Service Based Business Society Podcast

We are in the homestretch towards December and on this weeks episode we are talking about Christmas bonuses, holiday parties, client gifts, and more!

Show Notes

This week is the BLACK FRIDAY episode talking all about what you need to do to prep your business for the holidays!    This is the essential episode as we wind up to the end of the year talking about cashflow, missed time, and all the things that a business owner must consider heading into the holidays.

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Note:  The Podcast will be on 'Holiday Hiatus' between December 23rd to January 4th.  

What is Service Based Business Society Podcast?

Attention entrepreneurs! Are you looking for ways to scale your service-based business without sacrificing your sleep? Look no further than The Service Based Business Society Podcast, hosted by Tiffany-Ann Bottcher.

Each week, Tiffany-Ann shares valuable insights on productivity, business strategies, marketing trends, and tech secrets that you need to know in order to take your business to the next level. She firmly believes that a successful service-based business must prioritize an amazing client experience and sustainable, predictable, repeatable profit, and she'll teach you how to do just that.

But that's not all - Tiffany-Ann also invites expert guests to share their knowledge and experience with you, providing even more valuable insights on service-based business growth and sustainability. You won't want to miss a single episode!

If you're looking to create, grow, and optimize your service-based business, The Service Based Business Society Podcast is the perfect resource for you.

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Brought to you by Bottcher Business Management Agency

Season: 2
Episode: 8
Title: Holiday Preparation For Your Business

Hello, and welcome to the service based business society podcast. I'm your host, Tiffany-Ann-Bottcher, our weekly episodes, we will dive into everything you need to know about scaling your service based business without losing sleep. With my experience, including over seven figures per month, and a passion for marketing, finance and automation, this show provides tangible tips and techniques for scaling your business. Let's get started.

Hello, everybody, and welcome back to another episode. You know, I can't believe that we are already this late in the year, I was just looking at the calendar and really realizing how few weeks there are left. And I was having a great conversation this week with someone about taking the last few weeks of 2022 to really lay out their success plan for 2023. Super interesting conversation. I knew I wanted to bring it up on the podcast this week, because we're all kind of at this strange time of the year where like, do I start it now? Do I wait till January? What's happening now are people going to be off are people you know, still pushing, you know, it's a really strange time of year. And it stems from this big push towards Black Friday. So Black Friday's this week, if you are listening to this episode, the week that it comes out, Black Friday is this week and so it is huge pushing any online business or you know, the Black Friday push which might I add, I started getting Black Friday ads in October, what used to be a day then became weak now it's, you know, like a full blown month. And so, you know, everybody just wants their piece of the pie. And, you know, it comes back to you know, why go sooner? Well, because whoever, you know, if someone has $1,000 to spend and they spend it early with somebody else, well then everybody's like, Oh, I gotta be I gotta be sooner next year. And you know, it's kind of this reverse race but it also all of that push and and hustle really brings us closer and closer to the end of the year where people start thinking about Christmas cards and Christmas gifts and being off. And even if your business is super busy right up to Christmas, most businesses expect some kind of slowdown between Christmas and New Year because even if you want to hustle like crazy, a lot of times your clients are unavailable.

Lots of people take time off, whether it's your clients, your team members, you know, people you would typically be meeting with. And so now is really that time to kind of lay out the plan of exactly what needs to happen for the holidays for your business. You know, our business concierge service, if you haven't heard about it. You know, business concierge is basically our agency being on standby for you whenever you need us. I mean, you really can't ask for much more than that. When it comes to concierge. You just pop online to the website and put in a work request within 12 hours, we get back to you letting you know how many hours and the costs of completing your project. Honestly, it is a win-win for everyone. And you know, in the last two weeks, we're seeing tons of requests, personalized Christmas cards, arranging client gifts, these are the kinds of things that you know, people are knowing they need to get done, but just not sure exactly how to do them efficiently or you know, they are realizing hey, I can outsource this. So just this you know, just this last week, I was reviewing some beautiful personalized Christmas cards done by one of our graphic designers and you know they refer to a photographer and the actual cover of the Christmas card is personalized with one of the pictures that this photographer took of each person's family. I mean you can't get more personalized than that. Not only is the message on the inside of the card personalized but also the actual front of the card has this, you know, each lion's picture on it. These are the kinds of things that you know what used to be: grab a box of cards from the dollar store and stick your signature in them.

