The Ambitious Bookkeeper Podcast

Creating a Seamless Onboarding Experience with Kendra Courtney

May 17, 2022 Episode 48
The Ambitious Bookkeeper Podcast
Creating a Seamless Onboarding Experience with Kendra Courtney
Show Notes Transcript

The onboarding phase with your clients can set the tone and expectations for the entire client relationship. On today’s podcast episode I’m interviewing Dubsado expert, Kendra Courtney, who has helped me and countless other bookkeepers and accountants with setting up their Onboarding workflows using Dubsado.

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • How to capture lead information
  • Information you should have on your proposals
  • When the best time is to implement a system like Dubsado for onboarding

You can connect with Kendra on Instagram or her website

When you join The Bookkeeping Business Accelerator, you have the option of upgrading to Elite to receive a full Dubsado Setup (with Kendra) and Website (with Tia) plus a strategy call with me and two mindset coaching calls with Meriah!

If you want to DIY your Dubsado setup, enroll in Onboarding On Autopilot HERE>>

Get 20% off your first month or year of Dubsado HERE (affiliate link) >>

Listeners can join Kendra’s free course:

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[00:00:00] welcome back to the ambitious bookkeeper podcast. Today. I have a special guest on, and we're talking about seamless onboarding experiences for your clients. I have today, Kendra Courtney, who is a certified Dubsado and Workflow specialist. Her love for systems began when she started working as a photographer back in 2017. She discovered the need for time and energy saving systems. When she found herself spending more time doing admin than taking photos since then she's been streamlining admin and automating anything. A human doesn't really need to be doing manually. We start our businesses for people, not paperwork. And for various service-based businesses all over the world, including bookkeepers. So I have partnered with Kendra. Inside of a couple of my programs to offer her services for you to set up your Dubsado, which we'll kind of get into in this episode. But if you're interested in working with her, check out the show notes. If you are a student of mine, you get a special deal, so reach out to our student support. If you are a student and you're interested in having Kendra set up to your Dubsado. So without further ado, let's get into today's episode. 


[00:01:48] Serena: All right, Kendra. Hey, welcome to the Ambitious Bookkeeper Podcast. I'm super excited to have you here. You and I have been connected for quite a while now. Honestly, I think. I think I found you at the very beginning of like my Instagram journey. So yeah, 

[00:02:05] Kendra: I think in 2020 or 2021. Okay. 

[00:02:09] Serena: Maybe, yeah, maybe it was like early 2020. Would you love to introduce yourself to the audience and just give kind of a little background of who you are. 

[00:02:20] Kendra: Sure. Hi everyone, everyone listening. So I'm Kendra, as Serena has said, and I'm just going to address the excellent question right off the bat. So I'm not in the States, I'm in Cape Town, South Africa. And I find that the internet is so awesome because we can find people anywhere in the world and connect to them. So that's where I'm from. But I work with clients all over the world, so I actually don't have any clients in South Africa. All of my clients are in, in the UK or in The States or in Australia sometimes, but mostly from The States.

[00:02:52] And I am a Dubsado specialist. I have been working with Dubsado for the past five years. And in January this year I became certified by them in October, they started a certification program. And I took the plunge in January this year to take that certification obviously passed and now I'm certified by them, which is really cool to be recognized by them.

[00:03:15] So. Basically, what I do is I come into small businesses mostly service-based businesses and I will kind of coach them through the client management and those kinds of processes. So we will look at all the services, kind of see where does the system fit into place to automate and manage a project all the way from the lead? The inquiry and the lead management, all the way to the offboarding. Getting those testimonials are so important for a business. Basically going through all the steps that could be forgotten in a project because we all get so excited to getting new clients, but then when we actually get a new client, all those steps are, you know, if you don't have a plan, then it's very difficult to execute a really good project.

[00:04:00] So we, firstly look at that strategy. And then I actually go and set up the Dubsado account to make sure a lot of it's automated. If not automated, at least the business owner will get a reminder about something that needs to go out. So I love automation love looking at that kind of strategy and love seeing how. You as the business owner can feel safe in your business that you're taking care of. And then also that your clients have a good experience with you. 

[00:04:29] So I kind of have those two sides of my business and what my core values are. I want you to feel happy and okay in your business that you are filling up your cup and then also that your clients, when they come across your business, that they firstly know who you are with everything that you show them in terms of your forms and your emails, that it's sounds like you. And then also that they just have a, a good experience with you. So that is kind of what I do and what Dubsado does. And then I should probably speak about how I got into, 

[00:05:01] Serena: Yeah. That was going to be one of my questions. Like what made you gravitate toward using Dubsado to manage all of this and provide this for your clients? 

[00:05:11] Kendra: Sure. So I have actually started my journey as a photographer. I could go all the way back when I did like babysitting and dog walking and things like that as a teenager. But when I started using these kinds of systems was when I was a photographer.

