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Episode · 1 year ago

💲💲 The Science of Having a Profitable Online Business! With Parker Stevenson

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Curious how to have a profitable online business? We’re gonna dive into that in the next episode of the Social Media Lab LIVE!!

I will be interviewing Parker Stevenson to find out all about “The Science of Having a Profitable Online Business!”

Who is Parker Stevenson?

Parker is a co-owner and the Chief Business Officer at Evolved Finance; a bookkeeping agency that specializes in helping online entrepreneurs to build more profitable and financially stable online businesses.

For over 6 years, Parker has been advising some of the top coaches, course creators, influencers, and thought leaders on how to make more sound business decisions using their financial data.

You can listen to the audio-only interview above or watch the full live video below:Social Media Lab LIVE is hosted by Scott Ayres, the Content Scientist at the Social Media Lab. It’s a weekly show where Scott talks about social media marketing with expert guests and is always testing something!!!

Get started with Restream for free at www.restreamlive.com
With Restream Studio, you can:
— Launch & demonstrate new products
— Drive flash sales & promotional offers
— Host interviews, Q&As, or podcasts


Curious how to have a profitable online business? We’re gonna dive into that in the next episode of the Social Media Lab LIVE!!

I will be interviewing Parker Stevenson to find out all about “The Science of Having a Profitable Online Business!”

Who is Parker Stevenson?

Parker is a co-owner and the Chief Business Officer at Evolved Finance; a bookkeeping agency that specializes in helping online entrepreneurs to build more profitable and financially stable online businesses.

For over 6 years, Parker has been advising some of the top coaches, course creators, influencers, and thought leaders on how to make more sound business decisions using their financial data.

You can listen to the audio-only interview above or watch the full live video below:

Social Media Lab LIVE is hosted by Scott Ayres, the Content Scientist at the Social Media Lab. It’s a weekly show where Scott talks about social media marketing with expert guests and is always testing something!!!

Get started with Restream for free at www.restreamlive.com
With Restream Studio, you can:
— Launch & demonstrate new products
— Drive flash sales & promotional offers
— Host interviews, Q&As, or podcasts


Welcome to the social media lab live podcast, powered by a Goro pulse. I am Scott Airs, the content scientists at the Social Media Lab, where we bust the myths, the rumors and the stories of social media marketing with science. You can see all of and listen to the podcast if you go to social media lab dot live. That's social media lab dot live. On today's episode I'm interviewing Parker Stevenson from evolved finance and what we are going to do is we're going to talk about the science of having a profitable online business. I get to ask Parker a lot of cool questions about you. How can your online business make finances easier? How much should you pay yourself? What report should you look at? All that fun stuff. Really good interview. Had A lot of fun with Parker. Again, you can also see and listen to other episodes if you go over to social media lab dot live. Now onto my interview with Parker Stevenson's yeah, so today we're going to talk about the science of a profitable online business and Parker, you you run a company called evolved the finance correct the Carlton, thank you, dust and the car. I was thinking the Carlisle was in my brain for some reason, like that's not right. What is it? I and picturing doing it. But so yeah, so if somebody to know who you are, kind of give us like, you know, your thirty sixty two elevator pitch of why we should listen to you when it comes to a profitable online business. Sure. So, Scott, again, thank you for having me on the show again. My name is Parker Stevenson and I am the CO owner of a bookkeeping firm for online businesses called evolved finance, and essentially we do bookkeeping for online businesses. Are Focus is just getting the financial data that's in every you know, all the businesses that we work with, getting that financial data into their bookkeeping software so that way we can provide monthly financial reports that help our clients to understand our business or their businesses more deeply, help them to make better business decisions and also just to make tax time a little easier for their accountants. But we like to really focus on helping our clients understand their numbers. A lot of bookkeepers will just kind of, you know, get the data in and then Ignoringa for the rest of the month. But for us, we're really we're really passionate about helping business owners feel just less worried about their numbers and actually use the financial data in their business to help it grow and help it be more successful. One of the most important expenses an online business owner needs to be monitoring for their business. Sure this is one that I think for a lot of people you know it, you don't, and I'm not trying to push like bookkeeping right off the back, but if we don't have like data in our business, every expense kind of looks like it's all important and the reality is, of course we don't want anyone expense to blow up, but after looking at me have literally looked at thousands of profit and law statements for online businesses and there's really only two expenses that make or break a business, especially once you get established. Obviously, if your business is new, it's kind of a situation where you know if you're not generating enough revenue, every expense is going to be eating into your profitability. Because we're not generate enough revenue yet, but once we're kind of generating consistent review and for us, our clients are are going to be making a hundred thousand dollars or more a year and revenue. Once you get to kind of that phase, then there's two expenses. It's going to be your advertising and it's going to be your team. Those at least in specifically in the online space. Obviously, if you had a restaurant or ECOMM store or something like that, inventory would be a big one or some of these other more classic expenses for classic based businesses. But in the online space, when you don't have a lot of overhead expenses and and and most, I mean almost all...

