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Nicole Smith 0:02
Welcome to take control with Nicola. as business owners, we experienced firsthand the fine line between our personal and business lives. During our conversations, we will look at simple hints and tips to create time, reduce, overwhelm, and help you to navigate through your journey to where you want to be. If you're looking for smarter ways to work, and create space and time freedom in your day, then you're in the right place.
Nicole Smith 0:30
All right, let's go.
Nicole Smith 0:33
Hello, hello, thank you for joining me for this fabulous episode of take control with Nicole. Today I have the amazing Stephanie minear here with me and we are going to be exploring a topic that I myself have been looking at recently. And it is an important element for all business owners. How to make the money you deserve doing the work that you love, and how to understand how to do that. So, so exciting. Now, but firstly, I would love to introduce you to Stephanie. Stephanie is a cash flow specialist. And she has helped many businesses realise their financial goals and free themselves from financial stress. She does this by analysing business performance, and implementing improvements that make immediate impacts and volunteers as well as the president of the tree project, which I saw. And I just want to know a little bit more about that as we go through our conversation. But Stephanie enables women to get back to the work that they love through automated an understandable financial strategy, so they can make money. Beautiful. Yeah, that sounds lovely. She is passionate about the world of cloud computing. So my AI loves to focus on gaining efficiencies through sharper systems, processes and unique methods of monetary control. Well, I think this conversation is going to be a little bit fantastic because all of those worlds sound amazing to me. So hello, Stephanie, thank you so much for joining me and sharing your wonderfulness with my community here.
Stephanie Menere 2:09
Hi, Nicole, thank you so much for having me. It's a pleasure to be on today and having a chance to chat with you. And yeah, thank you.
Nicole Smith 2:16
I thank you for joining me financial, all the financial stuff in your business in a life is such an important area that we don't always focus on do we, we kind of push it to the side and in the heart, put it in the too hard basket.
Stephanie Menere 2:31
Yeah, it's easy to sort of try and hide away from it. It's quite stressful. And I think a lot of people have a lot of blocks when it comes to money and finances. So it's a bit of a, we can hide under the bed away from it. It's easier, but it's actually the opposite.
Nicole Smith 2:45
Absolutely, absolutely. Now, I would love to start with you sharing a little bit about you, your business, how did you come up with the concept of your business? And at what point did you realise that it was now time to go to bring it out into the world?
Stephanie Menere 3:01
Well, I so I left school early, actually. So I dropped out in year 11. And I didn't do my HSC. And then I decided I wanted to get a job of any description in an office because I wanted to carry a briefcase and I wanted to wear glasses. I never wear glasses. I don't grow briefcase. And that was an accounting firm. And it was something that I just got. And I didn't really understand how I was so good at it. But I just was and so I started a uni degree, which I just got into as well, which you know, without my HSC I got into it, it was another moment of this is the right path for me. And all through uni, I thought I'm going to change, I'm not going to be an accountant. It's not my thing. It's too boring. And then I just kept on being really good at it. And I never found that other thing that I should be doing. So then I spent over 10 years working in different accounting firms doing tax work, and I hated tax work so much. But what I did love was I loved working with clients, I loved really helping them through that business journey. And I loved it when you know, they had some really big changes in their businesses because of what we were focusing on. So from there, I went out and I started working in CFO positions. And I started my business actually, because I had a bit of a breakdown, quite a big breakdown. I was working in an accounting firm, and it just wasn't right for me. Just the way that it was, you know that work was structured, it just didn't really fit for my personality and my abilities. So I had a bit of a breakdown and my boss at the time said to me, what do you want to do? Like, you know, do you want to come back part time? Do you want to come back as a casual, you know, do you want to start your own business and I said I want to start my own business actually. So I was really lucky in that he really supported me through that, getting my first few clients. So I had this really great base. But then from there, what I realised is I really wanted to start helping smaller businesses because There are all these little businesses out there that sort of don't really get up and running properly, because they don't understand the financial side of things. So over 85% of businesses fail because of cash and lack of accounting knowledge. And I thought, you know, all those businesses that aren't really ever getting that chance, how incredible would it be if I gave them that chance, or gave them some knowledge that they can get through that hump in their business. And I have a focus on women just simply because I think that, you know, we really need to be focused on women a bit at the moment, and some, you know, more minority groups, because we, I want to change the world of business, I don't want it to be the same. I don't want businesses to be running in the way that that accounting firm was running, so that it makes people you know, have breakdowns or feel awful and not want to get up every day. And the people that I work with are people that make you want to get out of bed every day. And they're doing beautiful things with incredible clients of theirs. And that's the type of word of business that I want to see.
