Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Great Class from Rayanne Buchianico: Financial Processes for the IT Service Firm

Financial Processes for the IT Service Firm – 5W07

Rayanne Buchianico
Taught By: Rayanne Buchianico

July 7 - August 4, 2020
Tuesdays 9:00 AM Pacific / Noon Eastern

There are few things more important than the finances of your business. But most technology consultants didn't get into business to run balance sheets or figure out cash flow.

This class provides unique content from a unique teacher! Rayanne is a managed service provider from Tampa, FL. She is also an accountant, an Enrolled Agent, a certified PSA consultant, and an Intuit certified ProAdvisor. In addition to her MSP business, Rayanne helps I.T. consultants to take control of their finances and understand their own business at a deeper level.

Topics for this class include:

  • Learn to read and understand your Balance Sheet and P&L Statements
  • Create a chart of accounts that makes sense for your business
  • Separating out information on the P&L for management decisions
  • Entities and tax considerations - understanding how your entity is taxed. Handout is a tax projection worksheet for 2019 taxes
  • Cash flow forecasting - Handout is a cash flow projection spreadsheet to forecast revenues and expenses
  • Understanding margins and ratios - Deep dive into the P&L and Balance Sheet to understand how the numbers work together to make decisions. Handout is a worksheet on calculating and understanding the ratios & margins.
  • Use margins to price your services for profit
  • Calculate billing and burden rates
  • Action plans for success
. . . and More!

Delivered by Rayanne Buchianico, Financial Coach and QuickBooks Advisor. Rayanne has been an MSP - managed service provider - for many years and advises MSPs on how to get the most out of their QuickBooks and PSA integrations.

Includes five weeks of webinar classes with related handouts, assignments, and "office hours" with the instructor.

Each class is 50-60 minutes, although we often take extra time for questions.

This course is intended for business owners and managers. It is particularly useful for the Owner or Operations Manager.

Week One  
- Introduction to Your Company’s Finances

Week Two  
- Cash Flow Forecasting

Week Three  
- Margins, Ratios, KPIs, and Break even points

Week Four  
- Jobs, Budgeting, and Internal Controls

Week Five  
- Planning for Taxes
Only $299 per person

Note: Small Biz Thoughts Technology Community members: You never pay full price. Contact your Community Manager for your discount.


Saturday, June 20, 2020

Culture is Built from the Top Down

Every company has a culture, whether they “created” it or not. The truth is, you can either let culture grow on its own or you can create it with intention. Another way to say this is that culture either grows from the top down or grows from the bottom up.

If you ignore culture, it will naturally grow from the bottom up. That means a culture of snide comments, greediness, bad service, unhappy employees, and un-loyal customers. The hardest culture to turn around is one you’ve accidentally created by not paying attention as it evolved.

Before I started my own business, I had to turn around the culture in a few companies as a manager. I know from experience that this can be a challenge. In one case, it required firing some-one who was truly committed to the old (bad) culture I inherit-ed. That was actually the first person I ever fired.

She knew that she was a key team member and probably the most knowledgeable person on the team, so she was also defiant and refused to change. I went to the general manager of the company when I decided that this person needed to go. The GM asked me if I understood the impact on the team. I said yes, but assured her that the impact would be temporary and everything would get better fast without this poisonous attitude on the team.

I don’t recommend firing someone as a sacrificial lamb just to start turning your culture around. It could certainly backfire if you do it wrong. But in this case, we had a team of about twenty-five people and we’d had many meetings about changes that need to be made. When I fired the trouble-maker, everyone knew that we were serious, that we’ll do what it takes, and there’s no turning back.

If you have a newer company, or are just starting to hire people, there’s an important lesson here. You create culture from the top down by doing what you say and being what you want others to be. You literally lead by example. If you are calm, rational, and respectful, your employees will be as well. If you yell and scream and drive fear into others, your employees will as well.

The other big example of turning around a culture was less dramatic but also more difficult. I inherited a culture of laziness. People on the team would not take on difficult jobs. They ignored the parts of a job that they didn’t like. They did lots of things just a little below their skill level. They did not stretch and did not attempt to excel.

In this case, I simply announced that we were putting a premium on fixing everything with the first touch. In other words, people were applauded for closing a service ticket with one visit and zero re-work. The initial response was a lot of “what if” questions about exceptions to the rule and how to move for-ward when you don’t know what to do.

That was actually a lucky reaction for me. It allowed me to start putting in place a series of procedures in response to the various objections. You need to escalate to someone with specific skills? Here’s how to engage them. You hit a problem you don’t understand? Here’s how to get assistance. And so forth. 

My response to all objections was to create processes and procedures that showed everyone how to push through and complete the task under any circumstances. The result was that their attitude shifted from seeing only obstacles to seeing fixes.

In the end, that attitude shift raised the technical ability of everyone on the team. They learned better troubleshooting skills, better documentation skills, better skills for working with others who had specialized knowledge. And as they learned to call on each other for various challenges, they grew together as a team.

Before the shift, people tended to think of themselves in terms of “Me against the system.” Now it became “Us against the problem.”

Next up: The Elements of Culture

-- -- -- 

Check out my new book - The Absolutely Unbreakable Rules of Service Delivery . . . 

How can you guarantee that your company delivers great service, has a great culture, and still manages to stay profitable? You need to follow certain “Unbreakable Rules” for success. Best-selling business author and coach Karl W. Palachuk draws on more than twenty thirty years of owning and running service-based businesses to present the rules his companies live by.

Lots of details at . . . https://absolutelyunbreakablerules.com/