Episode #037 Leveraging Social Technology with Bookkeeper Samuel Burmeister from Tall Books

In an inspiring episode, Amy interviews fellow bookkeeper Samuel Burmeister, a bookkeeper who is crushing it in the digital space. It’s easy to see how Samuel won MYOB’s Young Bookkeeper of the Year 2018 and how he has grown his business in just 3 years. 

Listen in as Samuel unfolds his interesting journey, from being a musician working in the fashion industry, through becoming a MYOB call centre rep, to finally becoming a qualified bookkeeper and the owner of Tall Books, an online bookkeeping practice that is leveraging social platforms and online marketplaces.

The real message behind Samuel’s story is “Focus on benefits over price, don’t judge by appearances, and always look to the bigger opportunities behind a seeming low priced offer.”

Podcast Info

Episode: #037

Series: General

Host: Amy Hooke

Guest speaker: Samuel Burmeister

Topic: Leveraging Social Technology

Useful links

 

Tall Books YouTube Channel:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqDJeUT8ulbVema4kPnaLEg

Tall Books Facebook Page: facebook.com/tallbooks

Samuel Burmeister LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/samuel-burmeister-859656107/

Loom (Screen Recording)

AirTasker: https://www.airtasker.com/

Gumtree: https://www.gumtree.com.au/

TrueCaller: https://www.truecaller.com/

 

 

Read transcript

Amy: 

Good morning, everyone. Thank you for joining me again and welcome back. Today I have Sam- Samuel Burmeister from Tall Books. So he is a fellow bookkeeper and he's been doing some pretty cool stuff in the online world as well as I guess he does offline stuff as well. But we'll get to hear a bit more about his journey and the topic that I wanted to talk that we, Samuel today is how he's utilizing social technology and social platforms and also online or digital market places to grow his business. So, uh, Samuel, I'll hand over to you in a second, but he's only been in business for a three's in from what I can say, a bit of a celebration on the LinkedIn profile today. Congratulations Samuel. Thanks for joining me.

 

Samuel:

Thanks so much, Amy. Pleasure to be here.

 

Amy: 

Yeah. Awesome. So do you want to just kick off by like, I'm, I mean, I don't know you really well, I've sort of come across, we've chatted a couple of times in May in person once, but I want to hear a bit more about your background. So obviously I can see where you're at today. But  how did you get into bookkeeping? Um, and you know, what's been your kind of pathway into what you're doing now?

 

Samuel:

Sure. Yeah. So I'm one of those people who dumped between career interests, I guess. So, um, my first attempt at study was a bachelor of music which I completed. And so I'm a musician. Um, I sing and play piano and after three years and completing the bachelor, I realized I wasn't really interested in the industry, but I loved the outlet of music. So I decided to pursue something else. So I went into fashion and I started studying fashion business so I could maybe get a job in marketing or something business-related there, but for a fashion label. And once again, they ensured us to caddy for my liking. So I decided, um, I'd take a break and work out what I wanted and really random story. But I got, um, some orthodontic treatment done. And during that time I didn't want to be facing any customers.

 

Samuel:

So for a short term job and stumbled up, I thought I'd get some call centre work because I've done that when I finished school. And that's easy and I don't have to see anyone besides my colleagues. So believe it or not, the job I ended up, uh, interviewing followers for MYOB. And in my mind, the last thing I had any interest in was accounting. And so I begrudgingly went to the interview and got the job and I told them flat out, look, I'm only gonna be here for a few months and then I'm out. It's just, well, I had this treatment, they still hired me for some reason and during that time I absolutely fell in love with, um, accounting and I started learning all the basic debits and credits and um, yeah, the interest groups. So I did some networking and move my way into head office and became a partner manager and I got to work alongside bookkeepers.

 

Samuel:

And I've never met a bookkeeper during my life before I'm working at MYOB, so I had no idea what a bookkeeper did. I just thought they were accountants. That was kind of it. So I was realizing these guys are all complaining about having too much work. What a great problem to have coming in industries where people live enough pinup from bread and um, try to get a Gig. I thought this was amazing. Maybe I should try it. So I studied assert for at night while I was working full time at MYOB and that was my test. I thought if I can get through this cert four and still enjoy accounting, it's worth a shot. I was ready to leave my role at MYOB. Everyone knows what that's like when you're working for someone and you're like, this is the time to get out. And uh, just decided September, 2016 I'm going to start my business. I came up with the name total books and yeah, that's how it all began. That's how I got to start my business.

