In this episode of Service Bureau Accelerator, hosts Baldeep and Ross share the origin story of their fast-growing service bureau. They discuss their entrepreneurial journeys, highlighting how they identified gaps and opportunities in the tax industry. Learn about their imperfect beginnings, constant improvement, and the journey to building one of the most successful service bureau coaching programs. Whether you’re starting or growing a service bureau, this episode offers valuable insights and transparency into the journey of Service Bureau Accelerator. Tune in to discover how it all began!
Is juggling multiple tax softwares holding your service bureau back? On this week’s Service Bureau Accelerator Podcast, hosts Baldeep and Ross get real about why having just one or two tax software options, rather than a whole suite, is the key to scaling success. They reveal why spreading yourself thin across multiple platforms only leads to poor sales, operational headaches, and makes growth impossible. If you think more options equal more sales, think again. Tune in as Baldeep and Ross draw on insider secrets from the largest players in the game to explain why simplicity and specialization separate thriving service bureaus from the mediocre middle pack. This myth-busting episode sheds light on why you do NOT need multiple softwares to build a powerhouse service bureau.
Other subjects we covered on the show:
- Why offering the software a client already uses rarely works – non-compete agreements get in the way.
- How spreading volume across platforms destroys your leverage and negotiating power.
- The nightmare of trying to train staff on multiple complex platforms.
- Why do added options confuse clients and kill sales?
- How to sell value beyond just the software.
- Examples of identifying client goals and selling what they need.
- The power of crafting a compelling value proposition.
AND MORE TOPICS COVERED IN THE FULL INTERVIEW!!!
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[00:00:00] Baldeep: Yeah, there you go, Tia. All right. Does anybody, yeah we’re live we’re recording. I just see Tia a little bit delayed, but I think, whatever, it doesn’t matter. It’s going to fix on the thing. Okay. All right, cool. So welcome everyone to episode number eight of the Service Bureau Accelerator podcast. I’m here with Uncle Ross. Tia, the tax,
[00:00:32] Ross: No relation.
[00:00:33] Baldeep: Tia, the tax goddess today we’re going to be talking about why you don’t need multiple softwares as a service bureau. I think this is one of the biggest misconceptions. And it’s something we hear a lot and people are just fucking crazy thinking that they need to have every single software in the industry, but Tia, why don’t you go ahead and kind of [00:01:00] maybe set some ground precedent on the topic?[00:02:00]
[00:02:01] Ross: Yeah. And it’s funny actually ’cause it’s very a very recent ordeal. We had someone who was looking to join our program, but wants both softwares immediately and on the sales call, she’s like, oh, well I also wanna work with this software and this software. I wanna get that software. And we’re like, well, we don’t sell them.
[00:02:16] She’s like, well, that’s fine. I’m just gonna go get them. We’re like, okay, well we’re not gonna work with you then because like, like, we’re here to help you grow on the softwares that we provide. And she was wanting to get every single software. She’s like, well, when I talk, I’ve already talked to a bunch of people and everyone uses different software.
[00:02:32] So I want to just sell them whatever software they use. It’s like, okay, well, then you’re like, you need to get over that internal belief that just because someone has that software doesn’t mean that they want that exact same software again, right? You talk to pretty much everyone in the industry and they’ve used different tech softwares.
[00:02:49] Everyone has gone through the process of learning different software. And as a service bureau, like, just like you said,Tia, it’s a very important point is what are you actually providing [00:03:00] value of because we, even with our program, pretty much the majority of people that we bring on well, not, maybe not majority, but a large portion of the people that we bring into our program have never used the softwares that we set them up on, but it’s because our value proposition is so strong that they’re like, you know what, I’ll figure out the software.
[00:03:18] I will figure it out because I want to be working with these people, right? And so that’s a huge part of kind of a lot of what we teach anyways, is just how to actually come at it with a much better value proposition to convert people onto whatever software that you do have to offer. We can get into a lot more stuff, maybe balls, if you want to talk on like the actual operational side of trying to offer multiple different softwares, because.
