The short story of a bookkeeper with big dreams
Ever take a moment to sit and appreciate how lucky you are to have come this far in business? I’m writing this on a train to Melbourne (child free) and have a few spare hours to reflect on our journey thus far.
The goal has always been a family friendly career; flexibility to hang with my kids while still contributing financially. I think this stemmed from watching my Mum and Dad. Once baby Kath arrived mum only ever worked part-time. She was always there while dad went off in the truck to work for weeks at a time. Oblivious at the time to how lucky I was to (and often referred to as the “devil child”- sorry mum!), I realise now how much I must have been absorbing. Reflecting on my journey today, I see I’m trying to copy my lovely mother and that makes me smile.
To be honest, KHB started because I was bored one day. After leaving my job as a financial planner the idea was to join my husband in his mechanical workshop; helping him run the show. After a few weeks in, I had done my job a little too well. Things were running smoothly and while twiddling my thumbs thinking ‘what to do now’, I realised I could help more business owners achieve what my husband had. Recognising my strengths in bookkeeping, I put my energy into reaching out and seeing if there were more people who needed extra support. They say curiosity cures boredom; I am testament to that!
Excited and full of energy I set myself up as a sole trader. This continued for 3 years, until it was time to take the scary (but exhilarating) step to a company set up, employing people and becoming a boss! Initially, I set my team up to bill hourly…OMG that was tough. It required them to complete time sheets and manually and calculate hours to pay and charge. The icing on the cake was, after all this fiddling, no one ever paid in the 7-day term, grrrr! If I was going to survive, things had to change.
I researched fixed fees to an unhealthy degree; Google became my BFF, helping me wrap my head around all the options on the market; finding the fixed fee arrangement that would suit my clients and I.The time then came to set the price points and take on the challenge of moving my existing clients to the new fancy system. I checked individual billings from the last six months and then matched them to a new fixed fee arrangement. For some, the transition didn’t suit but others loved the idea of automating the way they paid me. My awesome clients are all now on direct debit. No more chasing payments…BOOM --insert mic drop here--! With this move we also physically moved into a new office space. Things felt like they were falling into place.
I had my first baby in June 2016 and wow, I love being a mum! The fact that I couldn’t stop working actually helped me through those first 3 months. I had work to keep my brain active, diverting my attention to something other than baby talk and daytime TV.I wouldn’t have changed a thing about those 12 -18 months. Thanks to a beautifully automated business I could press cruise control and spend time with my baby. I had worked so hard to achieve it, now was the time to enjoy the fruit of my labour... no pun intended!
And now here we are, my fifth year in business. I am well and truly back at the helm steering KHB to new frontiers. This year will be my biggest challenge yet with the national launch of KHB Bookkeeping, we are going to help Tradies all over Australia get their books in line. Man oh man am I nervous and scared, but that fear drives me to make this work! I can’t wait for the next chapter of this KHB story.