Nicole Smith 5:59
That's lovely. And yeah, isn't it? Um, interesting, how many businesses come from that sort of an exit an area of that, you know, like, you've had a moment in the in the world of the corporate space? And you're just like, no, that's, that's not me anymore. That's, I can't be here. And you're like, you discover this other area, and I mind similar, you know, knowing that I could come out into this world and support fabulous women in business to get organised and see what it's funny, you know, you're doing it on the financial side, I'm doing all the foundations of the business side. So it complements quite well, actually. But yeah, it's Sorry, sorry, so important to understand all of that information. So I'm very happy that you're out here in the world supporting small businesses, because there are so many amazing ones out there. And they're so fabulous at what they do they need, you know, we just need some support in those other areas that maybe we don't, not right now. We don't shine as as much as we could. So yeah. So I imagine that some of your clients, once you've gone through that sort of education piece, at the start, they get more comfortable with how it all works, they might come to a point where they're ready to make maybe a bit of a riskier investment in a business or a big decision or a change. Is that something that you know, you work through with your clients, and just help them to make sure they're maintaining that sort of self safer financial practices with with those decisions?
Stephanie Menere 7:39
Yeah, definitely. So the education that I provide in the early days is really all a foundation to set you up to make really good financial decisions. So sometimes your financial decisions will have an element of risk. And business is a risky business, you know, you can't be in business without risk. But what we want to do is we want to mitigate that risk by putting other controls in place to reduce it. But we also want to understand what impact that's going to have. So what is the worst case scenario? And if that does happen, how do we sort of control the blast a little bit, I guess, the other part of what I do and what I work through with my clients is being able to recognise problems before they're there. So if you've got a risky decision that you've made, or you know, you might have decided to go into a new market, for example. So you've invested in new market, and then we've created a forecast so you know exactly what your roadmap is to implement in that market. But you want to make sure along the way, that you're actually keeping track of what's happening. So that if anything changes, slight little tweaks can have huge impacts, if you leave them for a year, or you leave them for a couple of years, but they don't have much of an impact if you've corrected them in a month. So it's all about making sure you're looking at it constantly so that you can course correct, you can tweak things. And then you can also it's a bit of an indicator to go Okay, well, this is getting a bit risky. What else can we do? Who else do we need to call in it might be a lawyer, it might be, you know, a bank or getting extra finance, or, you know, there's lots of different things that you can put in place when things are not quite going in the right direction.
Nicole Smith 9:19
Yeah. And being on top of that, and understanding your reporting. And those, you know, those little tweaks? Yeah, that's a really, really good, good thing to be on top of, isn't it? Because you can make those decisions right there. And then and it's not going to be a long term impact, and the evidence to change that little dial a little tiny bit and then continue on the way that you were headed. Yes. Yeah, that's so true. So one of the responsibilities of being a cashflow specialist is helping business owners to really understand where the money is, when it's coming in when it's going out. Obviously, that must be the definition of cash flow. It's just really cool. But how do you support I guess your business owners to be working, doing the things they love, but also being able to make the money they need or the money that they deserve to make in their business while looking at all of the figures?
Stephanie Menere 10:18
Well, it's a couple of things, the first thing is making sure that the figures are in a form, that's super easy to get it in there, keep it keep a track of it. So you're not wasting heaps of time on, you know, trying to put it into a spreadsheet or trying to, you know, pile up a bunch of receipts and, you know, put them all into some kind of organised format. That's making sure you've got good programmes in place. The other one is having that financial plan. So I like to one of the things that I do with my clients, when we do any kind of work together was we sit down and we make a forecast, that forecast will be for the next 12 months, or it'll include the next financial year. So it might be you know, we did one now, it'd be about 16 months. And what gives, like, by having that forecast in place, it basically creates a roadmap. So if you say, you know, this is what I'm trying to achieve, we go, Okay, well, this is what you need to do to achieve that, and actually turn it into this, instead of it's just being this big, you know, lofty revenue goal, where, you know, there's a lot of stuff on the internet about the 12, sorry, the 10k months, which is great. 10k months are fantastic, but they're not for everyone. And we also have to work up to that 10k a month. So it's about understanding how you're actually going to get to that goal. And then making sure you're tracking yourself along the way to see how you're actually progressing along. So it's essentially, you know, like any goal setting, you're deciding what your goal is, you create a plan to achieve the goal. And then you make sure that you are actually taking things off along the way to achieving that goal.
Nicole Smith 11:54
I like what you said then about, you know, 10k a month might not be for everyone. Because you know, when you are a one to one service provider, for instance, like how does that actually look? And how many clients do you actually need? How many hours in a day do you need to work and keeping in mind that business is not just the client stuff, you've got the other stuff that actually makes it all work, like the podcast recordings, or your socials or you're looking at your finances, you know, so that's really, really important.
Stephanie Menere 12:27
It really, really is. And that sort of leads me into the other aspect of it in that is around your mindset. So if you don't believe that you can achieve it, you're not ever going to achieve it. So it's really important to understand that, you know, if you're striving for a 10k a month, but you want to charge $50 an hour, and you've got 20 hours a week to work, it just doesn't the math doesn't work, though, and there's nothing wrong with you know, just looking at a 2k a month to start with. And then a 5k a month, and then you know, you can build that up to a 10k a month. Because it's super important that your subconscious mind actually believes you can do it, so that you can actually make those, it's not going to sort of you'll do some self sabotage if you don't believe it. So it'll probably actually work the opposite way. If you're striving for a 10k a month, and you really don't believe you can do a 10k a month, you're going to probably do less than you would be able to do if you didn't thrive, retain him on.