...of our clients are running their businesses from home, even before covid that really it's a matter of how cost effectively are we generating leads and converting those leads into customers, and so most of the time that's going to be facebook ads, Google ads and any other sort of form of digital advertising. Our clients who don't have to spend a lot of money on advertising because they have really great organic traffic from social media or SEO marketing or whatever it is. That tends to be a huge advantage for them because they're not having to spend money on every facebook ad click or every Google ad click that they're getting to know add people to their email list and get people on sales calls or to a Webinar. So then on the second piece here is is again your team. So there again, with an online business, when you're just getting started, you can do so much on your own right you can kind of be everything in the business and generate a healthy income without very much help. But inevitably if you want your business to grow in scale, and especially, I know there's a lot of agency owners that listen to this shhow that obviously you can't be the only person serving your customers and your clients. If my business partner and I were the only one serving our customers, it would be pretty rough. So that's where team and making sure we have people on our team and managing the cost of those team members are going to be not only important for the business scaling but also making sure the business days profitable at the same time. Now and interesting like fine, I'm curious because I don't think it's even actually one of the questions I have for you. Like in that I mean to be profitable, because we're talking about how to be profitable. How much like, let's go advertising, for example, like advertising expensive versus overall gross revenue. You do look for a certain percentage. Yeah, absolutely recommend like so you know you're not okay, if I'm spending sixty percent of my revenue on advertise, I'm probably not profitable. Like what do you look at? Like what's the ideal sort of number? They're totally so for the our niche. And again I just want to be clear on our niche. So we're working with a lot of course creators, people with membership sites, coaching programs, influencers and some service providers like our business, out of all finances, going to be probably more closely connected to maybe some of the agencies and stuff like that that some of the listeners have. But ultimately we found that for our clients businesses, if they start to spend more than thirty percent of their revenue on advertising, it gets tough for them to keep their profitability at thirty percent or higher. Now, for more service based businesses you might be looking for more like a twenty percent or higher profitability rate. But you know, if you're doing a ton of volume and you're spending forty or fifty percent of your revenue on advertising, it doesn't mean you can't be profitable. But we found that really across all of our clients businesses. It's very rare that a client spending more than thirty percent of their revenue and advertising and they're still hitting the profitability goals that were setting for right. That's that's a great advice, because that's I think of bat I go back like old, like offline businesses. You know, I s friend Pizza restaurant and if you got to that, we had a limited it was like I think we were like twenty percent, you know, on advertising and local marketing expenses. Solid Sto, because if you any more in that you're like, okay, I'm cutting in everything and my revenue very quickly, in my in my overall profits. I like that thirty percent mark because it's like well, yeah, I don't work it's some workers are like oh well, if, if, if we're taking up half your revenue, we're at least getting you a return on your investment. It's like right, you are, but I need to get a good enough return on my investment that I can also have enough money to pay my team, cover my software expenses and do everything else that we have to hold ourselves accountable to the Roy that we know we need to get off our advertising in order to keep the business healthy. Yeah, because I think you know, I think that's the problem. You can let people who run facebook ads and...

