So many professionals are afraid to increase their fees for fear that it might drive people away. What happens is they end up charging less for what they are actually worth. How do you overcome this predicament? Well, today’s guest made it happen. In fact, she was not only able to double her fees but triple them without even losing a single client! Join Danielle Douglas, the Founder of Infinite Accounting Services Inc., as she sits down with Michelle Weinstein to discuss how she managed to do it. Danielle invested $7,500, and none of it worked. But she was able to overcome that. Learn how she turns things around by tuning into this episode!
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Case Study | Triple Your Fees Without Losing A Client With Danielle Douglas
We have another special guest. This is a very special guest because she’s a client. Before we welcome her to the show, if you are an accounting tax bookkeeping firm owner and you are sick of grinding fourteen-hour days, totally exhausted and unhappy with your firm and even might be thinking of closing your doors or feel underpaid and overworked, you are not alone. It’s not your fault. I know that no one is training you on how to solve and fix these problems once and for all and connect the dots to show you how to do it.
Maybe what you want is to step up and take complete control of your firm’s sales and double your revenue with ease, if not, maybe even triple it like our special guest did. You want to feel confident about charging premium fees to your current clients and have them appreciate you for the value you provide and get paid what you’re worth, then here’s what I’ve got for you. Myself and Denise have set aside time to speak to you personally about how you can apply some of these ideas of what you’re going to read into your firm. Head on over to TheAbundantCall.com if you’d like to book a phone call with us. We look forward to connecting with some of you. My only requirement is that you own your own firm.
In this episode, our special guest is the Founder and Owner of Infinite Accounting Services. She started in the accounting field when she was sixteen years old. Her grandmother, who owns several businesses, trained her on how to pay bills and keep the books for the business. She attended college and also received her MBA in accounting. For many years now, she’s worked in the accounting industry. In 2018, she decided to step away from being an employee and became her own boss and started her firm. Since then, she’s serviced over 350 clients with taxes and bookkeeping services. Let’s welcome Danielle to the show.
Thank you so much for inviting me.
I am happy that you are taking out the time to be here with us on the show. It’s a true honor. This is a unique and special day because you get to read from a student of the Eight-Week Sales Mastery Training. She’s finished it or is in the process of finishing and has had much success and awesomeness come out of it instead of struggling, especially around your confidence, values and not having boundaries set up. Before we dive into this episode, Danielle, why don’t you share with everyone a little bit about yourself when you got into the accounting and tax space, something unique and interesting about you that has nothing to do with accounting and tax?
I am the Owner and Founder of Infinite Accounting Services. I’ve been doing accounting services since I was sixteen years old. My grandmother is my inspiration. She owned her own business before I was born. When I turned sixteen years old, she pushed me right into the business and put me right in the financing part, paying bills, creating invoices for clients, keeping up with like bookkeeping and all the financing and different things like that.
She pushed me right in there and trained me as much as she could on what she had been keeping up with the business, but she didn’t have an accounting background. I decided to go to school to pursue my education in accounting. I got my Master’s degree in Business Administration with an Accounting background. It was an emphasis on me taking accounting classes. My MBA is in Business and Administration. Before I started my business, I worked for her for years.
Grandma taught you right.
She taught me how to be the businesswoman that I am now. I oversaw her staff, paid employees, had to keep up with inventory and submit invoices to patients for supplies because she sold DME supplies to people’s homes. I had to be her administrative person to run her business. 2018 is when I decided to step out and start my own firm. It was after I worked for a few CPAs. I love working in that industry, but I wanted to be my own boss because I saw that from my grandmother.
She was her own boss and she instilled that in all of her grandchildren. It’s nothing wrong with working for someone. I don’t have anything against it, but being able to create a foundation and build a legacy because that’s what she was about, building a legacy for us, being able to give back and make what you want to make. There not be a limit or somebody telling you, “You are capped out at this salary. This is as much as you can make.” There is none of that when you are your own boss. She inspired me, continued to push me and still, to this day, encourages me to keep going. Keep pushing.
