Top 2 Profitable Purchases of 2017

2017 isn’t over yet but I guarantee that nothing else I buy in the next 3 months could surpass these 2 products. Read on if you want to:

  1. save time for what’s REALLY important
  2. save energy
  3. maximize your productivity and efficiency

BACKGROUND

I have two kids, a 3 year old and 5 year old, which I home-school and I also do some work from home. So with the 2 kids, you can imagine what kind of mess I have to deal with daily on top of my regular chores. I used to use a cordless stick Dyson vacuum for all of the little messes on our hardwood and spent about 15 minutes per day sweeping/vacuuming only in the kitchen/living room area. On the weekends I would spend an additional 45 minutes vacuuming the carpeted areas in the house and the bedrooms.

15min x 7 days = 105min + 45min = 150min/week x 52 weeks in a year = 7,800min /60min = 130 hours per year /24 hrs = 5.42 days a year

DOING IT MYSELF

That means I spend almost FIVE AND A HALF DAYS in a year vacuuming or sweeping. OK fine, some days I’m too tired or lazy and don’t vacuum / sweep at all so lets round it down to five days a year (reduced by 10 hours). That is STILL FIVE DAYS OF MY LIFE of which I can think of much better ways to spend my time!

HIRING HELP

So lets say you would rather have someone come into your home and vacuum for you. The average hourly rate for housekeeping in Edmonton according to care.com is $16.44 x 130 hours per year is $2,137.20 (or rounded down again to 5 days = $1,972.80/year).



 

PURCHASE # 1 – iRobot Roomba 860 or iRobot Roomba 890 <— we have the 860, not the 890 so I can’t comment on how well the 890 works, I just wanted to point out that 890 was wi-fi capabilities and you can control it with iRobot’s HOME App.

This is a vacuuming robot (there are higher end versions which maps out the layout of your home but we purposely chose 860 as it doesn’t have Wi-Fi)  You can schedule the Roomba to vacuum every day of the week at a certain time or just press CLEAN when required. These 2 also have the tangle-free rollers/brushes which the older versions DO NOT, so they are much easier to clean than the older versions. We had an older version with the brushes that have bristles so I had to cut the hair out of the bristles each time I cleaned Roomba and eventually I got tired of cleaning the bristles and decided sweeping is faster.

download (1)

  • The extractors are tangle free now – no more bristles, the hair just accumulates in rolls at the end which just fall off when I clean the extractors
  • There is a little Virtual Wall Barrier that you can turn on to stop Roomba from going past certain points or around a certain area
  • If it detects dirt in an area Roomba concentrates in that area. Cleans under beds, furniture and along walls
  • Does not fall off of the stairs (cliff detector)
  • Lets me know when the debris bin is full
  • Comes with High Efficiency Filters captures 99% of dust, mites and allergens as small as 10 microns
  • Once it’s done it goes back to it’s charging station to charge up for the next cleaning session


 

PURCHASE # 2 – iRobot Braava jet 240   This is a mopping robot. You just attach a a cleaning pad (I bought reusable ones here), put WATER in and press clean. Once it’s done you press the button to eject the cleaning pad.

download

  • 3 cleaning options: Wet mop, damp sweep, and dry sweep
  • Great for cleaning “small spaces” like kitchens and bathrooms (I clean 1 area at a time, charge up/refill the water and continue cleaning the next room)
  • Systematic pattern cleaning
  • Small and compact to clean around toilets, under beds and cabinetry
  • Does not fall off of the stairs (cliff detector) and doesn’t go up rugs
  • Super quiet

 



The cost of hiring help for 5 days a year just to vacuum (and not mop) is almost $2,000/year. This alone almost covers the cost of purchasing TWO Roombas and TWO Braava jets! My previous Roomba is still working and is now 8 years old so these purchases are definitely worth it (plus the amount of time it saves me each year is worth much more to me than the $2,000 each year).

We would love to head from you about what your profitable purchases are.

 

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Sử dụng Facebook cho tiệm Salon của bạn

For our English blog post, click here

Người trung bình dành hơn một nửa cuộc sống thức dậy của họ trên các thiết bị điện tử. Bất kể salon của bạn tốt như thế nào, nếu khách hàng không thể tìm thấy doanh nghiệp của bạn trên điện thoại, bạn sẽ mất khách hàng! (Bạn cũng có thể sử dụng các bước sau để có được nhân viên mới.)

