In this episode, Kristina talks with Kari Johnson of mypennytracker.com about bookkeeping and financial tracking for small business owners. They discuss how most businesses could make more money if they knew where their finances stood and could focus their energy on the things that generate profit.
You will gain many valuable insights and tips with this episode! Kristina talks with Kari Johnson from mypennytracker.com about all things bookkeeping and financial for small business owners.
One of the smartest things a small business owner can do is have a cash reserve! Does your business have one? Tune into this episode to understand why it is so important, how to go about creating one, how much you should have in the reserve and much more!
Could your business benefit from accurate bookkeeping? Of course it could! In this episode, Kristina talks with Kari Johnson of mypennytracker.com about how paying attention to your finances can give you an advantage… and how accurate bookkeeping and knowing where you stand will help you sleep better at night.
BY THE TIME YOU FINISH LISTENING, YOU’LL DISCOVER how most businesses could make more money if they knew where their finances stood and could focus their energy on the things that generate profit.
ABOUT OUR GUEST: Kari Johnson is a small business owner, just like you. She understands the challenge of trying to juggle all the hats you're asked to wear. She has an expert-level knowledge of all areas of small business from her time as an owner AND as a Business Advisor for the Indiana Small Business Development Center, hosted by the SBA. She doesn't just "keep your books." She provides guidance and insight into any areas of your business that you lack training and confidence. She is an all-around business coach, disguised as a bookkeeper...and priced at a bookkeeper level. She specializes in QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Self-Employed. She currently holds a QuickBooks Online Advanced Certification. Kari works virtually, so she can take clients from anywhere in the country.
Kristina Stubblefield 0:00
Hey everyone, we all know the dreaded F word. No, not that one. The one most small business owners dread financials. In this episode, I sat down with my friend Kari Johnson of my penny tracker calm to talk about bookkeeping, and financial tracking for small business owners, and how most businesses could make more money if they knew where their financial stood and could focus their energy on the things that generate profit. Welcome to genius Marketing Solutions podcast. Hi, my name is Kristina Stubblefield. For over 15 years, I've served as a marketing strategist, and coach. Also, I was once a wedding vendor. In my podcast episodes, I'm providing bite sized, digestible marketing solutions and information that can be immediately implemented and make an impact on your business. Now, let's dive into this episode. Okay, when I set out on this journey of helping wedding professionals as well as others, my tagline said, helping scale your business. And although this might not be the most popular topic, it is the dreaded F word. Now before you go run an off, I'm talking about financials. And when you talk about scaling or growing your business, this plays an intricate role. I couldn't do this topic myself, because I don't know all the things there is to know about financials. But my good friend that's joining us on today's episode, she knows everything about this F word. So my good friend is Carrie Johnson. I've known her for a number of years and been very fortunate to work with her when she was at the Indiana Small Business Development Center. Carrie, take just a minute and tell my listeners all about you. Alright, well, Christy,
Kari Johnson 2:01
thanks for having me on today. I'm excited to be a part of your podcast. Yeah, like Kristina said, I was with the Indiana Small Business Development Center for about five years had an awesome time working with entrepreneurs, small business owners. And but prior to that I had run a business full time and then jump back into the normal desk working game. And I did that for about five years. But I would say probably everyone listening to this podcast knows once you have entrepreneurship in your blood, it's there. And you can't say you can't as much as the stable paycheck showing up in your bank account every month. As fun as that is or as nice as comforting as that is, you just can't sit behind that desk and work for somebody else forever. So I kind of put myself on a journey, I knew that entrepreneurship was something I wanted to get back in. But I loved being able to help small business owners. And so I knew that I wanted to pivot a little bit with the next company that I started. And so I had put some personal goals in place and some milestones and benchmarks and had been working towards that while I still had the W two paycheck and set out even pre pandemic set out on a course of being able to finish my w two job in this past August, August of 2020. And then the pandemic hit, and I thought Oh, my, what's going to happen here am I going to be able to hit these milestones that I've told myself, I have to hit before I can quit. And fortunately enough, I was able to hit them. In fact, the pandemic kind of helped me a little bit, the type of job I had was not one that I lost my job. However, I gained, I was commuting two hours a day. And then we shut down and had to work from home. So there was two hours a day that I gained that I could start working on my new business concept. So by the end of August, I jumped out on my own and I launch a new business called Penny tracker. And we are all things financial and bookkeeping for small business, the I I, for whatever reason, I just I love the small businesses that kind of love to take somebody that feels like they're a hot mess in that financial area. And then you know, also use some of the training that I gained when I was with the Small Business Development Center to not just stay focused in financials but be able to help all the way around on someone's small business. You know, we have to wear all the hats and it's impossible to know everything and you know, if you're anything like me, you've gone down a YouTube rabbit hole trying to learn something and you wind up 15 videos deep watching cat videos and you've given up on trying to learn whatever it is. So we're all a squirrel right? So if I can bring other knowledge to the table that can quickly help a small business owner understand different pieces of their business. I do that so what I've been doing is obtaining certifications in I mean I have a background in bookkeeping and and find nancial analysis, creating projection projected sales and, and expenses. And so I've just added some certifications to that I'm an advanced QuickBooks Online pro advisor certification. And I've been doing all things I love to teach people I love to coach and help. So help folks with if they want to learn QuickBooks themselves or learn bookkeeping themselves, then I'll teach them all the way up to you, I have clients that, and these are the folks that I love to work with. Like, we just want to be able to focus on whatever our widget is. And we don't want to have to touch the books, we want to know where things stand. And we want to, you know, we know books are important, but I don't want to touch it. And so I take that for them and take care of it for them
