The Start of my Journey as a Black Swan
Well, what can I say about my first Institute of Professional Bookkeepers (IPBC) Ignite Conference held in September … exhilarating, exhausting, exciting, overwhelming … and I will never miss another one again!
Finally getting to meet the app partners who have helped me immensely through the past year, many of whom feel like family already. I walked off the elevator right into Shaun of InvoiceSherpa and just gave him an immediate hug. Now, he looks just like his photo, but apparently I don’t, so poor Shaun just went with it and hoped it was me. Lol. I loved learning about new apps, networking, making new friends and reuniting with old friends. I have walked away with valuable information and connections.
My favorite new app is FundThrough. I had not heard of them beforehand, but in their breakout session, I learned that they are basically a revolving credit using your receivables as collateral. With the right client, this could help your small business clients grow. More on that soon!
I am also quite excited to test out Wagepoint. Even with one employee, to know that I don’t have to do any T4s, ROEs, and that my source deductions will be taken care of for me, is quite appealing. But, that’s a blog for another day.
The most valuable opportunity being of course, my acceptance to become a 5th generation Black Swan. For those of you who haven’t heard of the Black Swans, they are a small group of bookkeepers that have been chosen to mentor under Ron Baker himself, author of Implementing Value Pricing and founder of the VeraSage Institute. I can’t even begin to describe how excited I was when I found out I was one of the five bookkeepers selected this year for this honour, and one of two that Intuit® is sponsoring.
I started my journey into value pricing about eight months ago and accessed all of the webinars that I could. Intuit had Ron create a four-part recorded series that was immensely helpful and got me started. I made my mistakes, but kept moving forward. I thought I was doing quite well. I have 75 percent of my clients on QuickBooks® Online and about 50 percent on a value priced plan. We spent the first day of the conference with Ron and learning so much.
First, I learned that I was on the right track!! Yay!
The second thing I learned was how much further I still have to go.
The third thing I learned was that I am not really value pricing, not in the true sense. I am offering fixed pricing, with menu options that offered a little bit of customization. I realize now that I need to listen to the client more, do a much better job vetting them and gain my confidence in the value I am providing. Ron shared with us a cute commercial on value pricing and I have included that below for you. It puts a whole different spin on hourly pricing vs value pricing.
Several of the Black Swan graduates popped in to talk about how this has changed their lives, and I feel very fortunate to now be a part of something so much bigger than myself. Even some of the first generation of Black Swans still support each other and have Ron’s support. Just like we in QBO in Quinte believe in Collaborating Practices, so does Ron. The Black Swans really feel like a family.
Thank you to the Swans and to Ron for accepting me into your family, and thank you to the IPBC and to Intuit for allowing me this opportunity. I feel very fortunate to have the support of such an amazing organization such as Intuit and am so excited that I am able to share my journey with you all, so keep watching for my posts as I will be sharing the lessons I have learned along the way.