[00:05:25] My husband and I met, we started a photography business in college to pay for our college fees. Basically, we had to do something. So we started doing portraits then we started doing weddings and if anyone knows how weddings go, there are a lot of details and things that you need to get. So I found I needed a system to manage all of the work basically.

[00:05:46] So I started looking up ways to manage my work, basically to see how I could, send a contract in the questionnaire, do the invoicing and things like that. So I looked at some ways to manage this and I initially got a lot of things about how to run the wedding day, but I didn't find a lot of things about managing your business and that kind of bothered me. So I went to that for a bit. Kept on researching then I found Dubsado. And there was about the same time when I decided to go into VA-ing. I was a virtual assistant for awhile as well while I did photography while I did college. So with that I did admin, some web design, basically any kinds of things I did.

[00:06:28] And then when I was doing that, I was. Okay. I'm using it for my businesses, my Photography NVA business. I should actually start offering this to other people. So it's kind of, my business came from using it and then seeing how I could work with other businesses to use it as well. 

[00:06:47] Serena: And then that's kind of when you started niching down into Dubsado services. Okay. I think you and I met when you were still under your like virtual assistant brand. 

[00:06:58] Kendra: Yes, just Virtually Sorted, and then I went to my, my name obviously can't record me. So that happened in 2020. I decided, you know what? I really want to focus On one thing. I really love offering these services. I love coaching people through their processes. I love setting it up. So I'm going to just focus on this. And since then, I've only been doing Dubsado setups.

[00:07:18] Serena: Yeah, I love, I love hearing the story of how people get into like the specific specialization or niche that they're in, because there's always an interesting path like that, where it's like, and then it helps people understand like you didn't just pull a thing out of thin air, and were like, I'm going to just niche in Dubsado for service-based businesses. You actually used it and you applied it in your own businesses. So you've already worked out all the kinks. 

[00:07:46] Kendra: I've gone through the pain without having a system.? So I know what it's like to need one. 

[00:07:53] Serena: Exactly. Oh, I love that. You probably work a lot with photographers to setting their stuff up. 

[00:08:00] Kendra: Yeah. Lots of photographers. 

[00:08:02] Serena: Lots of coaches. Lots of bookkeepers. 

[00:08:07] Kendra: Yes. Yeah. I was going to get to that. We found each other on Instagram. And initially Serena came to me asking me to actually record something for one of her bookkeeping courses that she offers. I'm pretty sure you still offer it. I think it's the onboarding, 

[00:08:20] Serena: Yeah the onboarding onboarding. You have a bonus in there. 

[00:08:24] Kendra: Yes. So the bonuses from me and we basically covered like some lead stuff and some workflows there. And then as a grew and now help a lot of Sabrina students. With the setups as well. So it's, it's really fun. I've worked with a ton of bookkeepers because of you serene and it's awesome to have all this exposure to bookkeepers, improving the process as I go on along. So it's been really fun working with a lot of your students. They're really awesome people. 

[00:08:48] Serena: Yeah, it's, it's been awesome. So I had set up my own Dubsado. I kind of struggled through it, figured out all the kinks. Mainly because when I first started my business, I wanted something that could seamlessly do a proposal to an engagement letter, to a first payment, without me having to chase the clients back and forth and do the follow-up. I am not a fan of pestering people, but if the email does it for me, 

[00:09:17] Kendra: Yes. 

[00:09:18] Serena: It's much better. So I wanted a system that could do that and I discovered Dubsado. And so I set that whole thing up and then I, you know, kind of built out a workflow. That I onboard my clients through that set off reminders for myself that automated a few emails and things like that to just help the process. Because when you're a bookkeeper, at least when you're growing slowly, like I did, you're not onboarding a new client every week. And so it's hard to remember exactly which steps you took them through, all the documents that you need. And so I was like, I need to put this in a system. And so I actually implemented Dubsado before any other system in my business.

[00:10:01] So I didn't have Asana yet or any of that, but I was like, I need the onboarding workflow set up so that I don't forget all the steps that I took this client through that worked. Because I was onboarding like maybe one every couple of months. But I really wanted that. Automated piece of the proposal, the engagement letter that populates with whatever they chose from the proposal and then their first invoice.

[00:10:23] So I don't have to, it just takes all that awkwardness out of the equation of like, did you get my proposal? Did you like, blah, blah, blah. And because Dubsado has expiration dates. It'll send out email reminders on the proposals, and then you don't end up with like someone signing your proposal three months after you sent it out and totally forgetting about them.

[00:10:44] Kendra: And their rights has gone up at this point. 