Step 1 Xác nhận Công ty của bạn trên Facebook bằng cách tìm kiếm công ty của bạn. Sau khi tìm kiếm trang được, hãy nhấp vào “is this your business” đã được tô màu đỏ trong hình ảnh sau và làm theo các bước mà nó được nhắc.

step 1 claim your page

Step 2 Khi bạn tuyên bố doanh nghiệp của mình, trong Cài đặt của trang công ty Facebook của bạn, đặt Đối tượng trên trang ưa thích của bạn Chọn nhóm tuổi tốt nhất cho Công ty của bạn. Nhắm mục tiêu các nhóm khách hàng của bạn.

2 audience

Step 3 Tạo một bài đăng để lãnh đạo chiến dịch của bạn – đối với công việc kinh doanh của bạn, bạn muốn làm một bảng cắt giảm giá hoặc một số tài liệu bán hàng / quảng cáo.

3 Boost post

Sử dụng Facebook có hiệu quả hơn việc xây dựng một trang web SEO.

Khuyến khích tương tác bằng cách chụp ảnh công việc của bạn và hashtag tên salon của bạn #______yeg và #edmontonnails hoặc #yegnails. Bạn cũng có thể khuyến khích nhiều sự tương tác hơn từ khách hàng bằng cách tạo một cuộc thi chẳng hạn như khách hàng hashtag tên tiệm #thutnailsyeg sẽ được nhập vào một cuộc xổ số hàng tháng mà người chiến thắng sẽ nhận được 10% cho dịch vụ tiếp theo.

Tiếp thu khách hàng là điều khó khăn nhất trong kinh doanh, khi bạn có khách hàng, bạn không chỉ có một lần bán hàng – trong kinh doanh móng tay, bạn đã thiết lập một chi phí định kỳ vì họ sẽ cần phải quay trở lại. Tôi có thêm lời khuyên cho tiệm nail ở đây: https://thutaccounting.wordpress.com/2017/05/19/choosing-your-market-pricing/


Trả lời Review trên Facebook

Điều rất quan trọng là phải trả lời các bài đánh giá (review) cho dù đó là tốt hay không tốt. Điều này cho khách hàng thấy rằng doanh nghiệp của bạn không phải kiếm tiền nhanh, nhưng bạn đánh giá khách hàng và mối quan hệ của họ. Điều này tạo niềm tin cho khách hàng hiện tại và cả khách hàng mới. (It is very important to respond to reviews whether it is good or not. This shows customers that your business is not in it for a quick cash-grab, but that you value your customers and their relationship. This creates trust for both existing and new customers.)

Dưới đây là một số ví dụ (Below are some examples):

Trả lời cho một khách hàng không hài lòng: (Bạn không nên sử dụng tên doanh nghiệp để nó không hiển thị trong kết quả tìm kiếm – You should not use the business name so it doesn’t show up in search results)

Thank-you for bringing that to our attention. Your feedback helps us grow and get better. So please take a a minute and let us know: 1- What we can do better to earn 5 stars, 2- What do you like best about the way we do business? 3- How does our salon compare with other nail salons you’ve visited? We’ll use your response to create a better experience for everyone.


My name is _____ and I am the Owner/Manager. I’m sorry to hear about your bad experience. Our new team would like to make this right with you. If you’d like to discuss this further, please private message me through here.

I’m sorry to hear about your bad experience. We’re normally known for our exceptional work and regret that we missed the mark. My name is ______ and I am the Owner/Manager. We would like the opportunity to fix this. If you’d like to discuss this further, please private message me through here.


I am truly sorry you had such a disappointing experience.  Our goal is just the opposite and we hope to exceed all expectations by going above and beyond with our facilities, services and of course; overall client experience.  Thank you for taking time to provide us with your feedback as we are constantly providing feedback to our teams as to how we can be better.



Trả lời cho một khách hàng hài lòng: (Bạn nên sử dụng tên doanh nghiệp để nó hiển thị trong kết quả tìm kiếm – You should use the business name so it does show up in search results)
Thanks for leaving a review and mentioning the tech’s name. You’re right, she is great! We hope to see you again soon at (@Tên của tiệm) , and bring a friend!

Thank you so much! We are pleased that you enjoyed your visit at (@Tên của tiệm). We hope to see you again soon.

