Episode #084 Streamline Your Bookkeeping Business with the Help of Your Website

Join us for another episode of The Bookkeepers Voice, as we talk about automations and how they can reinvent the way your Bookkeeping business operates. Did you know that Workflow Automation on websites has already completely transformed numerous Bookkeeping Businesses by enabling them to spend less time on manual tasks and more time on growing their business?

Tune in as Angie and Maia share how you can set up workflows on your website to reduce your manual tasks and start automating those tedious tasks that you hate doing!

Key takeaway: ‘Once you’ve streamlined and automated all of your processes, you’ll free up a lot of time which you used to spend working through manual processes. Not only will this give you more time to concentrate on what matters most – the growth of your business and developing new goals, you’ll elevate the performance of your bookkeeping business, making you more efficient than ever!’

Podcast Info

Episode: #084

Series: General

Host: Angie Martin & Maia Coghlan

Guest speaker

Topic: Streamline Your Bookkeeping Business with the Help of Your Website

Useful links
Read transcript

Keywords: website automation, streamline processes, booking forms, bookkeeping website

Website automation for streamlining your bookkeeping website


Angie Martin  0:01 

Good morning everyone. This is Angie and Maia again. Hope you guys are having a fantastic day so far. We are joining you for our second edition in chatting to you about your website and how important it is for bookkeepers and today we're going to be talking about a really exciting thing that we actually really love doing but it's a bit nerdy. So bear with us this episode, but we're going to be talking about how to streamline your work processes with your website. Say hi Maia.


Maia Coghlan  0:38 

Hey, yes, that's what we're talking about today streamlining your processes or dimensions, you know, all that fun, geeky stuff that we love. Yes or no if you don't love it, you start doing it you figure it out and you will also love it.


Angie Martin  0:54 

I love it in a different way that you love it. You setting it up. I love using it. That's true. That's true. So I love it because it helps just make my life easier.


How to streamline processes on your website for efficiency


Maia Coghlan  1:11 

I like setting it up because I know it will make my life easier.

Yes, yes, I don't love so much setting it up because I I'm always worried if something's going to go wrong if I'm doing it wrong, but it always really helps knowing that you're there and that you can just do it for me. But I love it because like, especially in the sales process for me. It streamlines everything and it makes the follow up process and just client communication, which is what I focus on 10 times easier and less manual, it makes sure that I can actually check in on people and and make sure that you know People who need support or getting it where you like doing it, because it saves you time from doing everything else, because you're so busy during the day. Yeah, it's I, it's one of those things. I've actually never worked in a company that had such fantastic workflows and processes before going with sa P. And it's amazing. And it's all like the whole starting point is done through the website. So we wanted to share with you guys how we do it so that you can have the same it saves us so much time like we both of us only work part time. That's the way that Savi is and that's how we continue to stay passionate working with you guys. So, we can do that because our processes are doing half the work for us. Which is great. Awesome. So, first thing that I thought would be good for us to chat about is actually going through the first section in the process that for most of our clients and that slack actual sales process, so, you know, coming from the found you on what? online, they've come to your website, and now they want to engage. So I thought we could kind of pick your brain at how you can optimise your booking form processes.


Yeah. Okay. So the booking form is basically what do you mean booking form or initial contact form?


Angie Martin  3:51 

Booking form, just booking just the booking form? Yeah, we'll talk about the initial consult form afterwards.


Maia Coghlan  3:57 

So is this for people who are already your clients?


Angie Martin  4:02 

It's about both let's talk about people who are like interested, like, they just need more information.


Maia Coghlan  4:10 

So an initial consult.


Angie Martin  4:12 

Yeah. Okay. Let's, let's talk about the initial consult.


How to optimise your website booking forms


Maia Coghlan  4:16 

See there's so many different ways to do it. And this slide is so when you say booking form, there's you want like, you know, a booking form for your your clients. You know, if they get meetings with you quarterly or monthly, then you can have a booking form for that on your website, where they just go and they book in their meeting so you don't have to do anything. And then you've also got your initial consult, initial consult. And the way that I normally set it up is I combine the the initial contact form With the initial consult, yes, it's great. So it's all the one thing so and this why necessarily work for everyone. But the way that I like to do it is you ask in, you set up a phone, and you ask for their name, their email, their phone number, and their business name.


