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.