OUTSOURCED BOOKKEEPING AND SIMPLE, TRANSPARENT REPORTING HELPED A FLORIDA ENTREPRENEUR LASER-FOCUS ON HIS EXECUTIVE NETWORKING STARTUP
Many entrepreneurs are “ideas” people. They pursue big-picture thinking and prefer not to devote their energy to details such as financial reporting. Supporting Strategies’ outsourced bookkeeping services were a perfect fit for one such entrepreneur, who quickly turned his vision for an innovative business venture into reality.
In 2013 Florida entrepreneur Jeff Davis launched a bold business with a bold name: Plan the Attack. He gathered a group of Jacksonville-area business leaders that December to exchange ideas and insights, and map strategies for the coming year. Now an annual event, Plan the Attack has spun off smaller, members-only gatherings called 12 Mavens that take place monthly.
Playing to Strengths, Playing Down Weaknesses
Having already built and sold one business, Davis was familiar with both financial success and burnout. His goal with Plan the Attack/12 Mavens was to achieve the first while avoiding the second. One way to accomplish that, he concluded, was to delegate or outsource as many of the back-office tasks needed to run a business as he could.
He knew where to start. “I’m kind of an accounting train wreck,” Davis says. “I love the marketing part of business, and that’s what I wanted to focus on.”
Davis was happy to outsource his bookkeeping to Supporting Strategies | Northeast Florida almost from day one. “I had a bookkeeper before we even had our first member,” he notes.
Bookkeeping in HD
For Davis, outsourcing was a fiscally responsible choice. “Because I don’t like bookkeeping, I knew I would put it off,” he says.
He realized that procrastination could be deadly for a startup. This was especially true of an unorthodox venture such as Plan the Attack/12 Mavens. The idea was to sell memberships to executives and entrepreneurs who were from different companies and would comprise a mutually beneficial think tank. Their gatherings would be held at high-end locations.
“It would have been easy for me to end up doing worse in a given month than I thought by expensing too much,” Davis says. He needed to keep tabs on his key performance indicators (KPIs) — and do it in a way that was fast and efficient.
Supporting Strategies tailored an approach to suit Davis’ needs. Once a month, he reviews his books with Supporting Strategies remotely via screen share. Custom dashboards and reporting tools make it easy to grasp KPIs and other trends at a glance.
“I’m a visually oriented person,” says Davis, whose first business specialized in creating visual presentations for trial lawyers. “If you can show me something in a chart or a graph, that’s much better than if I have to read a stack of financial documents.”
This Could Be the Start of Something Big
Plan the Attack/12 Mavens has shown so much promise that Davis is exploring the idea of franchising it. He has also launched two companion initiatives, “The Climb,” a series of videos presenting a warts-and-all look at entrepreneurship, and Operation Time Freedom (OTF).
OTF is an eight week-course designed to help CEOs free up as many as 35 hours of time each week by “streamlining, systematizing and automating their companies.” Says Davis, “I’m sure I’ll be mentioning Supporting Strategies plenty of times to anybody who goes through that course.”