People are seeing and expecting more, they're expecting that better experience but ultimately as an entrepreneur, you can't do all the things you can't be all the places. So first of all I love seeing that a client experience is always being enhanced and I love seeing the entrepreneurs or finding a way to outsource this. You know we're still creating beautiful cards. We are doing you know hand signed customized. These are beautiful, but each entrepreneur isn't sitting there doing ours. And hours of work and I love that, but I love to see the growth and progression. So you know, it's also true signs that the holidays are coming when people start thinking about gifts.

You know, I saw in a Facebook community a question yesterday about, you know, it was an agency owners group and people were talking about gifts and who does gifts for their clients. And, you know, there's a lot of discussion about whether or not Christmas gifts are the way to go, you know, people were weighing in back and forth about whether or not doing a gift at Christmas time, it kind of gets lost in the noise of the holiday. And, you know, I'd be curious about your thoughts on this. But I think if you're going to do a gift, at any point of the year, the holidays included, it really needs to be something chosen for that specific client, and not just a generalized gift. Unless you want it to get kind of lost in the sea of things. I remember when I was working in corporate, we would receive tons of those like Costco gift basket type things, you know, people would bring them. And really, people would kind of pick through them and choose all the yummy, delicious things. And it was really nice to get them. There were always some delicious goodies in there. But I mean, I didn't know who brought which basket.

Sure, certain people definitely paid more than others. But in terms of, you know, being memorable, and you know, which person really went above and beyond or whatnot, I think that's when you can get lost in the sea of things. Because you really are just one of, you know, the bunch. I think if you go the extra mile and do something memorable, do something that somebody's going to keep something that's specific for their business. I think that that goes a lot further.

So whether or not you're doing Christmas gifts, Christmas cards, whether you don't celebrate Christmas at all, no matter how it affects your business, the December season always brings unique challenges and unique needs to the situation. You know, showing your team appreciation and deciding if you're going to be offering some kind of holiday party is another big one. And if you are going to be doing the holiday party, you know, what does that look like? What is the budget for that? What is the liability created by a holiday event, if you are serving beverages, these are all things to think about as a business owner and entrepreneur. And so, you know, holiday parties traditionally have this piece of you know, often people being over served, things get sad or done, sometimes it gets a little messy.

I actually remember years and years ago, and I still know all of the people involved in this situation. So funny, I just cannot share. I was super pregnant with my first. And so it's the Christmas party. And we're going to this comedy comedy club type space. And basically, by the time that we get to the space, one couple is being cut off, no more drinks for them. And basically, the person stands up, sends a message to the owner, says that's it, I quit, I'm out. And you know, what kicks off then is a whole sequence of events. And ultimately, you know, I think that was on a Friday, by the Monday the person was right back at work, lots of extra drama. And these are the things that you want to you know, avoid when you're thinking about adding in holiday plans. You know, there is a liability to the business with anything that includes drinks or getting everyone together. And so as much as we always want to focus on the wonderful times and showing appreciation to the team. And this is absolutely not why I don't do it.

I am a firm believer in, you know, breaking bread, if you will, and sharing the winds, and also not just showing appreciation for your team, but also for their partner, if they have one. You know, anytime that someone's super dedicated to their role within your business, that person is taking on a certain responsibility. They're taking time away from their family often to, you know, perform well to offer great value to the business. And so, you know, you also want to be showing that appreciation for that partner. And so I think that the holidays are a great time to do that. We just want to also be thinking about you know, from a business owner perspective, making sure that all of our i's are dotted and T's are crossed from a liability perspective. We don't want to be serving people a bunch of drinks and not ensuring they have a Safeway home or something you know to that. These are the things we really want to be thinking about going into the holidays when we're talking about you know, what is the budget the next thing that comes up at this time of year and often is not exactly this time of year although it should be it took question of, you know, employee bonuses at this time of year. And often, you know, we, within our agency, do payroll for a number of organizations, and we at the very end of the year like, hey, I want to do some bonuses for people on their last check of the year, you know, how much should I be doing? How much can I afford? What does this look like, you know, and there's this kind of constant back and forth. And while there is absolutely no right or wrong answer to this, absolutely no right or wrong answer, you don't have to do Christmas bonuses, you can do Christmas bonuses.