Having your MBA and doing all the financial stuff for your grandmother, you went out in 2018 on your own and started a bookkeeping firm. Tell us about that transition from quitting corporate and saying, “I’m going to have my own legacy. I’m not going to have a limit or cap on my salary. I’m not going to have anyone tell me what to do ever again.” There are a lot of readers that want all those things, but they’re relying on that paycheck every two weeks. For you to step out and go all in on starting your bookkeeping firm, how did you do that?
In 2018 when I started, I was still working for a CPA. I was doing my business on the side part-time and I was working for the CPA firm full-time. It started to become overwhelming because my business was growing a lot due to taxes because everybody had to file a tax return. In 2020, I was going to work for another CPA firm, and I did for about four months. That is when the shutdown happened due to COVID-19 and I was let go. It gave me no choice but to jump into my business and focus solely on my business, let it take off and grow the way I wanted it to. Not to mention in the back of my mind, I was thinking, “I will never be fired again.”
A lot of people think, “I got a job. I’m good.” It’s like, you’re not that good because you could get fired, laid off, cut, or whatever at any time.
For any reason. I was the last one in and was going to be the first one out. It was, “We have to let you go.” That was the end of it. I do not want that for myself ever again. When COVID hit, it was a struggle because there wasn’t a lot of business coming my way at first because everything was shut down around me. No one was going to work.
What did you do? What were some of your bigger challenges in 2018? I do want to fast-forward it to when we met in 2022. What were those challenges when you didn’t have any clients? How did you get your first few clients in your business?
I marketed to family and friends who started within my circle, letting them know that I had started up my own firm and I’m preparing tax returns. It was right during the tax season because when I started my business, it was in January 2018. I let all of them know that I started up the business and did the worst thing possible by letting them know that they would receive a discount.
I’m glad you prefaced that. That was the worst thing possible. We’re going to get into that because Danielle’s seen massive increases and huge successes from the Eight-Week Sales Mastery Training that she’s done. Starting out with a discount. Everyone thinks that that’s a good idea. Why is that not a good idea?
It’s not a good idea because you are cutting out you and your worth. You’re not being paid for all your time with your education. You spent a lot of money on education, which I know I have. You spent a lot of time learning all the different things that you need to know to do taxes, bookkeeping and all of your experience, all of this is your time invested. When you take a discount from somebody, it’s like you’re slapping yourself in the face because you got this education and experience to get paid your worth. I was cutting my worth, discounting myself to family and friends so that they could bring me their business and stop going to the person they have been to. I was trying to beat out the competition. It was the worst thing that I could have ever decided to do.Starting out with a discount is not a good idea because you are cutting out your worth. You're not being paid for all the time and money that you spent on education. Click To Tweet
Fast forward a few years, you were trying to beat out the competition. When we met, you were thinking about closing your doors.
I was very frustrated with clients who did not want to pay over a certain amount, who was calling me all types of night and I even had to implement a phone system that cut off the phone from ringing because they would call me at 10:00 at night. I felt like I was obligated to answer the phone call. Or else I was going to lose the client. I was afraid of that. I was at my wit’s end with those types of clients who were taking advantage of me because I was trying to be nice, a people pleaser, not trying to upset anyone, not trying to lose them as a client. It was miserable.
You were overworked and underpaid. You are discounting and charging low fees. You got yourself in this rut. What I’m curious to know is how did you get yourself out of it? You found us. You didn’t close your doors. Maybe you could share with everyone real quick. Readers, you need to keep reading because Danielle’s story is incredible. She’ll go into the details. You turn things around.
Before I found Abundant Accounting, I was searching for other companies similar. I didn’t quite find what I was looking for. I signed up with you all. A lot of other companies, I thought I was looking for somebody to do marketing for me, which did not work out. It sent me more of these clients that didn’t want to pay me what I felt I deserved to get paid or I was signed up through programs that were teaching me what I already knew. They were trying to teach new bookkeepers the basis of bookkeeping and how to keep up the books. I knew all of that. I have plenty of training in that. On my journey is when I came across and this as a last resort, “If this didn’t work out, I was going to take this as a sign that I needed to get out and right close the doors.”
