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Transcript Episode 77

Episode 77: Tech Stack

Transcript Episode 77

Stephanie Skryzowski: Welcome to the 100 degrees of entrepreneurship podcast. The show for purpose driven entrepreneurs who wanna 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 globetrotting 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 the show. It’s great to have you here. And today I am talking about our current business tech stack. So I always think it’s interesting to hear the different software that people are using just because there’s new things out there and we can all learn something.

So I think you’ll find, I’m gonna share with you all the different platforms that we are using for our business right now. And I think you’ll find, maybe it’s not super surprising and it’s kind of simple. But I think there’s something to be said for that.

Like we don’t need all of the platforms out there just because they sound cool because a lot of ’em are really cool and they can do really cool things, but often I feel like we overcomplicate things and we really don’t need to. So I’m gonna share with you what we are using right now.

And maybe that will give you some ideas, some things to check out, something new, or maybe just a little bit of encouragement to simplify. So let’s dive into it. So the first thing that we use is Slack. For internal team communication, you are probably not surprised by this at all. We love Slack.

We started it years upon years ago and it’s just a great way for remote teams to be able to communicate with each other in real time. And our team does a ton of what do they call, hangouts? They’re not called Hangouts. They’re called huddle. Yeah, a huddle. Our team huddles all the time on Slack.

It’s a really easy way to just get essentially on the phone with somebody without having to send a zoom link or whatever. So our team huddles all the time to work with each other. So big fans of Slack over here. The next thing we use internally is ClickUp.

ClickUp is a project management system. We replaced Asana with ClickUp earlier this year. Actually, I guess last year, 2021. We replaced Asana with ClickUp, and ClickUp has huge capability. Not gonna lie, it’s been a pretty big learning curve for our team because it’s really been super new and ClickUp can just do so much.

It’s like a blank slate and that’s almost harder when there’s not a lot of templates and things in there for you. So it’s been a bit of a learning curve, but our team is doing a lot with it and we’ve got all of our project management, all in one place.

And the idea is that if one person steps away from the business, for whatever reason, they need to take leave, either expected or unexpected, we can go into ClickUp and we can see everything where they’re at with our clients. So we can have somebody else jump right in and there’s the transition would theoretically be seamless.

We’re getting to that point. So ClickUp is what we’re using for project management on the sort of client side of things. So the way that our business works is that we have a discovery call with a client. We send them a proposal. If they accept the proposal, they get an agreement.

And then the sort of the kickoff process starts. Well, that process right now lives in Dubsado. And so that’s where we generate our proposals, that’s where our agreements go through. And that process has worked okay for us. To be honest with you, we’re not like super huge fans of Dubsado.

It’s fine but it’s not as robust as we would like, it’s not as easy as we would like, it doesn’t have the KPIs that we wanna see or the sort of dashboards and all that stuff. So we are in the process of moving to Ignition. Which is a little bit more of an industry-specific software.

So that’s something to think about. Are you using general software that is applicable to all kinds of industries? Or are you using something that’s very specific to the industry that you work in? And so we were using something that’s more general, which is Dubsado, and we’re moving to something that is more specific, which is Ignition.

What Ignition is gonna do is gonna be able to give us dashboards on our conversion rate. So clients that we have a discovery call with, what percentage is converting to a client, it’s going to help us with our agreements and pricing and all the things.

And the great thing is that it knows accounting, bookkeeping and finance businesses. And so this is gonna be really helpful for us. So you think about that in your own tech stack. Are you using something that’s general? Are you using something that’s more specific to your industry?

Often the latter is gonna come with a higher price tag because it is more specialized, more specific, but for us it wasn’t that huge and we decided that it was worth it. And so with that it also does a lot with invoicing clients and scheduling calls.

So right now, for all of our scheduling, we’re using Acuity. I’ve been using Acuity for probably at least five years. And so if you’ve ever scheduled a call with me, it’s an Acuity link that you have scheduled. And so I’ve just gotten really used to Acuity. But Ignition, doesn’t talk to Acuity, it talks to Calendly.

So I’m gonna have to switch everything over to Calendly and get those connected. So it’s fine. What we’re really aiming for now is streamline, streamline, streamline as few platforms as possible and as much data as we can pull as possible.

And so what we found is having our data in a whole bunch of different software platforms does not allow us to pull and look at KPIs the way that we want to. And the only way to measure how successful your business is, is not just by looking at your profit and loss statement, right?

There’s other KPIs that you need to look at. But it’s really hard to look at and pull those KPIs if the data is not all in one place and not easily accessible. So that’s why we’re streamlining some of our platforms. So Ignition is going to replace Dubsado, it’s going to replace Acuity.

And I think, no, I will just be honest with you. I’m not the one in charge of all of our software platforms anymore. That is our operations manager and she does a wonderful job at it so I don’t have to. Because frankly tech is not my thing.