Angie Martin  5:29 

I that's okay. For one. You asked for the business name so you guys can do a quick Google before you contact them so you can learn about the business before you call them. Don't just call someone by and even like, even if it just has the first name trying Google so that you can find out something about the business before you talk to them.


Maia Coghlan  5:52 

Yes, you're not going to find Yeah, quick tip. So, um, and then That's the basic information. And you should also have a message box, like a slightly bigger box for them to type in, you know a bit about themselves or a bit about their business or a bit about what they're looking for that kind of thing. So those those things are the main things that you should have. Um, then there's extra things that you can add, like, what, what they want, specifically. So, on the off the hook website on our contact form, there's a number of this a number of different options. And so they can choose if they want someone to call them. They can choose if they're just looking for a court, they can choose if they want to book in an initial consult. And then that's when it starts getting like to the real, that's where the workflow comes in. Because Yeah, because that is what we'll that's what we use to determine what email they get sent. So if they choose, pretty much whatever they choose, we still do the same thing that we send them a slightly different email.


Angie Martin  7:16 

Yeah, and these are automated emails as well guys that you have you don't write them every single time you need to sign them.


Maia Coghlan  7:24 

And once and you say if they select this option, I want to send this email and then it's done. Yes. So basically, we are aiming calls them as soon as she gets notified, which is also done through the automation. So if the, if the form gets filled out, she gets notified. And she gives them a call, regardless of what their option was. Unless they specifically said that they didn't want someone to call them. Yeah, um, but they also get sent an email with a link to book An initial consult. And the reason why they get a call and they get a link to book an initial consult is, you know, just in case Amy can't call them straight away, or if she calls them and later and so he or she calls them and it's not a good time she can say to them Well, I've already sent you an email with a link to login. Make sure you book in and we'll talk when it's convenient for you. So it's good to do both just to show your bases


Angie Martin  8:35 

interested, but you understand they're busy business owner, and then gives them the option to work around their schedule. Not Yes.


Maia Coghlan  8:44 

Yeah. And then if you want to get any extra information, like, um, you can really ask for whatever you want. You can ask for the size of their business. Like if you mostly work with small businesses, you can ask for, you know, their employees. Number of range or whatever you need to determine what kind of service they're they might be looking for what kind of price point they're looking at. And you can tailor your emails like your automated emails based on that as well if you want. If certain services to smaller businesses and certain services to bigger businesses, then you can explain that to them in an email, theres really no limit


Angie Martin  9:34 

There isnt. I really like to follow like, you guys have set this up for both savvy and off the hook where you create a like question form in air table, and then you give them so with Amy and off the hook, but if they want to pre fill out the initial consult form, they can so they can actually make so much more use of the initial question. Call with Amy to get so much more organised. Where again, it does half of your work for you. Cuz Yeah,


Maia Coghlan  10:10 

If you have our initial consult form, Mm hmm. A lot of people will, which is just an air table form and so either you can fill out the form with them on the phone, or you can send it to them in that email when they book in or when you send them the link to book in the initial consult and you can ask them in the email fill out this form so I can, you know, help you as efficiently as possible when we actually check and then make sure you look at their answers before you have the meeting with them.


Angie Martin  10:53 



Maia Coghlan  10:54 

you can get an idea of their business and and already know where you're standing before you talk to them.


Angie Martin  11:00 

Yes, it's so important. Anytime you ask for something or anytime someone provides you something, make sure you always read it. I'm really careful about that. So anytime you guys booking a time with me, we have on the forum, what you want to talk about what stage you are in your business, everything that is so that I can already know and kind of understand what we're going to be discussing before I even pick up the phone with you that way. In those 15 minute chats that we have, we can get so much more work done, and we can help you more. It goes the same for you guys. Make sure you read anything that they give you so that you can help support them more and make sure that you can know also if you want to work with them. It helps you to figure out if they're going to be ideal clients or not.


Maia Coghlan  11:53 

Yeah, so sort of filtering process like you might already know a book enter a consult with you And you look at their answers, you might already know that you weren't normally deal with this kind of business. So you can go into the meeting already knowing


Angie Martin  12:08 

it's probably going to be a no for you, but you can figure out what they need. So you can suggest another bookkeeper.