...our Google ads and like well, yeah, we're getting you, we spent we spent five, you made ten. But I've got labor cost I've got hard costs, I've got an office, I've got overhead, and you've got to take those into consideration totally and I think a lot of people forget that when it comes to the online and that kind of plays into the next day. I was going to ask you is like when it comes to if I'm running online business, you know, I'm running courses, I'm selling graphics, whatever it might be, those sort of online stuff, like like how much should it be paying myself? I mean, like what is there an ideal number that you kind of hope or shoot for our advised so this is probably one of my most disappointing answers because I think most people just go just give me a percentage of my profit or percentage of my revenue and that's what I get paid. But the reality is, as we have to kind of dive a little more deeply into this right we have to understand some of the nuance of our businesses and also our personal finances. So number one, if you're trying to figure out how much to pay yourself, I think you have to take into consideration. Well, how much do you need to make right, like, if you don't have a day job or if you're you know, you're single, you don't have a spouse who's bringing in an income, or even if you do have a spouse that's bringing an income, do you guys know how much, at a minimum, you have to bring in in order to pay your bills? Right? So, if you're making, let's say, on average, seven thousand dollars a month and profit from Your Business and you have to make six after taxes, will chances are you're going to have to take the full seven grand out, put some aside for taxes and like you're not going to have any cash left over each month because you have to take that profit out to pay yourself. Versus if you, you know, quit your job, your spouse makes enough money that you don't need the income from Your Business. Yet you may not pay yourself anything because you'd rather invest the money back into your business to grow it faster so that you can have nice, juicy profits down the road, where you can start to make some real money from it. So that's why we need to understand what is our personal financial situation and then we also have to kind of take a look at the business. How stable is this business? How consistently are we driving revenue and staying profitable each month? Because if we have lots of profit in this business and we've shown that the business is consistently bringing in profit every month, it's a lot easier to go okay, like I can easily pay myself x amount of dollars each month because there's so much stability. But if we have a business where we have launches and we and our revenue goes up, then we have a huge month, but now our revenue drops for the next three months until we have our next big promotion again, well then we have to take that into consideration and make sure that we're not overdoing it because we had one big month and then on the other months you know we're in the negative because we're like, crap, I want to pay myself a consistent salary here, but my revenue fluctuates too much. So it's a it's this combination of do we know what our personal financial situation is and are we clear on sort of the momentum the business has and are we paying attention to the numbers in the business so we can feel confident that the salary we're paying ourselves isn't going to eat into the business? Is Cash float to the point that, you know, every month is super stressful and you feel like you're walking on a tight rope? Yeah, I think back to my days when I sold cars, like there are some months they're like, oh my gosh, I could do this forever because the money was so good, and then the economy collapses and was a two thousand and seven, two thousand and eight, somewhere around there. And you know, I sold twelve cars a month, which seemed great, but they only pay me a hundred hours each and like Oh, that didn't match the you know, fifteen thousand I made this month before and I spent too much that month before because I was like Yay. So yeah, online it's kind of saying you got a gonna know, all right, this is what I'm paying myself. I've got to stick to this and not overspend the next you know, because you're going to have a buffer, you're going to have this best you know of courses launching. You don't have new stuff coming out, your revenue could be really slow, you know what. Terms. This is a an interesting follow up question. Here. It would be, let's say I've love, I've had this idea, like I'm gonna launch this business. I have a salary set for myself and my advertising budget...