Kristina Stubblefield 5:42
well, and you bring up a couple of really good points, even though this doesn't have to do with financials, when I talk to people about productivity, and being strategic. That also means you have to most of the time, take off a couple of those hats, in order to focus on getting more sales for your business. Most of the time, small business owners, wedding professionals are really good at their business. But they're not so good at accounting, or it might take them 10 times longer to do that, versus paying someone something to help them monthly, quarterly, whatever that answer is,
Kari Johnson 6:21
absolutely I mean, if you can, if you can make 50 to $100 an hour doing what you love, and what you're knowledgeable about. It shouldn't be it should be a piece of cake to share that money was spent spend, you know, 3040 $50 an hour on somebody else, that's an expert in whatever that is. So instead of you spending 10 hours trying to figure it out, and you know, you're you make 100 bucks an hour, there's $1,000, you could probably pay somebody that's an expert in that subject, you know, maybe it might take them an hour, because they have that background. So why it makes sense. I know it's hard. When you're a small business owner, it's hard to let go with that money. But man, you know, if you can use those hours to grow your business, it's a no brainer.
Kristina Stubblefield 7:04
And that's exactly what you're saying. And I'm glad you pointed that out, lean on other experts. Because a lot of times you can make five times the amount of money that you're paying out that person to do that service for you when it's not what you specialize in. But we discussed before we started some of the topics we're going to talk about, and this is really going to highlight why getting an expert involved. Or having that coach who would have thought a bookkeeping coach, I really liked that you worded that way. Because you do like to teach people you like to help people understand, here's how to do it, here's why to do it, and understand the numbers they're looking at. But I'm going to be honest with you before we start these topics. I think people avoid in what I've heard, I think a lot of wedding professionals and business owners avoid this topic. Because they don't understand enough about it. They think I need to file my taxes once a year. And I've got these, I'll put my receipts in a shoebox. And but you can't just look at it once a year. So I know you've compiled some good topics for so you want to start in on the first one. Alright, let's go with the first Yeah, so
Kari Johnson 8:18
I just kind of created some, maybe some things to think about are some helpful hints. So the first one isn't really about the writing down numbers at all. But the first one that I think is most important, and I know a lot of us got kicked in the teeth in the last year with this one. But the first one is to set a goal and plan to build a cash reserve. Because I worked with gobs and gobs of small business owners, especially pre pandemic that felt like as long as they could see that there was a balance in their checking account, then they didn't have anything to worry about.
Kristina Stubblefield 8:46
Well, wait a second, I think you got to go back with cash reserves. We need an Nope, we got to have an explanation there. Carrie, come on.
Kari Johnson 8:52
All right. So a cash reserve is taking a chunk of money that you determine you can determine you're the business owner, you determine what amount of money is that you need to keep in cash not not cash on your mattress, but liquid cash, you know, in a checking account in a savings account in a money market, something that you can get access to right now you don't have to sell off stocks or or you know, hit your for a 401k loan, you can get a hold of it right now. So what I used to coach people was think about the biggest kick in the teeth, the biggest pain point you could have in your business that would cost you money. Is that a piece of equipment that costs $10,000? If that went down, and you couldn't do business couldn't manufacture whatever it was or you couldn't take pictures or you couldn't edit video? How much would you need to be able to just go out and buy that thing so that you can just be right back in business and not have to figure out financing and then see if you're approved or not and then get it that's why I used to coach
Kristina Stubblefield 9:52
well and some people can't go with a break in that business. Right? They have to have a solution. Right then hey I love how you think, the most expensive piece of equipment, maybe spend some time on? What makes my business go, What? What makes that go and what does that cost? Exactly? Because you would need to replace that item to keep your business going. Exactly. Okay.
Kari Johnson 10:15
Yep. So back in the day, in my olden days, I ran a screen printing business. And so I have big pieces of equipment that printed on shirts and apparel. And so, you know, obviously, I can't run out and buy a printing press, if mine breaks, you mean, you can't
Kristina Stubblefield 10:29
go down the street and get one, Walmart doesn't carry those anymore.
Kari Johnson 10:33
But it'd be a whole, I could be back up and running a whole lot faster. If I knew I could just write a check for it, or put it on a credit card, and I had the cash to pay for it. As soon as the credit card bill came, then to go try to go get financing. I mean, we all know if you've been an entrepreneur, and, and self employed, and if you don't have a spouse that has what I call a real job, you know, did good luck getting financing for things.
