Transcript Episode 32

Episode 32: What I’m Working On To Get To 7 Figures


Transcript Episode 32

Stephanie Skryzowski

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, friends! Welcome back to the 100 Degrees of Entrepreneurship Podcast! I’m your host, Stephanie Skryzowski. And I am really excited for this episode! I feel like I say that every single time. But I want to share with you today what I am working on right now to get our business to the next level. And the next level for us is seven figures. So that’s the mysterious, illustrious seven figures. And we’re working on kind of a lot to be honest with you, they always say that what gets you to 500,000 is not going to be the same thing that gets you to a million. And I have 100% found this to be true. And honestly, I’ve never built a million dollar business before. And so I have hired a coach to help get me there as well. And we’re working on a lot of things behind the scenes. And I don’t know about you, but I love behind the scenes, I love to hear what other business owners are doing to get them to the next level, or what they are working on behind the scenes, what we can’t see on Instagram or on their websites. And so I want to share that with you. Because I always find super, super actionable takeaways, when I hear other people talking about these things. And so, I hope you will too.

So today, I’m talking about the four things that we are working on internally, to get us to that next level as a business. Are you ready? Let us dig in.

Okay, the first one is our team. So the staffing model that has gotten me to where we are now is not the same staffing model that’s going to scale our business even further. Right? So when you think about an organizational chart, like a traditional corporate org chart, it’s basically been me at the top and a bunch of people underneath me. But when you continue to hire, and you have 6, 8, 10, 12, 20 people on your team, we can’t really have that flat of an org chart anymore, right? Like, I can’t manage 20 people really well, I can’t give 20 people what they need to be successful and fulfilled in their jobs. And so we’re really building out more of a hierarchical staffing model. I’m still on the top, and we’ve got like mid level managers, and then people underneath them. And so we are building out this org chart to help us better work internally, and allow all of our team to be really supported and fulfilled in their jobs, and also to serve our clients better. Because at the end of the day, when every single thing flows through me, there’s gonna be a lot of bottlenecks. And I feel like we have experienced a lot of bottlenecks in the last several months that we are actively working to unclog and really just build out a super, super smooth flowing org chart.

So, we are also working on a couple of processes around our team to again, help them feel really good about their jobs and be able to serve our clients at the highest level. And so we recently revamped our employee onboarding process, which I am so excited about, because it feels like we’re a real company. And listen, I know we’re a real company. But, you know, we feel super legit. When a new employee starts, they get a welcome package delivered to their house. And when they start on their first day, they have a special Asana board set up for them with all of the different things that they need to look at and to review. We have a whole workflow in Dubsado. So they can review their employee agreement and their offer letter and everything is nice and automated. And it looks beautiful. We have a new, like, really pretty employee handbook and different processes with our payroll system and our time tracking, vacation time requesting and all of that stuff. And trust me, I did not do any of this on my own. My team did a lot of it, if not most of it, if I’m being honest. But this employee onboarding process has really helped us up level. And now that we are bringing on people a little bit more frequently. We’re also not reinventing the wheel. And so in the beginning, we were bringing somebody on like, I don’t know, once a year, twice a year, and now I think we’ve hired like five people in 2021 alone. So not only are we elevating the experience for our employees, but we’re also making it way easier on the backend for ourselves, which all of that is going to help us get to that next level in our business.

And I think the other thing related to the team that I’ve been doing is hiring before I’m ready. So I had some big lessons that I have learned over the last year. And that lesson is basically the fact that the team that I had was completely full, they could not take on any more work. So the second that we got a new client, we would immediately have to hire, but that meant we were immediately behind the eight ball, right? Like we had a client ready to get started with us. But we didn’t have anybody to actually do the work. So that either meant that the client had to wait, or I did the work myself, or I overloaded my team. Or we had to hire somebody and get them up to speed really, really quickly. And we always did the latter. We hired somebody, after we needed them, and then had to get them up to speed really, really quickly. So what we are doing differently, and what has frankly terrified me. And if you’ve been there, you know, is hiring before we actually need someone. If we wait until we need someone, it’s too late. And that’s a lesson that different coaches have told me and that’s a lesson that I have 100% learned from my own experience, that is not the way to hire. So now we have a whole like staffing forecast. It’s beautiful! It’s a spreadsheet and all my fellow spreadsheet geeks out there would love it. But it basically tells us at what capacity each of our team members are at. And so when everybody is at, like 75%-80%, I know it’s time to hire the next person, we don’t want anybody getting to 100%, we want everybody to hover around 75%-80% capacity. And as soon as we’re there, we’re already hiring the next person, even if we don’t know exactly what clients are going to be working on or exactly what they’re going to do.

