Thursday, April 30, 2009

How To Make An Accountant Happy

This one is for those Payroll Service Bureaus who are still scratching their heads about how to network with a CPA firm to generate payroll leads.

This one is also for CPA firms who haven't thought about reverse engineering this idea ;-)


STEP 1.
When you talk to your client, ask them who their Accountant is and let them know you'd like to call them to ensure that they are getting the right payroll related reporting that they desire.

STEP 2.
Do what you said you were gonna do in STEP 1.

Result? Who knows... everyone is different, but who wouldn't want to be hand-fed exactly the data on your client that you desire? You serve their needs - maybe they will serve you up some payroll leads?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Not So Obvious Channels for Payroll Sales

These aren't folks to hit up for payroll, but to deliver business to. Give before you receive my friends... their little black book of clients is probably much bigger than yours...
  • Who does Fire Extinguisher Maintenance in your town? (HINT: Their number is on the tag that keeps kids from setting off the fire extinguisher by, 'accident' - look around!)
  • Who does Commercial Carpet Cleaning?
  • Who is big in Commercial Real Estate?
  • Who maintains restroom Paper Towel Dispensers? (HINT: Their number is on the wall - and I'm not talking about the name and number in Sharpie)
  • How many janitorial services are there running around in the evenings cleaning businesses?
  • Plumbers
  • Electricians
  • Print Shops
  • Commercial Laundry Services
  • ...whip open the yellow pages and keep growing this list. If you put a nice list together and want to share - add a comment to this post for others to read.

Find a client of yours in need - set them up with one of these folks (reputable ones, of course) and start the leads flowing back and forth between your businesses. Everyone wins, and you will probably end up doing their payroll as well.

Good luck!

Friday, April 10, 2009

What's His Face?

Lynn Wenger is my guest author today, sharing a little bit about business and social networking on Facebook.com lynn@webprodigy.com




That question might cross your mind as your trying to remember a recent interview, an old classmate, or your neighbor from 5 years ago. Facebook is the popular social network for 30 something’s to socialize and advertise. There is a secret to advertising on Facebook though. People are fickle and if they aren’t expecting you to knock on their proverbial door, your efforts may quickly damage your reputation rather than help it. Read on to learn a few trick to promote your business on Facebook.

Your first and foremost effort is to set up a Profile and start making Friends. Make good use of your personal page “what on your mind” updates. Promote a video, request user reviews on a book, or ask an intriguing question. Your friends will see you each time you’re active and they can easily make comments.

Set up an interactive and intriguing Page for your business, which can be used to engage fans and capture a new audience base. The more active your page becomes, the more visible it becomes to the friends of your fans and so forth.

Set up an Ad that will display on your target market's group, application event, or personal pages. The ad visibility depends on how well you can target your market and how much you can afford. Combine your Ad with an active Page to engage your Fans.

A few other useful forums are in the Marketplace, which is the Craigslist of Facebook.

The biggest secret of all though is Update Regularly. Updating your Profile and Page regularly with fresh photos, upcoming events, and the latest promotions means that you will stay in front of your Friends and Fans.

Start your social networking today. Click here and become my friend.





Webprodigy.com provides custom website design, website development, website maintenance, website hosting, and online marketing.

Note from Logan: Webprodigy.com has very cost effective solutions for small businesses, and no, they didn't pay me to say that LOL!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

You Are Unique - Just Like Everyone Else

Written by our guest author - Sean Buck

Now, I refer to stories of my kids a lot, because well, I have a lot of them. Like any parent, there are times that I feel that my kids have taught me more than I have taught them. Here is one of those instances. I was on the phone with a service bureau the other day and something that had just happened with one of my younger kids came to mind.

Ok, if you faint at the sight of blood you may want to turn away…..but, it’s really not that bad

So, one of my kids comes running in the house yelling that another is “bleeding like crazy”. I run out and sure enough my 5 year old son has blood all over his face and hands. He is crying and getting a little freaked out at the sight of his own blood. So I did what any dad would do, I freaked out too. No just kidding, I quickly got him in the bathroom and started to wipe away the blood and we found a tiny little cut above his eye. I started to chuckle a little and he looked at it and started to laugh too. Soon the other kids were in the bathroom laughing as well at how small the cut was. In about 2 minutes he was back out climbing trees and playing lava monster with the other kids. It is easy to lose sight sometimes (not all the time) of how small an issue may turn out to be if you wipe away the blood and tears. Who knows you may even end up laughing about it in the end!