Kristina Stubblefield 10:58
We can can take a little bit you can get moved, but it's not as easy. Here's my w two. Here's my pay stub. Exactly. Okay, here's your loan. And what you're saying too, is you it's not something you can just run down the street and get, but you've earned you could possibly be in contracts for work. You've got deadlines to me, there's a whole nother set of problems that come along with not just being able to perform the work. Right. Exactly. Just about financials today. Right. That's a whole nother day. So the cash reserves? Is there a way that they could kind of figure I know, we just talked about equipment, what else should they consider other things? You should think about
Kari Johnson 11:39
it? I mean, obviously, I but pre pandemic, I wouldn't have I'd never coached anybody to think about like, what if the government just steps in and tells you your business can operate for several months? That had never crossed my mind. But it does. Now
Kristina Stubblefield 11:51
we've learned a whole lot last year. So I
Kari Johnson 11:54
think, you know, I think there's a couple different perspectives to think about one, a cash reserve. And I know this gets overwhelming because most folks like, I'm just lucky to pay all my bills every month, what do you mean trying to save money, but it can be done. And it can be done on minimal income, really, if you are focused on it, and you see the long term benefit. But you want to think if you're self employed, you want to think about it from two perspectives. One, you want to think about your business side equipment with the business pay if you pay subcontractors, if you anything you want to think about. If I had to float my business for a couple months, at least at least start there? How much would that cost? If I wasn't bringing anything in? I just my bear, you know, obviously, and that kind of forces you to think about how much overhead expense you have to like what things could I cut down and not have to pay if I didn't have to. So if you have a lease on a building, or you have a mortgage on a building, or you have utilities, you have to pay or you're paying on a working capital loan, or you're paying on equipment, leases, whatever that is figure out how much how much do I have to pay out every month, whether I'm working or not, are the businesses bringing in revenue or not, and come up with a comfortable total, that you want to work on getting into savings. So you know that you know, first, a business with low overhead and you've you know, you've got some other things rolling that the other ways you can create revenue, if you had to, it might be a pretty small amount. But the other thing to think about too, is again, if you're self employed, you want to be thinking about that same kind of reserve fund for your personal expenses as well. Because you sleep a whole lot better at night, when you know you can weather the storm.
Kristina Stubblefield 13:32
Well, one of the other things to carry with what you're mentioning, this is something that you can build as you go abs, you don't have to have to hit this number in 30 days, right, you can build up your reserve as you go. So don't be in panic mode. Right. But it is really something to start thinking about. And I think this will start the wheels turning for people. I haven't thought about it this way.
Kari Johnson 13:54
Yeah, what I would suggest is to think about, I mean, I would assume that most wedding type vendors, you're you're working from event to event. And so what I would encourage you to do is think about what percentage you know, the government, if you had a W two paycheck, they're taking taxes out whether you like it or not, and you get that first paycheck, you don't know exactly what it's going to be when you get that first one. And you just learn to live on whatever that amount is, I would encourage you to do the same thing with the revenue. If you have, you know, a $5,000 event job, go ahead and decide, okay, I'm going to put 10% off of every event, or 20% off of every event into my slush fund into my reserve fund until it hits this number, let's say let's say that's $10,000 I'm gonna keep plugging away at that just with my, my 10 or my 20% until I hit that 10 grand or whatever I mean, that's just an arbitrary number, whatever number you feel most comfortable with. And then if just leave it there, just leave it Don't touch it. And then if you get in a bind, and you need it For some cash flow, it's there. If you need it for equipment, if you need it to sustain, it's sitting there. But the kicker is, if you ever have to spend out of that, stop and go back to replate, replace that money before you move forward. So if you've gotten it up to your 10, grand, and you like, okay, that's full. So now I don't have to put 10 10% or 20% over there. And you've started putting that back in your pocket or reinvesting in your business, then you need to make sure if you if you took money out of that account that you start doing that again, until it's replenished, because it's all great if you start with one, but then if you deplete it, then you don't build it back, then you're right back where you started from
Kristina Stubblefield 15:34
well, and it's your business, you get to make the decision. So you can be as aggressive or kind of slower number as you need to be. There's some people out there listening might be like, Oh, my goodness, I hadn't thought about this, I will need to take 50% out of everything over this next month. However it works best for you. And that's what I like about this. It this can fit for anybody. It doesn't matter if you're bringing in $500, or an event or $50,000. You can adjust this as you need to. And I think for people hearing this, I love how you said Don't forget about replenishing if you have to pull from it. Don't forget about replenishing that. So I think that's really important. Okay, carry that was a big topic. But what's our next one?
Kari Johnson 16:19
Well, the next one is something that I think most folks don't really even think of maybe the first one was once people don't think about a whole lot
Kristina Stubblefield 16:25
to say I think that's but
Kari Johnson 16:27
but this one is, is I guess it's near and dear to my heart. But
Kristina Stubblefield 16:31
these numbers are near and dear, you're
Kari Johnson 16:34
just enough of a money nerdy junkie that all this stuff just resonates well with me. But anyway, and just so lit up like
Kristina Stubblefield 16:41
you love this topic, like check this out on YouTube, because as soon as we hit record, she just can't wait to talk about it. All right, let's start with.