[00:10:47] Serena: So there's so 

[00:10:48] many benefits to doing just that basic piece in Dubsado, so I had figured that out because I was just a solo preneur bookkeeper. The other systems that are designed for accountants, quote unquote, are close to a hundred dollars a month. And I just could not stomach paying that for basically the same type of system. And plus I really loved the way that you can customize Dubsado and the way it looks with your brand. And I was getting a lot of compliments on that. Now I get even more of that now that i had you redesign it. 

[00:11:25] Kendra: That's one of my favorite parts of the setup designing the forms.. 

[00:11:27] Serena: I love it. And I love how you can embed videos and pictures and all sorts of stuff and really customize it. But on the flip side of that, that makes it really overwhelming for some people because it's so customizable. So that's why. You and I decided to start working together. Cause I was starting to get students asking me if I could set up the Dubsado. And I was like, while I love doing that, that is probably not the best use of my time.

[00:11:52] And there's other people that are like certified in Dubsado and very efficient with it. And you have a design background and all of that. So it's like, let's just partner together. 

[00:12:03] Kendra: Yes. 

[00:12:03] Serena: That's kind of how I got into Dubsado and actually, because I had discovered how to set it up for my bookkeeping business, I wrote a blog about it and that one blog is really like the catalyst for this brand The Ambitious Bookkeeper brand blowing up because that's the blog that gets so much traffic on still. 

[00:12:23] Kendra: Oh that's amazing. 

[00:12:24] Serena: And that's how some people find me. So it's like one of those things that I'm like, I could probably never move away from Dubsado because of that. Like, because it's the thing that helped me get started because so many people were like, well, how did you set it up for yourself? And so I just started sharing and, and that's how all of this grew, but so why do you. Like I kind of have my suspicions, but why do you go with Dubsado versus another system like HoneyBook or any of them? 

[00:12:55] Kendra: So, like I said before, I like systems because it helps you and it also helps your clients. So like you said, Dubsado is very customizable, so you can take any process you want. And obviously every system has limitations with features and things like that, but you can take. A process that you map out without even looking at the border, I'm mapping it out, just, you know, seeing what steps you need to take, and then you can make that fit into Dubsado. There isn't really a limit because you can customize it. So. And then also with the form designs, because you can add code, it can look really like your brand. Like you can embed a form on your website and people won't even know the difference between it being your website or a Dubsado form. So you could be capturing info from them, from your website and they wouldn't even know. It's going into a system where you can automate your workflows to stay on track with the lead. 

[00:13:46] So that's why I love Dubsado. There are so many features like the bottom calendar you can use the schedule to book a call with leads. You can automate your workflows. You can have canned emails, like canned emails save you so much time that you don't even realize that you may think it's a small feature of the system. But just rewriting that email all the time, having it in the system, you only have to write it once and then you can use it with all of your clients and you can also automate it in workflows, so you don't have to even send it yourself.

[00:14:14] But you could, if you wanted to so you can use disorder as little and as much as you, like you can use for one part of your business, you can use it to cover the entire project. Obviously you can't, it's not for project management that's where Asana comes in. But Dubsado is great for the client communication. So when they come across anything that you send them, it looks like you. And that just gives them a really awesome experience with your brand. And it makes you memorable. Like you said, you get lots of people complimenting you on it. And you know, people just enjoy the experience with you. 

[00:14:44] And if your forms look good and they're easy to fill out, you know, People will associate you with that, ease of working with you. And just keep coming back. And especially for bookkeepers, you obviously have a lot of flack retainer clients. You keep coming back. So you want them to be firstly, to stay with you. Obviously your, your work will speak for itself in that keeping them they're in your business, but you also want them to start referring other people to you and things like that. So that's why I love the Dubsado over everything. I always say the workflows and the customizable forms and they work together as well. So it's really great. 

[00:15:21] Serena: Yeah. And when you provide such a beautiful, seamless onboarding experience, that's your first impression with the client. Like the first impression is when you send them that proposal after the call, right?

[00:15:34] Kendra: Yeah. Even, even the form on your website to capture their info, like really capture form that even sets The first impression, like what happens after they fill out that form? Are they getting an automated email to say that you've gotten the form, like that small thing can go a really long way because they don't know has it-- like, has this, the form not sent, has it glitched or something, the internet could have dropped and doesn't go through. So just having a confirmation and also letting them know when you'll follow up with them again. Really will help with that experience as well. 

[00:16:07] Serena: Yeah. Just if you're listening, hit that back 15, 30 seconds and relisten to that, just that one piece of this podcast will help your client experience so much because I've had moments where I've filled out a contact form on a website, and then it's like, it just disappears into the abyss. And I'm like, did it go through, is someone going to contact me? 

[00:16:29] Kendra: Exactly. 

[00:16:30] Serena: And then I forget ever that I did it. And then a week later, someone replies to the email or maybe they never even did. And so then I submit another. 