 

Amy: That is so awesome. I just like, I mean I always take little notes down when, you know, when I'm talking to my guests and there's just so many things that you said that I don't even know which bit to start on. It's a really cool story. Um, and you know, I, I guess a couple of things that come to mind is like, firstly I had someone the other day contrast fashion and bookkeeping has he and I, so I was talking to this girl and she, she actually put fashion and bookkeeping on the complete opposite ends of the scale. So she talked about like, um, and what she was talking about is like, you know, I guess, you know, how attractive the industries are. So in her opinion, she viewed bookkeeping as this kind of like way on the end of one scale and then fashion on the other end.

 

Amy:

And um, yeah, so I'll just found it a bit of a little bit amusing that you'd come from that fashion background. And now you're in bookkeeping and it sounds like you, you're loving it or you know, it more than you know how things were before that. Um, but also I'm just loving the journey that you went through, uh, with MYOB and getting, you know, introduced to bookkeepers that you didn't, you know, you didn't know what a book was and then you know, you set yourself the gall and ended up really, you know, not only enjoying it but you have a business. Um, he's doing really well. So, um, yeah, very good. Very good. And so, um, yeah, so I spotted you on a Tosca. I don't know, I didn't tell you all of it, but I saw you on it because I was investigating, I'm always snooping around looking at like, you know, all these different platforms and looking at different softwares and community and why is of sourcing either clients or bookkeepers to work for us and that kind of thing.

 

Amy:

And I was looking at IR Tosca up for those of you who don't know what air tasker is, it's an online market place. There's an app and there's a web thing and you can look for jobs and you can register yourself as available for jobs and know, and I'm not just talking about book keeping and services like that, but you can hire someone. I had someone to pack boxes in my house when I move tasks and things like that. So you can get remove lists or cleaners or you can get people to just, you know, deliver you a pizza or you know, pretty much anything. So I spotted you on there and I was thinking, oh a Tosca until I saw you there. Like it changed my view of, actually I'll be at Tosca cause I thought, um, it ha scare. It's just gonna what, you know, you say people post a job or they want their bookkeeping done for 50 bucks.

 

Amy:

And I thought like, Oh, who does this? And so I'd look at it just to kind of say what was at that. But you'd say, someone go, can someone you know do a week of bookkeeping for 50 bucks and a hundred people would be replying, saying, I'll do it, I'll do it. And I spotted you on that list and I click through it and I'm like, oh I know him and I clicked on the profile and you had like a hundred what, five star reviews from all these people. And I was like far out this cause really a lot on file. So I'm curious about that. I want to hear what happened back then on on on Airtasker and how you sort of started out there.

 

Samuel:

Yeah, that's a really interesting discovery. I haven't used, I volunteer a few years, but that is a really integral part of how I started my business. So once when I launched my business, a lot of people assume, oh you've got connections or you're launching a business because you've built up a client base. No, I had zero clients and zero referral paths of like here's a parent or a relative to give me clients. So I had to think on my feet and I had done a lot of research and I realized, yes, referrals come from accountants or friends and family, but the quickest ones will be those that I go out and get and they might not be the highest quality leads, but then leads nonetheless and they'll help me get the ball rolling. So I found Airtasker and back in 2016, Antarctica was a lot newer, so there weren't as many people on it.

 

Samuel:

And like you said, a lot of people are on there saying, uh, do some gardening for 20 bucks or put together my, I'm like this, you can see behind me, I tell someone, you've got somebody to put together for me. Yes, you can do it, but why not pay someone if it's something that they, they enjoy doing and time. So that was our task. I thought I can safely do some small jobs here while building up more experience. And also people can't be as, or they shouldn't be as expected of skill level when they're not offering the higher price. So the way I leveraged it was, um, let's say someone said, come help me set up my Xero file, I would then, um, look at their price workup. Would I be comfortable with that? Think of that as an initial way to get paid to meet someone.

 

Samuel:

And I'd go and I'd do the session and the prices did various, some are great somewhere. I don't know if this is worth my time and during that session I would build rapport with them, trying to do the best job I could. And I always set my boundaries. I'll be there for two hours of solid work, no more kind of thing. Two hours would finish. I would always ask them, so what are you doing for your ongoing reconciliations or, and they always kind of look at themselves and think, hmm, you so because bookkeeping, like, you know, it doesn't get done once. You either take it on yourself or you pay someone else. It has to continuously be done. Like kind of like in my mind, like plowing a field on a farm. You got gotta put effort in before you get anything out of it.