Nicole Smith 13:22
Yeah. Yeah, that mindset thing is really important. I know even even me, I've been through that a couple of months ago, I was messaging. But if the other fabulous. She mentors, Kathy who I talk about all the time, and I'm like, Where are my clients gonna come from? I'm never gonna find though. And then she said exactly the same thing to me, it's like you will, they are out there. And I changed the way I felt about it. And I'm like, they are out there. And I've had, this will be the biggest month of my business so far, because I changed the way and I opened that up and I'm like you are there, I can't wait for you to come and work with me and that we're going to work together. And you know, I've just reviewed my pricing as well, because I've got the goals that I want to hit. And I've got that first goal that I had set myself, we're just talking. So for those who are listening, Stephanie is also part of she mentors. I probably should have said that. And we just had a goal setting event on Wednesday this week. And we're reviewing what we had set in January, two verses now. And one of my was a financial goal. And this month, I'll be hitting that which is so exciting. Um, but yeah, being realistic with it. And understanding what you can do is I agree it's so so important.
Stephanie Menere 14:43
Yeah, it really is. And it's the same with me. I had the same thing actually recently where I was really focused on the work that I didn't want to do. And I felt like all my time was doing this work that I didn't want to do and I kept on having that thought in my head being like, I don't want to do this work. It's so boring. I just wish I could get more of the clients that I want to have. And then I can hire somebody so that I can get them to do the work that is boring for me, would be exciting for them because they're really new. And then I realised that I looked at myself went, ah, what are you doing? Stop focusing on that focus on all this other work that you do have that you love. And I shifted that mindset. And exactly, I had, you know, a new client sign up the next day on, you know, with that kind of work that I really wanted to do. So, you know, and reoccurring clients booked back in as well, but who I love So of course, it's just mindset switch that
Nicole Smith 15:36
Such power in it, isn't it? And it doesn't, it doesn't have to be a drastic thing, either. It's just that acceptance, you know, this is who I want to work with. They're fabulous. And it's going to make me feel fabulous, because I'm supporting these fabulous people doing amazing things. And it's just that Yeah. But it's not, it's just
Nicole Smith 15:58
what happens. Somewhat, you would,
Stephanie Menere 16:01
and I am, I like to look at that as well in accounting terms. So it does seem a bit woowoo, right. But before getting into any woowoo stuff at all, I would work with clients, we would they would not be in a great financial position, we'd set up a plan, a forecast a mindset or an intention, we would implement that plan, which is, you know, believing that we're going to achieve this plan and they would achieve it. So without, you know, if you're not looking at the woowoo side of it, it's simply it is what happens all the time you put a plan in place, and you believe you can do it and you tweak it, and it happens.
Nicole Smith 16:37
Yeah, absolutely just remains that I guess the the stress as well from it like that, you know, financial stuff can become quite stressful, especially cash flows looking a little bit dicey. And you're like, Where's that client going to come from? And how am I going to pay that bill? And it sounds like what you do really does remove that stress from it and being able to put in those processes and looking at those strategies that you build out. For your clients. That's Yeah, absolutely. And is there something that you like, in particular, focus in on when you're working with your clients to to actively remove that and make them make it an easy experience for them?
