Bookkeeper Girl provides online bookkeeping and payroll services to small business owners.
‘Ah ha’ moment that led to launching the business: I was working part-time for a CPA firm & recognized that if small business owners chose to outsource their bookkeeping, they would more than likely have more time, more money, more meaningful relationships with their bookkeepers, and could view their financials from the internet.
Ideal customer: Small business owners who need bookkeeping and payroll services and will embrace the benefits of accessing their financials from the internet.
Landing first customer: I talked an old boss into believing that my idea would work and that I wanted him to be my first client.
Measuring Success: I measure success in how many lives I can touch in a positive way. When you start a business, you face many challenges. Having the faith and persistence to continue with your “big” picture is hard when you are worried about making payroll without your employees ever feeling that stress. However because I kept believing and persisting, in two year’s time we have been able to:
* Help many small business save and invest more money.
* Encourage and give hope to small business owners who struggle day-to-day.
* Give back to our community through donations and volunteerism.
* Provide jobs in a challenging economy.
* Serve as a resource for others through relationships we have built.
Biggest Struggle: Work/life balance: proving to my family that all the time and money I was taking from our family would be worth it in the end. I have (and continue) to overcome it by involving my family. My husband is now my operations director; my teenage daughter helps me with social media application questions, and my son is always very interested in how he can earn extra money through my company. (Sometimes that includes taking out the trash!)
Surprise!: The amount of time you can spend working for yourself.
Getting Sales: Having a unique, creative marketing approach in a very conservative industry.
What I wish I would’ve known: I wish I would have read more For Dummies books.
What keeps you up at night (business-wise!)?: My creative mind – I am always thinking of ways that we can better attract and serve clients.
Ever tempted to throw in the towel and just get a job?: Nope- I have non-quitting, stubborn, survival, prideful mentality.
Moving Forward: To have every part of our operation at our fingertips and to use technology more to free us up. I plan to meet it by outsourcing to those who can get me there.
Pricing, Getting it Right: Know what departments you will need in order to grow your business. Also be open minded and believe that your first few years will not give you a definite answer. You have to be open to grow as your company grows. It’s been my experience that you must continue to seek and pay experts in those areas of operations. Do not try to do this alone. Outsource.
Funding: I have built my entire business off of cash flow. As our company grew, our surroundings grew. Knowing what items to purchase and what items had to wait required a lot of patience- which, by nature, is hard for me. I have been asked many times if my company was a franchise- my answer is always no, but it’s designed like one. We continue to open remote offices which serve as local sales centers and they are all designed the same. That saves us money, but allows growth at the same time.
A Few Good Tips: Did you know that the IRS will accept PDF copies of your receipts during an audit? Just because your receipts were lost in a flood, or your dog ate them is not an excuse to them- they can take that deduction away. Do you have the same online login as your bookkeeper? This can be dangerous. Never share your personal log in or security questions with anyone- you should always have at least one that nobody knows. How much is your time worth? By looking at your profit and loss statement you can determine areas that you are good spend/bad spend areas.
Must-Read Online Resources: The IRS website: it’s straight from the horse’s mouth.
The absolute best part of owning my business is: my freedom.
If I had to start over again, I would: have more money in the bank before I started.
I never imagined: managing employees would be so difficult.
If standing on a rooftop facing crowds of aspiring or struggling small business owners, I would shout: : “Quit whining. Make the choice to move forward strongly — or go to work for someone else.”