[00:03:43] Look, every software is different. And if you’re selling five different softwares, you have five different ways to onboard and five different ways to set up and five different ways to deliver that software that if it’s just yourself, well, good luck learning all five of them and getting really good at them.
[00:03:56] Baldeep: Yeah. I mean, we could dive into, there’s multiple different reasons why not to do it. [00:04:00] I think the, one of the biggest misconceptions, why people like what you touched on earlier, why people say, Oh yeah, I want to have this option. Because they’re their prospective clients use those while in like 99 percent of those cases.
[00:04:14] If they’re direct with that software or what have you, you’re not going to be able to set them up on that same software anyway, I think people need to stop thinking that selling them the software they use is going to be a successful way to grow their service bureau. It may help you for a year. But they’re only with you for the deal and they’re going to leave once they realize that they get a better deal from somebody else with the same, they’re just going to hop around.
[00:04:39] Right? So, but I think the biggest misconception is people thinking that, oh, they could just put them on the same transmitter every single time. And that’s not the case. Right? I think, another thing that. Is pretty much widely overlooked is if you have multiple softwares, you don’t have enough volume on any one software to get any type of good deal, right?
[00:04:59] You have a [00:05:00] shitty deal from every single provider because you don’t do any type of decent volume of bank products because your shit’s scattered everywhere. Right? So, you know, Transmitters don’t care that you have a thousand bank products on another transmitter. They don’t care about that, right?
[00:05:17] They’re like, well, it’s not with us. So they, what do we care? Right?
[00:05:21] Ross: Meat balls. You want to just clarify real quick when you’re saying transmitter you’re talking about like the actual…
[00:05:25] Baldeep: the actual tax software. Yeah. The actual tax software doesn’t care. Like, Hey, you do a thousand bank products with this other software. Well, you do 20 with us because you decided to get it just to sell the one person that does 20 and you think you’re actually doing yourself a disservice. The amount of time, energy, and effort you’re spending on even just setting that person up is already not worth it.
[00:05:49] And then the other thing is, how are you going to scale a business with team members, do you want to make seven figures, you want to do big [00:06:00] numbers, you have to hire people to help you do these setups and now hiring and training somebody on 5, 6, 7, 8. 9, 10 softwares. They’re not going to learn all of them. You’re going to end up struggling there. And we say this a lot in the group. You know, some of the biggest service bureaus in the industry, well, three biggest service bureaus in the industry. Two of them are gone now, but it’s a whole other story, but three biggest service bureaus in the industry only sold one software, right?
[00:06:27] When you sell one software, you could create seamless onboarding, seamless fulfillments, seamless support. Cause even if there’s somebody doing your tech support is different than actual support on the setup side and other questions that come in and the tech support is not going to answer everything.
[00:06:45] So you need to know your shit on each one. So having one.
[00:06:49] Ross: And the sales side as well, right? Selling one type of software, trying to highlight one software versus trying to sell another one. They’re very different conversations. And if you got five different softwares, you’re going to have five different [00:07:00] conversations that you’re trying to figure out, trying to put sales reps in place.
[00:07:03] Like good luck. It’s, that’s a challenge.
[00:07:05] Baldeep: Yeah. It’s very hard to scale decent size volume service bureau with multiple softwares. And you end up making less money, right. In time, energy, and actual dollars. Cause you know, if you had all that volume on one transmitter, one software, you can negotiate a better deal. Right.
[00:07:25] So that’s the thing. Like people come and they’re like, Hey, I want to do all this. Cause they see people have like all these options, but those people aren’t making any money or you think they are, but trust me, I’ll tell you, they’re not, right? The ones that make money sell the same fucking thing over and over again, consistently and scale vertically that way versus horizontally in multiple different directions.
[00:07:50] Ross: Yeah.
[00:07:57] Baldeep: What do you mean? [00:08:00] Yeah. Yeah. I mean, look, like, obviously, there may be a need for more than one, but you don’t need 10, you don’t need 5, right? So the reasoning so why we have technically, we only really offer 2, right? We have 3 because we had 1 to begin with just years ago. But we only really offer 2.