...and I do like, by the way, that doesn't said, oh, that's easy for me. I spend zero and advertising. That's nice. Doesn't. Doesn't really do a lot of advertising any also said be warned, if you lick me, I will look you back. Challenge accepted us. But when you're starting out, let's say like you have an agency, you know, our online business some sort, like you know, okay, I want to pay myself seven Grandam on, and now I've gone for five months and I'm not hitting that. Like what sort of adjustment, smile I need to make or what would you recommend? Like you pull back to you change a course. She's been more in advertising. Maybe push that up. There's any sort of you run into that before? Yeah, I mean there's a couple things here. Number One, we recommend especially for, you know, our clients. Businesses were again, there is some volatility. You have some many big months and then you're operating off of recurring payments for a little while until you have that next promotion. That our goal for all of our clinses to have three months of operating expenses saved up, because what that does is it gives you a three month runway to figure things out if things aren't going as planned, and so you can maintain your salary during that time because you would kind of consider you getting paid as part of that three month operating expenses and you know you can get through the next you typically, for our clients businesses, three months is going to be plenty of time for them to figure out where do I need to have another launch? Do I need to make some adjustments here and figure some things out? But this is where you know. Something I want to mention earlier, Scott, is that I think as business owners we have this extra responsibility that you don't have when you're an employee for a company because you as an employee, you get you get your paycheck and less your commissioned, obviously, like you were as a car sales person. But ultimately we have to understand that we have to have our personal finances really buttoned up because we never know when things are going to adjust and we have to be paying attention to the financial data in our business because that financial dat is going to give us the feedback we need to go oh, I'm seeing some signs of things that I need to jump on sooner or maybe there's some opportunities that if I jump on, I could take this business to the next level. But we're kind of operating blindly. It's really difficult to know. How do I know when to make moves and what I can afford to do and and not just feeling like you're operating off an instinct and feeling just like with your marketing strategy right, all the social media data, you're advertising data, all that stuff helps you to make decisions to see is my marketing working? Well, the same thing with your finances. Is Your Business working? Does Your Business Model fundamentally work? That's where your financial data will help you to figure that out and again, hopefully avoid having to make big pivots and big changes down the road, because we're seeing signs sooner than that. Well, I mean you transition really well to the next question I'm going to ask you. So it's like you knew the questions but what sort of reports should we be looking at, like what are what are reports out and we'll talk about it on. My next question will be is, you know, how do we make this easier? But what sort of report should should someone be looking at it they're running an online business? Yeah, I mean it's really simple. It's your profit and law statement. It's like the end all be all report for for small businesses. And obviously there's other financial reports you can pull but really, especially for small online businesses, your profit and law statement is just how much money came in, how much money did we spend? How much profit did we have left over? That is the basic makeup of a business, right, like if you're running a business that's making no profit, then we just kind of have an expensive hobby which, again in the early stage, is your business. That might be how it feels because we have to put some money up front. We're trying to find our customers. That's fine, but especially like we've had clients where they're making they have seven figures and revenue and they're barely making any profit or they're breaking even, and that's not a great feeling. But that's where, if they pay attention,...

...especially when they come to us and we start working with them a bit and they start to look at these statements and start to understand where is money going in my business and how do I maybe think about my offer differently, my operations differently, that I can be more cost effective with how I run this business? That's where profit and law statement can help you. In your profit and law statement can be what happened last month, what happened for the last quarter or where we at for the full year, so you can look at it for sort of any time frame that you want to look at it. But the profit and last statement stays the same. It's where's our money coming from and how much money are we bringing in? What are the different expenses that we have, and we categorize our clients expenses in a way that makes sense for online businesses. We're using categories that make sense for their business model. And then again, what's that profitability at the bottom of that that report? If you're looking at that, you're going to have a better understanding of how money moves and flows through Your Business and the more you understand that, the more you can make informed decisions on how you scale the business or how you adjust to maybe changes in the market place that are going to force you to have to adjust how you run your business. You made it sound really simple. It is, it really is. Yeah, well, that's not that much more difficult than that. The hard part is getting good financial data and and obviously, being a bookkeeping firm, we have a lot of people come to us who didn't have great book keeping experiences with the businesses they were working with before. So if the financial dat is not being organized properly or it hasn't been explained to you how to look at it as a business owner, then you're right. It does seem super complicated. But if the DAT is makes sense for Your Business and you're actually getting your reports on time every month, then not to sound like a jerk, but there's really no excuse to not be paying attention to that. Because if you can add in some tract, you can understand a profit and loss. If you can add it, this would be a tshirt. If you can add in some track, you can understand a pan. No, but I think that's true. I mean it's money and money out, and so if you're not being probably I had some people who watch my show for knowing for a while I had a bounce house business. Ran Out bounce houses and water slides and stuff, and it was a funnel. It was something I always wanted to do and so it was also a fun testing ground for facebook ads and in social media and I ran for about five years and my small town that I live in and did really well. Like facebook ads crushed for me. Social Media and facebook in general crushed it. But then I got to a point where it's like, okay, I'm working a fulltime job, got three kids, you know, trying to go do that business and do the deliveries on Saturdays and Sunday after working sixty hours a week was getting really hard. Plus I'm answering emails all day long from people wanting, you know, quotes and answering phone calls and doing all the accounting and bookkeeping. So I started paying to people to do they're my brothers paying them to get to do deliveries and set ups. So it took that time off for me where I didn't have to do that physical work and I wasn't out twelve hours on Saturday and ten hours or so on Sunday or Monday. But then I'm like look back and I was like, Huh, last year. All the time I probably was spend in fifteen, twenty hours a week on the business at that point and as like I paid myself about hundred bucks for the entire year and I was like this is not worth my time anymore. Either I've got to go back to being the full time delivery person, you know, and in saving that that salary that I was paying, or I got to get rid of the business. So I would tell my brother, I'm done, would you like the business? And I've passed it on to him and you know, that's cool and him. Is Why if we're doing, great with us. But that's sometings you got to consider. You got to look at that. What's your your time, your profit, your losses? If you're not making any money, then maybe you need to move on. Or well, I'm being different and I think with agency models to we don't work with a ton of agencies because the invoicing stuff can get really complicated with the centers. But yeah, and then that's something we can talk about if you think it's interesting for your own I mean, yeah, how can how can we make it easier? Like how...