It’s interesting because myself and my partner Denise have a lot of phone calls with bookkeepers, CPA firm owners and tax firm owners. We hear all the time, “I think I need more leads. We think we have a lead problem, which is a marketing problem where what you realized is that we have a conversion problem and that if we can’t convert at high fees, there’s no point in getting any more leads.” You don’t need another person to talk to because otherwise, it’s going to be the same old thing over and over again then you’re going to be beating your head against a wall and then have to close your doors. How did you realize that you’re like, “I don’t need another marketing thing. That didn’t work. I don’t need to learn any more bookkeeping things?”
How did you come from the firm owner’s perspective that you have a sales problem or challenge? I think a lot of times we don’t understand what sales are. That’s the conversion piece and the getting paid your worth, charging those higher fees and having the right clients say yes to you and not even dealing or wasting your time with the clients that don’t meet your criteria, having an actual sales process that you’ve created. How did you come up about what’s the thing that you might’ve needed?
It was from watching one of the videos from you guys. One of the people who gave their testimony was talking about before they came along and signed up, they thought that was how you were supposed to gain clients, to go out, offer discounts and market. You are all taught a different way to assess the client, and their situation, go after more than the job that you’re going to do because, at the end of the day, they need the job. They need it to be done, but why do they need the job to be done? What’s been going on? What’s underneath the surface of why they need this job done badly and why has it gotten out of control the way that it has?
Doing that assessment brings out the worth and the letting them know what you plan to do for them so that they can overcome whatever it is that they’ve been going through to get this particular job done. It became more than just a job. It became more about helping people rise to where they want to be, like myself. I want to be somewhere different in life. I had to change this with how I communicated with clients and brought clients in. I thought that I needed to market and generate all these leads. I need to do something different in order to get a different outcome and make my dreams come true.Do something different in order to get a different outcome and make your dreams come true. Click To Tweet
It’s not taught to you, and that’s okay. You were researching what other people were charging in other firms. You lowered your fees to try to beat them out and then you’re like, “I’ll get more clients like that.”It’s like you are in this revolving hamster wheel circle that you can’t get off, but you did get off. I know you invested in a lot of other programs like you had shared, and it didn’t yield any results that you were looking for. May I ask how much did you invest in other programs before you said, “I’m going to give one more shot?” A lot of people have tried other things and they’re like, “Why am I going to spend more time and money on something else that might not work?”
The other investments were in the thousands. It’s probably about $7,500 overall. It is how much it probably cost me and I made nothing.
You invested $7,500, never saw ROI, yet you still enrolled in our program and said, “I got to do this because I don’t want to close my doors.” What is it that you could share that had you enroll in our Eight-Week Sales Mastery Program and also what fears came up for you when you took that leap of faith?
When I was on the call with Denise and she asked me all of the hard questions, she asked me about things like, “What would you do if you didn’t have this situation? If things magically changed, what would you do?”I started naming off all of these things and all these dreams that I had. She let me know that it was a reality. All this time, I never saw this being a reality. I thought I was going to stay in this world forever.
By taking the taken in on this investment and investing in it, I’ve been able to turn things around in a very short time. The time that it took for me to grow the business in these four years, I’ve done less time with this program turning things around and changing things for myself. I’m so much happy and better as a person because I feel like the program helps you grow as a person. It teaches you things about yourself that you never even thought of. You didn’t even know these things about yourself.
You’re like, “That was part of a sales process?”
“I could do that?”
Can you share what some of your major wins were and some of the major things you turned around in your firm? Where was your revenue and where is it now?
The biggest win is I didn’t lose one client. For all of my client current clients that I have now, I increase their rates. Not one of them said, “I can’t do this. I’m going to find somebody else.” At first, I had one who told me that the price was too high and she was going to find someone else. After sleeping over it overnight, she called me the next day and said, “I can’t lose you right now. Whatever the fee is, I’ll pay it.”
