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Ribbon Cutting Gifts

Ribbon Cutting Gifts

May 2009 has been a big month for our firm!  My Dad retired and we opened an office within a few days.  It really speaks to the legacy my Dad left for me to carry on.
The Easley Chamber of Commerce  hosted a great ribbon cutting and we had a great turn out of visitors and clients.  Our vision is to offer our innovative services to the many service-oriented businesses in Greenville, and now the surrounding areas.  The Powdersville/Easley area is rapidly growing, and we always like to be right in the middle of the growth!
The office will only be a satellite office for now open on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  However, we are sharing space with Investment Concpets, Inc., an investment company, and they are open 5 days a week; our clients can drop information off securely any day of the week at our Powdersville office.  We’ll keep working to enhance the services the folks in that area need to receive until the office needs new consistent staff.  That may be a while, but you never know. 🙂
New Office Contact Info:
200 Wall Street
Piedmont, SC  29673
T: 864.846.8068
F: 864.846.8067
_MG_0492
The staff that attended the Powdersville opening: (from l. to r., Lisa G. Hope, Firm Administrator, Jason M. Blumer, "King Daddy" (with rabbit ears), and Cathy L. Lovell, CPA, Manager of the Greenville office

The staff that attended the Powdersville opening: (from l. to r., Lisa G. Hope, Firm Administrator, Jason M. Blumer, "King Daddy" (with rabbit ears), and Cathy L. Lovell, CPA, Manager of the Greenville office

 

Browsing, Eating, Fellowshipping...

Browsing, Eating, Fellowshipping...

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Me and Dad Showing off the Retirement Cake

Me and Dad and Mom

My Dad officially retired from our CPA firm on May 1st and I already miss him.  He was the founder of the firm and my partner for the last 6 years.

He taught me a lot.  One thing I remember was his lessons in partnership.  Not everyone could go into business with their Dad, but my Dad led the way in a solid, safe partnership in these (and so many other) ways.  Hopefully you can apply my Dad’s wisdom to your partnership:

1.  He told me I was going to run the firm, and I would enjoy the benefits of that, and would also bear the burdens that came from that position.  I didn’t realize there were so many (but he did)…

2.  He would not interfere when I was making decisions.

3.  And he wouldn’t rub poor decisions in my face (… and he didn’t).

4.  It’s hard to have “two chiefs” in a business.  There needs to be a final decision-maker.  That was me (…again, with the good and bad).

5.  Spend a lot of time discussing the partnership BEFORE going into partnership, not AFTER you become partners (I often suggest a year now to our clients).

6.  He would always be available for advice when I needed it (and I was always asking for advice).

7.  Know when to stop growing your business, and when to focus on serving the clients you’ve got.

8.  Know when to focus on growing your business, and let others focus on serving the clients you’ve got (the art of delegation).

Jason and Jennifer Blumer, Phil and Cathy Lovell (Cathy is Dad's replacement, and our Tax Manager), My Mom and Dad, Lisa Hope, our Firm Administrator, Phil and Stephanie Kuchle (Steph is a CPA with our firm and works on various projects and during tax season)

Jason and Jennifer Blumer, Phil and Cathy Lovell (Cathy is Dad's replacement, and our Tax Manager), My Mom and Dad, Lisa Hope, our Firm Administrator, Phil and Stephanie Kuchle (Steph is a CPA with our firm and works on various projects and during tax season)

 

The Staff and their Spouses Eating Dinner at my House

Everyone Stuffing Their Faces

Generational family partnerships can be rough, but mine is full of great memories.  I thank God that He gave me the gift of serving some of the greatest clients in the world… with my Dad.  I love you, Dad, and I’ll forever cherish the memories and hard times we went through together.  They’ve made me who I am… hopefully someone that can bring value to my clients… just like my Dad.

Jason Talking (as usual)

Jason Talking (as usual)

 photos in this post by Will Swett

Any other thoughts on partnership?  Anything I left out?  Leave them in the comments.

This is me after a meeting with my Business CoachI always enjoy my meetings with my business coach (see me in the picture to the left after a recent meeting – however, I don’t remember those clouds).  I’m always challenged because he keeps asking “why?”  It gets hard always answering that question, but I truly need it.

He mentioned a talk he did recently for some financial nerds somewhere and told them about Three Entrepreneurial Phases of Growth: (1) Lead Generation, (2) Lead Conversion, and (3) a Client “Wow” Process.

The first phase finds them, the second one gets them, and the third one keeps them.  I identified that we don’t do enough to keep our clients.  He scared me when he said other CPAs are out there looking for your clients.  And now YOU (yes, YOU dang it) can take that to heart – there are other industries and businesses hunting down your clients right now – what are you doing about it?

Here is what I’m going to do to keep my clients:

1  Everytime I sign up a new client, we are going to mail them a thank you letter with a piece of firm collateral.  The firm collateral will tell them everything we do, will highlight our theories of operating and serving our clients, and will remind them of why they chose us in the first place.

