The repair business brotherhood was flourishing. And so were the repair businesses. There were more converts than ever. It was a tight-knit community by now that looked after each other.
Around that time, the fourth and last set of revelations came.
Commandment # 8: Thou Shalt Outsource Bookkeeping
Handling finances can be quite a task, especially as a shop owner where you have to take care of absolutely everything. However, the best way to handle numbers is by outsourcing your finances. Let someone else take care of your bookkeeping.
Why do we say that?
For one, you’ll be saving up on a lot of time. You’ll have someone else, who is a professional, give you important stats on your business, including expenses, leakages, and profits. And lastly, you will be able to forecast and plan without really going into your books.
There are a number of options for outsourcing bookkeeping available out there, economical and expensive. If you are just starting out and can’t spend a lot on money-managing firms, buy a $40 subscription of Quickbooks. It will provide you with all the necessary tools and an overview of your business expense.
Having a software like Quickbooks on your side has other benefits. It saves you a lot of time that you can spend on areas that need more of your attention, for example, sales. Moreover, you can only price your services well if you know your per hour or per repair cost. Quickbooks can help you calculate that. You can also get some help from your POS software reports.
As Timothy Phelps of Techy Company says, there is no shame in outsourcing your shop’s financing. You didn’t go to school to learn that so it is okay to hire someone to do it for you. Because you are saving a lot of time and money by doing this.
The best way to put it is to hire a bookkeeper, guys. Like, hire somebody to do [it for you]. You didn’t go to school for this. Keep it simple. Quickbooks, $40 Does it all for you?
Alex Marini of Computer Repair Doctor further iterates and impresses upon Tim’s point. He narrates his own story, telling he did not hire an accountant when he initially started his own business. Although he knew how to work around accounts, he hated doing it.
And that is the worst mistake he could make. So, when he had had enough, he hired an accountant in the second year to maintain his books.
When I was in my first year, I didn’t hire an accountant. I did it all myself and I hated it. In the second year, I was like, what do they want? Do my books. I’m done. And it’s been great.
As an entrepreneur, your time is precious. You need to know exactly what is worth spending your time on. And bookkeeping isn’t one of them. Because it is time-taking and frustrating. Besides, it isn’t particularly expensive to outsource it.
You can hire a bookkeeper for around $80-$90 a month. The actual price may vary a little but should fall somewhere around this range.
Ahmed Abusharbain of UppLuck had hired a guy who kept books for each of his stores. He paid the bookkeeper $70-$80 per month for each location. And he feels that was his best expense. Because he only wanted to know where his money is leaking, and what the profits are like. So, he could devise ways to plug the leakage and plan ahead for his business without wasting a lot of time and energy actually working on the books.
When I had my stores, there’s a guy who was charging me like $70 or $80 per door. And I had a few stores. It was the best bill I paid. I just want to see profits and tell me where I’m leaking so I can fix the leak. That’s it.
If you fall under the category where you can’t even afford a $40 bill, Timothy suggests contacting someone who is willing to do your books for a certain percentage of your profits. For instance, you can tell him that you’ll give 1% of your profits to the bookkeeper each month for his services.
So, if you cannot spare any money, it is time to think out of the box. There is always a way out. You just have to think really hard.
You can even barter your services in exchange for bookkeeping. For instance, you can fix your bookkeeper’s phone for free in exchange for his bookkeeping services. Or come up with some other exchange of services that is lucrative for both parties.
Commandment # 9: Thou Shalt Focus On Growing Business Rather Than Paying Bills
If you really want to scale your business, you need time to think, plan and implement. And if you are completely focused on the everyday workings of your shop, going into the nitty-gritty details, you will never be able to grow.
Know which responsibilities you need to let go of and which ones you should delegate. It is very hard to let go, we understand. But that is the only way you will be able to scale up.
Also, don’t be too afraid to spend money as long as you know a certain expense will pay for itself in the long term. Alex says you have to invest to grow. And as long as you know the exact state of your shop, the finances and all, and you’re making decisions based on stats, you shouldn’t worry about investing in your business.
Your bookkeeper should tell you about the general stats. You can access detailed reports from your POS software.
Because if you are smart about your investments, you will reap benefits.
Put that little bit of money you have in a specific ad that you know is going to bring something. You really need to focus on growing the business and the bills will come. The money for the bills will fall into place. If you’re doing everything right on the business side, you’ve got to believe that your efforts will pay off.
As a successful business owner and learning from his own journey, Usman Butt of RepairDesk feels that a lot of business owners make the mistake of getting caught up in managing their business. Their actual goal should only be focusing on growing the business and building a rapport with the customers.
This includes handling the sales and marketing side of the business, thinking of ways to increase revenue, exploring new avenues, and maximizing revenue from existing ones.
The number one goal for business owners should be marketing, growing your business, meeting customers on the floor to know what their pain points are, building partnerships.
However, while you are planning business growth, you need to be consistent. You cannot be working overtime one week and then barely do anything the next. The effort has to be consistent.
The most obvious reason why a lot of cell phone repair shop owners get stuck in the rut is that they get too comfortable. But there is little growth in the comfort zone.
Timothy adds that even if you lose some steam along the way, you have to find reasons to continue. There are a lot of people that look up to you, including your family and employees. Do it for them.
You have to continue to grind. You owe it to your family. You owe it to your employees. You owe it to your franchisees. You have to continue to work and you have to have the right mindset.
Timothy is actually the perfect example of persistence. To grow his business, one idea that he wanted to explore was partnering with Walmart. So, he began contacting the concerned people at Walmart on LinkedIn. It took him two years of pursuing Walmart relentlessly before they signed a deal with him.
Two years is a long time and many would give up. But not Timothy. Because he had a vision for his franchise and he knew he had to achieve it no matter what. So consistency is key.
Commandment # 10 Thou Shalt Get A POS Software
When you’re scaling your business, trying to make it without a POS software would be the biggest mistake you can make. Because the more you automate your processes, the smoother they’ll become and the more time you will get to focus on your business growth.
There are just too many disadvantages of not investing in a repair shop POS software.
For instance, you won’t be able to monitor your employee productivity, especially if you have multiple locations. Manually sending emails and marketing will result in losing potential customers.
Moreover, you won’t have computerized pre- and post-repair checklists, making you prone to more repair errors, jeopardizing the quality of your service. You won’t know which accessories or device models are selling faster so you can plan future sales accordingly.
Keeping track of your inventory and knowing which parts are low in stock will become difficult to manage.
While all repair shops, big and small, have some systems they follow to keep track of repairs, invoicing, etc., only some have a one-solution POS like RepairDesk.
Ahmed talks about the need for a POS system.
Opening a store without a billing system, PR system is a disaster. Nobody knows their numbers. Nobody knows if they’re running out of parts overnight, a screen, while you should’ve had 10 of them, at least sitting in your warehouse, all these things, mistakes that can hurt them and cost them money and lose customers.
Read the previous part here.