[00:16:40] Kendra: Or you are looking at, you know, five other people for the same thing and the person who gives you an automated response, you know, okay. You can expect a response in 24 hours or if they are on vacation, you know, that they're probably not able to take on your project for a little bit of time you can move on to the next person. So it saves time for everyone, basically. 

[00:17:02] Serena: Yeah. So. Lead capture step one for the very first impression. So if you don't have a lead capture on your website, and maybe we should go back and talk about what a lead is, just in case someone's confused.

[00:17:20] Kendra: So a lead is basically somebody who is interested in working with you. They found you on social media, on Google or a referral and they find themselves on your website. Or in your DMS, but obviously in terms of process and, you know, having a good set of steps to go through, you're also going to get people to go to your website and to your contact form. 

[00:17:39] Side note on that: so that is basically where the lead is a little come to your website and they will have a contact form which in disorder is called a lead capture form. And it's a form that has some basic info that they can fill out. So, first name, last name, email address, any info you need to get from them. 

[00:17:57] Serena: So that's customizable too. You can add whatever you want. You can ask them for their Instagram handle. You can ask them for their phone number, their email, whatever, but you should keep it kind of simple. 

[00:18:10] Kendra: Yes, definitely keep it simple if you want that to be a very easy entry point, then you want them to just be able to fill in the basic info and then that info that they fill in will be put into Dubsado automatically. So you're not going and wreaking in that info, which also saves you a lot of time, like the canned emails just putting that info in. Cause I know a lot of people just use their normal web form like their website and that's great, cause then you obviously will have the details, but if you want to carry on contacting them, you want to put them into a system. So just make it easier on yourself and just have it entered in for you. 

[00:18:44] And then from that form, going into the system, you can have a workflow automated that sends out the email or sends them a schedule, a link, or I don't know, you could have all kinds of things happen. You can even have a thing on the form that you can ask them. Like, what are you interested in? And then if they say bookkeeping or tax prep or something like that you can customize what goes after them based on what they choose. 

[00:19:08] So if you have specific emails for bookkeeping in that regard, or even a form, like another form we need for more info or a proposal, if you want to send that out straight away. You can have that out if I choose bookkeeping and then have a different set of criteria for tax prep and so on. 

[00:19:26] Serena: That just sparked a question I have regarding like when you have a lead capture form, have you ever because the automated emails that come through Dubsado are a little different than like an email service provider where you can send out newsletters, right.

[00:19:42] So have you ever connected. Dubsado to like an email service provider where if they do fill out that say bookkeeping versus tax, it puts them into an email service provider and tags them with bookkeeping and then get some automated sequence. Have you ever done that? I know I'm just like asking questions, randomly. People are going to be like, what the heck is he talking about?

[00:20:04] Kendra: No, I'm sure. I'm sure lots of people find it helpful. Like if they're already using Dubsado and like trying to like up level it. So that is a bit more tricky. So you can have all of your leads who fill out a form with Zapier. So you could have everyone who falls at one form be sapped. But I also don't like doing that per se because people can't really opt in. You can put a little box at the bottom that says, by filling out this form, you are opting into my newsletter. And obviously they can always not fill out the form, but there are some legal requirements in different areas about that. And then you can always send them like a double opt in.. So once they're added, they would get another email to ask them if they do want to join us, to click a button in an email. 

[00:20:44] So it's a bit iffy on where, everywhere on the world. But you can have a Zapier that if they fill out a form, there it zaps to your newsletter, whether that's Flow Desk, whichever one you can use Zapier which is a third party integration. But you can't necessarily have it so what they pick adds them to a different one. You would have to use different forms for that. 

[00:21:04] I'm sure there is like a more elaborate work around with yeah, there's always some more elaborate work around, but you can, you can think of the other way I could think of is using project statuses, depending on which one they choose. But that's a bit more complicated and a lot more steps and a lot more forms and workflows. But it is possible if you want everyone who fills out one form to go to your email marketing platform. 

[00:21:28] Serena: Interesting. Okay. That's good. Take that idea and put it on a shelf for now. I just wanted to ask the question. 

[00:21:35] So now that we've covered the lead capture, like that step one, if someone doesn't have a way, like, I'm always like all about like on your website, you should have multiple places that people can contact you and make it very obvious. So on my website, we have a book-a-call button, and we have like a contact form. So depending on which route. We're still going to capture the same information and it's still going to get into the Dubsado. But the contact button takes them to the lead capture form, which is embedded on our website. And then at the top of our lead capture, we also state what our minimum price is that way we're just not wasting people's time and they're not wasting ours.