 

Samuel:

So I would then go in and I would offer them a package. So I'd say, look, I can, um, do your bookkeeping for x amount per month. Uh, and it'll include x, Y, zed. And this is something I've been coaching bookkeepers on at Mitre best practice bookkeeping, you know, good on value pricing instead of the hourly rate, they just have a set rate. And then I'm getting a retainer in regularly. I know how much money to expect. And that was really popular. So in fact, first probably half of my client base was all people that had just had a one off job. And some of the stories you wouldn't believe, like for example, this guy paid me $25 to come in for an interview and ignoring the fact that he was a monster boss and like it was a horrible job overall. A lot of money off that $25 original interview because, and being a weekly contract where we agreed on a rate and I did weekly bookkeeping and they out to be a large recruitment business. So that threw me right into the deep end doing payroll, completing payroll, tax reconciliations, billable expenses, all this stuff that began to bookkeepers would scream at. Um, and that came from 25 bucks. So stories like that, it's not about getting felt that the initial valuation is about looking at the position. What can I earn from this? Is that potential for ongoing work in this, this client base? Or is this a small enough job that I can go and get my hands dirty, learning a bit more about this profession.

 

Amy: 

I love it. I love what you had. You said, um, you know, you're getting paid by them to, um, you know, like actually go out and meet somebody whose potential to for ongoing income and you know, it was actually seeing you on there. That's what flipped my mindset about the way that you can do things on these platforms. Because I knew of you and I'd seen you around the community and you, you know, you seem like, you know, pretty decent guy and you say Mikey knew what you were doing or you seem like you at least, you know, very, um, you know, motivated and you care about your clients and things like that. So that seeing you there and then seeing all the reviews you have and stuff like that, it kind of like flipped my, you know, obviously sometimes you get ideas in your head about things and what kind of quality work you can get from various places.

 

Amy: 

And so I had like quite a strong opinion about, you know, various things. And when I saw you on there it actually, I thought, oh yeah, okay. I hadn't thought of it from that perspective. And so I love the way, you know, you've gone through and you've kind of, um, you know, I only saw the surface level of it, which is, you know, Samuel out there and he's got, you know, all of these five star reviews. So he's obviously doing well with that. But then you know what you've just shared now you've kind of like gone into way more deep detail and it's like, it's actually like quite amazing what you've done because a lot of people would go, oh, I'm not working for 25 bucks, not worth my time. But you've been able to see beyond the face value of it too to how you can actually benefit yourself and benefit the client from there.

 

Samuel::

Yeah, and a good point. They've mentioned like I'm big on being just open and I'm not going to act like task is like this beautiful, perfect situation. I've dropped a hell of a lot of my Airtasks with clients in the last two years. But think about that position then. I love how you've got your journey. Let you tell, ask people where they're at in the um, the Facebook group, whether they're starting out, whether they're there done, whether they're looking for clients. Obviously it's really good when you're starting out and it's about looking at proactive ways. People are always saying, how can I get clients and they want to throw money at everything to fix a problem. I'll be a bit creative, like I saw an Airtasker, like you were saying, as an opportunity to meet people and have low risk with initial jobs because you're not going to approach a giant business and do all this complicated bookkeeping when you're just starting out.

 

Samuel:: 

Right. It's hard to get that experience and get paid for it. As I think a lot of people assume like, oh, I just started but I want to get paid like an advanced bookkeeper or I only want to do really high quality work. You're probably not giving high quality work, so we've got to be realistic and build yourselves up and what I've got to that point, I was able to drop any clients that weren't giving me valuable respecting me enough. They still wouldn't tolerate crap, but you aren't going to get two scapes. Right. And that isn't as big a problem until you get bigger and you realize, okay, now I'm worth x amount.

 

Amy: 

Yeah.

 

Samuel:

And I've got these other referral streams coming in so then I can start dropping them. But still today I've probably got over 10 add tasks and clients from 2016 that I still work with who we're very respectful. Well it's not all of them.

