Reflections 90 Days Post Close

Reflections 90 Days Post Close

This week will be 90 days since I officially closed on Appletree on December 31st 2021. We’ve had challenges but it’s gone much smoother than I expected. A lot of credit goes to the previous owner, Steve, for his work and diligence in the transition. 

(PS – just for context Appletree does quality bookkeeping, payroll and tax for small businesses. We have 12 team members. )

Here’s my summary and learnings: 

What’s gone well? 

  • We retained every single one of our +70 small business clients. 
  • Revenue is up +10% over last year.
  • We retained all team members but two.
  • The culture has been unified and positive in the transition.
  • It feels like I bought a very solid business with a great team and systems.

Challenges the first 90 days? 

  • Closing right before the busy season. It’s meant increased stress and less time to ask questions or change anything. 
  • Information overload trying to wrap my head around all our systems and services.
  • We’re understaffed by 2-3 people.
  • I need to slow down and get buy in on every decision
  • Selling ideal clients. The firm has a very tight filter on which clients we’ll accept
  • Childcare while being back in an office 3 days/week. Sick kids, full daycares, etc. (Thank you grandparents!)

We’re doing well but I’m not out of the woods yet. I always have remind myself the #1 rule of acquisitions is don’t mess with things early on.

There’s plenty of big obstacles to overcome this year and changes to make after tax season.

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