[00:22:15] And then the book-a-call button takes them to our discovery call. Which essentially collects similar information. It's more in depth. But again, like also has the price minimum and all that kind of stuff. And that we actually use Acuity for scheduling because I had already had that all set up and I liked the way it functions, but we zap it into Dubsado still. So most of the information still gets into Dubsado. So that's always an option as well.

[00:22:41] So once you have your lead capture in a way for people to contact you on your website The next step is to start building out your proposal and engagement letter. Yep. So, yeah. What do you have like what's your biggest recommendation or piece of advice for that piece for people? 

[00:23:01] Kendra: So for the booking people? 

[00:23:03] Serena: Or like proposals. 

[00:23:05] Kendra: So the first thing that came to mind, when you said that is, for example, if you're having a call with people and you have calls with everyone who comes through your lead capture form, I would recommend not automating the proposals to go out immediately after the call. I know a few people do that to save time, but I know. You firstly probably need to customize it per client because I know a lot of bookkeepers have a base price. And then you build on that price based on what the client has said, the amount of transactions, et cetera, it's all, you know, customizable. 

[00:23:37] But I know are people who probably have set packages, so we're in the proposal, they have all the packages that offer. Then the client has an option to just choose whichever one they fit into or feel they fit into most. I wouldn't have that just sent out automatically just because you don't know how that call's going to go. They could outright say you're out of our budget or, you know it's not really a good fit and then it's very awkward to have a proposal to them.

[00:24:02] So I would have a workflow that you can go and apply. Once you've had that call or you've emailed with them a few times back and forth, and they're ready to actually with you. Because the system obviously can't pick up a conversation or assess the vibe basically. So you need to go and apply that and then have the first step be an email that goes after the proposal. 

[00:24:24] And by proposal, I mean, what you can include is a little bit about you. They've met you on a, on a phone call, but if they're talking to a few people, it's nice to just open a proposal and see info and be reminded about who you are and what you do. Some testimonials are always good to have on there. Frequently asked questions. Also very good. They probably would have asked a lot on their email or on the phone call, but the awesome questions that people may have about when payment happens or I dunno, how many calls they get with you a month? What kind of support did they get? And things like that. You can answer questions like that. 

[00:24:56] And the way you collect those is think of what people have frequently asked you basically, and make a list of those. If you're new. I'm trying to think about what questions people would have, again, payment process and things like that. Laying out next steps after they book with you. So what happens afterwards? Do they have a onboarding call with you? Do you send the questionnaire? Just laying out very, like an overview of what happened. You didn't have to go into much detail cause they're obviously gonna probably skim it of all the things that you have on your proposal. But you want to just give them as much info. As they need to book with you. So yeah, things like that. 

[00:25:34] And then obviously have the package. You can either go with a customizable package or set packages that you edit per client. So that's just how you work with your packages. 

[00:25:45] And then once that is all in there, you can send it out with an engagement letter attached. And then that they will go from the proposal except the package that you're offering them, signing the engagement letter and then making their first payment as well. 

[00:25:59] So. What I like doing for that is the first step of that workflow. Having an email that has an approval step on it. So what I mean by approval step is that it is a little pattern on them that I'm making click approve and it will go out, but you can also edit it before it goes out. So if you want to make it a bit more personal, based on the call or the communication you've been having with them. You can go and customize all the pieces, the proposal engagement letter, and invoice. And once you're ready, click approve and that'll go out. 

[00:26:29] And then I also like having some reminders in place. So if they haven't filled out the proposal in a few days, sending them a follow up is always a good idea. If they haven't signed the engagement later, send them a follow up if they haven't made their payments follow up with them. But yeah, I would do that. Maybe once, maybe twice. And then if they don't contact you, then they probably aren't interested. So you're doing to see how much you want to email them to follow up. And that's a personal preference. I've had some people want to follow up once. Some people want to follow up three or four times. But that's a personal preference, but I found that fewer is better actually cause people don't want to get too many emails. Cause like I said to maybe talking to a few people. And if everyone emails them four times has probably pretty annoying. 

[00:27:14] Serena: Yeah. Yeah. The other thing too is once you've got them in your system, it's a good way to track. Your stats, basically. So if everyone is in, as, you know, either captured as a lead or have booked a call, you can then go back and see how many people have entered information on the lead capture and not book the call or how many people have booked the call, but we didn't win as clients.

[00:27:41] And that can give you a lot of data about maybe your pricing or help you understand, like you can reflect back and, and figure out like, okay, where did I go wrong on this call? Like, you have their information now, so you could always follow up in six months and be like, Hey, like I just wanted to check in with you wanted to see if things have changed. If you're, if you're ready for a bookkeeper yet, or if you found one, are you happy with the service? Or if you found one, I would love to get some feedback on what made you choose them versus me. So there's so much you can do by just capturing lead information that will help you inform how you operate going forward.