Your review just made my day! Thank you so much for taking the time to share your experience at (@Tên của tiệm). It means a lot to us!

I was so happy to hear that (Tên của Tech) provided you with excellent service. I’ll be sure to share your feedback with her and the entire team at (@Tên của tiệm). We love knowing that our customers appreciate their work.


Cuối cùng, bạn không nên copy&paste các ví dụ này cho mỗi bài đánh giá vì mỗi câu trả lời phải chân thành! Finally, you shouldn’t copy & paste these examples for every single review because each reply should be sincere!


  • Share with someone that could use some advice in this post or save some taxes and EARN UP TO $583! For every customer you refer we’ll give you a free month or a gift card equal to 1 month of service of your referral – whatever is bigger! Anyone you refer gets a free month of bookkeeping!
  • The end-to-end solution at an unrivaled annual fixed price. There is more time, more inspiration and more money for the implementation of your business. Do not waste money and time with taxes and accounting.  At the cost of just 1% or less we reduce customer total costs by 3-30% (taxes + accounting).
  • SwissBooks provides complete accounting, bookkeeping, payroll and tax solutions for Canadian controlled private corporations throughout Canada in a wide variety of industries and leverages extensive expertise to deliver the best solutions to our customers.
  • The strategy was to enter Canada at the high end of the market: Edmonton’s oil and gas industry, where customers were prepared to pay a premium, and  SwissBooks used that money to develop cost efficient accounting solutions for other sectors.  In turn, that money was used to develop even more cost efficient accounting – driving down the market to higher unit volumes and lower prices with each successive category: Industry, Enterprise, Venture, Boutique, Micro-businesses and Holding Corporations.  Take advantage that Alberta’s oil and gas enterprises spent millions of dollars to pay for the development to let you outsource your accounting at an affordable cost.  
  • Send us your prior financials and we will prove to you how our value is unrivaled in Canada.
➤➤➤

Choosing Your Market & Pricing

There are only three markets you need to know:

  1. Average women

  2. Women in the top 20%

  3. Men in the top 20%

Where is the average men? They simply don’t count in Canada– their women control their money -so direct your efforts directly to them!


How do you pick your market?

A) If each transaction does not require a material amount of an individual’s time then you can enjoy the largest market- the average people. They come in, they order your soup, which is prepared in large amount, they pay, they leave. Businesses that can enjoy the mass market: online sales, retail, and restaurants.

Big money is made in this market, but few clients can tap into it because many of the times this involves producing junk- think Walmart, Apple, Starbucks, big Pharma. THUT 2.0 was the accounting service we tried to deliver to everyone, but it failed. Unless it is online sales or mass production, the masses will slow you down.

B) If each transaction requires a material amount of an individual’s time then you are better off focusing on the top 20% of the population. This was our strategy to enter at the high end of the market: Edmonton’s oil and gas industry, where earners who were in the top 1-5% of the population were prepared to pay a premium, and we used that money to develop cost efficient accounting solutions for other sectors. But we didn’t have enough of these lucrative clients to survive off of doing accounting for a few big CNC oilfield shops.

Sometimes you do what you have to do to get yours: 10 years ago on the time-money continuum we had no money but we had the youth and energy to each work 80 hours in a week.

  1. We did personal tax returns for $20 each no matter the complexity. People came for 10-15 minutes, paid us, and left.

  2. We exercised the same procedure for small businesses charging $2,000 for a nail salon.

As clients grew in complexity, the amount of time required also grew. Those average people simply dragged us down as we could not recover the time spent on each file. So as we progressed on the money-time continuum we dropped clients to reach equilibrium.  Simultaneously, we were still banking money from the 1%ers and using the money saved to drive down the market to higher unit volumes and lower prices with each successive category until we can economically service the span of the higher 1%-20% of the market.


Raising prices

Some businesses that would be better off having the end goal of catering to the women in the top 20% that will lead to more satisfaction and less headache in the long run include:

  1. nail salons (without robots)

  2. construction trades

  3. used cars

  4. auto services

  5. consulting

Successful price increases helps you acquire better customers who are more serious about enjoying your offering and less likely to churn. When we had lower prices, we had customers that changed accountants, looking for a better deal, never mind that it will cost them more in the long run in taxes and/or penalties. Our current fees dramatically improves the lifetime value of our customer which in turn boosts lifetime value to customer acquisition cost ratio. It has allowed us to have a more sustainable business model without having to spend years working 80 hours a week each. The success of our price increases lies in the transparency. Everything is listed on our website and customers know exactly how much it costs and what is included. We know most accountants charge more than us, but our goal unlike theirs is not revenue maximization. Our goal is sustainability, and that involves selling something that our customers need.