How much did you increase your fee?
I increased my fees by triple. I was making less than $5,000 per month and now I’m making over $15,000. This is the monthly income per month.
Monthly reoccurring revenue from your monthly bookkeeping clients.
I charge for quick questions. I never ever even knew that existed. I get quick questions at least four times a day. When I let them know that I charge, quick questions start to either go away or they say, “I’ll pay it because I know that you have the information I need. Send me the invoice. I could pay it so I could get this answer and move on with my day.” No problem. I don’t waste my time on people who want to drain my information, keep me on the phone, “A quick question. I’m only going to be 1 minute or 1 hour.”
I got tired of that. I changed that. I set boundaries, “You’re not able to call me whenever you with your issues, up until whatever time you feel like when you are available to talk to me. I talked between this time. If you need me to send you a copy of a tax return, you need a profit in law, you can submit those things to me through email. You do not have to contact me about that.” I had to set boundaries for things like that because people would get on the call with you and just be talking about their life like I’m a therapist. I don’t have time for that.
Now you’re generating $15,000 a month. You’re so much happier. You didn’t have to close your doors. I know for you to make the investment, you had to find the money. You didn’t have the cash lying around. Your business was doing under $5,000. You have your daughter, your family, expenses, bills and all that. Can you share your biggest challenge around making the financial commitment upfront and the time commitment? I know you needed to do something, but how did you overcome that and what did you have to go through and sacrifice in order to even make that happen?
The time commitment wasn’t too bad because the tax season ended a little bit because I got done with the extension for all of my late clients, who got paid late fees. That’s another thing I changed. They come to me late and at the last minute. They were not happy about it. I said, “Don’t let this happen next year.” I had the time to invest in the homework assignments and everything you needed to do. The biggest sacrifice I had to make was financial because of the income that I do bring in. That income goes towards bills and everything for where I live and to support my family. I had to have a talk with them and let them know that things were going to be a little tight for a little bit of the time and not forever. I needed their support.
Them giving me support meant more to me than how I was feeling because that was the biggest thing. I had to sacrifice a lot, like my daughter might want ice cream, but I’m not going to be able to do ice cream. I need to be tight. I go get my nails or feet done. I had to go on a tight budget and sacrifice things that I love to do for myself because I needed this investment. This was, “You sail or sink.” That’s exactly where I was. I had to cut a lot of calls and not pay a couple of things in order to invest in this because it was very important to me. I knew it was life-changing and it is.
How did you know it was life-changing before you saw the other side? You told me or Denise, “This is too good to be true.” I heard that quite often. You invested $7,500 and other things. None of it worked. How did you overcome that?
It was all of the videos that I watched, the people who have invested in this program and the things that they were saying, their outcomes. At first, I thought they were paid, “They got to be being paid to say this stuff.” There were too many of them saying the same thing. They were in a run and this was their outcome. They had all of these clients that they were tired of servicing. They felt overworked and they were underpaid. I felt like these people were speaking to me and then they were saying, “There’s a brighter side to this. When I invested, there was a brighter side. My dreams came true. I was able to do this and that.” When I talked to Denise, that was the confirmation. She said, “You can have all of those things you want once you start this program and get things started.”
You want a tutor for your daughter and get another car so you don’t have to share with your husband. You want to take a weekend off a month, go to the gym, and save money for your dream home. You had a whole laundry list. You want to go to the spa. I hope some of those are happening now.
They are, and I am able to see that come to light. That’s what did it for me. The conversation with Denise and those videos with all of the other classmates and then hearing some of the stories during the class also did it for me. It was more of a confirmation.
It’s awesome to see your growth, what you’ve created and what you’ve had to overcome. It hasn’t been easy. Your grandmother instilled that you need to be your own boss and create a legacy, you’re not going to have a limit and you’re not ever going to have a cap out on your income, but yet you thought about closing your doors again on your business. You probably had to confront and face that. Kudos to you for having the courage, putting your trust in us, and creating your firm because it’s been awesome to see you.