[00:28:23] Kendra: Definitely, that also reminds me of project sites is in Dubsado. So those are kind of like funnels that your lead and clients can go through. And the first one I always have when they fill up the form is just to say new inquiry. And then have a, another one that says they've booked a call or you've sent them a proposal.

[00:28:42] So then, like you said, too, in the, you can see if they've stuck in the new inquiry and they haven't progressed through the different students funnels or project statuses you can see how many people you have actually closed on, or if you know, they haven't booked. So then you can always go back and be like, okay, there are a lot of people who've inquired, but haven't converted to clients. And like you said, you can see what you're doing. Do you need to change something? So, Dubsado, by just looking at the projects dashboard, you can see all that info. 

[00:29:12] Serena: Yeah. And if you're in this stage of your business where you have gotten quite a few inquiries, but nobody's booked a call yet, and you're like, I need more clients. The best place for you to go is that list of people who have made an inquiry and follow up with those, because they've already raised their hand that they're interested in working with you. So that's like the lowest hanging fruit always. But you won't have that information at your fingertips. If all you're doing is having Instagram, DM conversations and not sending people to your lead capture. 

[00:29:43] Kendra: Yes. Or you're just capturing them on your website contact form. They'll just be like in your email or on your website dashboard, but that doesn't help you see who you've actually won over, or if they just delete.

[00:29:55] Serena: Right. So that's the beauty of having a system and like, you can definitely track all this in Excel or something. Right. Like it's better than nothing. But it's great to have it automated so that, you know, you don't have to remember where you lost them in the process. It's already there for you.

[00:30:12] Kendra: Yeah. And speaking of like, tracking on an Excel I actually want to just say that you should set up the systems sooner than you think you need them. Yeah. Just because your clients pick up so fast without you even realizing it. You'll have like one or two and then you'll have a ton that you need to manage.

[00:30:28] So rather have a done and ready then needing to do it while you are in and you know, knee-deep in all of the work. You want to focus on this because. Obviously setting up systems in your business and doing this kind of thing, takes a lot of energy from you. And once you have so many clients, it's going to be very difficult for you to actually step back, unless you have a team just step back and focus on this and then come back to them.

[00:30:54] Yeah. So I recommend doing this quite early on in your business once you know, what you want to offer what your brand is. Set this up. So people will often come to me while they're doing like their branding, or they've just done their branding or their website. So their website ready to get people in and they've got the marketing sorted. Then now need a system or they will need a system. To actually support those leads. So doing them at the same time or just after whichever is the best time to do it. 

[00:31:27] Serena: Yeah. Thank you for bringing that up. Cause we definitely have, if you're a student listening and you're like, I don't need my Dubsado yet, it definitely is less stress than trying to implement Dubsado while you're onboarding two or three clients, or even just one client, because you're like, oh my gosh, I have this client that needs a proposal and I don't have my Dubsado set up, but I know I need it set up. So I want to set it up for this one client. So then you like work all night on setting up Dubsado. This is what I did.

[00:32:00] But I hear other students basically doing the same thing. Like we have our weekly hot seat calls for the VIP cohorts of the bookkeeping business accelerator. And almost on every call, somebody is like their commitment for the week is I'm setting up my dubs auto because I have to send out a proposal.

[00:32:17] Kendra: Yes. And then the client has to wait until you've done that to actually send it. So you may be losing clients by waiting. I know that sounds really harsh, but that's the reality, you know, people, if they're getting other proposals, they may just go with them cause they ready, you know? So you want to be ready.

[00:32:34] Serena: Yeah. And the beauty of having like, even when you are quote unquote customizing. Aspects of a proposal. If you have the bones in there of, okay, these are my base three packages, but like I always recommend have a base price for each package, but price the client, not necessarily not, everybody's going to be the same at that middle tier package, you can give everybody different prices because they're going to have different complexities in their business, but having everything already set up in the proposal, all you have to do is go in and customize that package according to that client's needs. And sometimes it's all it is, is changing the price on it. For me, sometimes it's changing the due date of when we're promising financial statements. 

[00:33:18] So like we'll tweak little things about the package based on what the. Is valuing. Like they they're going to value quicker financials. Okay. But they're still in this package because of the volume of their business, but we're going to increase the price of it. And we're going to shorten the deadlines or increase like the number of meetings or whatever. So you can still slightly customize it very quickly. 

[00:33:43] I've been doing a lot of discovery calls lately and sending out proposals. So this is very fresh in my mind. I always, now that this is all like humming along smoothly in Dubsado, I can confidently tell a client after that. Like as soon as we get off of this discovery call, or by the end of today, you will have an proposal in your inbox with your next steps. And I immediately, when we get off the call and everything's fresh, I try to set aside 15, 20 minutes to go in and edit that proposal. Make sure the workflow is all set up in Dubsado and then send it off to them. And then Dubsado does the reminding for me, I don't have to lift the thing or after that. 

