How to run a businessIt seems everywhere I turn at the moment, there is someone who has an opinion on how a bookkeeping and accounting business should run. It also appears that these “so called experts” are quite willing to judge me and my business without knowing a single thing about me, how I operate, how I attract and retain clients, how my staff operate – and they certainly have no freaking clue about how profitable my business is.

Yet they think it is perfectly acceptable to bully me, and others, by telling everyone if they don’t run their business “their way” we are clearly unintelligent individuals whose business is destined for disaster.

“No offence – but get stuffed. Your opinion is based on your business model – not mine, so stop making me (and others who are too scared to say anything) feel so useless.”

But unlike most start-up business owners, I am only too happy to tell them their opinion is exactly that – their opinion. And I am entitled to my opinion.

So why do I have my “ranty-pants” on again.

Well this month the topic of accounting software subscriptions came up. It is very well known in the software industry that generally speaking, whoever holds the subscription and pays for the subscription gets a discount from the software provider. We, as accountants and BAS agents, can then choose whether to pass that discount on to the end client.

As advisors in various softwares, we are also privy to some discount codes every now and then giving a % off the monthly subscription for say, 2-3 months, to encourage new people to use the software.

“Let me get this straight – I am not in the business of being a software sales person. I am here to help my clients streamline and understand their financial information. We choose the best software for their needs, not based on any commission we would get.”

I am not a representative for any software company – and as such, we let our clients hold the subscription and pay the software directly to the software provider. Any discounts we get for new subscribers, we also pass on in full to the end client. There are only 3 instances this doesn’t happen – and that is because clients don’t have business credit cards they can use to pay for the software. This works out to be 3% of our client base. Minimal.

This week I was told that because I was not paying for the subscription and hiding the discount within my packages, that my business model is wrong, I am clearly not going to be here for the long term and obviously my clients don’t value me enough to pay for my services hence why I pass on these discounts.

“Get stuffed. No really – go and get stuffed. You know nothing about me, you know nothing about my education, training, value, client base, the hundreds of hours I work every week to build up relationships and trust. I am not you – and I don’t want to be.”

However you feel the need to publicly bully my in a Facebook group to tell me that my business is not viable and that clearly I am not providing a service anyone wants.

Stop the judgement. Just stop. It is not necessary. Nobody is “right” and nobody is “wrong”. Accept that and be happy that we are helping business owners avoid financial disaster by streamlining their bookkeeping and helping them understand their financial information. That should be the focus.

It is very easy to sit behind a computer and judge others based on whether or not I accept a $4 commission each month. For me – that commission is not part of my business model – never has been, never will be. That is how I operate.

“I am not saying it is the right business model, I am not saying it is the wrong business model. But it is my business model.”

My business has doubled in size from last financial year, it is profitable, and I am paying myself a wage every month (and have done so since day dot). I have people reaching out to me each week to work with me or work on projects with me. I don’t do paid advertising as my clients come from referrals – referrals from happy clients. Happy clients who value my services.

So if you think there is something wrong with a profitable business model, I suggest it is you that needs to rethink your attitude, not me rethink my model.