4 Spring Cleaning Tips for Personal and Professional Growth

Before the summer months heat up and you take some much-needed time off, let’s spring into action with our intentions and strategies to make 2021 a great year in our personal and professional lives.

As small business owners, we often have so much going on with work/life balance that we tend to neglect finding the time, energy and focus to actually grow our businesses. On top of that, the last year has tested us personally and professionally like never before – making growth seem unrealistic.

At SBS Accounting & Advisors, we want to be your trusted advisors for finding you powerful solutions to set and meet your goals, experience long-term growth, and find the kind of balance that makes you happy and healthy – even when the deck seems stacked against you.

To help achieve this, here are our 4 spring cleaning tips for personal and professional growth, and know that our SBS team is here for you every step of the way.

1. Take Self-Care Seriously

When running in a million directions as business owners, we tend to forget about the importance of self-care. When we don’t take self-care seriously and aren’t proactive about it, we tend to form unhealthy patterns and get out of the mindset needed to perform at our best and reach big success and growth.

Running and transforming our businesses takes a great deal of mental and physical strength. When it comes to your self-care, find what works best for you. That may be meditation, stretching every morning, working out, resetting before each day, carving out time with loved ones or just taking a break. Whatever you choose, be consistent and intentional about it so that you can take care of yourself, destress, recharge and get to a better place.

2. Being a Transformative Advisor for Your Clients

At SBS, our mission is to build transformation for you and your business – something we are constantly striving to achieve. We know how critical it is to get your books in order and automate your accounting processes, but we also know that’s not enough. Taking care of your back office needs is essential, but so is proactively planning your future and being the kind of  advisor who you can trust every step of the way.

We want you to be a transformative advisor for your customers, too. While we would love to help you put an action plan to this process, we also have a few suggestions that you can work on right away to help.

  • Customer relationships – The relationships you have with your customers will determine how much they trust, respect, and value you and your business. Try to connect with each one by getting to know them and forming a genuine connection. Providing them this level of personalized attention, and showing them how much you care about them, will go a long way toward not only reaching business growth for both parties, but also establishing your integrity and a rapport that is invaluable.
  • Go the extra mile – Constantly strive for delivering more. It’s okay to celebrate wins and accomplishments, but don’t stop there. Keep moving forward and find even more solutions to their everyday wants and needs.
  • Be their coach – While you want to be a transformative advisor to your clients, you can help them be one for their customers, too, by being their coach/mentor. As you connect and develop a rapport, they will value your advice. Be willing to guide them through difficult situations or important decisions with their own customers. That is truly a powerful, full circle relationship.

3. Tap into Our Advisory Services

The SBS advisory services division is designed to help you understand your numbers and data, and leverage these tools to meet your goals and strategize for long-term growth.

We have tools and strategies we implement to take you to the next level, including Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and cash flow management. Check out these key resources, and don’t hesitate to contact us today to lay out a plan to specifically help transform your business.

4. Take Control of Your Finances

Knowing where your business stands financially – at all times – is an absolute must. By making sure your books are up to date on a more frequent basis, we can ensure that you know what your true balance is, and if all outstanding deposits and checks are entered into your books. You’ll also know your credit card balances and month-to-date profitability.

When our SBS team has a picture of your full financial situation, we can then work to consistently meet your goals and address your concerns. In doing so, we will come up with solutions that help you take control of your finances and grow your business.

An example of this can be found in one of our recent blogs about effective church financial stewardship. While it’s geared toward churches, I believe some of the key points addressed in the article will resonate with everyone.

Ready to Grow?

While this list doesn’t represent all of our spring cleaning visions for a memorable 2021 for you and your business, we feel it’s a good start. So, if you’re ready to start your action plan, or have any questions, contact us today. We’d love to hear from you and will keep striving to help you grow personally and professionally.

Make or Break: 4 Tips to Boost Your Customer Service

When it comes to your business, the reality is that no matter how great your product or offering is, your customer service will determine your reputation, brand image and growth.

In fact, nine in 10 Americans weigh customer service as a deciding factor in whether to do business with a company, according to Microsoft.

Between running your business, balancing work and life, and putting out potential fires, it’s easy to get distracted from, or neglect, giving top-notch customer service, yet it’s an absolute must for your survival, future and bottom line.

Having run SBS Accounting & Advisors for almost 15 years, I know that we wouldn’t be where we are today without all of you – our loyal and trusting customers. I am humbled by your support and honored by the trust you have placed in the SBS team to handle your sensitive information and other needs.

At the same time, we make it our mission to constantly strive to provide you exceptional customer service, and our vision is to help you do the same for your customers. It doesn’t happen overnight, and it’s always an ongoing challenge, but I want to share some of the insights and moments of clarity I have experienced over the years to kickstart your customer service efforts.

Here are 4 tips to boost your customer service, and know that the SBS team is here for support and strategic planning to help you meet your customers’ needs and grow your business.