[00:34:22] Kendra: That's awesome. And I get a lot of questions when I'm sitting up to Dubsado like how do the templates actually work? So in Dubsado you can set up a ton of templates, so packages, which can be a base price and you can edit per client forms, emails, schedulers, and things like that.

[00:34:37] But then once it's applied to the client Project it's theirs. So you can go and change everything. You can change the packages you can change. When something's sent in the workforce, even if you set up a workflow, you can go and change when it sent out. For that, the wording for that specific client.

[00:34:57] Yeah. And it'll stay the same in the templates. So everything is customizable, but I always say have a starting place, at least if you don't want it to automation, yet at least put in packages, put in your canned emails, make a proposal, make a questionnaire that you can send out to get all those questions answered for the intake and the onboarding. You're bound to have a ton of questions for your client about the bookkeeping and things like that. So definitely at least start there. 

[00:35:24] Serena: Yeah. And so that, that brings us to the point of like, what if something. Not at the point of their business yet where they like even know all the things they should be asking for; all the documents and all of the intake questions like that's a piece that holds a lot of people back. So you and I have built out together a. Standardized way of setting up Deb Sato. It's not like a click of a button to implement. It's still because Dubsado is very customizable. You still have to set it up individually for everybody. But you and I have created this process together based on my business. So that it's easier for when people come to work with you, you can give them. Everything I've heard he built out basically.

[00:36:09] So if you're interested in that service, there's a couple ways that you can work with Kendra. You can work with her individually without me, but still kind of get my process. And if you're a student of mine, we have an elite level of The Accelerator where Kendra will do your Dubsado set up for you. Based on my setup. So, tried and true tested and tinkered with, or whatever, I don't know. 

[00:36:35] Kendra: And, if you do it like privately with me, I guess you could say, you still get a discount as well. Right. Just because of the connection and because you're a student. So yeah, the two ways are. I, if you're a student and you do it kind of like through the course it's more of like a temporary setup where I literally go and just put everything in that Serena and I have made. You do get like a customized proposal, cause obviously it's, your brands are putting your branding and things like that in but the private one is more. Where we will still meet. And then if you have small tweaks or if you do something differently to Serena, or if you want to do something differently to Serena, once you've seen her process, we can tweak it.

[00:37:14] So that's kind of the difference between the two. So obviously the private one is more expensive, but you are able to change the process a bit if you want to. So I was wanting to give some info on the difference. 

[00:37:25] Serena: Thank you for explaining, 

[00:37:26] Kendra: But the template one is faster because we're not doing any tweaks. It's literally Serena's process in. You get a proposal and you are good to go. 

[00:37:36] Serena: Yeah. And then you have a training video that walks them through how to use it. 

[00:37:40] Kendra: Yes. Yes. I've lost a videos. How to change things, how the process works, just getting you familiar with the system and everything. 

[00:37:48] Serena: Yeah. Awesome. It's been like, I, I just love working with you. It's been amazing. So any, if anyone is struggling with your Dubsado setup, or maybe you already have Dubsado setup, but you know that like you can improve it and you want it to be prettier because, you know, you want that more custom like proposal going out. Definitely reach out to Kendra. We'll link her information in the show notes. 

[00:38:11] So, what I like to do when I have other business owners on the show that are not accountants is, is ask them what is something that whether you have a bookkeeper or not. So if you have a bookkeeper, it's something that your bookkeeper does that you really love, that you see so much value in, or if you don't have a bookkeeper, what would be something that you would look for in a bookkeeper that would provide value for you?

[00:38:39] Kendra: So I got a beekeeper in, I think 2020 was the first time I got a bookkeeper and she's a local bookkeeper and she's awesome. And before that I struggled so much and I basically didn't like save for my taxes. So when it came to tax season, I had nothing saved. I really panicked, but she made a plan for me. Cause I don't know if it works differently in the states, but yeah, we are provisional taxpayers and you can pay like a percentage towards it. And then later on you can pay like 50%. So she made like a whole plan and schedule for me. Of how much I need to make to, you know, make up for what I didn't save so that when we started, that was awesome.

[00:39:23] So she really helped relieve all that stress cause I was so worried about it. And then now ongoing, we meet every month and we basically go through the transactions and she lets me know how much I should be saving for my tax and this has been life-changing because when it comes to tax season, I'm just like, okay, this is saved. Cool. Pay it. So just going through those transactions with me, making me and helping me understand where the money's going and all those kinds of things. 

[00:39:53] So meeting with me, I would say is the biggest thing. Just having that support where I can ask a questions when I need to, if I don't understand something she's there. So yeah. 