You know, I often mentioned to business owners that if you know it, it can be nice at this time of year, but don't feel obligated to do it. It doesn't have to be and, and realize that this can also be a tighter cash flow time of year, depending on where your base, definitely, you know, depending on where you're based, you may have several statutory or paid holidays. And so often work is a little bit slower in December, because people are off between Christmas and New Years, or have reduced hours or whatnot. So it ends up being a fairly expensive time of year, if you're doing client gifts, employee gifts, anything like that, plus any holiday parties, that type of thing. And then you have, you know, less cash flow coming in. Because even if the work doesn't slow down, oftentimes, you know, payment will slow down. If you're working on business to business clients, maybe the accounting department for your client is on holidays, checks are often delayed, you know, so it can be a question of is right now the best time to do. And so the reason I mentioned it on today's episode is because it's something to start thinking about now. And not just thinking about, you know, a couple days before Christmas going, Hey, I really had it on my list of maybe thinking about doing bonuses this year. You know, should I, how much when all of these questions, those are questions that we need to really be thinking about. Now, as we're laying out the cost and budget and cash plan for the rest of the year. It's also a great time to be looking at your p&l and looking at your you know, net income and your compensation and ensuring that everything is in line with the tax planning you have done with your accountant earlier on in the year, if you haven't done tax planning with your accountant, now's a great time to reach out to them and say, Hey, this is where we're at. This is what the business is making, you know, approximately, this is how much I've taken home approximately, you know, are there any changes I should be making prior to the end of the year, you know, if you get to the end end of the year, you know, you're reaching out to them in February, a lot of times it's harder to make changes in terms of you know, I took money as a draw versus I took money through payroll. You know, there's all these different things and ways that accountants can review your numbers and your own individual tax situation. And I know, this is why as a tax accountant as much as I say, I never wanted to be a tax accountant from very early on, you know, I started doing my undergraduate degree, I have a major in accounting, I love management accounting, I do not love tax accounting. But I always come back to you know, a great tax accountant is worth their weight in gold because they are the people who are really forward thinking and are looking at your business, your individual tax situation, you know, and that means you know, yours you know, any person that you're filing with, if you're married, or in a long term relationship where you're filing your taxes together, like all of these are factors that need to go into how you're withdrawing money from your business.

So we want to be looking at that. We are also speaking of taxes. I want to be completing a peer review, if you're in Canada, a peer review in payroll and this is to make sure that you have collected all the appropriate taxes for your employees. You know, you want to be able to make sure that you have collected and remitted all the appropriate taxes and remittances so that if you have not you still have a few payrolls to complete any corrections and adjustments that's why this time of year is so critical when it comes to financial review. And so when it comes to this financial review oftentimes you know we get busy in the lead up to the holidays wrapping up projects from the end of the year and we want to just you know almost think oh yeah, we'll get to that later. We'll get to that later when it comes to accounting and financial record keeping but this time of year it is so essential to be on it to be proactive instead of reactive to thinking about you know, at the end of the year is oftentimes reactive is too late. So if you are behind in your bookkeeping, if you are behind in your record keeping now is the most important time of the year to take that moment and get things caught up.

I'm going to quickly you know, one click quick little blurb about our agency bookkeeping services, we do offer bookkeeping services, and the minimum charge is $150 per month. And we have so many clients that sit right at that $150 a month, it doesn't have to be expensive to outsource your bookkeeping, you know, our bookkeeping rates are $30 per hour, minimum charge 150 per month to be on our system. So many people are surprised by the low costs of us doing the bookkeeping, you know, they think, Oh, I had I known it would have been so inexpensive, I would have outsourced it years ago. But instead people battle with it, battle with it. And then, you know, ultimately, you are potentially missing out on save, you know, tax savings, tax planning. You know, although we don't do any kind of tax planning, that's not part of our bookkeeping services to that we defer to your specific tax accountant who understands your individual tax situation. And you know, the tax requirements in your area, a good accountant can't do their job unless they have the data to look at. And that's why keeping your books up to date is super important.

So as we move through this time of the year, you know, when I know nobody wants to talk about their books and their numbers at this time of the year, everyone now deals with it later, but you're ultimately missing out on potential opportunities and savings by doing it that way. So you know, it's time to catch up on any bookkeeping minutes outstanding. It's time to be budgeting out the rest of this year, you know, looking at if you had a budget for 2022, now's the time to see and double check, hey, where are we? What is the variance between our budget and our actual numbers, if you have a whole bunch of additional profit that maybe wasn't budgeted? When you discussed your tax plan with your accountant, Well, now's a good time to reach out to them and say, Hey, I have this extra money, we didn't, you know, weren't anticipating being so profitable, you know, do I do I maybe need to spend some of this before the end of the year, that could be you know, when we want to do up some some employee bonuses, you know, while there is lots going on this time of year, I just want to highlight that this is one of the areas we don't want to let slip through the cracks, because ultimately, it really can just cost us money.

