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    9 Replies Latest reply on Dec 17, 2008 1:15 PM by lvarchie

    Advise Please, Expanding My Business

    Elite1 Adventurer
      I am currently expanding my business... I am excited, yet terrified. Following is my history and current situation:

      In December 1995, I became a single parent of two toddlers without enough $$ to survive on my own. I went back to school and obtained my degree while working FT. (Sometimes, working 3 jobs simultaneously.) From 1996-1999 I was a tax preparer for H & R Block. I loved it! However, it was seasonal and did not pay as much as I wished. In 1999, I was hired on with the postal service. It provided me with the $$ I needed, but not the career I enjoyed.

      In 2003, I started a tax preparation business in my home, while holding down my full time job. I worked evenings and weekends. My clientele tripled in 2004. And tripled again in 2005. At this point I quit my full time job and opened an office outside of my home. My clientele tripled again in 2006. Then doubled in 2007. In the middle of 2007, I obtained an account for a very large corporation. At this point, I formed and LLC with a friend as co-manager. She never came through for me. Circumstances in her life changed, so she continued down another path. The growth slowed some in 2008. I had two major traumatic events occur that threatened the lives of two close family members. I had to be away from my tax office for three weeks during tax season! Yet my tax business still grew. The traumatic events in my life set me way back. I was very depressed and fell behind on my bookkeeping projects and am still catching up.

      Also, in 2008, I hired additional employees to help with tax preparation and bookkeeping. Needless to say, it was a waste of money. I had to re-do what I paid them to do.

      I have bounced back from the devastating events in my life. I am rapidly getting things back on track for 2009. As a matter of fact, I am purchasing a tax office in a neighboring town. The purchase in itself will triple my customer volume. I expect a larger growth rate considering my business history. I want to provide quality service but am concerned with whether or not I will be able to handle the load on my own. On the other hand, I find it difficult to trust others to be as detail oriented as I am with the preparation of financial documents with my clients. I am trying to determine how many employees to hire and what responsibilities I can pass on to them. I want to be assured that my clients are receiving quality service.

      Financially, I have never taken out a loan. The business has maintained itself. I like this, knowing that if it didn't work out, I could walk away from it debt free. Although, I have not personally received very much income from it. As a matter of fact, quitting my job cut our family income significantly.

      So, here's what I would like to accomplish.

      1) provide good quality services to my clients
      2) hire the employees I need, and not ones that I don't
      3) have the ability to make more $$ from my business

      Any suggestions on how I can achieve my goals will be appreciated.

      Tanya
      Elite Financial Services, LLC
        • Re: Advise Please, Expanding My Business
          LUCKIEST Guide
          Expanding My Business, Welcome Tanya

          What a GREAT success story. It sounds like you will have a great 2009. Yes it does sound exciting that you are expanding and growing into a neighboring town.

          I did the same thing about 20 years ago and YES it was one of the best investments that I made. I do have many
          suggestions that could help you achieve your goals and make the tax season easier for you..

          Will give you a call, LUCKIEST

          • Re: Advise Please, Expanding My Business
            Lighthouse24 Ranger

            First, thank you for past contributions to this forum on tax matters -- it's very beneficial for us to have another member who is knowledgeable there. Also thank you for sharing the background and details of your current business situation. My compliments and congratulations on your personal drive and professional competence.

            It's very common for a small business owner to focus on building the proficiencies that directly generate revenue, and to have to deal with life's devastating events in the process. Between the two, however, it doesn't leave the typical owner any time to develop the leadership and management skills that are necessary when one begins to take on employees and expand the business. These skills are the same as the others you possess -- i.e., you're not born with the ability to identify and hire detail-oriented people or to motivate them to provide quality service -- these are skills you can learn and develop (fairly quickly, in fact).

            Please visit my book's website http://piratecaptainsguide.com/ and take a look at what I think is one of the faster and more effective ways you could gain these skills and achieve your stated goals. You can order the book via the website, or from Amazon. If you do, that's terrific -- but just so you know that I am sincerely trying to help (and not just using your post to pitch a product), send me an e-mail c/o the publisher's address on the website, and I will e-mail you the chapter "Hire Intelligently" and a product called the "Improving Customer Service Template" absolutely free of charge for your trouble (and you have my word that your e-mail address will not be shared or used for any other purpose). These free items will help with two of your objectives for sure.

            Thanks again and best wishes - Doug
              • Re: Advise Please, Expanding My Business
                Elite1 Adventurer
                Doug,

                I enjoy participating in this online community and helping others to achieve their goals. It is evident that you do as well. (I do, however; get irritated with those that respond to questions that are out of their scope of expertise and render inaccurate advice. Although, that is another topic.) I, too, appreciate your contributions. I have learned a lot in this online community.

                I don't think you are in this forum to make a sell. No need to worry about that. Your previous contributions have proven otherwise. I will visit your website, check out what you have to offer, and possibly purchase your book. I will also note your e-mail address and you may be hearing from me. Thank you very much for your assistance. I am always looking for more information and advice.

                Thanks again,

                Tanya
                Elite Financial Services, LLC
                • Re: Advise Please, Expanding My Business
                  Elite1 Adventurer
                  Doug,

                  I have ordered your book. I am especially interested in the whole section "Full Sail". I am looking forward to reading it. I will send you an e-mail Monday, and perhaps you could send me the "Improving Customer Service" template. Thanks again for all your help.

                  Tanya
                  Elite Financial Services, LLC
                • Re: Advise Please, Expanding My Business
                  lvarchie Newbie
                  Tanya,

                  What an incredible story. I own a management consulting business and some of the services we offer are related to growing your business through strategic planning. Our website can be found at http://www.acceleratedbc.com/. Contact me, scott@acceleratedbc.com, if you are interested.

                  Best regards,
                  Scott Archibald