2  We will break all of our clients down into one of three categories: Gold, Silver or Bronze.   Depending on which clients provide the most income to our firm, the most referrals, the most blah blah blah, will be in the Gold category.  The ones whom we serve periodically will be Silver, while the ones we see only annually will be Bronze.  “Why don’t you just serve everyone as if they are a Gold client?” you may say.  To that I say, “what a stupid question” (just kidding).  Actually, that’s a good question.  The reason is because as you grow YOU WILL NOT be able to serve everyone like a Gold, and when you have started serving everyone as a Gold client, then you must continue or they will notice and get ticked off.  So, serve your clients according to the value that they add to your firm, or you’ll load yourself down providing Customer Service you can’t continue to support (and stop asking stupid questions).

3  We will implement a more proactive Customer Service Program that focuses on our Gold, Silver and Bronze clients.  I already know who my Gold clients are, and they will probably start receiving Customer Service calls from someone in my firm (not me) to see how we are doing, and to ask them what else they need.  Gold clients will also receive small gifts every now and then.  Our Silver clients will probably receive a call quarterly and a note from me every now and then just to say “thanks”.  And our Bronze clients will probably receive a call once a year just to say “thanks”. 

4  We will probably start sending “Thanksgiving” cards to every client in the firm.  This seems like an innovative way to say “Thank You” since no one else sends “Thanksgiving” cards.

What are you going to do to KEEP your clients?  (because I’m trying hard to take them).

Thanks, Jason M. Blumer

Tax season officially ended this past Tuesday, and I have been out of commission since the beginning of January.

We have been busy…

1  doing a lot of business tax returns

2  doing a lot of individual tax returns

3  starting a management consulting engagement in Atlanta

4  assisting with an internationally-related internal embezzlement case

5  wrapping up another “two-partners-fighting” fraud case

6  hiring and firing three or four new people in our firm (and training)

We’ve definitely been busy, and I’m enjoying a break now (we are taking a few days off after tax season) with my family.  I’ve missed them.

Here is what’s coming up…

1  our Thriveal Business Success Series classes start in late May (brochures are coming out in the mail soon – email me at thriveal@gmail.com to receive one),

2  we are going to be focusing on our marketing campaigns a little more with our PR firm, and hiring a marketing intern for the summer,

3  we received a big box of books from John L. Herman “Herman” (entrepreneurial guru of hermanisms.com) and will be hopefully doing a blog interview post with Herman soon, and giving away some of his awesome books in a contest (stay tuned!) 

That’s about it (and that’s plenty).  I’m tired and I need a break.

Thanks, Jason M. Blumer

pics-for-web.jpg  Probably one of the greatest moves I made in life was back in May of 2003 when I decided to join my dad’s small CPA firm and work with him.

He was a young 56 years old then, and today he turns 61.  And I’ll be 37 this year, and I just figured out (maybe a couple of years ago) that I don’t know nothing (sorry English teachers), and that my dad knows stuff… turns out, it’s a bunch of stuff.  Figuring this out sure would have been helpful a number of years ago.  Why did it take me until around the mid-30s to figure this out?  That stinks… in a big way.  I may have more time, more money and more life… if I just would have listened to my dad.

In honor of my dad’s 61st birthday today, I wanted to share a few things he taught me…

1.  He misses his dad more now than when his dad was actually alive.  That’s interesting.  That makes me want to hang around my dad.  I don’t want to say that one day.  So I’m glad I get to work with my dad.  And I’m going to make sure my children get to spend a lot of time with me (even when they are teenagers)… because of my dad.

2.  My dad has sacrificed his life for his kids.  My dad is the co-owner/co-organizer of four businesses total, two (seen here and here) for me and two (again, here and here) for my older brother.  He sacrificed his time and funded all of the businesses with his own cash.  I’ll be sacrificing for my three daughters the way my dad did for me (maybe not the cash part)… because of my dad.

3.  My dad taught me to make myself indispensable at my work.  This has helped me tremendously in my past employment, and I’ve even taught this concept to some of my clients.  By this I mean, put yourself in such a trusted position at your job, and perform so well that your employer seems somewhat obligated to offer you higher positions, raises, promotions, etc.  I’ve asked for and received higher positions, raises and promotions… because of my dad. 

4.  Be a background man.  My brother and I are anything but “background”.  We love business and loud music and we don’t like to follow people.  And we sing REALLY loud at church.  My dad is not quite so showy.  He is more of a “background” man.  You know he’s there, but he’s not going to point that fact out.  But when he speaks, me and my brother (and others) tend to be quiet.  He is usually saying something worth listening to.  I want to be a man worth listening to and hang out more in the background… because of my dad.

5.  My dad is a man of faith.  Though he will tell you that his faith in God is not very strong, we see a different picture.  We see a man who has had to lean on God in so many ways through so many trials in the past (many of those trials caused by his unruly kids), and still rely on God and share Him with others.  I want to be a man of faith… because of my dad.

 There’s just so many more I can’t list them all, but those are just a few.

Dad, I love you more than words can say, and I’m so glad to be in the office with you today to say Happy Birthday!  You freakin’ rule, dude (did I mention that me and my brother are not very respectful of the aged, too?).

Thanks, Jason M. Blumer

Just Tweeted by @JasonBlumer…

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