So speaking of the holidays, also to mention, the service based business society podcast will be on Christmas hiatus from December 22, that will be the last episode of this year, and the episodes will kick back off again, January 5, over that holiday time, I will be spending, you know, of course, still doing some work, because I just can't help myself, and also still there for our existing clients. But our client intake within the agency will be closed. Also, during that time, you know, I often talk about scheduling the joy, follow me on social media, it's something I mentioned, you know, in the in the odd posts, I struggle to take myself away from the computer and my work and whatnot, you know, and so this year, I am scheduling in the joy and taking the time and scheduling it in to take some downtime and enjoy my kids being young. And you know, I've got some great plans with them to bake some cookies and go snowboarding, do all the fun things, you know, I encourage you to do the same. Lay out that plan for your business. You know, we have just as an example, just for things that you can be thinking about things that you can be doing right now, that can be helping you and your business over the holidays, you know, we have already reviewed the calendar, we know when our client intake will be closing, we know when our client intake will be starting up again, we have all of our social media content scheduled through to the end of January.

So a big one, we don't have to be worrying about that at all over the holidays, including all of our holiday, you know, and we also know how many concierge hours will be available at that time and can be monitoring you know, and the intake of concierge to ensure that everyone is adequately supported, as well as our team is adequately supported in their need to be able to take some time with their family and enjoy themselves. You know, these are the kinds of things you want to be thinking about even though it's early because the you know, a well laid out plan is always more comfortable, you know, the last minute thoughts and putting things together if you run a business where you are on call, you know I'm thinking particularly of our trades businesses, if you have an on call service, you know really laying out who will be on call over each of the holidays, but also who will be on call during your team's holiday party. Also important that person could get called away you know, oftentimes that can be the most frustrating for that person. You know, they can't necessarily partake in all of the festivities, and then they always have the chance of getting called away. But you that person needs to be, you know, all of that needs to be well organized ahead of time. So as we head into the last portion of November, you know, one of the other pieces in the vein of what we've been talking about this episode is truly that financial review piece. You know, we are just wrapping up and reviewing all of October financials for any of our bookkeeping clients. So that final piece before we send each month for it out to a client is for me to go through the final financial, that's not something I have delegated within our agency, it's something I take very personally. And that really is our special offer. A special benefit to each of those clients is that I'm able to review each of those financial statements and offer of course my own feedback on what I'm seeing in the business. And so you know, as we're going through those, I just want to highlight you know, month end procedures are super important, and that reconciling your accounts each and every month is super important. That is our tangible tip for this week's episode is please please please reconcile each of your accounts at the end of every month. This is super important so this does not affect accounts that are not in the business name. So if you are using your own personal credit card, and you are mixing business and personal transactions on that credit card, you will not be able to reconcile vendor accounts. So if you have an account where you charge expenses to and they provide you with a statement, and each month you would be reconciling those would also be reconciling any business credit cards and business bank accounts.

And what is the purpose of reconciling it is to compare what is recorded in your bookkeeping system with what is recorded by your bank or credit provider and ensuring that nothing is missed. This is the number one way to recognize any mistakes, any missed receipts, any missed anything, I in all of my years have never a business that doesn't forget to upload receipts to their bookkeeping system, as much as every person thinks that they have the most incredible system for uploading receipts and that nothing ever gets missed. Something always gets you want to be reconciling every month making sure that you aren't missing anything that you're not making any mistakes because you know, a small mistake here done 100 times, you don't just because you didn't reconciling, you didn't realize it was creating an error creates a much larger error.

So that is our tangible tip for the month. That is our tangible tip for this episode. And if you have any questions about how to reconcile how to reconcile a specific account, or if you get stuck on reconciling the best place to chat about that is inside the service based business society head on over to Facebook put into the search bar service based business society, the group pops right up, be sure to answer all three questions because as you know, we love automation and our system is automated for letting you into the group and if you do not answer all three questions, including your email address, it will not let you in. So you're gonna want to do that. And once you're inside of the group, you can ask any and all questions. I'm often going live inside the group answering questions and also, you know, offer resources on a variety of topics. So it is the best place to reach out.
Well guys, that is all for this week and have a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend to our American listeners and Happy Black Friday. If you are offering Black Friday deals within your business. Don't forget that in addition to Black Friday, it is also Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday so many opportunities to be offering your clients. If that is something you wish to do, we will be offering some fantastic deals on our SEO packages on Black Friday. So if that's something that you might be looking at, you know, getting started now is a great time to do so. And all of those deals will be shared on both our Facebook page Instagram page and inside the Facebook community.

Well we are all out of time for today. If you guys have not joined the service based business society Facebook community, make sure you head on over to Facebook and we can continue the conversation. Be sure to also follow the show by going to any podcast app and searching surface based society. Look subscribe, click the fifth star and leave us a written review. Have a great week and we will see you soon