case study accounting boutique

The Goal: Uncorking New Processes

QB Winery Solutions caters to the bookkeeping and financial needs of boutique wineries who produce up to 15,000 cases. Small business owner Jeanette Tan and team train winery owners and their office managers to use QuickBooks (hence the “QB” in QB winery). 

Jeanette is an advanced Certified Quickbooks ProAdvisor, and the only QuickBooks advisor working exclusively in the wine industry. She produces video courses such as accurate financial reports to make better business decisions, how to calculate the true cost of wine, strategies, and planning for wineries, and more.

Jeanette and I crossed paths professionally about four years ago, as we are both in similar small business circles. Immediately I knew we were a great fit. Not only is she a small business owner helping other small business owners, but her focus is wine. Luckily, I have expertise in both areas. 

Jeanette’s goal was to improve her operations, specifically, processes. She had a solid product offering and successful business but was lacking certain processes and documentation that would allow her to better delegate and get out of the day-to-day. Jeanette recalls, “Before engaging Susan to document our processes, we were relying on the Vulcan mind-meld. Needless to say, it wasn’t very effective.”

The Tactics: Process, Process, and More Process

This engagement was an operations job more than a project management job. We needed Jeanette to get out of the day-to-day so that she would have more time to focus on growing her business. 

Creating processes allows businesses to have repeatable success, whether through an automated system, a team trained in new tasks, or written documentation. In this case, we performed a combination of all of them, starting with written documentation. Day-to-day details involving sales and client communication was a large time commitment for Jeanette. And, a lack of sales processes can sometimes limit income. Over time we worked with Jeanette to transfer all of the information out of her head, and into her Teamwork Notebooks, and got to work with creating the following: 

Member Programs Processes

Many businesses have membership models that provide ongoing service for a monthly fee. QB Winery has a membership program called the Silver Club, which provides ongoing access to courses, forums, office hours, and a consultation. Her plan is for this program to become a huge piece of revenue. We created a process on how to manage the monthly club, including what to do when a client signs up, how to manage membership expirations, how the bookkeeper should manage the clients, and how to manage between the steps of the automated system to keep new clients on track. 

Managing Email Process

Every business owner knows how easy it is to get sucked into the email chaos. In order to get out of the day-to-day, it’s essential to have a solid email management process. We created an email process for Jeanette that involved her virtual assistant managing her main incoming email account. This process included how to manage inquiries and how often to check.  

Sales Email Templates 

We also wrote email templates for the sales process. The email template process included directions for when to reach out to customers, what to say, and how to make sure it would repeat in the tool. We set these up in her CRM system. She originally began with Highrise and then Nimble, but has since evolved to Infusionsoft.

Coaching Call Processes

Different processes in her business include how bookkeepers need to talk about to do tasks like bottling runs and annual closeouts. We created a process to guide her bookkeepers on how to run those coaching calls so they could do them without her.

Collaborate Tool Processes

Jeanette is also where I first learned about Teamwork. She was already using it, and we helped her and her team optimize usage. We gave her structure on how to start a project and where and when to follow up on things. We also wrote processes to explain how to use all of their tools to communicate and when, even down to the granular level of when to use Slack instead of texting, and vice versa. (Hint… don’t text!)

The Results: Ongoing Relationship

“If you haven’t done this type of service before, I suggest you try one procedure to start. You will see what you’ve been missing.” – Jeanette Tan 

We’re thrilled to have an ongoing working relationship with QB Winery Solutions. That original process creation work has evolved to ongoing work, including more processes created over time and training new QB Winery Solutions team members. 

And Jeanette reclaimed peace of mind. “I have peace of mind knowing that all of the steps have been handled. I can easily train a replacement. Susan added some steps that we didn’t consider.”

As Jeanette’s business has grown, we have been able to evolve processes to fit her new demands. When she notices there’s a problem or a process missing, that’s her signal to contact us. “Since we all cannot have Susan on our day-to-day team, the next best thing is to involve her with drafting our procedures because they guide our day-to-day activities as though she were with us.”

Most recently we just trained a new virtual assistant for Jeanette on Teamwork and other systems. We know her business, and wrote her processes, so Jeanette doesn’t even have to get involved when she needs help or with onboarding new team members. We are truly an extension of her team.

Additionally, Jeanette is a member of the One Life Mastermind that Susan and her partner, Brandon Hayes of Kalos Consulting, run. And, Susan is a member of Jeanette’s Board of Advisors, helping her to guide her company from an operational standpoint.