Kari Johnson 16:51
Alright. So second thing to think about is accurate bookkeeping is not just for tax time. I know most of us we take care of our finances just for Uncle Sam, we don't want to be in trouble with the IRS.
Kristina Stubblefield 17:03
You may not. I don't just have to worry about the April 15. No.
Kari Johnson 17:07
that's really not. I mean, that's kind of a residual of bookkeeping. What you read what bookkeeping, is supposed to compile
Kristina Stubblefield 17:14
it just before you're not really and this is information. Now you're talking
Kari Johnson 17:18
earlier about the schubach receipts in a shoe. But shoe boxes are expensive when you take them to your tax preparer. They don't like shoe boxes very well. Right? Well,
Kristina Stubblefield 17:28
let's hope hopefully Nowadays, people are using QuickBooks side note, they do have a really nice feature with scanning, even with your cell phone, your receipts, yep, I know, we got to give a shoe box credit. Now you can keep a minute, you should take a picture and get that over into your QuickBooks,
Kari Johnson 17:44
that's one of the workflows that I use with my virtual clients is they use the receipt capture. And when you use receipt capture, you can write on the receipt like this is for cost of goods sold, or this was for this expense and snap a picture. And then I can look at the receipt, I know exactly where to put it.
Kristina Stubblefield 18:01
When you reconcile you're actually categorizing it correctly. Yep.
Kari Johnson 18:06
And you can also set it up where you can email receipts to your QuickBooks account, and it'll show up in that receipt folder. And my clients will do that as well. They'll hit forward from their Amazon receipt or whatever. And they'll type on the top of the receipt, this is for cost of goods sold, and I put it on this credit card, and then they don't have to touch it again, I can say I have all the information I need to be able to accurately put it in the books.
Kristina Stubblefield 18:30
So record record keeping is does not have to be that much of a troublesome process. The whole point, I
Unknown Speaker 18:37
think, exactly. Yeah. I
Kari Johnson 18:38
mean, I know, you know, from my end, you know, I
i understand where the small business owner is, you know, I've worked with so many of them. I know that the vast majority do not geek out on figuring out where every penny went. They just
Kristina Stubblefield 18:52
want you to share Do you love it, I love
Kari Johnson 18:54
it. And so but most people, they just want to know they have some pennies, right. And so there are a lot of ways to automate. And there are a lot of ways I work really hard with my clients, most of my bookkeeping clients that I do on a monthly basis. If they even needed to log into their QuickBooks account, they would probably have to call me and ask what their password is because they just don't touch it. They don't want to have to touch it. And I take care of that for them and put it in, you know, we work out some workflows that keep them from having a lot of pain points to be able to have accurate books. So
Kristina Stubblefield 19:25
and I think that's what you're talking about is by doing it on a weekly, bi weekly, monthly basis. And there's some reasons for this right of keeping up with it. Sure. So,
Kari Johnson 19:36
you know, other It's not like I said earlier, it's not just for tax time, where bookkeeping really comes into play and can give you an advantage as a business owner above the folks that are your competitors that aren't paying attention to their numbers at all, is when you keep your books accurately. And depending on how much data you either want your bookkeeper or you to track. You are compiling data that you use to make smart business decisions down the road, the longer you're collecting data, financial data, and the more detailed that you choose to be, you don't want it so detailed that you're spending days on your books, or hiring a bookkeeper to do day's worth of books. But the more you can track, the more you know exactly what the ins and outs of your business are. So you might want to track you know, mostly from from Uncle Sam's, and he just wants to see a revenue number, a sales number, he wants to know that you did $40,000 in sales or $120,000 in sales, he doesn't care past that, right? But for you are for me, knowing Okay, I you know, depending on what is going to be the smartest for you to track you have some freedom inside of your bookkeeping, to track it in ways that's going to be most beneficial to you. You there's some some accounting standards and guidelines to follow. But those are really minimal. inside of that there's a lot of freedom for you to determine what's the best thing for me to track. So maybe it's different, have different venue sizes, where you want to, or wedding sizes to know or different price points. And you want to know, okay, which ones of these make me how I work? Which ones these are have the most profit margin, you know, because and then you can, once you have enough data to determine that and most of us if you're if you've been in small business not long at all, you kind of know that in your head, but you don't have anything to really validate it on paper, right? You have
Kristina Stubblefield 21:34
hardcore data that you can look at to backup what you think, right? Because when you're working in your business, it's really hard to compile all of that in your head and come up with an accurate number, right? And I love what you're talking about. Because a lot of times people listen to the stuff I put out or follow me and things like that, because I talk about scaling your business. Now that means different things to different people. But these hard core numbers, it allows you to know, what expenses are you spending? Is there some things you can cut? Right? Is there events that make you more money, like you mentioned, is there venues where these events happen that you turn a bigger profit, maybe you don't have to have as many as assistance, or you don't require as a vendor, you don't have to have this, this and this when you're at this venue, right? You're given you're basically given your business, the upper hand is what I'm hearing you say
