Intro to part five: When Charles Klvana, founder of Eye on Books, offered to lend his perspective on his journey towards achieving platinum partner status, we jumped at the chance.
In this ten-part series, Charles takes us all down memory lane and throws in some great advice for potential partners looking to follow in similar footsteps.
In part five of this series, Eye on Books is growing its staff cohort as the number of clients on Xero continues to rise.
Date: July 2012
Client count: 65 clients on Xero
At this point in history, Xerocon 2012 was still a one-day affair at this stage, but for the first time, there was an ‘add-on alley’. In fact this add on alley represented a ton of new add-ons that would help us take care of our clients that much better.
It was a great concept. We needed to better help our clients, and here were all the tools in one place. Result. We had also grown by two more staff members by then, so we had a very clear need for technological tools and support.
But speaking of technology, in those days there was no payroll in Xero. For the clients that wanted Xero, but needed payroll, we ran their payroll in MYOB and then journaled that into Xero after each payroll.
Good news was in store though. At this Xerocon, they announced that Xero had purchased Paycycle, a payroll add-on provider, and would start providing payroll in Xero. I thought it was an interesting idea and looked forward to what that would look like. We had two clients in Paycycle already, so knew what it could do.
It was at this Xerocon that I quietly looked up the bookkeepers ahead of us on the partner listings, and sat myself down next to someone from Sydney to learn more from him. That was how I met Darren McMahon from Dardee. He didn’t know me, but I knew who he was, and asked him how he grew his practice. He shared invaluable knowledge and his collaborative spirit stood out in my mind long after Xerocon finished.
The road to gold
While wandering around the Melbourne conference venue the day before Xerocon, I noticed a signboard: “Xero gold partner function – 1pm.”
What was this? A special event for Xero gold partners? That was it. All the signs pointed toward one thing. I was determined that next year we would get an invite to that gold partner function. The goals were set!
Guess what? In February 2013 we were made GOLD partner! With 100 clients now on Xero we had got there. The road to this milestone was paved thanks in part to Wayne Schmidt at Xero.
Wayne had always known what button to press with me. He would send me updates near the end of each month.
“Charles!” he would send. “You’re just three orgs away from the next person on the advisor list.”
Then, “Charles, you’re now five clients from your next competition. Do you want to beat them or what?”
Finally it was, “Charles you’re two orgs from gold.”
I replied, “You want me to get there? Watch this!”
And I added the last two clients I had up my sleeve into Xero. We finally achieved that gold status. What a day!
By this stage, we had partnerships with Unleashed Software and Workflowmax as implementation partners. We were probably about 80 per cent hourly billing, and with about 5.8 full time staff in the office.
Stay tuned for next week’s instalment: A shift in services
Click here to read last week’s article.