...is that? How we can make these finance stuffs threatening less stressful for people. Yeah, I mean number one, so just too I guess the more general answer to this question is number one, do we have an accountants? I mean, we don't file taxes for our clients, but I think number one, if we have a business, we're making money, don't try to do your taxes yourself. Don't try to answer tax questions yourself just by googling it. It's really important that we take that financial responsibility of being business owner seriously and we bring on an account to support their number two, let's not try to do the book keeping ourselves. If you're business is really small, we'd say do it in spreadsheet. That's fine, but once you get to the point where, like, you have so many transactions that just doing your books in a spreadsheet is going to take up too much your time, that's probably a sign we need to we need to hire a bookkeeper and have someone else manage this for you and probably actually do it right. I Know Quick Books Online and zero is going to tell you, Oh yeah, you can do your own bookkeeping. Never have seen it done right by business and that's always, always a hot mass, because there's a lot of things you have to understand about accounting, even as a bookkeeper, to make sure that you do it right. The other thing I would say here is keep your business and personal finances separate. Some of you might be going yet, no, dumb my account told me to do that a long time ago, and some of you might be going to yeah, that's something I know I probably had to do. But we need to have separate accounts for Your Business, separate accounts for your personal finances. And then the other piece here, I think, is for a lot of agencies, and I think this is getting more popular. It's a more popular trend, but it's get how do we make collecting money from our customers a lot easier? Because for our clients it's like a checkout page, you know, customer enters their credit card information, they're done, or maybe they take it over the phone, they're done. There's no like, here's your invoice, I can't wait to hear back from you within ninety days and hopefully even though we're already doing work for you. So for our clients it's usually very easy and and the agencies that we've worked for are are we've worked with. They find a way to figure out, how can I make my billing a situation where I can kind of build the same amount every month and this can be reoccurring, or I can collect their payment information and charge them automatically before we do the work, instead of sitting here trying to manage accounts receivable, waiting ninety days for people to pay you. And I understand certain agencies might be working with big corporations where you're kind of having to work with the the payment systems that they have. But ultimately, if we can build businesses where it's easier to build our clients and collect the money from them, the less we're going to have cash flow issues and the less we're spending time like following up with people to pay us for work we've already done for them, and I think that's a big thing that agency owners are starting to understand. This might not be a fair deal. Like I everyone else ask for their money before doing the work. Why aren't we doing that as well? And that's something I would encourage all agency owners to look at. Yeah, I think it's a good point and I saw our my friend Brad Freedman, who as an an agency in Colorado. He commented Great Info and I know Brads from from interviewing him and other live shows and be on his he has I think if I'm if everything from Brad of I'm miss speaking, let me know. But he's one of the agencies, like others now, that are doing retainers where you've got to pay a front now because people have got they've learned really quickly as an agency. Hey, I'm not chasing you after I done all this work for you, because then you get into some weird legal situations or you get tempted to maybe hold their social media accounts at hostage and you know, all this sort of delete all the work you've done. So, yeah, I think the retainer pay up front. Just I I go buy a car, I going to pay for it first. Yeah, well, and agencies have so many team expenses to write like you have a team that's relying on this money coming in for the work that they're doing. That again, I just think even when I was in the corporate world and we were working with these big agency firms, I just I didn't think it was fair for them to have to wait for the money. Now again, can you convince your clients, to your customers, to do that? That's that's something you would have to take the risk of. But going back to your bounce house, situation got is a lot of agency owners might be driving a ton of revenue and their businesses, but when they look...

