Hector Garcia is the Founder and Principal Accountant at Quick Bookkeeping in Miami, FL. He's developed a way for you to get consulting clients for your accounting firm with zero marketing. And he's only been doing this since 2011, so he didn't have a 30-year track record to lean on. In this episode of the Growing Your Firm Podcast by Jetpack Workflow Software, David Cristello and Hector Garcia dive into:
- The path from just doing bookkeeping to highly profitable consulting gigs
- His first online strategies to bring in clients
- How he charges $350/hour for an initial consult (while others do it free)
- Hector's tips to start value pricing
- Quick Bookkeeping
- Implement Value Pricing with Ron Baker (interview)
- How to Value Price with Kirk Bowman (interview)
- QB Power Hour (webinar)
- Hector's YouTube Channel
Hector's Path to Big Money Consulting from Low-Priced Bookkeeping:We kept hearing Hector's name come up again and again around the accounting world, and we now know why. Hector Garcia, Founder and Principal Accountant at Quick Bookkeeping and Accounting LLC is now one of the Accountants to Watch by Accounting Today. What's interesting is that he started off his journey working at a bank. He'd work with small businesses on helping them get business loans. What he saw again and again was that these entrepreneurs always had trouble getting together a good Balance Sheet and P&L. He sat there for 4 years watching this happen until he made the choice to go back to school and get his accounting degree. In 2009, he opened his practice helping small businesses get their books together for loan purposes. He'd remotely log-in to their books, reconcile, do the whole thing and then bill them. It was a good business model, But, he saw two problems. #1: He couldn't charge a terribly large amount. #2: The work was repetitive. Most businesses had the same problems and so they went through the same processes. It can get boring quick. Here's where things started changing... In 2011, he started doing some training with clients 1-on-1 to help them DIY their books. Instead of actually doing the work, he could charge a little more and show them how to do it. He plastered "training" on his Quickbooks ProAdvisor summary and that was it. One day, a big company called him saying they found out he was a 'trainer' and needed him to train a group of people at a nearby hotel. He accidentally stretched it a bit with how much experience he had, and without hesitation, they hired him. He found out he loved doing the training. For the next 6 years, he'd spend weekends training folks in hotels. But, that's not the only way to get consulting clients. That was just the first step.
Hector's Strategies to Get Consulting Clients:One small change in his ProAdvisor page on Intuit changed his life. So, that's a great place to start. Hector employs 7 other people, and they all are required to be ProAdvisors. There's your first step. Make sure you are on the Intuit ProAdvisor page. You never know what opportunities may abound. Next, he created a webinar series compiled of questions and answers from his consulting his own clients. Every time he taught a class in the hotel or with his own clients, he wrote down the questions they have plus what he learned. The one who learns the most becomes the teacher. You can still see this webinar series on QBPowerHour.com. (with Michelle Long a prior guest!). This webinar runs 24/7 and is a passive way to bring in clients. Next, he became taking snippets of questions and put them on a YouTube channel. Now he has over 25,000 subscribers and over 3,000,000 lifetime views. Hector says you only need .01% of those viewers to become clients and you're in the money. On top of that, he writes blogs for Intuit which then he links to his YouTube channel. His YouTube videos can then redirect them back to his webinar series. It's all connected together! It's passively working 24/7 for you.
If you don't schedule the time to create the content, it'll never get done. Here at Jetpack, we have 1 person dedicated to keeping our content channel flooded with new stuff. It's a direct effort, you can't do it 10%.Hector spends 20-25% of his week on his YouTube videos. Meanwhile, his team is taking care of clients. Another trick up his sleeve is funneling qualified people to paid consults. That's his next lesson.
How to Charge $350/Hour for an Initial ConsultOn his videos and other mediums, he always puts his email so folks can ask questions. Sometimes, he gets questions. Now, this is where it gets sticky for folks. They either give nothing away or too much. Hector has a rule: "If I can answer a question through email in 2 minutes, I do it free. If it's longer than that, I push for a consult." This is smart because bigger questions mean bigger problems for that prospect in their company. Now, should you take everyone with a big question to a consult? Not at all. Hector does due diligence on the person first. If they come from a big company or seem like they could be a good client, he pitches a $350/hour consult and offers to answer their question and more. If the person scoffs at his price, he knows they aren't a good client...they are a price-sensitive client looking for cheap answers. He only wants to work with high-quality clients with money. You can do the same. Look at the company size of the person who emailed you and see the potential. Make a judgment call from that. Does this mean to charge by the hour now?Not at all.
Hector's Tips on Value Pricing:Hector believes in value pricing, but the initial consult is very difficult to price out as there isn't much to go on. So, $350/hour is steep enough to weed out bad prospects, and high enough to be profitable. Hector believes value pricing is all about mindset. "There is no cheatsheet", he says. He got his start in value pricing after reading Ron Baker's, Implementing Value Pricing. He also listens to the Soul of Enterprise with Ron Baker as well as the Art of Value with Kirk Bowman. Both are past guests on the show and you can see their interview above. Hector believes the key to your value pricing mindset is to unlearn that customers care how you track your time. They only care about results. Low-value jobs (like bookkeeping alone) will never get out of time pricing because the client doesn't value it as much. But, when you understand client problems and become an agent of change, they will pay you handsomely for it. They want to save time and money. Yes, you will get frustrations of scope creep, underpricing, and more. That's part of learning. You can't be afraid of making mistakes. Value pricing makes you more money in the long run. You have to be ok with mistakes and hearing "NO" from prospects. That's the mindset shift.
The Road to Growth:Hector admits he still has room to grow as a manager. But, he puts very specific criteria into each employee to make them successful and fit in his accounting firm.
- They must be devoted to mastering their craft
- They will own a piece of the business so they are involved in more than just their 'job'
- They must love their consulting clients
DAVID'S TIP: At Jetpack, our team goes through ManagementPRO. It helps us grow together.Final word from Hector: There is no excuse for "I don't know how to do that." We all have the time to learn things thanks to the internet and technology. When you carve out time for content marketing to build your business, yes, there is time upfront you lose. But, you receive back way more later on...double or triple the return. If you haven't found the resources that can help you, then you found your next business opportunity. If you'd like to reach out to Hector, email him at email@example.com