  • $2M revenue and $200K profit is worse than
  • $1M revenue and $400k profit

When we include more features, like including bookkeeping, this drives the demand for our offering over other accountants and creates an opportunity to extract the added value in the form of higher prices. 


Signs you are ready to transition to cater to the higher end market

  1. Customers and prospects tell you how cheap you are. For example, customers have told us they are surprised we make money and that they appreciate the value.

  2. You create a very high ROI. You should aim to capture 10-20% of your economic value. If your construction build will save $100K over PCL’s you deserve that extra $10-$20K (your customer still saves $80-$90K). At the cost of 1% we reduce customer costs by 3-30% (taxes + accounting).

  3. Many companies use a 5% annual price escalator, so 2 years without raising prices would mean you fell 10% behind your competition.

  4. You included new value without monetizing them. Customers are more open to price increases when you can show a track record of using that extra money to invest in improving your offering. For example, we started doing everyone’s personal taxes at no additional cost, and unlimited CRA correspondence/audit support for free to create goodwill with customers. We continually go to businesses who get audited.


Implementation

  1. Offer customers a discount for them to refer a family or friend. We give our customers one month free off their service plus one month free for anyone they refer. While many customers were quick to refer someone, many simply paid the higher price. So we raised the average price without driving away customers who might otherwise sought out a “cheaper” alternative. The effort involved with making a referral makes deal-prone customers feel like smart customers- and smart customers are happy customers.

  2. Give them alternatives. We used to only offer 2 categories. Now we offer 5 categories. We convince salon owners to downsize staff and do more work themselves so that they retain more of their income, while their lower revenue keeps them in a lower price category for accounting. Likewise, customers who are already financially independent and look to their business as more of a passive income want to pay us for a more expensive category as a consequence of maximizing their volume.

  3. Make your offerings look more valuable. A nail salon could put a bunch of nail-care and beauty products in a pretty box and sell it at a premium. The idea is to get customers to compare the price to a day at your salon- so in comparison the package is a good deal. Because most people are illogical and lazy, they will return to your salon just as often, and they got no additional value from the package but you have increased your income. Likewise, restaurants may package a number of foods together, encouraging customers to compare the price to dinner at their restaurant thus raising the perceived value of the packaged treat. Nail techs/restaurant staff and tradesmen should all wear uniforms: scrubs or coveralls. Contractors should have vinyl decals on their van/truck.

  4. Make peace that you won’t convince 100%. We can help you with the math on a price increase, so we can determine how many customers you will lose and still break-even. Keep in mind that some of those lost customers eventually come back once they try an alternative and realize the grass wasn’t greener on the other side.


Hiring out work

Unless you are financially independent, you should be working rather than hiring out the work. No one will ever do a better job than you, and no one will ever care about your big picture as well as you.

Only farm out things that can be completed more efficiently through unique skills and economies of scale (Accounting, bookkeeping vs. doing it yourself). Due to minimum efficient scale, the cost/technology would not make sense for an individual to specialize in something that is not directly related to their ability to generate revenue.


Restaurant Specific Advice

  1. Choose fast-casual rather than higher end dining or fast food. Eating out was one of the first things to get cut back in many Albertan households when the oil price crashed. Among clients, sales on average rose 4%. But there is a sector where sales rose 9% last year. It is the sector above fast food, but a step down from fine dining: that middle, ground fast-casual restaurants. While the minimum wage increase hurts fast food places, fast-casual sector will remain unaffected. As the population gets older, and as the economy remains uncertain this trend will continue to favor fast-casual rather than more costly dining.

  2. The average food cost in restaurants is 30%. Fast food places operate at 25% and the finer the dining the higher the % up to a maximum of 35%.

  3. If one item in your meal is priced at 40% food cost, then the second item needs to be at 20% to maintain your 30% average. Mix low priced rice/noodles with high priced meat.

  4. The staff should ask if customers are interested in any appetizers, side dishes, and deserts. The simpler the preparation the higher the profit.

