In 2002, I made partner at the CPA firm where I had been working. By 2003, I was burned out. The practice was disorganized and inefficient. All instructions between the staff were verbal which caused mistakes and added to the confusion. Additionally, everything had to be reviewed by my partner which slowed our turnaround time. Although we did quality work, we acquired fewer clients as time went on. Working 80 hours per week, the stress was enormous. I had a baby at home whom I never saw and a very unhappy wife.
I went to my partner for advice. He told me I had better get organized and learn how to run the practice or it would eat me alive. He had struggled with it for years. He had made money but missed seeing his kids grow up. He warned me the greatest cost was losing one’s children. I knew other business owners who had worked hard and made a lot of money but whose children hated them because they were never there. I didn’t want to be one of those people. My partner had received mailings from Sterling. After doing my homework, I signed up for their consulting program. Sterling taught me that I could only make so many widgets in a day which was the biggest barrier to our growth. Therefore, the first thing we did was get an office manager which enabled me to unload some routine tasks to her. We organized the practice and assigned specific functions to the staff. I empowered them to interact with customers and do their jobs. Productivity and efficiency shot up.
The biggest change was on hiring. Sterling taught us techniques for identifying and hiring quality staff. We needed sharp thinkers and with Sterling’s help, we saved tremendous time and aggravation by learning how to identify the right staff for our practice.
Now we’ve grown from a 4-man shop to 20 staff. My gross billings and collections have increased by 475% and profitability is up by 45%. I still put in lots of hours because I love to work, but I also take four weeks of vacation every year with my family. We are now looking to expand and acquire more offices. What a change!
If any of this hits home for you, call Sterling at 800-933-7538 or click here to get a copy of their DVD and an introductory consultation. But I caution you not to set your goals too low. I went to Sterling to free up some time to spend with my family. I wasn’t looking to raise my income or expand the practice. Thanks to Sterling, I was able to do it all. — Carlos Tanner, CPA