Kari Johnson 22:30
yes. And the same thing with, the more accurate your books are, the more you can project in the future. I have clients all the time, like how do I know when I can hire a person? Like, how do I know if I'm making enough money to be able to add to my staff? Well, if you have bookkeeping and you have data from, you know, as far back as you can go, or at least begin to build that, then you can use that data to help determine projections to say, okay, you could hire somebody for 10 hours a week at 12 bucks an hour. And as long as you're hitting this average threshold that you've hit the last three years in your revenue, then you'll be able to afford them and you can sleep good at night. Or, oh, you know, you're gonna have to cut some either cut some some things out of your expenses, or figure out how to, you know, are there more revenue streams that maybe you could potentially add or leverage? You know, I think, you know, I know you're, you're the marketing guru, but I think book your financials ties into marketing huge, because what's the first thing everybody cuts when things get tight market marketing,
Kristina Stubblefield 23:33
I got in a Florida market, right? times, it's how can you not afford to market however, to bring in more money, let's
Kari Johnson 23:40
say you do feel like you have to back up the marketing a little bit. If you've got solid financial data to know which type of client is your highest profit margin. If you've got to back off some of your marketing, then you would have looking at your financials, if you've tracked it accordingly, you can use your financials to determine exactly where every marketing dollars should be spent, that's going to be most effective for you for
Kristina Stubblefield 24:06
some really good targeted advertising because you know, that this type of client or this type of project brings in higher revenue or higher profit standpoint,
Kari Johnson 24:19
the other little less time for you
Kristina Stubblefield 24:21
less time in it. Yes. The other thing too is I like how, what I believe that I'm hearing you say is that you have a little bit of play in how your information is customized. Because when you use a platform like QuickBooks, you can push out a click of a button you can push out a report will deep depending on your industry that you're in, you may want to track certain data and that's what I like hearing you say about you coaching and bookkeeping is that person gets to know your business right? And what what infer what are your goals so that way you can make sure that you're Tracking that information. But on a maybe monthly or quarterly because not just at the time you've got, well, I've got to get my tax stuff together to get to my, my CPA or whoever does your taxes.
Kari Johnson 25:12
Right? Yeah, it's I mean, it's, I think, to me, I think it's important as a business owner, you know, if a business owner enjoys doing their books, great, learn how to do them, do them, if you don't enjoy doing it, or it's, you know, you'd rather gouge your eyeball with a pencil
Kristina Stubblefield 25:26
that was gonna say, post them, I think are going to be the latter, yeah,
Kari Johnson 25:30
then hire someone to do it that you trust. And but a piece of that person's responsibility should be making sure that you are provided with their certain financials reports that every business owner should at least be able to understand you shouldn't actually have to be able to create them if you don't want to, but you should be able to understand what those reports are saying. And that's a profit and loss statement, and a balance sheet and a cash flow statement. And I know most of you, your eyes have glazed over, let's
Kristina Stubblefield 25:58
go back over that one more time. Let's go from that in the beginning. So a p&l say, you know,
Kari Johnson 26:03
income statement, or profit and loss statement, that's all the same thing. And what that is, is money and money out for a certain period of time. And that's all it is, it is for the month of March of 2021. Here's how much money was brought in. And you can again, inside of your own bookkeeping, you can categorize that however, you know, for my business, I'm keeping track of I want to know how much money I'm making on like, training and coaching sessions that are just one on one one offs. How much am I making doing? Like training workshops? And how much am I doing on my, my monthly clients, my subscription, my my small businesses that I work with, it's always an option, it doesn't just go in as a revenue number, I have those categorized out so I can keep track of those throughout the year. And I can kind of see if if my big business, if I feel like it needs to pivot one way or another, I've got some data to go, Hey, you know, okay, this is where I was at with my workshop numbers, maybe I should think about doing some more workshops next year because of X or Y, right? So that, you know, there's that piece inside of it. So that the profit and loss part is again, like you can do it as a month, you can do it as a year, whatever you can do it as a day if you want to. But it is whatever money came in, and what you did earn that money. And whatever money went out during that period of time, I wrote a check for the water bill I wrote a check for you know, I had to replace a piece of equipment, blah, blah, blah, during that time. So it shows you your gross revenue, which is the money in and then it shows your expenses, and our overhead. And then that bottom number, whatever it hopefully it's a positive number, then that's your net income. If it's a negative number, then you ran at a loss that month, that doesn't mean your whole business runs at a loss. Sometimes you have months where you spend more than you make.