[00:08:38] And 1 of them the 1 we added recently came because we had a lot of people that were directly with this software and we can set, we couldn’t sell them on that same software. It’s just part of the agreements. It’s a non compete where, Hey, even though you’re going to get a way better value with us than you will with that software, [00:09:00] because you already signed a contract with them, we can’t put you on the same software.
[00:09:03] So in that scenario, here’s another option for you. Right. You want to work with us. You want to do this. Well, okay, cool. Then you got to be here, right? That’s the only reason you would need to have more than one and we picked the two best to work with on that.
[00:09:20] Ross: And realistically, if we could in a perfect world, we would only sell one software.
[00:09:24] Because it’s just the processes are so much easier and to give you guys a little bit more like content on context on that. You’re like, well, it’s just setting someone up. Okay, sure. But that process.
[00:09:33] Understanding, you know, the whole, if you have a prepared login that needs to be unlocked, if you have, you know, an Ethan that needs to be unlocked, if you have the default bank enrollment, everything like that, every software is different. That process is different and you may be thinking, well, if it’s just myself, I got like three softwares.
[00:09:51] I know how to do each one. I can just do for all my clients. Sure. When you have 10 or 20 customers, right? When you’re a small service Bureau. Sure. You could get [00:10:00] away with that. But when you’re scaling and what we mean by that is when you have 100, 200, 300 clients and you’re constantly onboarding and selling new clients, like, someone in our group was I mean, we don’t have to say the name, but her goal was like 30 a month.
[00:10:13] She’s like, I want to sign up 30 new offices a month on my software, right? And she’s going out and she’s hitting those numbers. Well, guess what? If you have to have that between all these different softwares and then not only that, but you’re also marketing, you’re also a part of sales. You only have 24 hours in a day.
[00:10:28] So, in order to scale the business, you need to start bringing in team members, either you just, you know, right off your life and all you’re doing is working or you bring in team members who can help you with other areas of your business. Where’s one, an area that they would help you is in the software setups, right?
[00:10:43] Is being able to set people up. Well, guess what? Now, if you’ve got someone who’s brand new, who’s like a VA, who’s just kind of really just entering in the numbers, you have to now train them on every single one and you have to review and make sure they actually understand every single one you’re tripling the amount of work that you have to put in to [00:11:00] train up your team and to get them successful at it.
[00:11:02] And you’re tripling the amount of stuff that they have to learn, and it’s going to slow them down because if all they had to do was just learn one software. They’re going to learn it much faster than learning one and then a second and then the third and being split back and forth between all these different softwares.
[00:11:15] That’s where the bottlenecks come in. It’s not just, you know, the challenge of setting things up, but it’s also scaling the business when you have team members that you need to get into it and you need to actually support as well. What happens when someone reaches out for you to you for support?
[00:11:30] Because look, as much as. You know, we don’t want to have to do as much support on a service bureau. The first word is service. You got to service your customers. And so when people are asking you questions about this software and about that software and about the third or fourth or fifth one that you have, and you don’t know, now you look bad.
[00:11:45] And now you have, it’s going to take you more time to go and figure out the solution. Because instead of just being really good and being an expert at one software where any questions can come up and you know, the response. Now you need to start trying to figure it out and now it’s going to present challenges in your business.
[00:11:59] And again, [00:12:00] as you’re growing and scaling, those things create challenges for you. Even with us, with the second software that we did bring on, we are still trying to catch up and trying to develop more of our internal trainings, more of our internal support. Because right now there’s only a handful of people on our team that actually know this new software and we’re trying to cross train everyone else on it.
[00:12:20] And it’s a challenge. Like it’s a lot of work that we have to put into it. So having multiple options doesn’t mean more sales. And I think at the end of the day, that’s what most people think. Oh, well, if I have more options to pick from, then I’m going to be able to get more sales because I can offer whatever someone wants.
