Six months ago I moved to a brand new area, Bishop’s Stortford. Not a million miles away from where I lived before…but far enough to need to re-establish myself in a new community. I set about joining new networking groups, new Facebook groups and getting out there to build my local contacts.
And right from the start, there has been one name that comes up time and time again. Everywhere I went, I kept hearing “speak to Cheryl”. Questions that were being asked in groups there was generally one woman who answered and tagged other people who could help.
So I’d love to introduce you to Cheryl Price – owner of CH Accountancy. CHA is a small accountancy practice run by mums for mums! They make it their mission to make the accounting process as quick and simple as possible – to take the headache away – so their clients can focus on their business and families. They use great apps and software to make this process streamlined. They work mainly with parents, mums in particular. Quite often husband and wife teams too – or the husband’s business where the wife deals with the accounts/admin! They give our clients the benefit of more time and less pain!
I love their strapline: Because less time on your books means more time with your family.
Cheryl took time out of her busy day to be interviewed….
So Cheryl, what made you decide to set-up your own business?
When I made the move from Gidea Park out to Dunmow I could no longer commute in school hours for my job in a London practice. I also wanted to set my own agenda and work around my children. Therefore I took the leap to set up my own practice.
And what does it mean to you being a business owner?
Being a business owner has been great for me. I’m able to work how I want, and within reason, when I want. I am able to take the time off when the kids have something on like sports day, or when they are ill without worrying. I’ve also had major issues with my health so being able to work from home as and when needed has been a godsend.
And it also means I can bring the kids with me and juggle a little easier when they are off school. I have set up a child friendly area in my new office so the kids have somewhere for them and we have plenty for them to do. This is also great for clients who need to bring their kids to meetings.
Can you tell us about your greatest influence in business and why?
Celebrity wise – Lady Karren Brady has been a massive influence. Seeing what she’s achieved whilst being a mum and having her own health issue is such an inspiration.
In general, I meet so many amazing mums setting up and running fantastic businesses, they are all an inspiration. I also take inspiration from other accountants who are further along in their journeys – seeing what they’ve achieved and how is great to inspire me to match their success.
And what practical advice would you give to anyone about to start, or in the early stages of owning a business?
Also, try not to do everything all at once. Build the foundations from the bottom, your processes and systems. Then work on these and you will then be able to progress and do other projects as you go along. If you try to do everything at once you’ll never get anything finished.
And of course, don’t stick your head in the sand and leave your accounts. Do them little and often so it doesn’t build up and become this overwhelming task you need to complete. It’s never as bad as you think and soooooo much easier if you keep on top of them. (with our apps we can make it even easier too!).
What’s the best piece of advice that you’ve been given in business?
“Not perfect, but done” – as an accountant (and an OCD perfectionist) I really struggle with this one, but it’s true. Just get it done. It’s not always going to be perfect, but it’s better to be done than left. You can always tweak along the way.
(This obviously doesn’t relate to your actual accounts – they do need to be perfect and we always make sure these are always done perfectly haha!) I’m talking about your website, blogs, videos, processes etc. These will always evolve and possibly never be completely perfect in your eyes, but don’t let that stop you getting things done.
What one thing have you learned as a small business owner that has served you well over the years?
Organisation and processes are key. I always have a to do list for the day so I don’t forget anything. My practice management software helps keeps us on top of deadlines so we don’t miss any, and I’m able to set reminders for future tasks so these don’t get forgotten. We also have processes for most ‘jobs’ in the business so we don’t miss steps and forget key pieces of the job/task.
What helps you in your business? Any resources or tools you’d like to share with other small business owners?
Calendly is a great diary tool – it syncs with my diary and I’m able to give clients a link so they can go on and book an appointment with me. It saves the whole backwards and forwards of “I can do these days, when can you do?” – they can just follow the link and see when I’m free and book in when suits them.
I can’t leave this interview about asking about marketing! What’s been the most effective marketing initiatives or programs you have used to promote your business?
Facebook has been a great marketing tool for my business. I have made so many contacts through groups and this has really helped my business to grow. I’ve built relationships and helped people rather than sell at them and this has served me well. I find clients often refer me through facebook status’ of people asking for recommendations.
Do you have any new projects coming up?
We have just moved offices, from a serviced office in a lovely converted barn, so a standalone unit in a 2 storey converted barn/farm building on the same business park. Our new office has extra space for us to work, plus the upstairs area gives us space for a meeting area for workshops etc, as well as a child friendly area full of bits to keep the kids occupied. This is a huge milestone for us, to allow us to take the next step in business growth.
Finally, is there anything else you’d like to share?
Customers buy from people they like and trust. So be yourself – let people see the real you. Build relationships and don’t just sell at people!
Thank you so much, Cheryl, for taking time out of your busy day to share more about you, your business and your own tips on succeeding in business. We wish you well with all forthcoming plans.
You can find out more about Cheryl here:
Facebook and any other social media links
LinkedIn – Co: https://www.linkedin.com/company/ch-accountancy/
LinkedIn – Me: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chaccountancy/
I’m Sam Dixon, founder of Thrive In Business – an experienced Marketing Coach & Consultant to ambitious businesswomen who want to launch, grow and scale their business with flexible marketing support. For a free 30 minute discovery call get in touch on 07972 783 507 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
And if you’re looking for the support of like-minded women, come and join the conversation on my Facebook group Women Who Thrive in Business