Kristina Stubblefield 27:49
Well, and I'm going to tell you something, a lot of people had this come up. Yes, the reason is, we're going through this pandemic that we've been going through, when there was any type of funding grants initiatives, we can put out whatever fancy word on it we want. You had when you applied for them, you had to be able to most of the time show that you were in business pre pandemic. But what are some of those things that they also had to turn in
Kari Johnson 28:21
a profit and loss and balance sheet? I was on several local loan initiative committees. And so I think in about a two or three month span, I reviewed over 150 loan applications from small businesses in our area on on teams of people,
Kristina Stubblefield 28:39
all of which had all of that stuff all
Kari Johnson 28:40
in everyone. Oh, yeah. Oh, I would say yes. But I would say probably. I would say I bet you probably at least 80% of the applicants, one or both of the balance sheet and profit and loss was incorrect. And I could and it was noticeably so and so I, I spend a lot of time I would ask permission and often go back to those clients, even though I mean, I'm just kind of an anonymous person on a committee. And but I was working, you know, for the Small Business Development Center. So if it was something really critical that I could tell where what the error was, and no, like, this isn't accurate, it's just wrong on this sheet wrong on this statement, then I would either like alert the client or alert whoever the loan was going through and say hey, you might want to go back to them and ask them to revise this because all the other people on the loan committee are going to be screaming and yelling. Like, we can't give them a loan because it says this when I knew him well, I you know, I could kind of read between the lines, okay, it's just an inaccurate number on here because they don't know
Kristina Stubblefield 29:45
what didn't know how to say it, you know,
Kari Johnson 29:46
yeah. Or the or they clicked QuickBooks and they just you know, things hadn't, you know, they hadn't done like urine closes or something,
Kristina Stubblefield 29:54
processes to get to the right numbers at the end of it. But the whole point of talking about this is that To apply to get a lot of these grants initiatives, everyone that I know of you had to have financial data. Usually, I believe it was for at least the last year.
Kari Johnson 30:14
Yeah, sometimes back to three years,
Kristina Stubblefield 30:16
even some balance sheets, what for the last three months? Yeah. And I had quite a few people contact me that were clients, previous clients, like, I don't understand, right, even though that's not my, they just felt comfortable enough to say, I need I want to apply for this, but I don't have this information. Right. Well, you know, I could at least in them in some kind of direction. But the whole thing is, is if you do this on a monthly basis, yep, weekly, monthly, whatever works for you. If something to like this was to come up, you click two
Kari Johnson 30:51
buttons, and you said turn it in. You're ready to go.
Kristina Stubblefield 30:53
Yeah. And you're but there's people that really missed out. Oh, yeah. On, I don't want to say free money that missed out on money that could have played an intricate role in helping them make it through Sure. Some time, yeah,
Kari Johnson 31:07
PPP and idle, you had to have your ducks in a row. And the, if you're in Indiana, they had the Indiana grant the reimbursable grant, for a while. And those, you really did have to have your ducks in a row, at the local, at least around here at the local level, you still had to submit those things. Fortunately, I was surrounded by we were on a team of people that were relatively gracious. And so even though we would get some inaccurate statements, we wouldn't just kick them to the curb, we would try to dig like I was saying, dig through and see, you know, can we figure out what the deal is here so that we can get them some help?
Kristina Stubblefield 31:43
Because other times that doesn't happen? Yeah, you know, because people that listen to this are from all over. Yeah. And so the whole point of this is, I don't even want to have to think about us, or any business or country, or world for that matter to have to go through something that we've been through. But there's, we just don't know what could happen. So taking the time to get this stuff in place. Now, that's everything you're sharing with everyone today is to help you in your business. Yeah.
Kari Johnson 32:13
And that leads me that's a good segue to the last little tidbit to think about, okay, that I came up with. And that is, it is important to stay up to date on your bookkeeping, and whether you're doing it or you have someone else to do it. And this might, saying this might be a motivator to have someone else do it is I would highly encourage you to never be more than a month behind on your bookkeeping. And I know most people like I am one
Kristina Stubblefield 32:35
Kari Johnson 32:36
I don't even touch it till January of the you know, from the previous year. But one, it's if when it is tax time, if you either you're going to spend hours and hours and hours trying to put it all together for your tax preparer, or if you're doing a tax, whatever. So that's hours, you could have been spending doing something, either a generating money either generating money or creating a memory for yourself. Because you're and you still are going to spend all those hours hours to prepare it and you're not going to have any data to base your business on what we were talking about in that last point. So the more you lag because
Unknown Speaker 33:16
we're all creatures
Kari Johnson 33:16
of habit, right? And, and I know if I let a habit lag for more than a month, and it continues like to stay on my task list from it keeps moving to the next week to the next week to the next week. Eventually, I just get so overwhelmed, because I realized the project is going to be so big and it's something I don't enjoy that I just push it off. And I try to ignore it as long as I possibly can.
Kristina Stubblefield 33:39
Okay, that's three episodes in one with that statement that you just but the more you push it off, the less likely you're going to want to focus any time on it. And everything you've shared. All of that information is really critical to sustaining your business growing your business bringing on employees, at the end of the day at reaching your goals. Absolutely.
Kari Johnson 34:02
Yep. I know, we all get into whatever small businesses because we enjoy our passion about whatever that is. But I don't think anybody gets into business to lose money. Right?
Kristina Stubblefield 34:11
I would hope not. I would hope they didn't start out like I really want to do this. But I want to lose $10,000 a month in doing so I would hope not. Because there's a lot of other things you're gonna do that make it a nonprofit. And you can just
Kari Johnson 34:22
go for grants that way. Absolutely.
Kristina Stubblefield 34:23
Again, another whole topic. But this has been awesome. Thanks for sharing. And I didn't know until we really started talking in more detail. And this happens a lot with people, even friends or family. You You know that they do something but you don't realize all the different components to it. And so I'd like for you to share with people can you work with people all over they do they or do they need to be local to our area?