...at the bottom line they're just like man, that I'm not making enough money here, and that's why the agency owners I've talked to who I really kind of producties their offer to some degree, are really making sure they're charging for the work that they're doing, getting that money up front and then making sure that they have really well trained team with processing systems. That's how you start to make this profitable. Otherwise, yeah, agencies, especially if you're not really paying attention to those numbers, it can be difficult to keep them profitable if we're not sending really good expectations with the clients and sending a probably good systems on how your team executes, on the work on the back end. Yeah, I think. I think if I were run agency this day and age and I've taken clients in the past and I did the you know, thirty days bill and kind of deal, I would want you, I'm not doing anything to you pay me up front. Yeah, you're going to pay you're going to pay me for the month of the service before dying. I'll do it. You know, I'll consult you and then go from there, but I need something of fronts away we're billing before I do work, and I think that's it's like anything in business. You don't, except for restaurants, perhaps, you typically don't get what you are buying and you know, pay for it at like it's always weird to be in a restaurants, and most of them where you analysis fast food, you know you you sit down and you eat for an hour and need to pay afterwards. Mostly most things you're going to pay for first. You know you don't get to take the VCR home from best buy without paying for it. Well, and I think that's where how much control do you have over the situation? You sitting in a restaurant, so you know they're going to obviously people dine in Dash sometimes, but ultimately, like there's a trust there and it's pretty immediate. Even with our business, right like we charge all of our clients at the end of the month after we've done the work, but we have your billing information and they need their books done. So if, like, they just stop paying, which really happens, it's usually just like maybe a credit card issue or something like that, then it's like cool, let's get that addressed and then we'll keep doing the work for you. And so you know, we're happy to do it at the end of the month, but we're in control of when the billing happens. We're not waiting for someone to pay the invoice for us or anything like that. So that's where, again, it whether you want to do at the start or the back end. It's just how do we make our ability to collect the money from the customer more consistent and more reliable, and I think that's something agency owners need to continue to push their clients on to set proper expectations from the very start. Now I'm curious to like you know, because a lot of the online business, like you say, you mentioned you work a lot of people who have product on digital products. Is there a particular, you know, billing platform that works better than others and you might recommend, like, let's say I'm selling a digital course, but to make sure I can keep up and integrate as they're like a couple that you prefer or recommend over others. Well, yeah, I think one of the the tricky things for online businesses is there might, there can kind of be a lot of revenue coming from different places that sometimes it gets a little scattered and then it's hard for our team to be able to track worth the money's coming from right. So that's where we really like check out software because you know, if I let's say you have a core set up on Kajabi or teach OK, think if it or something like that, they have their own check out page that you can use, but then maybe have a coaching program happening somewhere else that doesn't go through that software and now you have to find another place to build through that or you know, whatever it may look like that all these different revenue screens. So what we like is using checkout software something like Sam Cart. We really like Sam Cart. The best thrived parts another popular one, but SAM card is our favorite because they're reporting is phenomenal and the software is just, I think, another level. But having some sort of central checkout software where you can make, you know, you can make custom check out pages if you need to and you for different offers, but it's still going through one system. So before it hits your stripe account or your pay paypal account or your power pay whatever merchant account you're using. We have the sales software that's tracking. Okay, who's paying us and what things are there are they buying? So for us we can log into our client Sam Card or thrive card account and go cool, here's where all the revenue came from this month. So instead of having just sales as the category, it's off for one, offer two, offer three,...

