Getting That New Car Smell…

Recently we’ve been receiving inquiries from businesses that have been in business for under 2 years. Their work is in its early days and they are very conscious of their bank balance and are trying to stay lean and mean 😊, which as an accounting firm we totally understand. But another trend that is surfacing is that they know they need to keep their numbers up to date so their dreams can become a reality…a sustainable one! They want to do it right from the start but the thought of paying a monthly fee for services is daunting. Many of them say “Well I’m not that big yet”. So, in chatting amongst ourselves I began to think of the value of our services and how can we relate that to start-ups or young businesses. Here’s what came to mind…

My son plays a ton of soccer, so our van becomes a haven for soccer balls, smelly socks, and shoes, grass, dirt…you get the picture. So, I had the dreaded task this weekend to clean out the van. It was not going to be fun. It was hot and I knew the vacuum cleaner that is designated for the car isn’t the best because it’s the old one that we used to use in the house but is not the greatest so it became the “car vacuum”. I spent as much time as I could vacuuming, cleaning out garbage, wiping down the dash and the windows, and Febreezing the disgusting smell of sweat socks out of my van. The van now looks presentable and smells a bit better, but I didn’t really get it clean. There’s still some dog hair on the seats, dust on the dash, fingerprints on the back windows and please don’t stow-n-go my back seat because I’m sure there’s enough grass under there to full up a lawn bag. But I only had a limited amount of time so I did what I could.

Also, the whole time I was cleaning I kept thinking there are so many other things I could be doing with my time, plus all the advantages of having a professional do it. Let’s think of those advantages:

All of the carpet would be clean.VS.Only the sections that I could reach or remember to do. Plus, all that grass and dog hair tucked under things would be gone too.
The dash would be dust free and cleaned with actual cleaner designed for a car.VS.My arm is only so long, and I ran out of paper towels so was only doing what I could with what I had. Plus, I don’t think the diluted Pinesol I was using is totally for cleaning your dash.
All the windows would be clean and streak free.VS.Those back windows that didn’t get done because I ran out of paper towel and the time it takes to climb in and out of the van to reach them would have added more time to the dreaded task at hand.
The new car smell could come back.VS.The Febreeze band-aid that I have will work for at least 5 minutes.
I would have time back to work on my writing, doing some art with my youngest or helping my oldest with his leadership skills to use with his soccer team. All things I value more than a clean car.VS.The lost time it took to do a limited clean, plus having to shower right after because I now smelled worse than the car. I can’t get that time back – unless someone wants to lend me their DeLorean.

Now let’s flip things and think about the new business owner.  You’ve got new clients to sign, projects to manage, maybe a staff member or two to manage, if you have a location clean it, stock it, create marketing, think about social media, meet with the bank…again you get the picture – BUSY!  There are so many moving parts and so much going on you can get overwhelmed.  What do you focus on?  Where do you start?  And now try to fit in time to take care of your accounting.

So with your limited schedule you try to fit in digging out your expense receipts, get those entered, then you make sure you’ve invoiced your clients,  track your mileage, ensure you’ve capture all your HST, track your inventory into your accounting system (and that’s if you have one set up), plus make sure you pay your bills and your staff and submit info to CRA.  All those things related to money that keep you up at night and you can see the limited time you have will quickly disappear.

But what if you hire someone to help you?  Some of the advantages are:

Your bookkeeping is handled by someone who actually likes doing it.VS.You trying to remember all the information you need to capture while being interrupted a couple of million times for other areas of your business that need your attention.
Your systems are set-up to save you time.VS.Using whatever you have on your computer (usually Excel) because you don’t have time to even think about what system you should be using.
You have access to accountants who can offer insight into your business and look to the future.VS.You talking to yourself and saying “Self – should I really be purchasing this piece of equipment?” with no real answer because you’re not sure what the implications that purchase could have in the future because all you know is what’s in your bank account.
Your compliance needs are met and CRA doesn’t send you brown envelopes with nasty messages inside.VS.You think you’ve got it all handled and then a CRA notice arrives and you’ve missed something so please either gather all the documents they requested (more time) or pay them some more money.
You have that time back to focus on your business, plus allowing you to sleep at night knowing that you can plan for the future and your numbers are right.VS.You do what you can and hope that it’s enough, it’s correct but you’re not 100% convinced that you’ve taken advantage of what you can as a business owner and looking forward to plan for the future…well that could be job for next time, except next time usually doesn’t come because you still have to deal with the day-to-day accounting tasks.

And those are only some of the advantages. Your time is valuable and alleviating the stress that comes along with cash flow, payroll, bills, CRA and more allows you to work “on” your business not “in” your business.  Plus, you didn’t become an entrepreneur to be bogged down with those tasks.  You need your mental capacity to be open and able to take on more because you have a dream and we want to help you reach it.

~ Danielle Ramsten


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