Stephanie Menere 17:23
Yeah, definitely. Well, there's three key things that I use one is zero, the accounting software, I love it so much, it literally changed my life when I was an accountant when it came in. Before that, I was like, Oh, I hate doing this work. It's so awful. And then it came in, and I was like, Oh, it's breathe. This is exactly how it's meant to be. It's intuitive. It's supportive in the sense of like, it's made for people who aren't accountants, but it's also made for accountants. So we love it, too. And it's all about automation. And it's all about reducing doing the repetitive tasks, because who likes doing those awful tasks? No. And then the other thing is, we have like, it also has lots of programmes that link into it. So depending on your size, you can get more efficiency from it, by having these other programmes that connect in. So I love that. I also do do some mindset work. So I'm currently doing my yoga teacher training. And so I really like to bring in some mindset work with that. So that people, you know, have a practice that actually makes you feel like you're doing something about your stress. Because I find that with any kind of emotional or mental health problems, sometimes it feels a bit like, you know, there's a lot of stuff out there, where it's like, just let it go and everything. And that's great advice. But sometimes it's like, I just want to do something about it. Like, I feel like I need to do something about it. And so by creating a money mindset practice that really helps with that. So we look at empowerment, and how to build up that empowerment around money, we look at affirmations so that you can notice those thoughts that you're having around, you know, that repetitive thought of maybe I don't have enough, or it's never there when I need it, and just changing them up to be more positive. And sort of, it's not always about changing it to be like I have all the money in the world from I have no money, but it's more like, I believe that money will come to me when I need it. You know, it's just taking steps in the right direction. And then the third part of making that easier is actually creating that plan. So a lot of work that I do, especially with people who aren't feeling very confident about how much money they've got coming in and going out, is will literally sit down and go, Okay, what cash is coming in and what cash is going out over the next four weeks. And then we can repeat doing that. So that you actually look at it and 90% of the time you go, oh, there's plenty of cash actually coming in, it's going to cover it completely. It's no problem whatsoever. Or if it's not, we then sit down and go Okay, well, what's the plan and how do we fix this problem? So you know, it's a combination of going okay, we're going to try and get more clients. So we need to allocate some time to do that. Or it might be you know, how do we Go and have that conversation with our creditors to say, you know, I'm not gonna be able to pay this on time. So how do we manage that cash, or it might be looking at what funding we can get for the business as well. So there's lots of different options. And, you know, there's, it's just like 90% of the time is it's being in the dark that creates that stress. So as soon as we start shining some light on it, it's often there's a solution right there. And it's really not a big deal. Even though it feels like it's this huge, big thing. And I completely understand that feeling, I used to have that feeling as well. When I was working, I would, you know, in my own personal finances, I would spend money on a credit card and then feel like I had no money coming in, and I didn't know what was happening. And then one day, I went, ah, hang on a second, this is what you do for a living. So sit down and look at your finances and figure it out. And I did and I went, Oh, everything's fine. This is not a big deal at all. So that's, you know, that plan in place? And yeah, so you know, if you're feeling like that at all, if anybody wants to reach out and ask that question, and just go through that quick cash planning, exercise, even if it's not to do anything other than that, I'm always happy to do that. Because I think it's such an awful feeling to feel like, you know, you don't have enough and you've got no Avenue out. And also, it's embarrassing, often to talk about it with other people. So
Nicole Smith 21:22
yeah, being that sort of, like honest and open, you know, removing the appearance, you know, social media, can you it creates this, like, imaginary world, almost, and we want to be genuine. And we are to a point. But like, I knew, like my family, we didn't really talk about finances a lot. Not that I'm sure they would have if I asked, but I just probably didn't, you know. And so it's only in later life and like working in businesses and doing the panels and doing the stuff at the end of the end of the month that I started to become more aware of that. So if you haven't had exposure, it can be really daunting. And it isn't, you know, it isn't always like the let's go and sit down and do a financial plan, like, like, on the weekend. Yeah, exactly. You know, my, you know, for me, it's like, I love looking at processes and systems or bringing automation. I'm like, I can talk about it all day. But not everyone feels like that, like, I know, if we share a similar sort of view on it's not the sexiest part of our business, but it's the most essential part of the business. Because both if you don't have awareness, you don't have that understanding that can actually help you make those informed decisions to move you on to the next place or your next goal or your next, you know, vision of where you're trying to head to. So that's Yes, you've spoken about zeros, you're I was one of the first things that I did for my business was essential. And is there anything else that you find is really helpful? So you've got those three things that you've just discussed? Is there anything else that you found really helps your clients to bring that efficiency and I guess, profitability into their businesses?
Stephanie Menere 23:18
Yeah, absolutely. So one of the things is making sure you're looking at your expenses, so not just paying them for the sake of paying them. And I like to do this with clients, maybe once a quarter, depending on the size of the business. Of course, some clients, we do it monthly. And some it's only once a year, but it's looking at those expenses and going is that actually something that's I need in my business, and it can be a want, there's absolutely nothing wrong with a want. There's definitely things I pay for that. It's just purely because I think it makes my life a little bit easier. Maybe it's a bit expensive, but I love it. Yeah. So those things are more than welcome to stay, I should say. But getting rid of anything that doesn't really serve you anymore. So if you're paying for a subscription for, you know, some software programme that you never use, get rid of it. Yeah. So it's just things like that, and just having a look at it and do that with your personal expenses as well. It's really good to do that, too. Another thing is, you know, depending on the size of your business, another programme that I absolutely love so much is easy bills. So he double said why bills, and it links in with zero and it reads all the information from your bills. So it'll just automatically enter them into zero essentially for you. You just have to go through and approve it. And make sure it's correct. But it's basically taking the invoice from your supplier and putting it straight into zero prefilled. Which amazing cuz that's bookkeeping, like the worst part of bookkeeping done for you. Yeah,