[00:12:35] Well, Baldeep already crushed that originally where it’s like, Hey, if they’re directly the software, then usually there’s a non compete in the first place, but at the end of the day giving more options to someone, especially in a sales conversation you’re creating more confusion. You’re creating more friction instead of, Hey, this is the software that I’m going to set you up on.
[00:12:55] You’re saying, Hey, which one do you want to pick? Now they’re going well, what’s the difference between the softwares? What about this one? [00:13:00] Maybe this one’s better. Maybe that one’s better. Now they’re indecisive. Now they’re not going to make a decision and now you’re not going to generate a sale. So it’s all through every aspect of your business, whether it’s the sales, whether it’s the sport, whether it’s the actual onboarding, the setup and the actual backend, you know, processes in your business. Adding more software just adds additional layers of complexity that you do not need.
[00:13:20] And if you want to scale and grow the fastest, focus on one, get really good at one until you start having those conversations. This is actually some I’m stealing from you, Baldeep is as soon as you start having enough conversations where you’re losing some deals because you’re in that, you know, like a non compete then, and only then is the time when you might want to start looking at grabbing on a second software only for those scenarios, but everyone defaults in that main software.
[00:13:44] And then in those unique scenarios where maybe you can’t sell that person, but you could on another software, then you could potentially sell them that second software. Anyways, that’s the end of my rant. I know that was a lot. I know there’s a lot of stuff there, but.
[00:13:59] Baldeep: Yeah, [00:14:00] I think the biggest thing is, you know, don’t sell them what they want, sell them what they need. Right. You know, the way we show people how to sell is don’t just sell the software, you sell software with value ads, right. And then with the value add. Software’s irrelevant. They all do the same shit, right?
[00:14:16] So, yeah, some people may like a certain way, certain things input, but it’s not the end of the world, right? It’s not the end of the world, especially if it’s a smaller office, right? They do a hundred clients or less. It’s not a big deal. If they’re a bigger office, then you probably need to spend a bit more time on helping them adopt it.
[00:14:35] They need to make sure it’s right for their team. It’s a whole different conversation at that point. But at the end of the day. Having the multiple options, like Ross just said, he stole from me. There’s, you know, giving people multiple options leads to most of the time, no decisions being made.
[00:14:57] Ross: Yeah. I wanted to to pick up [00:15:00] on that as well. You mentioned Oh, I just, I had a message come in. I lost track of my thought there, but I think it was what they need, right? Is a big thing. And I wanted to kind of drill into that a little bit on the context for that, just for everyone.
[00:15:14] It’s like, well, what do you mean what they need at the end of the day? Like most people in the industry, especially like I’m not like, say lower smaller offices, right? 10, you know, our a hundred returns and less. Look, their goal is to grow. And if you don’t know that when you’re having a conversation with someone about selling software or selling whatever it is that you’re selling, whatever program, if you don’t know what their goals are.
[00:15:35] Then you don’t really know what to sell them, right? Like you need to understand your customer. You understand what they’re trying to do. And this is like a lot of stuff that we go over in our program. It’s like instead of just selling software and tech support like everyone else. And if that’s all you’re selling, then yeah, you’re probably going to struggle a little bit on, you know, just selling one software.
[00:15:53] But you can dig deeper. You can understand, Hey, how do you use the software? What are you trying to do? How are you trying to grow your business? [00:16:00] Oh, well, I want to grow my business. I want to try and recruit more prepares to work under me. Cool. Are they going to be independence? Are they working in your office?
[00:16:05] Are they virtual? Oh, no, they’re all going to be working remote. They’re going to be independence, getting their own clients. Cool. Let me show you how easy it is to set someone up in the software. Take what someone’s telling you and then go showcase the like, how easy their life is going to be with your software, right?
[00:16:20] So that’s one way of actually showing, like selling people what they need versus just what they want. It’s like, look, this is what you need because you told me X, Y, and Z. Now, another thing as well is kind of a little bit off the core subject of software, but just in their business alone. And this is a lot that we teach is like selling with value as in what kind of value added trainings or resources.