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For payments, the financial side of things, of course, we use QuickBooks online for our bookkeeping, and then when we invoice clients. So when clients pay us, basically, we’ve got about half of our clients that are paying us through QuickBooks. We send them an invoice in QuickBooks and they pay us.

And then the other half of our clients are set up with a monthly recurring payment plan using the software ThriveCart which processes payments through Stripe. So that is how we invoice our clients and receive money now about half through QuickBooks and about half through ThriveCart slash Stripe.

And I’m pretty sure that that is all going to also be moved over through Ignition. So we’ll be able to login to one platform and see the entire client journey from discovery call through the proposal through the agreement through kickoff and through every single monthly payment, it’s all gonna be in one place.

And that is like mighty powerful. So think about that for your business again. How can you streamline the tech that you’re using? So you don’t have like 50 million platforms and you have one place that everything lives. Now, of course, I think we all know there’s a little bit of a risk to that, right?

Like we don’t wanna put all of our eggs in one basket because what happens if that platform crashes? Well, I think you just need to be mindful of that. And we would know a solution if that happened to us. But that’s a goal is to really streamline things as much as possible so that we can pull as much data as possible.

So that’s what we do for the finance side. We’re keeping track of all of our finances in QuickBooks online, and then processing payments through QuickBooks or through ThriveCart slash Stripe. The other thing that we do in terms of expenses. So that was talking about money coming in.

Let’s talk about money going out. How do we pay? How do we pay people? So we use Gusto for payroll. We also have our 401k through Guideline, which is also through Gusto. So our 401k and our payroll are all through Gusto. We are also paying all of our contractors, including our international staff are all paid through Gusto now, too.

So we used to use TransferWise or wise I think it’s referred to. We were using that for our international contractor. So again, it was a secondary site that we were paying people through. Now, everything lives under one roof. So we know if we need anything related to people, it is all in Gusto.

We’ve also really started to use Gusto for time tracking, for expense reimbursements, for performance reviews. So we’re really using them to their full potential, which I don’t see a lot of organizations doing on the HR side. And most of our clients do use Gusto for their payroll provider, but they’re not utilizing Gusto for all those other things that I talked about.

So think about that for your business. If you’re using Gusto, how can you really use it to its highest potential? Even if you don’t have the higher level plan, think about the cost. I mean, it’s really not that much more expensive if you do get the higher level plan and you get so much more. So definitely consider that.

We absolutely love Gusto over here. So we use that for all of our HR stuff. And I think my friends, I think that’s it. That is what we’re using right now. Oh, and I guess I’ll say for our podcast host, we use Libsyn. And I use Audacity to record the podcast solo episodes, and I use Zoom to record our guest episodes.

And I think that is it. I think that’s our whole tech stack. So just a recap we’re using Slack. We’re using Dubsado, but moving to Ignition, we’re using ClickUp for project management, we’re using QuickBooks online for accounting and bookkeeping, we’re using QuickBooks online and ThriveCart slash Stripe for processing payments money coming in, we use Gusto for all of our payroll and contractor payments. We use Libsyn as our podcast host, I record episodes on Audacity and Zoom.

And one more thing that I wanted to add is that we use our AmEx. I have a Delta reserve American Express card that we use for pretty much all of our other expenses. So we wanna definitely get the points, get the miles. We use a credit card for all of our expenses aside from payroll.

So I think that’s it. That’s our tech stack. It’s pretty streamlined and basic, I will say. There’s definitely been lots of trial and error. There have been things that we’ve used and loved, things that we have used and not loved and so transitioned to other things.

And I just think back, thinking about ClickUp, for example. Before ClickUp, we used Asana, before Asana, we used Trello. Before Trello, I had literally used a word document. Yes, I had a word document to constantly open on my computer and this is not a Google doc.

This was literally a word document on my desktop that I always had open that I was using to track things to do deadlines, et cetera. Like a word doc plus kind of my calendar to a degree. So, I think we’ve definitely come a long way over the years.

So think about your tech and what you started with and what you’re using now. I think it’s just kind of funny to look back and look at your journey. So anyway, that’s our stuff. That’s our software. Hopefully you glean something from this episode, maybe a new software to try or new ideas such as using a more specialized software for your industry.

That might be maybe a little bit more expensive. But also, possibly a little bit easier and maybe one that gives you more data. Or maybe when you’re thinking about what software to use, choosing one that is able to generate more reports, more data, more analysis, more KPIs, more dashboards because that’s really what’s gonna help you make the decisions in your business and utilize that software to its biggest potential.

Anyway, friends hope this one was helpful. I will catch you next time. If in the meantime, why don’t you head over to Instagram @stephani.skry. Give a follow, check out what’s going on over there and I’ll be sure to connect with you. Talk to you soon

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.

Transcript for Episode 77

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