If you turned away, now it’s time to look back


Back to the service bureau that called….

Jim (not his real name, but really close to it) calls me and says, “We are losing clients all over the place, this is killing us”. He vents about a call he had just taken a few minutes earlier about a client of his that called to cancel payroll services since they have been “hit hard by this economy”. I then explained to Jim exactly what he needed to do next. Call his client back and offer support. Sometimes we all just need to be reminded of what got us to where we are now. You see, you may offer good payroll processing; you may be your client’s favorite vendor. BRACE YOURSELF. There are lots of really good payroll processors out there!

OK...TELL ME…..WHAT HAPPENED TO JIM?

Jim called the customer back, and sat on the phone for about 45 minutes with him. During the call Jim listened to the problems they were having and shared his own “real life” situations with him. Jim shared his heart with the owner on the other end of the phone who was really struggling with what was happening. Now something happened on that call, the client realized that he could afford to keep using Jim for his payroll. But he also realized with the help of Jim that there were other ways to cut costs and keep things moving in a positive direction. You know Jim didn’t know anything about manufacturing but he did know a thing or two about running a business. Now Jim keeping the payroll business isn’t the moral of the story here. What is the moral? Thanks for asking!
Your clients are trusting in you to provide a fair professional service in exchange for their money. You may even be considered by them to be “damn good” at what you do. Well guess what?!? like I said earlier, there are a lot of really good payroll processors out there. You need to separate yourself from the other really good processors. Really it’s the small things that make the difference; here is a list of 3 simple things for you to try with your clients:


1.
Spend at least 60 minutes out of every week, calling your clients. I know you’re the owner and don’t usually call. Well get over it and call them, they will love to hear from you. You may even have something to offer their business. By the way, don’t call the same ones over and over just because you like them.

2.
Twice a month take a client out to lunch. Come on, you’re going to be eating anyways and you can expense it.

3.
If you have a sales team and are not working on new clients yourself, call and introduce yourself to the new client and let them know you’re available and interested. Spend at least 15 minutes on the phone with them, remember step 1, you may have something to offer.

These may seem simple and obvious, but get real with yourself, when is the last time you did something like that? You know, Jim may very well have lost the client. That is a reality in our current economy, but doesn’t have to cripple your business. When you start showing a proactive interest in your clients business you will become more than just a good payroll service. You will become the guy that they discuss when they are out to lunch with other business owners that you’re not doing payroll for.


If you would like to contact Sean Buck directly, he can be reached directly at (219) 567-0244, or via e-mail at: sbuck@adaptasoft.com

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

How to grow the business while your write-up clients go "Past-90"

As the miracle of April 15th draws near, and many of my friends who are working on personal income taxes take a deep breath and collapse under their desks in a fetal position... The W2 revenue is in... the Income Tax revenue is in... now what? The time has arrived (after a long weekend?) to think about expanding (or creating) your payroll business.

It's a long time until January 2010.

Why now? Why expand?!? Umm, Logan - did you notice that the economy is now one of the pillars of chaos theory, that our elected officials keep smiling and writing checks - hoping it was all just a bad dream, that our customers can't seem to keep up on their bills - ours included!

Well, there is nothing worse than a bloated Accounts Receivable with no hope of collecting. That is why now is the perfect time to expand your payroll operation.

You see, here is the secret:
In payroll, you take your payment when you process the client's ACH transactions.

Paid with the employees = No AR = Money In The Bank

Remember, when a client lays off part of their staff, your invoice for their payroll is barely reduced. Just a little bit off the top for that handful of checks, not the base fee.

One of my clients in particular who I may have written about in the past brought up the fact that his growing Accounting practice was not making money while meeting all of its goals.

This stinks!

There is nothing like drowning in success (and I don't mean in a swimming pool full of champagne and hundred dollar bills). His words to me went something like this,

"Logan, after tax season I am jumping into payroll full time and letting go of this practice as soon as possible. I just can't deal with the fact that a successful practice, meeting all of its growth goals can to not make anywhere near the projected income in the plan. My client list is growing, but so is the list of clients who are behind on, or just aren't paying their bills."

Moral of the story:

  • If you aren't taking your payment with the payroll, start.
  • If you are starting a new payroll operation, make sure that this is your standard practice and is contained within your Payroll Service Agreement.
  • If you don't have a Payroll Service Agreement with your clients - write one. If you don't know what to put in it, give me a call.
Bottom line - Payroll is a great way to off-set the losses you may be incurring as clients find it harder to pay you. Do it right, and it may become your primary profit center.