Maia Coghlan  12:16 

Yeah. Yeah, there's no reason why you can't refer them to someone else.


Angie Martin  12:20 

Yeah. Yeah, I really love doing that. You know, it's one of those things we do as well. Like if if Amy in off the hook doesn't match someone else, like she has a very specific ideal client, suggest them on to someone else, because they still need a bookkeeper. And just because we don't work doesn't mean that we're just going to leave them high and dry. It's really important to you know, support other people and everyone knows other bookkeepers. And even with all of our clients, we don't have any one client that has the same ideal client.


Maia Coghlan  12:56 

Yeah, it's, it's quite a you're in a different location. There you go. different industry, are you like a different size? business? Are you like just a different personality to work? Really?


Angie Martin  13:06 

It's great. It's awesome. So that's kind of the initial consult form. And we kind of chatted about how having a booking form for your clients is really great that way, it also helps them understand that they can't just always call you up for like an hour chat. They need to book in with you. It shows that you value your time and you valued their time as well. So anytime, like let's say you do quarterly catch ups, you can send them the link to say I want to make sure that I'm giving you a call at a time that suits you best. They get the link they can book through the website. It's super easy, painless. You don't have to be like oh no, I'm busy on Friday and afternoon. What about Monday in the morning, it makes it save you guys a lot of time.


Maia Coghlan  13:57 

Yeah. And this comes back a little bit to what we talked about in the priorities master Yes. Where you can set the times that you want to be available for your clients. You can go into your booking software that you use, whether that's calendly, or acuity or whatever. And you can set up that you're only going to be available for client meetings at this section of time on this day and the section of time on this day. And then your clients get the link for that calendar. And then they can only begin with you during those times that you want to have them booking with you. Yeah,


Angie Martin  14:41 

it saves you a lot of time and it makes sure that, you know, everyone is especially you know, there's a lot of extroverts and introverts and a combination of the two who are bookkeepers. So if you find it difficult to just easily chat with people Like I find it really easy. I love getting on the phone and chatting. But even me, sometimes certain days and certain times, I know I'm not the best phone to like the phone person. So that way you can make sure that anytime you are possibly going to be plugged in with a client, you're going to be able to actually have an effective call with them. Instead of let's say you're in the middle of spreadsheets and budgeting and you're in that flow and talking just doesn't go very well at that point in time. Make it so that they can never book in.


Maia Coghlan  15:37 

Oh, yeah. Yeah. And you can just if you have it on your website, it doesn't have to be, you know, not every page on your website is visible to the public. You can have pages that are not listed in your menu and your clients can get the link to these hidden pages that have your booking calendar on them. Which is what we do with savvy, we have some hidden pages without booking calendars. And they have the link to it. And if they try to contact you to have their meeting outside of booking, you just refer them back to that page.


Angie Martin  16:17 

It's amazing. And yeah, I just have to boot camp. It's great. And it just, it really shows that Yeah, you value your time, but you also value there's like, I do it all the time. I know anytime line calling clients, I am interrupting their day. I much prefer leaving a message and then sending them an email to say book in a time where we can have a chat, so that I'm not interrupting their day. It works much nicer. Another thing that works really well with websites and automations and workflows is let's say you have an ongoing health check. offer that you always offer your clients like an actual product that people By right off of your website, or a lot of people are still doing job keeper like a base price for job keeper. To make it easier for you, you can make it so that they can buy this product will service really on the website without you having to ask any questions or doing anything. And as soon as you buy it goes through all the questions that they need, you need to have answered. Once they buy it. You want to chat about how that can be done. But


Maia Coghlan  17:36 

what are they using to purchase it?


Angie Martin  17:39 

What do you mean?


Maia Coghlan  17:40 

Well, if there isn't like a click that they want to buy something Yeah. So invoice them for


Angie Martin  17:48 

Yeah. And then you can like send through all of the like, stuff that they need to fill in so that you can actually do that.