It’s great to see your journey and the transformation that you’ve created. I would love it if you could share with maybe an accounting, bookkeeping firm, tax firm, tax resolution firm owner, or even a tax attorney reading, is there anything else that you want to share from your experience, from what you’ve been through since 2018 to now or even about the course? Any last words of advice or wisdom that you have for them that you want to lead them with?
You are worth the investment, and that’s what you need to think of when it comes to signing up for this program. It’s an investment for yourself. It’s growth for yourself and your family. It is to make your dreams come true because you are worth it and you work hard to be where you are now. I appreciate Michelle and Denise creating this program and deciding that they were going to work with people like us because we get left behind and forgotten about. I know some of you know that and feel that way, but we do the most important job in any industry out there. We keep up with people’s money. We deserve to be at the top of the list and not at the bottom. We deserve to invest more in ourselves because of the time that we put into investing in this. Take a risk like any other risk that you’ve ever taken and step out there. Pay the investment because it’s worth it. I guarantee you will be very happy at the end of this process.You are worth the investment. Click To Tweet
Thank you so much for taking out the time and sharing the raw and real of what’s going on with you. I’m glad you didn’t have to close your doors and that you can enjoy life. I hope you bought an awesome car or found one. I know they’re pretty pricey these days. You can enjoy getting your toes and nails done. Your daughter’s too. You are going to the spa and getting back to all those fun things that I know you had to sacrifice for a couple of months.
Keep up the great work. Keep us posted on your journey and everything you’ve got going on. Thank you for being an inspiration to others firm owners. You’re not left behind because you are the most trusted advisor any person has on their team. Like people have a doctor they go to and see for their health. You’re the financial doctors. You’re the other most important piece to their puzzle of life. You get to get paid for it too.
Thank you for taking the time and having the courage to do what you’ve done.
You are welcome.
Thank you all so much for joining Danielle and me on the show. It’s always a pleasure and rewarding to talk to our students and share their experience working with us here at the Abundant Accountant Empire, specifically in our Eight-Week Sales Mastery training. One of the loveliest quotes she said was, “You can either choose to sail or sink.” Choose. What is it that you want to do? Do you want to sail or sink? What areas can you think about in your firm that we need to let go of? She had to let go of discounting or not having that confidence in her value and look up other bookkeeping firms to see what they were charging to try to get her fees lower because it ultimately ended up with her maybe almost closing her doors, but I’m very glad she met us.
If you’re interested in learning more about the Eight-Week Sales Mastery course, I invite you to go to TheAbundantCall.com to book your call with me or my partner. It’s if you’ve been struggling with your confidence or your value or you don’t know how to set or stick to any boundaries and you feel totally overwhelmed with those needy clients like those that she had calling her 24/7 and have them take control of your firm versus you having in control.
Maybe you’re sick of not going on those vacations and feeling extremely frustrated about being underpaid, resentful, and taken advantage of by your clients. If that’s you and you want to step up and take control over your firm revenue and get confidence in charging premium fees, know exactly where your value is, how to get paid your worth and fire clients who suck out all the energy and time from you, then head on over to TheAbundantCall.com. Let’s chat and see what’s possible for you and your firm because you can have all your dreams come true, like Danielle shared. My only requirement is that you own your own firm. Thanks much for being here.
- Infinite Accounting Services
About Danielle Douglas
Danielle Douglas is the founder and owner of Infinite Accounting Services Inc. She started in the accounting field when she was 16 years old. Her grandmother owned several businesses and trained her on how to pay bills and keep the books for the businesses. She attended college and received her MBA in Business Administration with concentration in Accounting. For over 25 years now she has worked in the accounting industry. In 2018 she decided to step away from being an employee and become an employer. Since then she has serviced over 350 clients with tax and bookkeeping services.