But that’s our model. And it’s scary. I’m literally in the midst of it right now. I’m like, “oh, should we really be hiring that person? I feel a little bit nervous about it. But yes, 100% Yes, we should.” So if you’re in that place, you know, I think one of the things that has really helped me sleep at night, kind of literally, is having my forecast, right? I talk about having a forecast all the time. And so I’ve got all of my revenue mapped out for the rest of this year and into next year. I have all of my expenses mapped out. So I have my best estimates of what my expenses will look like every single month into the future. And then I just plug in that new employee, the expenses for the new employee, I plug those into the forecast and I can see, “okay, you know what, even in the crazy chance that not another client comes in the door, and we have just the revenue we have right now, hiring another person is not going to put us under, right? It’s not going to tank our business.” And so having that forecast is absolutely the peace of mind that I need to be able to hire before I feel ready. So that’s one thing that we are doing with our team to help us get from where we are now to the next level in our business.

So lots of stuff around the team because as I mentioned, in our episode, when I talked about how the business has grown 400% in the last four years, one of the biggest things that I mentioned, one of the biggest catalysts to that growth is the team. And so I know that making sure that the team is where they need to be, all the right people are in the right seats on the bus. That is what’s going to help us get to that next level.

So the second thing that we are working on right now to get us to that next level is niching down. And we have all heard this before, right? But what I mean for us at this point is really honing in on who our ideal client truly is, and saying no, a lot more. And so I have always said we serve nonprofits and purpose driven businesses. And for a while that was enough of a niche that I needed, right? I didn’t need any more than that. We need more than that right now. Because you know what, a lot of clients are coming to us who are not like our dream clients. And it’s by no fault of theirs or no fault of anyone’s it’s just, you know, they don’t really fit into that perfect ideal client that we can serve at the highest level. And so what we’ve had to do is we’ve had to say no, a lot more. Maybe their business model isn’t a great fit for us and we don’t have experience in that industry. Or maybe they are too small for us and it wouldn’t really make sense for us to serve their business or maybe they’re too big. We’ve worked with some really, really big organizations that would be better served hiring full time staff in house. And so we’ve recommended that and we’ve actually helped them do that. So it means saying no, a lot more, which often feels a little counter-intuitive, right to like, “Okay, how are we going to grow and get to the next level? Shouldn’t we be saying “Yes”? No, we have been saying no, a lot more saying no to different projects that aren’t really a great fit for us or would not be a good use of our time.” So that can be challenging and scary as well, right? Because that could feel like, oh, if I’m saying no to this, like, I hope that’s leaving room for something bigger and better down the road. It always is. It always is. But at the moment, sometimes it feels a little scary. And you know, I didn’t necessarily think that we would be in this position of like, even further honing in on our ideal clients and our ideal scope of work. But here we are. And I think that is what is going to help get us to that next level.

One of the most frequent questions I hear is, what’s the difference between a CFO, a bookkeeper, an accountant? And which one do I actually need in my business? So I have created a quiz to help you figure it out just that, pop on over to 100 degrees slash 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,

So the third thing that we are working on right now to get us to the next level is getting a little bit creative, expanding our offers, and specifically figuring out how to leverage a more scalable offer. You all know that what we do is a one on one CFO and bookkeeping services for nonprofits and purpose driven businesses. Right? So that’s a very high touch, it’s very time consuming. It’s very personalized. And every single business and need is very different. And we’re proud of that, we’re really proud of what we offer. And we want 100% and do not want to change that. But what that means is that our business is completely dependent upon our team’s time.

So what we’re looking to do right now, is to figure out how to have a more scalable offer within our portfolio, still serving that same niche of clients, and still expanding on our expertise. So we are not diverting from our mission, but just doing something a little bit more scalable. And so we are having so much fun brainstorming and getting creative and figuring out what that looks like. And at this point in time, I’m recording this in June 2021, I have no idea what that looks like, I don’t know what that’s going to be. Maybe by the time this episode comes out, we will have launched whatever this scalable offer is or maybe in two years, when I’m going back and listening to this episode, I’ll be like, “Oh, my goodness, I can’t believe I hadn’t even dreamed up this amazing thing that we’re doing right now”, wouldn’t that’d be fun?

So that’s kind of what we’re doing right now. Again, not going beyond our expertise or our niche, we’re still staying within that framework, right? Because that’s what we’re really good at. That’s what we’re proven. That’s what we’re known for. But figuring out what we can do that’s a little more scalable. So I’m really excited about that. Because there’s really like limitless potential there. And you know, I love that word limitless. That’s my word of the year for 2021.

So there is limitless potential there. And I just don’t even know what that entails yet. So I’m working on thinking through that with my business coach and with our team and excited to see where that goes, maybe I’ll have to do a follow up episode, as soon as we decide what it is right. So that’s the third thing that we’re doing right now to get us to that next level in business.