Different ways you can implement website automation


Maia Coghlan  17:55 

Yeah, so it's really similar like once you set up one of these form and forms is a way. Yeah, once you set up one, you you've pretty much you can do anything. So it's basically the same process, they would you set up the form that has all the questions and, and maybe not even, like for jump keeper, I mean, you're going to need to ask some pretty sensitive yeah meishan that you're not going to just have them put through your website because you know there is security stuff. Um, so you would ask them the basic questions that you need to get an idea. Both their requirements off, and then once they fill out the form, they would get added to a workflow. Automation depending on what your software calls it. And then you would send them an automated email with a link to a table form That has all of the questions that you need to gather all of the information that you need to do their job. Yeah. Yeah. And it would also, of course, send you notification that this person has requested this specific service from your website. Yeah.


Angie Martin  19:15 

And all of that. You don't have to do anything.


Maia Coghlan  19:18 

Yeah. Does it? Yeah. You just have to set it up. Yeah, it's it. Once it's done, it's done. And then you just get notified whenever anybody


Angie Martin  19:28 

fills out the form. Yeah, and I've already got their extra form, fill out with all their personal details, but it makes everything so much smoother and so much easier just to have those easy things that like if you are like Amy and are a health check and rescue guru, and you are doing this all the time. This just helps you streamline the process of getting in in doing all those investigations. So that you have more time to actually help the client as much as cost


Maia Coghlan  20:01 

Yeah, that's great. I like an ad those things in your initial contact form as well, if someone like you can give them a bunch of different checkboxes, checkboxes and ask, Do you need a health check? Do you need junkies? Do you need that? Do you need blah, blah, blah. Um, and then again, that's extra information that you now already have about them. So when you're setting up their file once they agree to work with you, because you're amazing. Yeah. You already know exactly what what you need to send to them what authority docs you need to send, what you need to set up. You already have so much information and also what extra information you need to get from them to be able to do the things that they want you to do. Yeah, you can just send them links to forms. Yeah, right. I'm going to keep calling them I was just going to say, oh, by the way, this information Oh, and I also need this and I forgot to ask you about this and I'm going to send you this link now and then I'm going to send you this link and like next week Oh, I remember I have to send this up. So you get everything organised in one go and your clients will be very impressed.


Angie Martin  21:20 

Yes, yes, it's a great first impression. Just show that you are that organised and it's just nice. Everything's just sorted. It's just done. Yeah. It's It's great. Um, another thing that works really well which I know we've talked about multiple times, but lead magnet follow while these are amazing with a website, obviously you can do a lead magnet really without the website. But we have amazing lead magnet follow up processes. Quite love them and I think it just really provides a fantastic relationship right off the bat with our clients as well. And we've worked quite a bit on this the two of us some the last, what, six months kind of thing to make sure that we have a really good follow up process and that you guys are finding out exactly what you need to see if you know our resources are going to help you. basis so


Maia Coghlan  22:31 

when someone downloads a lead magnet or requests a lead magnet, yes. Again, it's pretty much the same process. I put a little foam winter. Just put a little foam on the website that just asks like for lead magnet you don't need all the bells and whistles and everything just like you know their name and their email is generally


Angie Martin  22:56 

a name, phone number.


Maia Coghlan  23:01 

Yeah, just the basics, um, and the button will say something like, load now or something. But it doesn't actually download immediately it triggers a workflow to send them an email with the link to download. And then about a week later, they'll get another email saying, hey, you requested this thing. How's it going for you? Do you need some help with it? And then another week later, hey, you've had this thing for two weeks now. I hope it's been really helpful for you. Feel free to book in a free initial consult, so we can chat about it. See how I can help you. Yes, for example. Yes.


Angie Martin  23:48 

And it's amazing and what is really good, especially for those of you who are starting to get on the CRM client management tool. If you are able to also book in tasks for yourself, so let's say someone's downloaded a lead magnet, even if you don't have a CRM, you can have it an email being sent to you to notify you that someone has downloaded your lead magnet. And that you know, in usually you don't like to call them as soon as you download the lead magnet among guys, we're all business owners, no one has time to look at it, right. So usually, like, you know, a week or two weeks or a month afterwards, need to call and check in on them. See how it's good.


Maia Coghlan  24:37 

Yeah, if they're questions. So for the example I did before, but again, three emails, one each one week pod. Yep. You would probably do it for maybe you'd set set like a notification for yourself. For a week after you sell the invite to book music They don't book and hopefully give them a ring. And if they do book you, obviously


Angie Martin  25:08 

that's annoying. You bring them in for the time that they called us due to. Yeah, exactly.