Nicole Smith 24:45
I remember, you know, my previous life. I was an executive assistant. So I actually loved that reconciliation process secretly. Oh, you know, I'd be responsible for credit cards that were like sorry. Many things but finding and matching the receipts with the expense making sure it was coded to the right place. And it was a work of art at the end, because it was beautifully organised. But I love it with zero where it is, it has that extra level of automation in there. So it's like a button rather than as long as it's set up properly, obviously,
Stephanie Menere 25:21
exactly. Which actually brings me to my next point, making sure that your care file is set up properly, because, you know, anything is only as good as it's the data that's coming in. So crappy data and crappy data out. So making sure that you've got it set up. So I've definitely had clients where they sort of felt like zero wasn't that intuitive, or it wasn't that helpful. And I was like, that's definitely not true. I know that it means there's something wrong here and going through and looking at it was because they weren't utilising any of the functionality, or not necessarily any but like minimal amounts of it. So they weren't getting as much automation as they could out of it. So then doing it one client, she was like, you know, would spend a couple of hours a week on this. And now I spend 10 minutes a day, and I'm done. You know, 15 minutes instead of couple of hours. And it's also a process that she now enjoys. So what us Well,
Nicole Smith 26:16
hey, there just interrupting this episode to let you know about our exciting new membership, the doors to the take control with Nicole members lounge will be opening for the first time on Monday, the 14th of June, to welcome you in as one of our fabulous foundation members to be first through the doors, pop on over to the show notes and add your name to the waitlist, where we will be sharing all the information leading up to the 14th of June, I cannot wait to welcome you into our members lounge. See thing that's so important. Whenever you're looking at the way of working, you know, the the actual doing of the actions, making sure that all of those things are said at the start. And that you understand how and why you're doing it. You know, I know going into a business if you haven't had exposure to any of that before, that is all brand new. And if you've you engage an accountant or someone and they just set you up and off your pop, but then I give you that training, you'll end up in a bit of a like, Oh, I hate doing this. This is this is awful. So yeah, that's fabulous. Being able to, you know, help your clients to understand the how and the why. And then transition it from ehh yuck to Yes, 10 minutes done. Like Yeah,
Stephanie Menere 27:38
absolutely. And that is also another important thing is making sure that your accountant is talking to you about these things. So there are plenty of accountants out there. And their specialty is just tax and they don't really get into any other advisory work. But when you're in business, you need that next level, you need somebody who you can go to and ask the question about what's happening with this or that on job keep is a perfect example of, you know, if you didn't have a, your accountant coming to you and saying this is what you can do, this is what you can't do, this is the best way of setting it up. You need to you know, consider looking at finding somebody else to do the work for you. Because you need somebody there who's supporting you. You know, accountants are there to guide you through the business part of the business. So, yeah, make sure you've got a good one on your side, because they can, you know, save a business and they can also, you know, not give you too much as well. So
Nicole Smith 28:31
that's really, really good point. And we're not everyone's like not everyone is everyone's cup of tea, right? So absolutely, not just because you are. But if you are if you are already engaged with someone and you're not feeling that it's quite the right fit to make that change, because it is amazing that when you do find the right fit, it's like sparkles Rainbows, isn't it, it's just nice and easy and is supported.
Stephanie Menere 29:00
The support exactly, that was the word I was going to use as well. Because we want to have people around us that are supporting us. We're not ever going to be good at every single thing. And being a business owner, you have to know so much stuff. So it's about finding those right people that you can slot in and support you, the people that you can just pick up the phone to and say, Hey, I feel like this is a dumb question. But this is my question and feel confident and happy to answer that. I mean to ask that question. Yeah. Yeah, and making sure that you know, when you're asking the question, you're getting responses for it as well. So
Nicole Smith 29:31
I equated to sort of like a Um, I've been doing a lot of sort of IT staff at the moment like talking with with one of my clients in particular about the value of investing in an expert in that space. And you mentioned about you know, mitigating risk and all of that talking about just the security element and the maintenance elements. You know, it's all well and done to pay or invest in a thing like in a house. hardware. But if you're not looking after it, if you're not connecting the dots, if you're not making sure the software is updated or that your systems arrived, then it's all going to get into a bit of a model quite quickly. So it's really identifying the importance of that. And being able to ask those questions and feel confident that your support person knows what they're talking about, is pretty important. So
Stephanie Menere 30:24
yeah, it really is. And yeah, and finding those people can be hard sometimes as well, I know that, for me, I've sort of struggled a little bit in the marketing area of finding the right team around me. But you know, it's a matter of trusting your gut. And you know, when you've got the wrong people, you kind of you do not know it. Because the belly is like, Oh, this just isn't quite right. But I'll stick it out a little bit longer and see what happens. And then, you know, at the end of it, you're like, Oh, my belly was rad, as always, just listening to that. And, yeah, taking that step, and keeping on asking for the right person to come along.
Nicole Smith 31:00
And if you're investing in something like that's you your work you're working, your energy is outputted to get that money to come in, and then you're investing in something that's not quite right. leaves you feeling with a funny feeling. So making sure that you're focusing in on that, you know, that it's your hard earned money, that you're investing in yourself. So, yeah, being confident to make those calls early, is going to be the best solution for everybody involved. Because if you're feeling that a wonder what they're feeling as well, on the other side, you might not be that right fit. Exactly. Yeah. I love this conversation. It's so important. So so good. Something that when I started, actually undoing Sue's chadwicks BBA programme, and I started early on in my business, it was an investment decision for me, I knew that that was somewhere where I needed to be. And she shared with me the, you know, when you're looking at pricing, there's the she thinks her percentages might have changed. So don't take this for Bible right now. But like is 30 3030 3010, so 30, operational 30, tax 30 in your pocket, and then 10, for Super. So that kind of balances is something that you work with your clients? Do you help your clients with pricing or anything like that? or?
