Transcript Episode 28: How We’ve Grown 400% in 4 Years
Transcript Episode 28
Welcome to the 100 degrees of entrepreneurship podcast, the show for purpose-driven entrepreneurs who want to get inspired to step outside of your comfort zone, expand it to your purpose and grow your business in a big way.
I’m your host, Stephanie Skryzowski, a globe trotting CFO whose mission is to empower leaders to better understand their numbers to grow their impact and their income. Let’s dive in!
Hey, everybody, welcome back to 100 degrees of entrepreneurship. I’m your host, Stephanie Skryzowski. And I’m super excited to chat with you today about how my business has grown four times in four years. And when I say four times, I mean 400%. So my business this year is about four times what it was just four years ago.
I really like hearing behind the scenes stories, and not only the shifts in the mindset and the growth that leaders have experienced, but also the tactical things that they have focused on, that have led them from where they started to where they are now. Actually, our podcast editor (shout out to Alison) suggested this topic, she thought it would be a really interesting one for all of you to listen to. And I think she’s right!
As I was drafting the outline for this episode, I thought, “Wow, this actually is kind of an interesting journey.” It was kind of difficult to boil down all of the lessons I’ve learned, and really boil that down to four things that have helped my business grow 400% in four years.
So first, I want to say I am not going to show you any sort of overnight success story. I really believe in playing the long game, so that’s tip number five… or tip number one?
I really believe in playing the long game, and I don’t believe there are any overnight successes. I believe that any amount of growth is a result of hard work and effort that’s put in over the long haul. So when I reflect back on these last four years, and I’m not actually even counting the first two years in my business, I’m just looking at the last four years… the one thing I had in mind along the way was that I am playing the long game.
I was not in it to get rich quick, to make a million dollars overnight, I really just wanted to replace my income from my full time job, give myself some freedom, and flexibility in my schedule, especially with a newborn baby at home.
So, the journey has expanded far beyond what I ever thought it would. And I’m super excited and really proud that we have grown 400% in the last four years. So I’m going to share with you four things that really helped us get to this point.
So the first thing… number one is that we have stuck with one business model for the last four years. Our business model, if you don’t know, is one-on-one CFO and bookkeeping services; that is our bread and butter, it has been from the beginning and still is now.
What this means is that I intentionally chose not to spread my energy out between a lot of different things. I focused on one service area. That is not to say that this was easy. That is not to say that I was not distracted by all the shiny things. I have tried my hand at different things, at creating courses and memberships, small information products, and all the things, but my bread and butter and 90%, if not more of our revenue from day one has been our one on one services. And so I think that’s really important.
So as you’re thinking about growth, as you’re thinking about the slow and steady, “how to get from where you are now to where you want to be.” Focus on one thing. And that can shift and change. You can experiment and you can play. But the thing that has helped us grow, I feel, is our focus. Then you also become known for that one thing, right? So, when people think of CFO and bookkeeping services for nonprofits and purpose driven businesses, we want them to think of us… and they won’t think of us if we’re doing a million different things, right? So sticking with one business model has helped us grow as much as we have.
The second thing that has helped us grow 400% in the last four years is continuing to put myself out there and pitching myself for opportunities. So maybe that is speaking at conferences or pitching myself to guest posts on different people’s websites. Or maybe it’s speaking on podcasts. And frankly, it’s starting this podcast.
But if I decided to just sort of shrink back and just kind of continue doing my work. I could probably trace back at least half of our clients that have come to us as a direct result of me putting myself out there as the owner of the business. So that’s not to say that it’s not scary. It was definitely scary and I’ve definitely been rejected.
I remember, back in 2017, the first time putting out different pitches for conferences and getting a rejection notice back, and that’s okay. You know what I did? I pitched the same conference the next year. And guess what, I was the speaker, right?
So, you’re not always going to win every single time or the first time. I pitch myself for lots of guest posts, like actually writing a blog post for different websites who share similar audiences as me. I’ve been accepted to a lot of them and rejected by a lot of them as well. And again, if I had stopped, if I had said, “Well, I guess this doesn’t work,” I would not have at least half the clients that we have today.
So I think that perseverance, and continuing to just go after it day after day after day, and putting myself in a place where I was looking for opportunity, has absolutely been a catalyst to our growth in the last four, actually six years of the whole business.
The third thing that’s really helped my business grow 400%, in the last four years, is investing in my own development. So one of the very, very first investments I made into my business, in fact, before it was even technically a business was a coach, a business coach, I was at a really difficult place in my life.