Maia Coghlan  25:13 

Exactly. So yeah, set. So any any kind of workflow software. We'll, we'll enable you to set time delays between emails that are sent. So, yeah, spread them out week each, and then send yourself a notification that hey, this person downloaded this. And now it's time for you to follow up with them. Yeah,


Angie Martin  25:40 

and it's super easy. And it's all one of those things again, coincidence. You set it up once and then it just does it for you and it tells you when you need to actually do something about it. So it's just so much easier than manually doing everything like I know. There's a couple have our clients right now. It's amazing. I'm so proud of you guys, you're actually creating content and you're sending it out to people, which is amazing. But the next step now is to actually put that content into a lead magnet. So you can send it the link to people instead of actual document to people. So that you can have the workflow that goes automatically instead of manually sending them the document and then reminding yourself to follow up with them. Because I don't know about you guys, but my brain does not remember when to follow up with everyone. There's a limit.


Maia Coghlan  26:40 

And even if you can remember some things like I was talking to some one of my clients this week about this exact thing, like just getting stuff out of your head. You don't need to remember Yeah, that's what a cost management reminders for you need to remember, there's a button for that. I love buttons, that anything that, like your head doesn't need to be filled with all these things that, like there's much more important things for you to remember than when to follow up with clients.


Angie Martin  27:21 

Yeah, and it makes you I find, like, since we've been able to get these automations and everything all going like I find it, it's like there's a weight off my shoulders. And I know the clients are still being followed up, even if it's not by me. And I feel like my mind is open to be able to be focusing on more things that we can support them with, which is really good for bookkeepers right now. Because, again, things are still continually changing with COVID and things are still needing to be update, you know, Keeping in constant contact in some way with your clients is more important than ever right now. And it kind of leads me into the next workflow that comes from website is basically having a blog or you can call it articles you can call it whatever you'd like. No matter what, it's still a blog. Yes, it's still technically a blog. But having that availability of sending out communication to current clients even just to educate them on what's happening right now in the market, like what's happening with job keeper what's happening with different grants that are coming out different support systems. In the best way to do it is really just by writing a blog and then setting up I RSS feed, to send an email to your clients to let them know that But what's being new in case they want to read the article? Do you want to tell them what an RSS feed is? Because no one will know.


Maia Coghlan  29:10 

Basically, an RSS feed is a fancy name to say, a link to your blog feed, huh? Yeah, basically, um, so you can you can set up an automation in an email software, like we do as to HubSpot. We used to do it through Active Campaign. They both do it and you can get a link to your blog. And you can use it to send emails from the automation that has all the details about blog post in it and you can get that to send out weekly or however often you post blogs and it will happen The image and the title and a little blurb about blog post and it goes out to all the people who are interested in your blog. And you don't need to do anything, you can just post your website. And if you've got your RSS feed emails set up, then it will just send that out whenever whenever you tell him basically, yeah,


Angie Martin  30:21 

it's such a great way of keeping everyone up to date. Like it's we do it ourselves savvy. And if you don't want to read the email, then don't read the email. Like you don't have to read every single blog, but your clients will hundred percent be so grateful to have that extra bit of information going out to them even just yeah, once a month. Like let them know that you're thinking about them that this might be suitable for them. And that's just all how you write your email. Don't be like, Hey, this is my new blog. Read it. Yeah.


Maia Coghlan  30:57 

Yeah, just FYI. I wrote this here.


Angie Martin  31:00 

Yeah, you write the email to be like, hey, just to let you know this block has come up with everything going on I thought you might be interested in I thought it might help you and your team to know what's going on and know that I'm thinking about you and that we're here to support you. Basically. It's just a great way to educate people and allow, again, something that we were talking about yesterday, last week was the helping potential clients become your ideal clients. If they're not your ideal client yet, add them to of course, get the permission but add them to your feed and so that they can get the emails as well and start getting educated as well. So that you're providing them value added free resources, that can still help them while they're becoming businesses that are your ideal clients.


Maia Coghlan  31:58 

Another really great use case lead magnets as well, is get people to sign up to your blog. As in so signing up to someone's blog means signing up to receive their RSS emails.