Stephanie Menere 32:29
Yeah, definitely, I sort of looked at it a little bit. I mean, that's a really great method, because that's a really simple method to begin with. The way that I like to look at it is I like to look at their market, their personal beliefs, and then their particular business. So essentially, when we create a financial forecast, we look at the offers that they currently have. And we go through and say, Okay, well, if you said you had an alley, right, what was your What is it? And it's not about charging on a time basis, but it's just about getting an understanding of how much is it that you're actually making per hour, because if you wanted to hire somebody to replace you, at some point, you need to pay them an hourly rate. So we look at those offers, and we go, Okay, well, how long does actually taking you? or How long do you think it's taking you to complete that project. And then we go, I go through and, and get them to actually sort of take a bit of notes around how long it is actually taking them to do it and 90% of the time, it's a whole lot higher,
Nicole Smith 33:27
it's amazing, isn't it, when you actually track your time, you know, I talk about time tracking, and you know, in click up, which I'm sure you know, I love you know, there's the time tracking element in there, when you actually do the tracking, it is can be quite shocking.
Stephanie Menere 33:45
It really can be. And it's always about like changing everything in that moment and being like, right, I'm tripling my prices, it's about understanding where you're losing time where you're losing efficiencies, so that you can help mitigate those losses essentially. So the other thing is understanding the market. So you know, if you're, say a graphic designer, you know, your rates are going to be somewhere between the 50 and $150 an hour for most people that you're charging out, and it just depends on your experience level and things like that, too. So if you know your rate is like $20 an hour, and you're an experienced graphic designer, we know there's some work that we need to do there. Or if it's, you know, way higher than that, and you're not getting clients, there's something we need to do there too. And it's not that you know, there's lots of things around about value based pricing, which I'm definitely believe in. But you have to believe in your value to be able to charge those prices, there's no point in charging, you know, 10 grand for a website, if you don't really believe that it's worth it, then you're just going to be disconnected within yourself. So definitely looking at pricing, looking at expenses, and then the other part that I like to do is I create a template and it depends on whether or not you have an accounting file or if you're a bit small, and you're ready to Just start with Excel. I mean, Excel is not my favourite, but we it's a good starting point. Yeah, somethings better than nothing right I ashame always something is better than nothing. Yeah. And so what I have is I have an income tax calculator. So essentially, you can put in there and say for the month, I've made this much money, therefore, how much money should I be putting away for tax, and that'll be x GST, the GST is relatively simple. So yeah, I just create calculated, so it can be based on actually what's happening in the business in that particular month. So every month changes, and it's not always going to be the same, you want to go on holidays, or you know, have a quiet month, there's absolutely nothing wrong with either of those things. And in fact, important when it comes to the holidays. So having that calculator there, it just, you know, means that you can make a decision in that moment, because sometimes if you're just going to have to save 30%, and then you're like, oh, but I actually don't have enough money to pay my bills, right now. There's a disconnect there. So just understanding that it can fluctuate, it's not always 30%. But 30% is a great place to start. So definitely start with that. Yeah, that's a really good excuse me.
Nicole Smith 36:12
Cut that out. That's a really good point around the actual so I, at the end of the month, I go in, and I look at everything that's going on. And I have a separate account for my my tax and all of that that goes over. So I do those calculations. But yeah, being aware of what has actually happened during the month, and during those actual that's, that's very good, very good suggestion to do. So thank you for sharing that. as well. We're sort of coming towards the end of the conversation is there anything else that you'd love to share, or that you particularly find that as an as a new business owner, is something you've really noticed that helps people on their journey to being confident and making money beautiful for them in their business in their personal life?
