It’s Too Late

None of us want to think about going through a natural or man-made disaster, much less spend ample time planning for any kind of worst-case scenario. But, when it comes to something that can literally wipe out our businesses, there is no better time to prepare than right now.

According to BackBox, around 50% of all business have been hit with some kind of disaster outage, where they were down 18.5 hours on average. Not only is that costly – $8,000 on average per hour for a small business and $700,000-800,000 for a large business – but the toll it takes on the company’s future can be irrecoverable. On top of that, the same study found that three out of four companies with disaster recovery plans did not feel their plans were adequate.

That brings us to the reality that disaster recovery plans are not only essential, but also must be current and maintained in order to make sure a business survives. If your QuickBooks goes down and you can’t recover your data, you won’t be able to maintain your bookkeeping and accounting. Here are some of our disaster recovery planning tips; hopefully, these will resonate to combat and survive an attack.

Have a Plan

Whether it’s a natural threat, such as a fire or hurricane, or man-made, such as theft, it’s often hard to see a disaster coming and prepare for it. However, what you can control is to plan what to do if you are impacted by a disaster.

Remember that there is no one-size-fits-all plan. Each plan will vary based on your specific needs, such as timing, location, capacity, availability and other factors. Sound Business Services (SBS) will work with you to make sure your plan matches up to your specific business requirements to best plan for, and recover from, a disaster.

Communication and Training

Having a plan is important, but a great plan is only as good as its execution. If everyone on your team is not on the same page, it will literally be a “disaster.”

The plan must be communicated to your team, who needs to make sure they understand what to do. Too much or too little detail can cause your team to make poor decisions, and ultimately, the plan will fail or your business will take longer to recover.

Train your team on a regular basis by acting out the steps to take in the event of a disaster. Just like in school, the teacher (or trainer) is only as important as the student (or team member), and vice versa – both must be present and ready to reach their goal.

Back Up Your Information in the Cloud

Many companies don’t have redundant backups because business owners and managers may feel the plans are either too expensive or on-site/off-site backups are painful to maintain. That’s simply not the case with the cloud. Not only is it a low-cost method; it’s also extremely powerful and always available, even if your local area is hit with a tornado or hurricane.

With the cloud, you have a large capacity, easy scalability and backup, all day, every day, in real time, allowing for immediate data recovery. There are a lot of cloud backup solutions available; for example, I have clients who use Carbonite.

We are Here to Help

There is so much more to hash out for disaster recovery planning, but this is a start. Just know that the reality of a disaster is very real – and you must have a great plan and system in place as soon as possible to be ready.

Of course, we know that this is something that shouldn’t be done alone, and you shouldn’t have to spend a lot of time away from running your business to find a solution. So, we will work with you to make sure you are set up with a plan, so that your QuickBooks, data and business can recover quickly from a disaster. Contact us today to get started.