Angie Martin  32:15 

Yes. That's That's all it is. guys


Maia Coghlan  32:17 

want that. That's that's what that means. Yeah. Um, so yeah, you can say, sign up for my blog and get this free thing. lead magnet. And then you get their email for your blog posts. You can check them as like, you know, a contact in your CRM. And yeah, it's amazing. It's there's, there's like, like,


Angie Martin  32:48 

yeah, there's so many options for what your website can do. Like it is not just for your static content. It's not just to tell them who you are like you're about us your service. So that's, that's, that's the core. That's the core, you know, having your context, as you're saying


Maia Coghlan  33:07 

But it's not the sole purpose.


Angie Martin  33:09 

Mm hmm. It can be really the starting point of all these workflows that you set it up once, and then it just streamlines everything. And it's so great. So all check in because we use HubSpot wheat, that's our CRM. I can go in. And if you have a CRM and use it no matter how amazing your CRM is even the most simplistic ones and I can say that because I've used really, really simple ones. And then I've used the big mega is like HubSpot, you can still go into your customers profile. Basically, you click on contacting you go into john doe, with the workflows that can be set up your website. You can even monitor to see what pages that they're going on on the website. So that if they do book in a call with you, you kind of already know what they're going to be wanting to talk about. So that you can I typically get resources ready so that when I do call and I think this is what they want to talk about, I can help them so much more. And it's all like yes, it's all managed through a CRM. And you don't have to use the big crazy integrated ones like HubSpot, there are ones that are for smaller businesses. But it makes it so that's all very you can see exactly what's going on with their use of the website, what lead magnets they've checked into, to see if they do the blog. If they're on, you know, any database and it all comes from the website. It's, it's amazing. It's amazing. I love the workflows and website. Just really helps to communicate your marketing message even further as well. Well, like with the automated emails. Yeah, go ahead.


Maia Coghlan  35:04 

It makes you seem professional. Yeah. And, and it makes your life easier as well. Yeah, it's kind of similar to what we were talking about last week where getting a website – it's a big upfront commitment. But it's, but then you don't really need to do much else with it after you get set up giving back really, yeah, this this, these automations that come from, like, you know, the blog feed and the booking links and all of these automated emails and everything that are linked and triggered by forms on your website. Yeah, you have to set it up and it takes a little bit of the time commitment, but once you're really need to touch it, like ever again, unless you want to edit with emails. Say, and then. And then it's all done. It's amazing. I have all of this nice stuff and you don't have to manually send the emails and you don't have to. You know, try to remember when to follow up after people download your lead magnet or whatever. That's amazing. You only have to set it up


Angie Martin  36:22 

once. And one thing because I know there's a couple business owners that we deal with that are in the point where they're thinking of doing semi semi retirement or retirement processes are going in their head. What's really good about having a website to with these automations is that if you want to hand your business over to someone else and sell it, your what your business itself is worth more because it has these automations created that streamlines your business like that's also something that we don't really talk about very often but doing stuff like this and setting up your company to basically almost run part of it itself makes your business more valuable. So it sets you up to have a more successful selling of your stuff. Yeah, that's if that's what you want to do then yeah, it's definitely gonna help you. I'm going to make your business work so much more. You have all these processes already set up.


Yeah, it's great. It's awesome. So hope you guys enjoyed our little second week in a row rant about how much we love websites. Missions automate, lazy. So over the next few weeks we are going to be doing doing some more nerding out to automations and workflows. So get ready guys but promises always a reason for it. We're not just getting on a podcast to nerd out with you. But it's always fun to do. So. One thing I do want to do just at the end of this podcast is, again is to remind everyone if you've tried to join our I heart, bookkeeping, our I heart payroll, Facebook groups, and you haven't been approved, go Bri join the groups and just answer the questions that we've asked you to answer. We can't actually allow you into the group without you answering them. So please feel free to go back we really want to join to have you joined to the community and get involved in all things savvy, but we just need you to answer those questions before we can click Approve. That way we can just make sure that everyone joining into the group are, you know, similar mindset and also just wanting to have a really healthy bookkeeping environment. Do you want to do the sign off today?


Maia Coghlan  39:09 

Stay safe, stay sane and stay savvy.


Angie Martin  39:12 

Bye, guys.