Stephanie, a friend for over a decade, approached me back in 2014 with her budding leather journal business to ask for some advice. At the time, Stephanie had only a couple of part-time people helping her in their home garage to make leather journals to sell on Etsy. She wanted advice on how to grow her business without sacrificing time with her family. Growing a business is a very challenging endeavor and Stephanie had already run into the challenges inherit in a seasonal business. Sales around Christmas spiked, resulting in massive amounts of stress and sleepless nights trying to fulfill orders.
Over the years Stephanie and I have visited almost every month to discuss her business. We talk about sales growth, additional sales channels, marketing budgets, and best use of advertising dollars. We've talked about when new hires are needed and how new team members can alleviate operational blockages. We've implemented software and processes together for e-commerce, inventory, payroll, and sales tax. Every month we review her pain points and concerns and focus on near and far-term improvements. We review her financials to help guide those decisions.
Being part of a new business is fun and challenging. We get to leave our mark all over the processes and even impact the culture of the organization. We try to focus on best-practices and teaching these to the team as it grows and changes. We start with the fundamentals and grow with the organization to help at all levels, as it relates to the finances. We've been involved in the following challenges:
As always, we started with Xero. We then looked at other systems and processes which best serve the business operations while alleviating the normal workload associated with record-keeping. We started small and our discussion centered around the bookkeeping on a cash basis straight from the reconciliation cycle. A lot of our discussions centered around how to grow her business while also reducing her workload. The solution as her business grew was to add Gusto, TaxJar, reporting dashboards, and other supporting software. During our monthly calls, we would create projections on the fly and talk through where her money and time are best spent.
Stephanie now has a team of 10 and the business is growing. Every day they need to deal with new challenges as operations expand and product lines become more robust. The new problems that show up will be addressed by identifying the best-in-class software solutions and creating new processes. At ProvenCFO we're always looking inside the Xero App Marketplace to see when new partnerships are coming online. We are always reaching out to and receiving communication from great tech developers to ensure we stay ahead of the technology curve.
"ProvenCFO has been a game changer for me and my business. They've provided the expertise and guidance to allow me to use my time to work on my business more, and I would highly recommend working with them!" - Stephanie Brown