Kari Johnson 34:49
Yeah, no, absolutely. I can. I have clients all over
Kristina Stubblefield 34:54
the power of technology.
Kari Johnson 34:56
Yeah, that's all and in fact, like one of my goals and start in this business, one of my personal goals was I wanted to be able to technically work from anywhere, and be able to work whenever, you know, on your own on my time and my terms. And so, you know, I've been achieving that working towards that that goal. And so yeah, ideally, from my end, I primarily work with folks that are using QuickBooks Online, that's the easiest way to connect, I can get into the back end. And what's cool is QuickBooks Online when you have an accountant hooked to it, and I'm not a CPA, I'm just I'm at a bookkeeper level, and bookkeeper prices,
Kristina Stubblefield 35:36
I guess that's been really important. And they don't have to be on QuickBooks To start with, you
Kari Johnson 35:40
know, not at all set up. In fact, like if, because of the certifications that I have, I can get them a discounted rate on QuickBooks. In fact, my clients that I do on a monthly basis, if they didn't start with QuickBooks, when we started our relationship, the their monthly cost of for their QuickBooks is just wrapped into their subscription. So basically, they're getting a free QuickBooks version, as long as they're, as long as I'm doing their books for them.
Kristina Stubblefield 36:09
I want to put one thing out here, because I know people tend to think oh, gosh, how much that cost? QuickBooks Online is really affordable. I mean, it honestly is very affordable, no matter of your, if it's a side hustle. If you're a one man show, or one woman show, or you have a team of people, in all honesty, I think people tend to when they hear software or technology, they're like, oh, how much is that gonna cost. So the other thing to carry is, I really like also that you'll coach, like, take them by the hand and show them and explain them to them as you'll do that part. Or you can take all of it off their plate, as you mentioned in the beginning, right,
Kari Johnson 36:48
right, right now, I mean, I'm, you know, I try to be as
Kristina Stubblefield 36:52
flexible as I
Kari Johnson 36:54
can. But I mainly have three different levels, if you will, I have kind of one off training where you can buy blocks of time, I sell it in to book two hour blocks, we don't necessarily have to use all two hours at once, but I sell it in two hour blocks. And what I'm going to offer today to anybody that mentions this podcast, for your first two hour block that you may book, I'm going to give you 20% off of that right now the current rate is $120 for two hours, so you get 20% off of that, if you're listening to this five years from now, I don't know what my price would be, but you would still get 20% off of you mentioned the podcast. Well, that Thank you, I
Kristina Stubblefield 37:31
didn't even know you were gonna do that. That's awesome. Yeah, I'll make sure that we put all of Kerry's contact information, too, you don't have to scramble for a pen or a piece of paper. It'll be in the show notes, links, where you can get access, and we'll put a note in there too, about the
Kari Johnson 37:44
discount. So most for most folks, if they're wanting to do their own books,
Kristina Stubblefield 37:48
you know, can I get maybe they don't know what they exactly, well, you even just talk to them to see what they need,
Kari Johnson 37:53
or everybody gets a free consult right out of the gate. I mean, I you know, just so I can kind of see where they're at what they're doing. And kind of, they don't do anything, I give them some direction on you know, because if, you know, if you're just doing it as a side hustle, and it's one thing a month, and if there's not that much, I may tell you, like, Hey, you know, you could pretty easily do this in an Excel spreadsheet for a little while and just do it yourself. And then when you're making some more money, and you're able to invest a little more time into growing the revenue, then let's circle back and look at, you know, having somebody do it for you, when when the time is more Your time is more at a premium, but
Kristina Stubblefield 38:26
but they can still talk to you to figure out what should they even track? Because every business No matter if you're in the same industry? No, no two businesses are alike. No. Nor are their financials.
Kari Johnson 38:37
Nope, no. So that's really good. So we've got that. So anything from you know, just kind of that one off teaching training? Our You know, sometimes it's kind of an audit checkup, you know, like, okay, I've been doing it for a year. So can I take a couple hours of your time to just look it over? Am I doing it? Right? Okay, so there's that piece, or there's kind of a middle ground that I call it kind of a, an oversight. And it's a it's a monthly subscription, it's less than 100 bucks a month, where basically you're the one doing your books, but you get an hour to my time every month to just comb through. Look for any red flags, make sure you're doing I've
Kristina Stubblefield 39:13
got your ducks in a row.