Stephanie Menere 37:06
Well, I think the main thing is believing in yourself, and knowing that you can do it, you started this business, because you had this great passion for whatever it is that you have this incredible passion for. And you probably came from a corporate role where you were actually you're really good at it. So just because you're in business, and maybe it's not picking up quite the way that you want it straight away, does not mean you are no longer as good as you were before. I think that's a really important part is to keep on working on your own self esteem and your own self confidence. And just doing as much empowerment kind of work that you possibly can. Because it's a tough road, like being in business is tough, it can be lonely, it can be you know, trigger all of those, you know, internal fears that you have in yourself. I know, it's definitely done that for me, and you think you're done with it, and then something else happens. And you're like, Great, okay, here I go again. Thanks. It's so true. Yeah. And I agree that having somebody that can support you through that, as well as a really important one, for me, that's my yoga teacher. And he does lots of life coaching, and is just incredible, and really brings me back on track or gets me back on track in those moments. The other thing is understanding that finances will help you achieve your purpose, it's not something that's going to stop you achieving your purpose, it's actually helping you to achieve your purpose. So a lot of creatives, and a lot of people were really in touch with wanting to make the world a better place, and wanting to contribute more, in a more positive way have a positive impact essentially, with their business, they feel like and it's often it's might be a bit of a deeper fear that by making money, they're actually no longer achieving that purpose, which is actually the opposite of means that the more money you make, the more lies that you can touch, and the more of an impact you can have. And you know, if you get to a point where you feel like you're making so much money that you don't need it, imagine what you could do with that with all the different charities in the world. So there is it's really a it's a tool, it's a companion, and it's going to help you get there and that's money. So and remembering it's just an energy, it's not anything physical, it's not evil, it's not greedy, it's just an energy and it's just an exchange. So,
Nicole Smith 39:35
I love that you're so right there, you know, we all start a business for our own individual reasons and our own individual purposes and being able it removes the, you know, when you've got that financial stability, it removes the worry, you can make Bigger Bolder decisions because you've you've got that behind you to support you up to the next level. Yeah, really? Thank you. Thank you for sharing that. That's really, really relevant for me right now. So thank you. And well, that's bringing us to the final funded. I think it's the fun bit. Every episode, I asked three questions to my guests. So are you ready for them? I'm so ready. Okay, what I think I know the answer to this one. But what is your go to app that creates ease in your day?
Stephanie Menere 40:29
Yeah, well, that's definitely a zero. That was an easy one. Everybody would have guessed it.
Nicole Smith 40:36
From now on. Yeah, it's xeros. Absolutely. Love xero. That was, as I said, that was the first thing I do. I knew that, you know, financial, knowing your financials is key and having it all connected. And secondly, Yeah, awesome. That's great. put a link to xero if you don't know what xero is. And we'll put a link in the show notes here, actually, um, are you an online or paper to do lists lover?
Stephanie Menere 41:03
I'm actually a hybrid model. Yeah. So I love like, sometimes I really just need to write down what's going on in my brain and get out a list. So I have my pretty to do list here, roughly. But this is more of a, this is what's happening right now. And these are my priorities right now. But then I also use Asana to keep track of everything else as well. And especially when it comes to having anybody else involved. So with some of my biggest clients, I've managed their accounting teams. So they all have their list in there. So what I know at any point in time where everything's up to where documents are, there's none of this, you know, trying to figure out spend 20 minutes trying to find, you know, where somebody saved something. We just have it all in there. We can just have everything in order, and what's the priorities for them as well. Yeah, that's, yeah, I find it really helpful. And I also use that for my social media planning and things as well. So you can just jump in the but your comments, images, all of that. I love it. Yeah, so a hybrid. That's good.
Nicole Smith 42:07
I think I'm a bit of a hybrid to like, as much as I love, love, love click up. There's definitely a time and place like, I've got my notebook sitting here too. With me. This one's this one. Isn't my glitter one. Actually, I don't know why that one's gone. But anyway, we'll find it. Normally, it's rose gold for glitter notebook happening. But yeah, there were I think there's this complementing and having both in our worlds. Now the final one, what would you do if you created more space in your worlds?
Stephanie Menere 42:40
If I created more space, in my world, I would spend more time with more charities doing really impactful kind of work. So at the moment, I'm working with tree project, which is really an incredible organisation, it's been around for 30 years, and now you know, super lucky to have been asked to leave the organisation. Fabulous, tell us a little bit more about what it is and what they do. So we've got two main missions in this world. One is to revegetate Victoria, and hopefully, we'll be able to expand that out to larger areas of Australia in the near future. And the other one is to connect country and urban communities together. So we do that by we get orders from land holders, and then we get people in the city to propagate and grow those seedlings. And then we take them out to the land holders, and we plant them. Yeah, so it's a really nice way that people can in the city can really get their hands dirty and get involved and actually feel like they're doing physically doing something about, you know, all the issues with our environment. And we want to keep on increasing the number of trees that we're planting. This year, were aiming for 150,000. And hopefully, we'll just keep on increasing that over time.
Nicole Smith 43:55
That's a wonderful way. It was earth day this week, as well, like, yeah, the kids, both of the kids at school, they had their different activities. They were, you know, planting seeds and all of that. So that's some very timely, but I'm pleased to share that information in the show notes as well. Because if you do want to be involved in in that, that's just wonderful.
Stephanie Menere 44:18
Absolutely. Yeah, please do because yeah, there's we're always looking for volunteers and more incredible people to help us achieve those goals. So yeah, but yeah, just there's so many other, you know, things that are happening in the world that I would love to be a part of, and be able to support more. You know, things like domestic violence is something that I'm also really passionate about, but haven't had the chance as yet to get involved in. But yeah, for me, it's, you know, I just really want to make the world a better place. I want to do as much as I can to know that when I leave this world, I've done something about some of the things that, you know, hurt the people that came before me. Yeah, wonderful. And that's really ties into what you were talking about before about having that stability
Nicole Smith 45:03
to really lean into your purpose. That's Yeah. Wonderful. Thank you for sharing that. That's beautiful. Yeah, I would love you to share one more thing with listeners, where can we find you and tell us about what's going on. If there's anything particular that's coming up that you'd like to share?
