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  • Larissa Summers

Redesigning my business with Profit First & Run Like Clockwork

I started Sooter Consulting in 2005 as a way to make ends meet while I was getting my bachelor’s degree. By the time I completed my degree, I had a nice group of clients that I was serving. It wasn’t enough to raise a family on, but it was enough to keep us going. Then the great recession of 2009 hit. My husband was laid off, and my business was our sole source of income.

I became caught in something Mike Michalowicz calls a ‘Survival Trap.’ I was spending all of my profit paying off debt, paying taxes, or trying to get more clients. Not only that, but hiring employees didn’t give me breathing room, it made my days busier. Eventually I couldn’t keep up with the volume and had to look for answers. That’s when I began reading Mike Michalowicz’s books. I realized that I had grown a fundamentally flawed business because I didn’t invest the time to make a well-designed business. No amount of growth could fix the issues in my business or ultimately make my life easier.

The fundamental flaws were a combination of the work I took on, and the style of team leadership I was engaged in. To put it simply, I didn’t exactly know who my ideal clients were in the first place. I changed from industry to industry, meaning that I had to put more of my time away educating myself on a vast array of accounting knowledge. Additionally, because I didn’t know my ideal client I was more susceptible to taking on clients that weren’t compatible with me at all. I’ve learned that you have to understand which types of clients make your business tick, and how to mold your business to serve those clients first to ensure the rest of the business thrives. Secondly, it has taken years to truly begin to understand who I need on my time. As a business owner, I need a team that is comfortable having a task be delegated to them. I want to emphasize that delegating means that team members are empowered to make their own decisions with the account during the course of the work. When my team became empowered was when I truly felt my time becoming more flexible and I was able to focus more on designing my business.

Now, 18 years later, I say that Mike Michalowicz’s books saved my business. I believe that to such a degree that I’ve become a certified Profit First Professional and will be a Clock Works Certified Coach by the end of 2023. What does this mean for my clients? It means that I know how to help them grow their profit, make sure the owner is paid, and have the funds to pay taxes and operation expenses. Not only that, but I have realized that the only way to help a client lower their operating costs was to help them Clockwork their business.

Run Like ClockWork describes a business owner taking a 4-week vacation. As I went through the program, I realized that vacation isn’t for the owner. It’s for business. Can the business function without the owner? Are the operating expenses taken care of? Does the team have what they need to excel? Are the customers being taken care of? That’s the real reason for Clockwork, to let you step out of the way and avoid getting stuck in a Survival Trap.

Sooter Consulting will still continue to provide excellent monthly bookkeeping and accounting support, however we are dedicated to helping our clients design their business like I did many years ago. However, for those of you who are interested: I am looking for 5 clients who want to go through the Profit First process. Reach out for a clarity call if you would like to be the next business owner that sees a significant increase in their profitability.

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