BIG Talk: Bernadette L. Harris

Publisher Kelly Scanlon talked with Bernadette L. Harris recently on her podcast, Smart Companies. See what Bernadette had to share.

Kelly » Tell us about your four business tips. You use the acronym B.O.S.S. to outline them: “Build Your Business Like a B.O.S.S. What does the “B” stand for?

Bernadette » B stands for “Be Consistent.” The same things that you have to do to get clients is the same thing you have to do to keep clients. So, keep doing them. You have to be consistent in another area too. You have to consistently promote your business because the people who are going to buy from you are not going to buy from you just because you’re ready to sell to them. They’re going to buy from you when they’re ready to buy from you. So you always have to be selling. The consistency piece is hard. Business owners get tired. They want immediate results.

Kelly » Let’s talk about the “O.”

Bernadette » Offer solutions. The businesses that succeed are the businesses that solve a problem—and it needs to be a problem that people are willing to pay for. For example, I don’t like to make my bed, but I suck it up and make my bed. I won’t pay for that. Your business won’t make any money if it’s not going to solve a problem that people are willing to pay for. Do some market research.

Kelly » The third letter in B.O.S.S. is an S. What does it stand for?

Bernadette » This “S” stands for “Serving Others.” It is very important in our businesses that we show up to serve other people. I believe that we can never give too much. I’m not talking about giving away your services. I’m an accountant. I forbid that. But we need to have a mindset to show up and serve others. When we serve others, when we give to others, it’s always given back to us. And what we receive back is always greater than what we give. That’s been my experience. I think that sometimes when we’re stretched, it’s the perfect time to give. Sometimes when we give out of our lack, that’s when the return is the greatest.

Kelly » There is a second “S” in B.O.S.S. Tell us about that one.

Bernadette » The second “S” stands for “Seek Assistance.” We live in a society where everyone is DIY. We want to do everything ourselves. The Internet has made us all super smart. We can google anything. The problem is, when we spend a lot of time trying to do everything in our business, we can’t focus our energies on the areas we serve the best. There are some things that we just don’t need to do. Business owners have to get out of the DIY mentality for everything. They still need to oversee it, but they can’t be down in the weeds with everything. There are some things in my business that I excel at, and there are some things in my business that I’m not good at. I’ve learned that the hard way. Business owners have to look in the mirror and be honest with themselves. Acknowledge the things you’re not good at, and then get somebody else to do them. When I do the things I’m not good at, it takes me longer and when I’m finished, it’s still not very good. I’ve noticed that there is a direct correlation between the money that I spend on professional development and my income. It’s an investment. It’s not always immediate, but the payoff will be there.

Bernadette L. Harris is a tax and forensic accountant, best-selling author and keynote speaker who has developed a system for helping her clients grow to the next level. Her sense of humor and ability to make complex business subjects simple and fun have made her an in-demand keynote speaker.