#1: Be Willing to Delegate

Before getting into specific strategies for boosting your customer service, we have to lay the foundation – and that starts with your staff.

I learned long ago that my business’ future is only as strong as my team and their performance. While it may be hard to delegate things we know how we want handled, the reality is that we can’t be everywhere at once or do everything at once as small business owners. Therefore, the best leaders leave their ego at the door and embrace delegating tasks to their team. In doing so, you can empower your staff with the feeling of fulfillment and appreciation that ultimately motivates them to not just stay with you for the long haul, but also do their best every time they face a customer.

#2: Hiring Strategy – Followed by Training and Meeting Regularly

I’ve found that a lot of business owners are too dead set on finding the most intelligent or experienced people out there when it comes to hiring. Sometimes, you just need to find the most honest, hard-working and enthusiastic staff, and then provide them the knowledge and insight they need to carry out your message and purpose in business.

At SBS, we’ve found that constantly training, and meeting on a regular basis, enables us to develop our team into high-level performers and top talent. You simply can’t expect your team to excel without the proper training – an ongoing process.

By meeting regularly and providing a platform where employees feel safe and welcome to share any ideas or thoughts, you’ll create better collaboration, communication and respect. In these meetings, get to know your staff and ask them about their personal lives. Listen to what they have to say, and let them be themselves and feel like they have a voice. Of course, you can still offer your best guidance and direction, but they need to feel that they matter.

Showing this genuine interest and care in each team member will go a long way in how they perform for you and your business, and it’s the same way you want your team to treat your customers. Neglecting staff needs and not establishing positive relationships will potentially drive them away to one of your competitors.

#3: Get Your Messaging Right … the First Time

You never get a second chance to make a good first impression.” – Will Rogers

We’ve all heard that first impressions are everything, and it’s so true with customers. Therefore, we have to make sure those first impressions count!

Over the course of our nearly 15-year journey, I’ve come to realize that our SBS team has be a cohesive unit that must carry out the same message, and level of passion and service, if we are ever going to meet our customer’s expectations and succeed. We knew this meant connecting with our customers, showing how much we care about them, being sincere and delivering on the things we say. But, we really wanted to spell out our messaging, and have something concrete to reflect on and guide us.

Our solution? Deciding on the core values that we believe dictate who we are and what we represent and stand for. After meeting five times for 30-45 minutes each time, we settled on seven core values. Here are those core values – a process we’d love to see you develop in your businesses.

  • Primary purpose.We endeavor to glorify God in all that we do, with the conviction that one day we will stand before Him and give an account.
  • Love for others.We treat our neighbor with love and respect by showing genuine concern through word and deed.
  • We strive to do everything with excellence and attention to detail, in order that we might provide the best service possible to our clients.
  • We foster and maintain a reputation of trust by being honest and transparent in all that we say and do, including adherence to the laws of the land and generally accepted accounting principles.
  • We operate in a streamlined and organized fashion by implementing and utilizing cutting-edge systems and technology, resulting in savings of time and energy for our clients and company.
  • Workplace culture.We provide a superior work environment for our employees that encourages personal development and promotes work/life harmony.
  • Client satisfaction.We provide an excellent client experience by putting our clients first, delivering on our commitments, and rendering services that free and empower our clients to grow their organizations.

#4: Speedy Service and Going One Step Further

Today, your customers expect a fast response and a quick solution to all their issues and inquiries. How you handle this will literally dictate your brand image and your business’ success.

In fact, 71 percent of millennial consumers (born between 1980 and 2000) believe that a quick response from your service team can drastically improve their customer experience, according to Comm100.

It’s common for customers to go to social media to post about their experiences – good or bad. By providing a quick response, you can build a rapport and camaraderie with the satisfied customers, and even do what seems like the impossible – gain the respect and admiration of the unsatisfied customers. Of course, providing them a timely solution, or some perspective and understanding, will be essential for getting them to change their view of you and your business.

Going a step further, make sure you follow up with your customers. After each engagement, thank those who have seen and felt your customer service, and ask them what could have been done better. Make sure they know how much you appreciate the time spent providing insight into your customer service questions, as customer service doesn’t stop just because you’ve provided them an important solution.

Exceptional Customer Service Goes a Long Way

We are all human and make mistakes, but poor customer service is inexcusable. In fact, 78 percent of consumers said that if a company’s customer service is excellent, they’ll do business with that company again after a mistake, according to Salesforce.

This stat shows just how important exceptional customer service is. To get to where we want to go, we must deliver a top-notch customer experience, and it takes a complete team effort to do so.

I hope that these tips resonate with you in one way or another. If you would like to discuss specific customer service strategies for your business, or tell us what has worked for you, feel free to reach out. We’d love to help you take your customer service to the next level, and learn about different strategies to help us deliver you better customer service ourselves.