[00:16:42] Now you don’t have to get crazy complicated. I mean, we teach all the way from just selling software to launching an Academy or like a business box program. There’s a lot of ways you can do this. There’s thousands of different ways you can provide value, but ultimately at the end of the day, if you can help someone grow their business and you can put together some sort of a program, some sort of additional coaching calls [00:17:00] or training videos that you record and host in a platform to teach someone how they can hit their goals, which would be more like, Oh, I want to increase my volume. I did 55 products last year. I want to hit a hundred this year. Well, if you could actually show them how to hit those goals and you can actually say, Hey, this is what you’re going to get in my program. I’m going to show you how to get to a hundred returns next year. And by the way, the software is included. They’re like, all right, cool. I’m in.
[00:17:24] Baldeep: Right.
[00:17:24] Ross: Right. Because now you’re providing them something where it’s like, they want that goal so much. They want what the value that you’re offering them so much that they don’t care about the software anymore.
[00:17:33] Right. You basically eliminate that from the conversation. So those are some ways where it’s like, look, stop getting hung up on just trying to facilitate what you think people want and sell them what they need.
[00:17:43] Baldeep: Right. And I think I mean, we could do a whole other episode on how to identify those topics. We cover that in depth in our program, the service bureau accelerator of community calls the coaching calls. We have tons.
[00:17:56] Ross: Sounds like a great time for a little plug for anyone listening.
[00:17:59] Baldeep: And you’re [00:18:00] like, Hey, I want to know more information, go to ServiceBureauAccelerator.com. There’s probably a link below somewhere in these, if you’re watching this on YouTube or if you’re listening somewhere else there should be some links somewhere, ServiceBureauAccelerator.com register for a webinar, they are live. Currently, there’s still live webinars. Learn a little bit more about it and then sign up.
[00:18:22] But in our calls, we do cover how to actually have those conversations. I think that’s one of the biggest things because we see that a lot. We see a lot of people thinking, Oh, I just want to sell people the software they have, or I think I need to have all these options. Well, no, if you know how to properly have a conversation with somebody.
[00:18:40] The software is irrelevant. It’s not like we bring, we sell a lot of people a year onto the Service Bureau Accelerator program. And we mentioned the software in one slide out of 130 something slides. We mentioned software’s one.
[00:18:56] Ross: If you don’t believe us go watch your webinar and go watch the webinar. [00:19:00] There is one slide out of about 140, that actually talks about tax software..
[00:19:04] Baldeep: And everyone’s getting a software from the program, right? So we don’t talk about that. That’s not the purpose of the presentation. So yeah, I think like just a quick recap on this episode and we’ll wrap it up. You don’t need multiple softwares to be a successful service bureau, actually quite the opposite, you know, one at the most two is all you need. If you want to make a shit ton of fucking money, you want to make no money and have a bunch of options, then go have fun. We’re not the best place for you. But really if you focus your service bureau on one software. You can scale a lot faster. You can sell more consistently.
[00:19:44] Your processes from A to Z are duplicatable. So you can bring in people to help you on every aspect of your business. And that just leads to more money. And I think, we lost Tia throughout this conversation. So we’re just gonna, Ross, is there any [00:20:00] final words you want to say before we wrap it up?
[00:20:03] Ross: No, that’s pretty much it just you know, it really just comes down to keeping it simple. You know, business is not try to be as complicated and difficult as possible. It’s getting one system dialed in and just rinse and repeating again and again, and just putting more systems and people in place to scale that process and optimize it as much as you can.
[00:20:26] If you’ve got five different programs that you’re selling, five different software options, you’re, you know, just adding too many layers of complexity, too many challenges that ultimately at the end of the day, you’re going to slow you down. And again just as the nail in the coffin, the largest historically, like the largest service bureaus in the industry, we’re all just selling one software, that’s it.
[00:20:47] So that’ll crush that thought that you have to have multiple would be successful, completely opposite.
[00:20:52] Baldeep: All right, guys. Well, it’s been a good episode. We’ll catch you on the next one. Take care.
[00:20:57] Ross: Take care.