  5. Consider paying your servers on commission. Any increased wages you pay out to them should mean more profit to you.

  6. Descriptive words on the menu are better than pictures.

  7. Customers find restaurants on their phone. Make sure you have a solid digital footprint: Facebook, Google, Instagram, Yelp. Your consumer base will return on average 1.7 times per month for 2.7 years, for repeat sales.  Accordingly, you should value your customers based on their lifetime value 1.7 times per month for 2.7 years.

  • Share with someone that could use some advice in this post or save some taxes and EARN UP TO $583! For every customer you refer we’ll give you a free month or a gift card equal to 1 month of service of your referral – whatever is bigger! Anyone you refer gets a free month of bookkeeping!
  • The end-to-end solution at an unrivaled annual fixed price. There is more time, more inspiration and more money for the implementation of your business. Do not waste money and time with taxes and accounting.  At the cost of just 1% or less we reduce customer total costs by 3-30% (taxes + accounting).
  • SwissBooks provides complete accounting, bookkeeping, payroll and tax solutions for Canadian controlled private corporations throughout Canada in a wide variety of industries and leverages extensive expertise to deliver the best solutions to our customers.
  • The strategy was to enter Canada at the high end of the market: Edmonton’s oil and gas industry, where customers were prepared to pay a premium, and  SwissBooks used that money to develop cost efficient accounting solutions for other sectors.  In turn, that money was used to develop even more cost efficient accounting – driving down the market to higher unit volumes and lower prices with each successive category: Industry, Enterprise, Venture, Boutique, Micro-businesses and Holding Corporations.  Take advantage that Alberta’s oil and gas enterprises spent millions of dollars to pay for the development to let you outsource your accounting at an affordable cost.  
  • Send us your prior financials and we will prove to you how our value is unrivaled in Canada.
➤➤➤

Beating the Intellectual Yet Idiot

When you study a multitude of successful people, the path to success may not be so simple, clear and defined. A clearer set of rules is given to you by finding someone you absolutely do not want to end up like and then do the opposite:

Intellectual Yet Idiot (coined by Nassim Taleb) What to do instead
Waste time. Take longer only to get a worse outcome. Time is the only asset you can never get back- don’t waste a second. Hone skills minimum of 9 hours per day.
Spend 9 years getting two Bachelor degrees without leaving with any leveragable skills will leave you working at a soul crushing job to pay off student loans. This life is 100x harder to fix.  “Routinely fails to make a distinction between an institution (say formal university setting and credentialization) and what is the true aim is (knowledge, rigor in reasoning).”-Taleb Most people should skip University altogether unless you attend an elite school (no not UofA) and have skills leading you to an Engineering career.  Make the most of your time by getting the best grades in the shortest time so you can start your career ASAP.  Otherwise exhaustively learn code online or learn a trade.
Prefer jobs “do X then do Y then do Z”.
“Main skill is the capacity to pass exams written by people like them. They can’t tell science from scientism — in fact in their image-oriented minds scientism looks more scientific than real science.”-Taleb
Revenue generating creativity: hard to replicate skills. Capable of independent thought not relying on the blind leading the blind.
“The IYI pathologizes others for doing things he doesn’t understand without ever realizing it is his understanding that may be limited.”-Taleb Laugh at statistics that argues about the effectiveness of water fluoridation  lowering dental cavities, missing the point dental cavities could be prevented in other ways without exposing children to a potential downside.  “Doing nothing is quite often preferable (via negativa)” -Taleb

ONLY TWO CHOICES IN LIFE: DISCIPLINE OR REGRET:

Regret @ age 30 Discipline @ age 30
They “could” be in the same position as you if they “wanted to” and are “successful in their own right” or will be “successful in the future”.  Triggered by a different opinion. Smile, nod and agree. But no sympathy for those who created their own mess.
“Modern” family. Keeping at with the Joneses. “Traditional” family. Complete freedom.
THUT data capture technology extracts data from bank, credit card and online statements and allows for automatic bank reconciliation.
THUT uses artificial intelligence to locate and extract line item and tax summary data from receipts and exports it into a csv file.
Cleansing algorithms allow it to extracts transactional data that is 100% accurate.
Send us your prior financials and we will prove to you how our value is unrivaled in Canada.
➤➤➤