...off for four and then the total of all those things. And now we have some insights into wear our money's actually coming from. So check out software or crm software that has the checkout software built into it, having one place where everyone checks out as much as possible. That's ideally what we're looking for. Yeah, it's SAM car. Has Been Interesting to watch SAM cards, you know, evolution over the years. I've known Scott and Brian for a really long time, the guys who run the company. Yeah, Brian, Brian used to be a competitor for a company at work for for a while and I remember we launched Sam cards come aside project, and then now he's focus. You know, it's all they really focus on. It's a great software, you know, for sures. Yeah, I think that's cool to have everything integrat if you can do everything in one play. I think we we in online business and online world. We run into that where we know we've got too many different things coming in and we're spending thirty hours a month on this, we're spend a hundred hours on this and totally could use one system to do all of it and it would been much, much simpler for sure, and not de sexify running a business, because we all love to think about who I'm going to find the customers and make sales, I'm going to make money, but so much of what makes our most successful clients successful are the ones that do have efficient systems, efficient processes within their businesses, the things that your client never really sees, right, because all they see is the experience they have with your offer or your product or service. That those are the things that are clients that are working on. How do I make this business smooth or easier to run? How do I reduce unnecessary complication? And that can be all the way from how your email, how you're setting up your email marketing sequences, all the way to how you build your customers and how you collect that money. Right everything inside your system is or inside your business is a system or a process. So the more that streamlined, typically the business is going to be more profitable because of it and your team is going to actually like working there because they don't feel like chickens running around their heads cut off, trying to just react everything with no process or system behind it. Right. Very true. Now the last time when I ask, you kind of alluded this a little bit earlier, but like especially think of the last year has been like the phrase uncertain times probably been used more than any other phrase in the history of phrases on the news or everywhere else. I'm kind of sick of that phrase. I'm like, no, every day's uncertain. We don't know, but I guess from a business standpoint, though, I how does someone prepare financially for a time period when there's maybe like two thousand and twenty hit? We can I think back to this time a year ago in April, two thousand and twenty, like everybody a lot of people losing jobs, laid off. Like how do you, how do use a business owner, prepare for that? Yeah, I mean again, very unsexy answer, but it's like having a buffer, having a savings as much as we can when the good times are good, and this is what's hard right. This is what's hard, I think for humans. It's human nature when things are good, you want to really make the most out of it and we go, oh, things will never be bad because things are good right now. But as business owners we have to be more strategic about that. We have to know that there's going to be ups and there's going to be downs, and so even with Covid last year, a lot of our clients ended up having really good years. It ended up being really good for online businesses. So we are very thankful that our clients were able to get through it on relatively unscathed, the least most of our clients. But you know, and March, in April, when nobody knew what the heck was going to happen, no one knew how their businesses were going to respond. Our clients who had built up that three month buffer, like we had talked about earlier in the PODCAST, they're the ones that were less stressed about it because they're like cool, like let's see what happens. If we need to pivot, if we need to change our offer, if we need to change our communications on our marketing, we have three months to do that. Versus our clients who were like, no, everything's been good for a year, I'll just make more money down the road. I don't need I'll worry about savings later, I can just make more money. That when you all of a sudden put a clamp on the make more money situation and now that gets more complicated, you're kicking yourself going wow, I wish I'd saved up more money in the business when Parker and Corey and of all,...

...finance team told me to. So that's where, again, I know with this this kind of business mindset, we have to be thinking about growth, we have to be thinking about Oh, I'm not worried about money coming in, it's going to be there. But that responsible side of us that needs to be thinking about the the whole picture of our business, making sure we have a plan for what happens with things aren't going as plan. What happens if there's a change in our facebook ads or in the algorithm, or if all of a sudden our leads dry up, or whatever it is? Do we have enough time and space to react to this, or are we pretty much walking on a tight rope, like I mentioned earlier, and even look at like the airline industry when covid hit, they were sitting on no cash. They had spent all their money buying backstocks and then, you know, they asked for a handout from the government because they were financially prepared for a business with thousands of employees to make sure they had the cash they need to get through the ups and downs of running a business. So a small business owners, we typically don't get the hand out from the government to help us as much as we would like. So that's where we have to make sure that we're we're taking those good times and putting a little money aside and protecting the cash flow. This is protecting the business as much as we can and balancing that with making sure that you, as the business owner, are making a healthy salary and still getting to take some bonuses. Yeah, I think that preparation is hard for a lot of people. That's why you've got to get ready and get a heather right income, having, you know, have some so if you're going to start in online business, you can't typically unless you're just, you know, financially wealthy to begin with. Just starting go you've got to have some backlog of money to cover yourself for a couple months. I think that three months is I think if you were see like you know, Dave Ramsey, those kind of guys that always say, you know, have three months or so of your salary or just cause you were fired tomorrow from a regular job. Well, and with your personal finding. Yeah, on the personal finance side I would say even more like six months. Yeah, but with but with a business, when you're talking about net you know, if you have fiftyzero dollars a month in operating expenses, you know, a hundred fifty grands going to be a pretty good chunk to save up in the business, right, versus your personal finances, you know, having six months or a year, if you can swing it, that's even better. Right. So, but again that's that balance. We have to learn how to manage the financial side of our business and still make sure that our personal finances are buttoned up, because if your personal finances aren't it's going to put more pressure on the business. Friend, you can need to take money out of the business at times where maybe that money would be better stuited staying in there to protect it. HMM, now, imagining covid that happened a lot, I know. I know agencies. You who are event managers. Basically you did a lot that. That's all they did, is all their clients were event managers and events were gone, and so they were kind of, you know, Sol you know. And what do they do? They've got to find other clients, have get a pivot. They didn't have enough to cover themselves. So, you know, it's you. They're laying off employees or getting rid of their offices or cutting back. So I think it's why you've got to be smart and have a little of a nest egg ready to go, because you don't want to go bankrupt like tomorrow. You know, you know, should something, something happen. Well, and I think in this is something I talked about on my podcast quite a bit, is risk management. Right, like, as business owners, there's an inherent risk to what we're doing. I think there's a risk to being an employee, to company, to you know, we can all get laid off, but there is something more, I think, secure and safe, because I'll let the executives worry about everything. I'm just going to do my job and get my paycheck every month. But as business owners we do have to manage risk. So when things are good and going really well again. We can't just go yep, nothing's ever going to change and things are just going to go well all the time forever and I'm just going to take all the money out of business and pay myself as much as I want. That's where, again, we have to strike this balance of like, how risky is my business model? What's my plan if things don't go to plan or there's some shift...

