Meet Emily LaRusch, Founder & CEO – Back Office Betties
Tell us about your business – Back Office Betties virtual receptionists are the voice of law firms across the US. We screen calls, perform new client intake and take payments in addition to taking messages and fighting off solicitors.
Please tell us what being a business owner means to you and why you became an entrepreneur in the first place? I was always restless in my jobs. I was more excited about creating new processes and manuals that doing the day-to-day work. I felt flighty and unable to be great at what I was doing when it came to repetitive functions. When I had great managers, they chose me to work on special projects and this is where I shined. At the time one of my IT projects was coming to an end, I made a few fateful calls. I was searching for several home services and the customer service provided was bad at best and completely non-existent at worst. I had a light bulb moment and thought there was a business here. I was also sickened at the though of returning to normal duties so I had a little extra incentive to move quickly on my big idea.
What or who has been your greatest influence in business and why? The greatest influence has been Entrepreneur’s Organization Arizona. I miraculously kept the business alive for 2.5 years before I dared to spend every penny of savings I had on the EO Accelerator membership. I was assigned to a monthly accountability group and within six months my group helped me see things in new ways. I changed my billing model and niched services exclusively for attorney’s and went from little to zero net profits to a regular paycheck for myself and profits on my P&L.
What would you say is your greatest professional accomplishment to date? I read that even CEO’s of billion-dollar companies share my fear that we may lose everything in a moment. I am most proud that four years later, the business is strong and that I didn’t listen to early naysayers who told me this was a bad idea. That fear is always whispering that tomorrow might be the day that my house of cards falls, but I tell her to hush up, I’ve got work to do!
What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to our readers? If you were sun-bathing on remote island and needed to know if your business was doing well but could only receive daily updates with 3-5 KPI’s, what would they be? This question really prompted me to look at the most important metrics for my business. Sure, I could track hundreds of things, but what are the absolute most important? Once I knew this, I had to get to work learning more about my financials (balance sheet, cash flow and P&L) than I’d ever known before.
What has been the most effective marketing initiatives or programs you have used to promote your business? I have found influencers and offered free trials for reviews and tried to partner with people like coaches who are already serving my demographic.
What one thing have you learned as a small business owner that has served you well over the years? Knowing numbers is a must. I highly recommend Greg Crabtree’s bookSimple Numbers, Straight Talk, Big Profits. This was the first accounting book written in a language I could understand.
Are there any resources or tools you’d like to share with other small business owners that have helped you run your business? If yes, please describe (and include links if available). My team uses Trainual . It’s an easy to use digital platform that allows you to get processes out of your head and into the cloud and share them with your team. The next thing I share with anyone looking for a robust calendar is, Acuity Scheduling . It integrates with Google and Outlook and is amazing for ease of use for receptionists. It makes new client intake and scheduling a breeze! (Yes, I included affiliate links. I don’t promote because of Affiliates, I do it because I use these tools and LOVE them! I have at least ten Acuity accounts and 16 Trainual users and my entire team gives both products two thumbs up!) Aside from this, I have built my entire company on the Zoho Suite of products. I have their CRM, Chat, Email, Support Desk, Bookkeeping and Survey. I am a huge fan of this suite and especially love having a single sign on to so many tools.
Do you have any new projects coming up? I love learning and listen to podcasts, watch YouTube videos and read books and it’s a male dominated area. I want to see more women influencers who are experts in different aspects of running a business. This is why I started the Share the Law-ve video podcast show . If I couldn’t find more women like Maria Forleo, I thought I’d follow in her footsteps and start my own show.
What do you do for fun/relaxation? I am a total book nerd. My idea of fun is scoping out a new book on business, leadership or history. I am the Queen of my home as the only girl with my sweet pit bull rescue, Chico, my two cub scouts and my hubby. We love hiking in the Arizona desert and camping.
What is Number One Business Goal you plan to accomplish over the next year?
You want to write a book on the realities of starting a business. It’s not all rounds of funding, Lamborghini’s and roses. It takes grit, hard work and patience to become the next overnight success story.
What’s the best way for the readers of WE Magazine for Women to connect with you?
WEBSITE URL www.BackOfficeBetties.com