I had honestly tried therapy, and that wasn’t really working for me. And then I came across this business coach. She just sort of spoke my language and was able to help pull me out of my funk. I was able to become inspired and create the business that you know, today as 100 degrees consulting.
But if I had not had her, I’m not sure if my eyes would have been opened to what was possible. I feel like naturally, I don’t know if you feel the same way. But I know naturally, I tend to think kind of small when I think about what’s possible. I often need somebody to help prompt me to take what I think is possible, and then like, quadruple that. She helped me do just that! She helped open my eyes to what was possible.
So after that coach, I was in another mastermind with women who were a little bit further ahead in different parts of their business than I was. They then helped me elevate and open my eyes to what is possible.
In fact, even recently, I hired another business coach that I’ve been working with for a few months now. I told her, I was gonna like, tap out, when I hit a certain revenue level in my business. I was like, “You know what, I’m gonna stop there. I’m good. I don’t want a bigger business.” And she’s like, “Why?”
I told her my hesitations, like, “Oh, I just don’t want a big team. I don’t want to have all that to manage.” And she really helped to show me that expansion beyond that number that I had set in my head was 100% possible. Do we need to get a few people and systems in place? Yeah, 100%. But after that, my growth potential is limitless.
And so, I think that investment in my own development, working with coaches, and putting myself in the room with other high performing, very driven individuals has absolutely helped my business grow. It’s the tactical piece for sure, but it’s almost more so than mindset.
And you know, I know in this entrepreneurial space, we’re talking about mindset all the time, and it’s almost become a little bit of a neutral word – almost has lost its meaning – right? But when I think about the growth of my business, that expansive thought process of dreaming, planning, and thinking beyond what I initially thought was possible, has absolutely been a massive contributor to my business growth.
COMMERCIAL BREAK: One of the most frequent questions I hear is, “What’s the difference between a CFO, a bookkeeper and accountant? And which one do I actually need in my business?” So I have created a quiz to help you figure out just that, pop on over to 100degreesconsulting.com/quiz, answer just a couple questions about your money management style and your business. And we will tell you exactly the right person that you need to help you manage your business’ money. Again, 100degreesconsulting.com/quiz.
So, the fourth and final thing that I’m going to share with you today on how my business has grown 400% in just the last four years is my team. I absolutely could not have done it without a team.
What my team looked like from the beginning was another bookkeeper to just help me with a little bit of client work. And then after that it was a virtual assistant to help me with a lot of the administrative tasks. And then after that, it became more people to help me with client work.
And with the team, we’re now nearing 10 people! I have an almost full-time assistant, I have several CFOs and bookkeepers to support with client work, we are hiring a chief operating officer, we are hiring a marketing coordinator.
So there is absolutely no way that this business could have grown the way it has without a team. Props to the people that are sole proprietors that are running businesses on their own and is doing their own thing, but that wasn’t for me, I felt like really tapped out at a certain point, and I knew that I wanted to continue to grow. And in order to do that, I needed people to help me.
Don’t get me wrong. I almost think that having a team is one of the most challenging parts of running a business. Honestly, as fabulous as my team is, and truly, I adore every single person on my team… It’s hard.
It’s hard to make sure that the team is supported and they have the resources that they need to be successful in their roles, and that we have the systems in place to be able to support them and provide them a good place to work.
And at the end of the day, it is kind of stressful knowing that you’ve got several people’s livelihoods dependent upon your business, right? But even as challenging as it can be in managing a team, they are absolutely a catalyst to growth.
We’ve put a lot of work into our systems, everything from our job descriptions, all the way through our team onboarding process, our team communications, our team meeting structure, to make sure that our team is performing and operating at the highest level possible, so they can continue to help be catalysts for growth.
So those are the four things that have really helped my business grow 400% in the last four years. So just to recap, the first is that we have stuck with one business model, we’ve not spent our energy across lots of different things. We’ve experimented, we’ve played, all the while our one service offering was our CFO and bookkeeping services. So that’s the first thing.
Our second thing is that I have continued to put myself out there and pitching myself for opportunities. Oftentimes, before I felt ready, oftentimes before I felt like I was the best person in the world for the job, I continued to put myself out there for opportunities. And like I said, that has led to at least half of our clients are a direct result of speaking, podcasting, guest posting, doing webinars, presenting at conferences, etc.
The third reason, the third thing that has helped our business grow is investing in my own development, investing in other people that could help me see what was possible and literally build a business beyond my wildest dreams.
The fourth thing that has helped my business grow 400% in the last four years is my team, I could not have done it without them. Truly, the team helps keep the wheels rolling, and helps keep our clients happy, and allows us to continue to grow.