[00:40:03] Serena: I love that. You're just reiterating what I say all the time is just like meet with your clients. It seems simple on our end. Like it's like, well, they're not going to like really care, but if they need that support, they will come to the meetings and the meetings don't have to be like your bookkeeper probably doesn't put everything in a PowerPoint and like present something fancy to you. She's just having a conversation, right? Yeah. 

[00:40:27] Kendra: Yes. We were in like a Google sheet. And then we will like go through the transactions and things like that. I don't use a bookkeeping software, we manage it in a sheet. And I know that sounds very much like using Dubsado and Google sheet instead of using like Xero because it's complicated for me, just because of working internationally is different from you. 

[00:40:48] So we just do everything in the Google sheet. But her Google sheets are awesome. Like they're so organized and they've got like all these formulas and things that she set up. So we go through that basically every month and it's just awesome, but it's not anything fancy, like a spreadsheet with, you know, like predictions and all those things. It's quite simple. 

[00:41:08] Serena: Awesome. Well, do you have any other pointers for someone who who is either new as a bookkeeper or experienced and interested in setting up a system like Dubsado? 

[00:41:21] Kendra: So. Going back again to set it up before you need it. Just to not have that stress. Cause I had that in my photography business. I had it in my VA business and I wasn't ready for it. Like you may not think you're going to have a lot of clients, but even if you don't have a lot of clients, Your energy is best spent with your clients and doing what you do best rather than setting up one in terms of hiring me, rather than setting it up yourself, learning everything, because you don't need to be a Dubsado specialist or expert. You just need to be an expert of your own system, right? So you don't need to go and learn all of the ins and outs. You just need to know. How to work it in your business. And that's what I will do versus how you should use it. And then you become an expert at the system we set up for you, which will be unique to your business and for bookkeepers and and people need to techs and accountants.

[00:42:16] So if that's what you want to go, but if you are DIY-ing it do it as soon and as fast as you can. So you are focusing on clients. So firstly is just get it set up. If you don't have the time or you don't want to learn it, hire it out because you don't need to be doing that, you should be doing bookkeeping or accounting, basically you don't have to be doing all these system things. 

[00:42:36] Serena: Right. And a lot of times like, People are like, is this this shiny object syndrome? Or do I actually need a system like that? And you're like, shaking your head. It is not any object, whether it's Dubsado or another one, find the one don't spend so much time figuring out which one is the best, because they're all, like you said, going to have certain limitations, but make sure you have a system because here's what happens when you have a system ready to bring on clients, is it takes stress away from you, so your energy is not spent fretting about, oh my gosh, how am I going to remember like what to, what process to put them through what documents I need, la la la la la, all these things and energetically, when you don't have a way to accept clients into your world. You're blocking them from asking you for your services.

[00:43:26] So I'm going a little woo, but hopefully people are used to it by now that if you don't create that space on your calendar, create that system to accept clients and you are energetically blocking them.

[00:43:39] Kendra: Totally. And it's also decision fatigue. You know, every time you have to like recreate the wheel, you know, like what do I have to do now? It's time spent and energy spent that you could be rather with your clients. Working with them then still figuring out how to send the proposal to them. You could have already onboarded them by the time you are still trying to think of how to do it. 

[00:44:03] Serena: Yes, yes. I can attest to that for sure.

[00:44:07] Kendra: Yeah. Same for me in all of my businesses before I set up the systems. It's not, it's not just a bookkeeping thing. It's all industries need to do this. 

[00:44:15] Serena: Yeah, absolutely. So even if you have clients that, you know, need a system like this, send them to Courtney... or Kendra! Sorry. I'm like reading your name. I always do that when you have two first names.

[00:44:32] So anyhoo, we will link all of your information in the show notes, but where is the best way for people to connect with you? 

[00:44:42] Kendra: So. My website. I'll always say my website, if you're interested in working with me, just because that's where my lead form is. And you're going to my Dubsado account. But if you just want to chat, Instagram. I love chatting Instagram, DM, sending voice notes, things like that. So if you have any questions about how to Dubsado works, what if you're interested in working together, then you can always send me a DM and I pretty much reply unless you're a spam, I will reply to your DM. So very open. We can chat. Yeah, my handle is Kendra Courtney co, but I'm sure we're going to put that in the, 

[00:45:15] Serena: Yes. So if you're listening to this episode and you found it valuable, please take a screenshot of it and tag both me and Kendra. Again, I'm reading your name on the screen right here. Kendra Courtney co on Instagram and I'm at ambitious bookkeeper on Instagram. 

[00:45:34] So thank you so much for joining me. It's been amazing working with you the past few years, and I look forward to continuing the relationship and having you help more and more bookkeepers. So I will talk to you soon. 

[00:45:48] Kendra: Yes. Thank you for having me on. Awesome. 

[00:45:51] Serena: Bye.