Follow Candy Messer on Her Journey to Value Pricing

Meet Candy, who hopes the move to value pricing will mean great time savings on timesheet entry, but is apprehensive about leaving behind her way of tracking efficiency.

To view the additional videos about her, please see follow these links to Month 2: Simplify my billingMonth 3: Thinking about terms and Month 4: Setting reasonable goals.

Our clients like that we're a small business just like they are, so we understand the needs that a small business has. The name of my company is Affordable Bookkeeping and Payroll Services. We've been in business now for almost eleven years.

My company is located in Harbor City, California. One of the things that makes my company successful are the employees. I have five employees who work with me in my office.

Being a small company we pick up the slack for each other. We want to go above and beyond, because we want to produce exactly what the client wants.

We don't have one particular type of business we cater to, but we do have a lot of restaurants, a lot of medical offices, some home-based businesses.

I find new clients most of the time actually through referrals. We have a questionnaire that prospects fill out to give us information about their businesses; what are their challenges? What have they tried that hasn't worked? What are they looking for? Then I have a phone conversation with them to figure out the best way to meet their needs and see if we're a good fit.

Dan has been a client for about a year and a half. He originally called me when he was going to open his gym.

Pivot on your back foot.

We started just with payroll, and then we added in bookkeeping services.

Hi Dan.

Hey Candy.

I'm here to pick up those papers.

Yep, got them for you right here.

Okay great, thanks.

I met Candy through the Chamber. She's very personable, she had good references; she was well recommended. She'd come in and tried out the gym too, so that helped actually.

I've got the forms for you.

Okay, great-

But first I need to see you work on the speed bag.

She's really good about getting back to me, and keeping me out of trouble. It really allows me to run the business, and not just be overwhelmed with paperwork and forms and filings and things like that.

We work with our clients the way they best want to work with us. Depending on what their needs are, we can do remote access into their access if they need to have the data, we can share the folder or we can do Quickbooks online.

I have been cloud-based ... Goodness, maybe five or six years at least? I think technology allows us to be able to do the work. I don't have to be sitting behind my desk in my office to get work done, because I can remote into my own computer and do work.

I've got to remember to tell you that so we count those hours-

Getting rid of time sheets is a little bit of a scary thought, because that's how we've been doing it for such a long time and tracking, and that's how we can tell if we're spending too much time.

Thanks, Justin.

No problem.

Appreciate it.

I'm trying to go away from hourly billing, just because as we continue to grow, our own invoicing is taking longer and longer.

I have some clients I've moved to a fixed fee, and new clients as I'm bringing them in I'm trying to figure out how much time it will take, and the other additional services they may need. Scope creep is an issue that I'm concerned about, if I do establish a flat rate and then all of a sudden there's a new bank account, or there's more, "I want you to do this now, or that." How do we talk to the client about, "Well, this was the price we established, and now here is an additional service you want so we'll have to change our pricing."

I think the advice I would ask right now is if someone calls in and says, "How much do you charge?" How do you respond to that customer so they realize it's not just about the price?

Alright, you guys have got to go.