Stephanie Menere 45:25
Absolutely, well, you can find me at Stephanie mineo.com, or on Instagram as Penny underscore school. So I have created Penny School, which is all about learning around the finances. So it's financial education for creative minds. And there's a few ways that you can work with me. So one is via one on one sessions, so that's over six weeks, I do pretty much everything over six weeks, it's just the right amount of time to get changes happening. But without too much, where it feels like you know, if you commit to it, you're never going to have enough time to actually do it. And that one sort of ranges depending on the type of client and the business size. I also do consulting work for larger clients. So you know, doing the monthly reporting and managing their bookkeepers and things like that. I also have some online courses. So this is just a bit more streamlined. So it's a bit less tailored to your business, but you're still going to get the same information. And my latest thing that I'm currently working on launching, which I'm really excited about is the penny membership. So the penny membership is all about getting stuff done. So it's going to be a monthly membership. And there'll be three sessions a month, one session will be where we get together and we spend two hours and we just get your bookkeeping done. So I'll be online. And I'll be there to guide you around what the best practices are also to answer any questions that you have, and also just to encourage you to keep on going and just to get it done. I know it's something that often gets put on the backburner. So it's nice to have some set time to just sit down and do it. The second session will be all about reviewing your numbers. So we'll sit down and we'll look at numbers and we'll actually understand what's happened. Now, in any of the work that I do, you'll never ever be expected to share your numbers with anybody else you're welcome to if you would like to, but you will never ever, you know, feel like you have to share that stuff. So it'll all be you know, I'll be using some example information. And then you can apply that to your own information and ask any questions, of course, both privately and in the group. And then the third session each month, we'll be learning. So it'll all be about learning some kind of topic might be forecasting or cash planning. It'll just be based on whatever the members need at the time as well. But yeah, it's just really about having a community of people and really feeling supported and getting things happening and implemented in your business. Because it's easy to get out there and say yes to all of this stuff that you're going to learn. But then the actual implementing and finding that time to sit down and do what can sometimes be a bit hard.
Nicole Smith 48:03
And the implementing implementation stage is the most important part of anything we learn. I'm the same with my clients, you know, when we work together, I want to ensure that they have the space and the capacity to actually implement what we're working on together. Because then they can actually feel the impact of the positive change and the positive impact of what they've just absorbed and learned. So absolutely nothing feels better than taking it off the to do list as well. So see, virtual or paper Either way, it's very refreshing. Definitely know, Stephanie, you very kindly shared a code for our listeners here today as well. Did you want to talk about that? A little bit?
Stephanie Menere 48:48
Yeah, absolutely. So for your listeners, or our listeners today, it's a code for the penny membership, I think it's a really important thing that everybody has the opportunity to be a part of, so that they can feel confident and get those great habits in place. And so it's three months free for the penny membership, which means you'll have access to, you know, essentially six hours with me every single month. And also being able to build up that great community with other people doing, you know, similar things to you. And it just means that you know, you've got somebody to go to when you've got a question. And you've, you know, got, like I said, You've got that set time to actually get things done. So you can really know that you'll be able to start seeing the financial impact in your business.
Nicole Smith 49:35
Wonderful, thank you so much. We'll pop all of that in the show notes. And it's really sounds like something that if our listeners here today, should take out because what a fabulous support area to be in in Penny school going through that every month are fantastic. Thank you so so much. I thought Well, that's it for the end and say thank you so much again for coming in joining me today.
Stephanie Menere 50:00
It's been such a pleasure, Nicole, it's so nice to speak to somebody else who's doing similar things. And also to connect with another she mentors member. And yeah, just to get out there and be amongst more women in business and see incredible people changing how business has previously been. So thank you so much for having me.
Nicole Smith 50:22
My pleasure. My pleasure. And I will, um, I think we will have some offline conversations, as well go ongoing, which is so fabulous. Definitely. Yeah. Well, everybody, thank you so much for joining us. And I hope that you have a wonderful rest of your day, and enjoy creating space and time freedom by now. Well, there we go. Thank you so much for joining me today. It's been such a pleasure having you on board. Have we connected on social shares? If not, please come on over Say hi, I'm on all the platforms at the artisan solutions. So I'd really look forward to seeing you over there. And if you enjoyed today's episode, don't forget to tag me and I'd love it if you could leave a review. And of course, share this with others so others can come and join us next time. All right, then everyone, have a fabulous rest of the week, and until next time. See you then
We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land on which we work and live. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging. We celebrate the stories, culture and traditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders of all communities who also work and live on this land.