And the last thing, the last thing I’m going to share with you right now, what we are working on to get to the next level, is we’re building out the backend of our business, it is sometimes hard to focus on the back end of your business, the stuff that nobody sees the systems, the software, the processes, the workflows. And to be honest with you, it’s kind of not really my favorite thing. Like, I like it, I appreciate having good systems and processes. I especially appreciate when the workflows kind of take care of themselves and I am out of them. Like, I love that. I don’t really like building them. I don’t really like developing them. I would much rather be focusing on that, like, creative brainstorming for what our scalable offer is and the marketing and trust me I would always rather be focusing on that, but I feel like when you hit a certain level in business, all of the back end systems, everything just breaks, right?

When you are about to expand into a new area of business for you a new growth point that you have never experienced before, everything in the business will break. And you kind of want it to break, right? Like you want it to break. So you have the opportunity to create a stronger foundation for you to stand on to get to that next level, right? So the foundation is going to crumble, you got to rebuild it, and when you rebuild it, it’s going to be bigger and better than ever. And that’s what’s going to help you expand into that new level. So what we’re doing is we are streamlining and standardizing like a lot of different things I mentioned already the employee onboarding process, which has been so fun, our client onboarding process. And so really making sure that their experience, our clients experience, from the moment that they meet with me, to them getting a proposal and an agreement and the onboarding and all the things that they need to know to start working with us, streamlining that and making that a very smooth workflow. So they feel really excited and confident about their decision to bring us on as their CFO or bookkeeper. And so we know what we’re doing. And we are really organized when we start working with a new client.

So we’re working on that. We’re also working on our client service delivery systems. And so we do roughly the same type of work for every client every single month. Like I said, before, though, each client is just a little bit different. And each month is just a little bit different. So we are working on finding the commonalities and the similarities between all of our clients and between the work that we’re doing every single month, to create some efficiencies and to find some opportunities there to streamline.

And so one of the things that we love to do for our clients is provide really nice visual analysis of their numbers. That’s charts and graphs, and any sort of visual representation that we can show them that tells them really how they’re doing, how strong their businesses are and what we can do to improve. And so honestly, we reinvent the wheel every single time we do this for every single client. And it’s kind of crazy that we’ve gotten to the point where we are like manually doing this every single time for every client, but we’re like, “whoa, hold up, let’s create a standardized dashboard that we can use for all of our clients with a very systematic approach. So that when a new client comes on board, we figure out, okay, which dashboard do they need, we have created a little vault resource library of like five dashboards, okay, which dashboard does this client get? Boom, let’s drop it into their finance workbook.” And things are standardized, right. So that is something that we’re working on, among many other things. But it’s things like that, where we are picking out the pieces of our business that we are repeating, that are inefficient, that we feel like we could do better that we’re spending a lot of time on. And we are working on streamlining those and creating efficiencies there.

So that is what’s going to help us leverage more of our time and also serve our clients even better. Because at the end of the day, that’s my goal. My goal is to make sure our clients walk away thrilled beyond measure with what we are doing for them, what we are providing to them, and how financially healthy their business is. And so one way to help us do that is to streamline what we are doing on the back end. So instead of doing a whole bunch of manual work, we could be focusing on strategizing on their businesses.

So to recap, those are the four biggest things that I am working on right now in our business to get us to that next level to become a million dollar business. We’re working on our team, which means building out a new staffing model, getting different processes in place and hiring before I am ready. We’re working on niching down and further honing in on our ideal client and saying no a lot more, or focusing on expanding our offers and figuring out what our scalable offer is. And we are building out the back end of our business. And so finding ways to become more efficient and building out the systems that will help get us there to both make our work a lot easier and more efficient and to provide a higher level of service to our clients because that is always my number one priority.

Notice nothing in here was about marketing. Nothing in here was like, “Oh, I’m building out my Instagram strategy or I’m going to post more on LinkedIn.” Nope, none of that because you know what? posting more on LinkedIn or getting more followers on Instagram is not going to help my business get to the next level and get to where it needs to go. And it can be hard sometimes it can be a little bit distracting and, you know, we want those numbers on Instagram. And we want those comments on our LinkedIn posts. But at the end of the day, that is not what is going to help us grow. Maybe it’s a little piece of it, but it’s not everything. And that’s something that I have learned after following lots of shiny object syndrome over the past six years of my business.

So anyway, I hope this was super helpful to you. And maybe there are some things that you can think about as you are working on getting your business to the next level. So let me know what your biggest takeaway was, send me a direct message over on Instagram. I always love chatting. In fact, I do lots of voice memos with people, or voice, text, whatever you call them, voice dms over on Instagram, and I would love to do that. I’d love to chat with you. So send me a note: What’s your biggest takeaway was and what you’re working on in your business right now? I’d love to hear and I’m over on instagram @stephanie.skry

I’ll see you next time friends, Thanks for listening!

Thanks for listening to the 100 degrees of entrepreneurship podcast. To access our show notes and bonus content, visit 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!

Transcript Episode 32

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