So, what are the takeaways from this episode? If you are in the same place where it’s like… yeah, you’ve got a pretty solid business model and you want to grow, you know that you’re in it for the long haul, you know you’re playing the long game right now. What can you actually do to see this kind of growth year over year over a year?
And might I add, an entire year of what I’m referring to was in the midst of a global pandemic, and nonprofits and businesses were hit really, really hard. And our business was not. We continue to provide services to tons of different businesses and nonprofits and help keep them strong financially, so that they can continue to thrive and serve in this world.
So all that to say, what can you do? If you are looking to be in this place? If you are looking to look back in a couple of years and say, “Wow, I have grown like 100%, 200, 300, 400, 500%” in the last couple years. What can you do now?
Well, I want you to focus, I want you to figure out what your business model is. Figure out what works, right? We can experiment and play around until we figure out what works and then stick with it. Do more of what works.
Put yourself out there. Pitch yourself for different opportunities that might be out there. Is there a blog or a popular website or even a software company that has similar audiences and similar values as yours.
Pitch yourself as a guest expert, maybe to present a webinar to an audience for free – no pitching, you’re not selling your services just like talk about where your expertise is to this audience. Or maybe it’s guest posting on someone’s website, or maybe it’s just pitching yourself to be a guest on someone’s podcast, right? Put yourself out there because it will pay dividends. Again, it’s a long game.
I remember, in the beginning of my business, like literally the first year, and just thinking like, “Man, how are these people…” You know, of course, following people on Instagram and whatever? “How are they on all these podcasts? How do they get to speak at these conferences? How does it seem like they’re guest posting, writing all over the place? How do they do it?” I know how they do it now! They’re just pitching themselves again, and again, and again and again, right? So be consistent about that pitching, and just get yourself out there.
So my next tip is to invest in your own development, right, that’s what I did. I invested in a business coach, I invested in masterminds. Now, if you don’t have a lot of money at this point, if you’re focused on your bottom line and growing your profit, that’s fine. There are plenty of opportunities out there to put yourself in the room with the right people that are going to help encourage you to think bigger and to dream bigger, right? Maybe it’s just you do your own little free mastermind with a group of business friends, I’ve done that before, too. And that was awesome. It didn’t cost a thing, except my time. It was basically a mastermind with eight other women who are going after the same big goals and dreams as I was.
And then finally, the team. Maybe it’s just you right now, and you’re like, mired in all of the things you’re doing all of the things. And hiring a team is scary. Trust me, I know, I’ve hired contractors, I’ve hired employees, and it doesn’t necessarily get any less scary.
But maybe you just start with one person, right? Maybe it’s just a virtual assistant, maybe it’s just a part time contractor to help you with some marketing work. Maybe it’s just one person to help you with some of that client, or if that’s really bogging you down, that doesn’t really have to be done by you, right? Think about what it would take for you to hire that team member.
So, there you have it, my friends, the four biggest reasons that my business has been able to grow as much as it has in the last four years, and some tips to help you as well.
And I really encourage you, if you’re feeling down, if you’re feeling like, “Oh, why am I not growing like all of these other people I’m seeing out there?” I would just encourage you that it’s a long game. You’re in it for the long game. At least I think you’re in it for the long game, right? You’ll make the money you want, you’ll have the time and the freedom and the flexibility that you want. But you’re in it for the long haul. So don’t expect overnight results.
Just know that in a year, in two years, in five years, you’re going to be looking back on this moment in time. When you’re listening to this podcast, you’re going to be looking back and thinking, “Oh my goodness, I cannot believe how far I have come,” because trust me, my friends, I look at my financials. I look at my team, I look at our client portfolio, and I am blown away.
When I look back to where we were four years ago, on this date, I had a little six month old baby at home. I was just trying to figure life out with a newborn and build this business. If I had known that if I just kept plodding along and doing what I was doing that I would get to the point where I am now, that would have just given me so much more peace I can imagine.
So anyway, that’s your daily encouragement from me today, some tips to stick with you. And I would love to hear what your biggest takeaways are from this.
What do you think you’re going to implement maybe a little bit stronger in your business now that you have heard from me on this – on how we’ve grown so much in the last four years? I’d love to hear from you. As always, you can tag me over on Instagram at @stephanie.skry
Thanks for listening, my friends. I’ll see you next time!
Thanks for listening to the 100 degrees of entrepreneurship podcast. To access our show notes and bonus content, visit 100degreesconsulting.com/podcast. Make sure to snap a screenshot on your phone of this episode and tag me on instagram @stephanie.skry and I’ll be sure to share. Thanks for being here friends, and I’ll see you next time!
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