In Pursuit of Profit
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If you find out that your bookkeeper has your competition as a customer, don’t panic; instead, here are some tips for managing this information and moving forward:
If you find out that your bookkeeper has your competition as a customer, one option that you have is to simply ignore this fact and move forward with business as usual. Unless strange circumstances exist, it is very unlikely that the fact that your bookkeeper is also managing the books for a business similar to yours will have any negative effect on your business.
Recognize that Competition Is a Good Thing
When you first learn that your bookkeeper is also working with your competition, you may initially experience feelings of shock, distrust, betrayal, and doubt regarding whether you want to move forward with the same bookkeeping company. Remember that in more ways than one, competition can be a good thing.
First, the fact that your competition has chosen the same bookkeeper as you could be an indication of the superior services that your bookkeeper offers (as opposed to others in the area). You should also remember that bookkeepers need multiple clients to stay in business, and that more business means more economic stability, which means that your bookkeeper is able to continue managing your finances without worrying about shutting down due to a lack of funds.
Furthermore, the fact that you now know that your bookkeeper is working with your competition may inspire you to step up your game in terms of your own business. Your awareness of the competition helps you to avoid complacency, develop the clout of your own brand, learn new techniques and refine your practices, develop your own niche, and sometimes, even form partnerships that you weren’t planning on.
Talk About It
If you are very concerned that your bookkeeper has your competition as a customer, you may consider talking to your bookkeeper about it. So long as your bookkeeper is treating each client individually and in an exclusive and non-competitive manner, there should not be an issue.
If you believe that you cannot move forward with your current bookkeeper without being reassured that your bookkeeper will manage your books independently of your competitor’s, bring it up. If you have a good relationship with your bookkeeper, talking about your concern should not be an issue.
Important: You may hear your bookkeeper remain objective and neutral about any information they have regarding your business and your competition. This may be of concern to you if you would prefer a bookkeeper who has your best interests in mind, without conflicts.
Analyze Your Current Level of Satisfaction with Bookkeeping Services
If you learn of a fact that causes you dissatisfaction or worry, such as that your bookkeeper is working with your competition, you should assess your level of satisfaction with your bookkeeper prior to discovering this information.
If so, then the fact that you just learned that your bookkeeper is working with your competition should not change a thing. Ask yourself this: If you had not learned that your bookkeeper has your competition as a customer, would you feel upset with your bookkeeping services otherwise? Consider this list of 10 things to look for in a good bookkeeper - if your bookkeeper doesn’t live up to expectations, then you have an issue that extends well beyond the fact that your bookkeeper is working with your competitor.
Find a New Bookkeeper
Of course, finding a new bookkeeper may be your best option if:
Sometimes, a fresh start is the best path. Learn how to hire a bookkeeper in the cloud here >
Learn from It
Finally, if you learn that your bookkeeper has your competition as a customer, why not learn from it?
Such a situation provides you with an opportunity to learn more about yourself and your own values, and what is most important to you as a business manager. Whenever faced with a difficulty or obstacle in life or business, doing what you can to ameliorate it, and then learning as much as you can from it through reflection, is best.
There is not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ answer to this question as it depends on your relationship with your bookkeeper, their level of service, your comfort level, and your type of business.
If you find this is situation you are uncomfortable with, you can have a confidential conversation with our Practice Leader, Eric Moore. Eric’s contact information is here.