Back Office Betties
Customer Service Fanatic
I was working on a major IT project which required me to be on project calls all day so I didn’t have free time to spend calling contractors when I needed several home services at once. I was shocked and appalled at the number of business owners who failed to answer the phone. This was my lightbulb moment. I am a customer service fanatic!
I could answer the phones for these small businesses and help these companies to succeed beyond their wildest dreams! Within a couple of months, I left my company with a small line of credit and all of my savings to start Back Office Betties virtual receptionists. I hired one client concierge for sales and account management and two receptionists. We were hemorrhaging money at first! It took a solid six months to get a handful of clients.
Our target market started out anyone with a pulse and a wallet but providing unparalleled service to so many industries quickly became a challenge. I joined the Entreprenuer’s Organization Accelerator and by watching successful entrepreneurs I learned that focusing on a niche is the single best decision I could make for my business.
We created a litmus test that we would use going forward for all business decisions. Is the decision good for the client? Is it good for our team? Is it good for the company? Creating a niche was an all around YES! Our next step was to evaluate the team’s strongest skill set and our existing client base. Hands down the legal industry was a clear winner.
The first time I turned away business because the client was outside the legal industry was painful. It was so hard to say no to someone with their wallet out ready to hand over cold hard cash. I questioned my decision to niche but I stuck to my guns and we said no. We exist solely to help lawyers and we can’t provide them unparalleled service if we’re allowing other industries in.
I have learned from Gino Wickman’s Rocket Fuel that every business needs a Visionary and an Integrator to be successful. Before taking on a partner or even a COO every Founder must know which they are. If you have two Visionary’s, nothing will ever be executed on well. I made the mistake of hiring a COO who was just like me thinking we’d be aligned and achieve amazing results.
The opposite happened and she nearly sunk the ship before I wised up and had her walk the plank. I replaced her with an integrator who can filter through my ideas and implement the most important to help achieve our company goals. This person has moved the needle more in three months than my visionary COO could in over a year.
I have never run a company before. I believe the reason we’ve been successful is I am willing to be wrong and pivot quickly when things aren’t working. I read a lot! At least 24 books a year and I am a part of a monthly accountability group of business owners through Entrepreneur’s Organization that helps me to grow personally and professionally.
The two areas I hear business owner’s struggle with are managing people and marketing. It took me several years to learn that if I don’t act swiftly and do the right thing for the business, I am allowing people to slowly sink the ship. Now that our operations are solid, I am focusing my time and energy on marketing. I wish I had done this first because sales truly cures all.
I am in love with Zoho One. I use at least ten of their products including email, CRM, Bookkeeping and Docs. It’s very affordable at $35 per user and allows us to have a single sign on for the tools we’re using all day every day.
My growth goal is 50% increase in clients in 2020. We are developing proprietary software that will allow our team to provide law firms more integrations between our systems and the legal software they are already using.
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