...in the market place that changes things up? And sometimes it means closing your doors or sometimes it means being able to respond, being able to be resourceful and figure out what's a new way you can serve your customers or your clients. But ultimately, again, Cassius King, it'll help you get through those tough times and give you more pace the pivot when the time comes. Very cool. Well, you mention your podcast. What is your podcast? Name Your podcast? Yes, so our podcast is called the bottom line by evolve finance. You can check it out just going to evolved financecom. Really Little fifteen twenty minute episodes where I'm just talking about things we're seen in the online space, things to be thinking about financially in your business and how to be running your business with with better financial data. Now you've also got a and I'm all about facebook groups these days, because there's you're finding you people ask better questions and facebook groups, Yep, and they do anywhere else. Like I'm a put a link to your facebook group here in the comments, but if someone were were to go over there and enjoining that facebook group, like what's that we are they going to find out? What's the atmosphere? Yeah, I mean it's really we're posting the podcast episodes in there and just open it up for you know, as people have questions about those episodes, especially because you know, this is part of the part of running a business. I don't think a lot of people know a lot of business owners know a lot of about and don't always know who to ask. So we try to be a resource for people as questions come up from the PODCAST, because ultimately, if we have more educated business owners out there, their businesses are going to be more successful and they're probably going to need someone to do their bookkeeping as they become more successful. So we look at it as as a win win. But if we can give you the information to run a more successful business than you know, obviously we'd love to do the bookkeeping for those those businesses as well. Well, very cool. I appreciate you. You've been on the show and given us all kinds of like there's lots of knowledge what to go back and listen to later on. I do think it's I this is a another free B side know that no one really knows. Probably when I got out of high school, my first major, actually like my second major, was in bookkeeping, any counting, and back in the old this is, I'm talking like one thousand nine hundred and ninety four, I was a book keeping accounting major where you had to do all the ledgers by hand. Yeah, we had no software to do it. That's rough. It was it. You learned a lot, but I will say, I mean that stuff I learned back then I still know almost thirty years later. Actually, yeah, thirty years later, basically, I still know most of that stuff. And so, yeah, it's interest to see how that when the pro I'm everyone quick and latch, I was like like that would have saved me so much time in my class, I would imagine, so that it would have been rough having to do it all by calculator and it was all yeah, and that was hard and that's why there is software and there people like like Parker, you know, who can help you do your finances and figure things out much, much easier, and appreciate your time today. Yeah, and I appreciate you having me on the show man. It's been it's been fucked. I don't normally get to talk to someone with with really flowy orange hair, so this is a real treat. It's probably not an everyday occurrence. Yeah, I think that's a safe bat. Yeah, probably not. Well, Hey, inside the green roomagics for a second and the chattery. Thanks again for listening to the social media lab live a podcast bi sure check out all of our episodes at social media lab dot live.

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