Kari Johnson 39:14
Exactly. Mine, mostly like most of my clients that do that they keep it. They do that for three or four months until they feel confident in it. And then they go off and they don't
Kristina Stubblefield 39:22
do it for a year. No, it's as much as they need it. Yeah, it's whatever they need, but we try to keep it
Kari Johnson 39:27
I like you know, if they want that oversight, I think doing it. Having a monthly meetup and doing it monthly for a few months is a good idea. As opposed to if you if you aren't quite sure if you're doing it right. And you try to do it for a year and then you have me try to go in and check it. If you got on the wrong trail early on. It's gonna be a lot more time to clean it up. So so there's that and then there's the whole if you know if you're going out and you're able to generate more revenue and be more passionate about whatever
Kristina Stubblefield 39:59
Kari Johnson 40:00
about your book and not have to worry about, you know, whether your target receipt got categorized appropriately and making sure that all that happened, then what I do for my small businesses is I, I work off of a subscription based model, so that the small business owner knows exactly what the fee is going to be every month, I just do an a CH poll, right now to do books. And, you know, for a standard small business that doesn't have a ton of crazy stuff going on, we can analyze, you know, that initial console, but if something was really wonky, I would let you know. But right now that my price is 299 a month, okay. And there's, I've got another deal in here that if within he brought more
Kristina Stubblefield 40:41
deals I'd run,
Kari Johnson 40:43
okay, anybody, you know, again, you have to sign up right out of the gate, we can do our console. But if you're interested in you mentioned the podcast, and you want me to do your books, then you would get 20% off your first two months of a one year contract, when I do people's books, do the full service, I asked for, at bare minimum a six month contract, ideally a one year contract, because
Kristina Stubblefield 41:06
you got to invest the time, setting everything I make my money over
Kari Johnson 41:11
the long haul, because when I'm first getting a client, I'm going to be dumping way more time and energy into understanding their business or getting it set up and, and making sure that I understand where everything should go and exactly how everything works in their business. And then once that set, then my job becomes a little more routine. So I have I spend a lot of money, or I spend a lot of time on the front end. But I don't want to put that on the back of small business owners because we all know that cash flow is king. And if I sit there and say, well, I'll only be this much a month down this way. But
Kristina Stubblefield 41:46
for now thinking right now. Yeah. So
Kari Johnson 41:48
I you know, I try to say my mate, yeah, he's right, I'm making my money over the long haul. That's why I asked for the year subscription so that I can feel confident in dumping the time and energy I need into it on the front end and know that I'm going to make up for that on the back end, because I've got a year long customer.
Kristina Stubblefield 42:03
And the whole reason that I wanted to really dive into this topic was a lot of people come to me and I want to double my business. I want to triple my business, I have this big goal. All fantastic, because I shoot for the stars. Absolutely, yeah. But the thing that comes to all of it is your financials. Because until you get a handle on that to know what do you have to spend in marketing, you know, and it's about long term success, not just right now immediate, and for some people that they're not thinking financials. And so I try to tell people, even though this isn't my lane, it is a part of it. Because I love setting people up for long term success. And keeping your books in order and your financials straight on an ongoing basis is critical to keeping your doors open, being able to jump on opportunities, when there's something there. There's just so much behind it adding staff when you need it. In a lot of times, people, your business booms, it's maybe happens all of a sudden, and you're not prepared yet. This sets you up for the best success. And personally, it means how well I sleep at night. If I know where I stand financially, and I'm not worried about will I hit this bill or will I be able to pay for this or what's gonna happen tomorrow?
Kari Johnson 43:28
Yeah, I sleep better.
Kristina Stubblefield 43:29
It's really good. I think we can close it out on that. Carrie, thank you so much for your time, I think everyone's going to find this super beneficial. Make sure you look up all of our contact information in the show notes.
Kari Johnson 43:41
My website is WWE, my penny tracker.com.
Kristina Stubblefield 43:46
So that's easy to remember Penny Yeah,
Kari Johnson 43:48
my penny tracker calm. And there's links in there to kind of tell you a little bit more of my story and some of the packages that I offer and then feel free to contact me from that. It's Carrie k ri at my opinion tracker comm is my email. And like Christina said, all the info will be in the show notes. So I'd love to hear from you. Like I said, we can do an initial consult that no cost to you. And if that goes farther than mentioned the podcast, and we can get you hooked up with those other deals as well.
Kristina Stubblefield 44:14
Awesome. Can they connect with you on social media too?
Unknown Speaker 44:17
Yeah, absolutely. Yeah,
Kari Johnson 44:18
there's my opinion tracker, or I'm not sure if it's my opinion tracker, Penny tracker on Facebook, but on Penny tracker on Facebook. I don't have any and I'm on LinkedIn as well. LinkedIn.
Kristina Stubblefield 44:28
I was gonna say I thought you were on LinkedIn. All right. Thank you everybody for listening. If you want to hear our past episodes or anything, just go to our website genius marketing solutions. podcast.com. Everyone, keep working on your business until next week's topic. See you all later. Thank you for tuning in to this episode of genius marketing solutions. If you would like to get notified of upcoming episodes, make sure to click the subscribe button on your favorite podcast platform. We welcome any feedback from topic guide. Here's two questions you may have. You can visit our website for previous episodes or to send us a message visit genius Marketing Solutions podcast.com
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
Kari Johnson is a small business owner, just like you. She understands the challenge of trying to juggle all the hats you're asked to wear. She has an expert-level knowledge of all areas of small business from her time as an owner AND as a Business Advisor for the Indiana Small Business Development Center, hosted by the SBA. She doesn't just "keep your books." She provides guidance and insight into any areas of your business that you lack training and confidence. She is an all-around business coach, disguised as a bookkeeper...and priced at a bookkeeper level. She specializes in QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Self-Employed. She currently holds a QuickBooks Online Advanced Certification. Kari works virtually, so she can take clients from anywhere in the country.