 

Amy: 

No, that's fine. Oh yeah. I'm really, um, yeah, I'm really impressed with what you've done and also just you being so willing and open to share that cause obviously, you know, I mean once you know, when you get onto a good weekend, you know, you'd probably want to keep it to yourself a little bit and you know, but obviously you've moved to the, you know, you've moved to the next stage in your, in your business. Um, you know, been going for three years now. And as you said, you haven't even logged on there for a while. Um, I mean do you still get uh, oh no. Cause you have to put your own bed and die. You don't get contacted by people. So

 

Samuel: 

an interesting thing about that for at least a year or two, well maybe a year people were finding me for like z

ero leads because Airtasker actually interesting thing about those market places that people need to be aware of is they spend an absolute ton of money on their SEO. So when someone searches for something, Airtasker might pop up saying, Hey, have you tried to Airtasker? And then it shows a few people. And because I had good ratings, I'll often get free advertising through an airtask and not even using mine, so people would be like, oh yeah, it's crazy views and I'm like talking about, oh they saw my Airasker profile and then they come to me full-price through my website. So um, yeah, it's about getting your name out there as well.

 

Amy:

Absolutely. Yeah, definitely. I'll just love it. Like I love the fact that you spotted that opportunity. I was on Antis Tasca, you know, looking for someone to come over and claim my blinds and then I was like, oh no, what people do for bookkeeping and you know, all these different things. I had a bit of a pate. But you know, you know, not everyone's aware enough to spot the opportunities. But you did. And you know, I love the fact that the, so I can't remember maybe a couple of episodes ago, I actually did an episode called how to get bookkeeping clients when you have no experience. And so I gave 'em three, uh, tips on the air. So basically I think the tips were, um, you can, you can lie about your experience and obviously I don't advocate for that option, but you can, you know, you can tell people you've got more experience than you have.

 

Amy:

You can tell the truth. So you can go, hey, I don't have any experience, but would you give me a chance? Um, and then the third one was, I actually encourage people that don't have experience to go, like to go and get a job in employment. Maybe an accounts payable roll for a season. But you've just, I feel like you've given me a for fun to add to that list. Obviously, I'm not going to record the podcasts, but for anyone who's listening now who listened to that one, there you go. You've got those, these platforms out there where you can engage with business owners that don't have super high expectations. I mean some of them will of course some of them will want you to, you know, do a whole year of bookkeeping and are very small amount of money. But at the end of the day, you know, it really sounds like that is that that's a great place to practice. And I think, I mean obviously winning the job, I mean how did you go about, because it is quite competitive. Like sometimes I'd say a hundred people are all offering to do this, this job. Like how do you get noticed when you don't have the reviews yet? Like how did you get noticed?

 

Samuel:

So I have to pay this off a little bit to like sales trading in the past. So yeah, because the accountants haven't done sales training and it's honestly something that every industry professional needs to do. Big Carlos on whether your account isn't it. One of my first jobs out of school was for Salmat sales force as they were called back then. Now it's just so mad. I think man they took me through like the six week intensive sales training induction, um, just for like a phone role. And so I've kept all of that and worked on it for years. And part of that was um, just understanding like benefit and benefit over price is a big thing. So starting with the benefit before focusing on the price because realistically as customers we don't shop by price. We may act like we do, but we actually looking for the benefit.

 

Samuel:

You'll find that people rarely go for the cheapest option. They'll go for something in the middle or higher if it's got a better benefit. So it's about selling the benefit of your service. Yep. I can, they it setting boundaries. So I would always be like, I can provide, I think one of the, the wordings I use that work really well for me is I would have kind of like a copy pasting that I, I worked with after awhile to do something like, yeah, Amy, um, I would love to help you with your bookkeeping rescue work. I can promise three hours of solid, efficient and professional work. Well I will come on site and perform the work few and if um, something like please see my reviews. If I didn't have reviews I would just focus on the hardworking element. Yeah. Um, yeah and that's fine.

 

Samuel:An insured, um, something like that and I look forward to speaking with you or something like that. And so it beats the people who are like, I would love to do this for you and like post $20 instead of 50. Do you know what I mean? You have to look professional and also show that Laura set amount of time you're going to be there and working hard. Yup. Cause annual stripes. I guess. Like Simon, every industry, I had no revenue, so I had to go in and work hard. Yeah. I think that's the, yeah. Tiny things to be handed to you. Also, you have to think about how can I look desirable. Yeah. Whilst maintaining ethics. Right. So,

 

Amy: 

mmm. Yeah. Yeah. It's really cool. And I mean, I mean there's a lot of bookkeepers out there that don't have a background in sales, so you've definitely, I mean, you've had an advantage there on that side of things, but then obviously you had to start to learn bookkeeping from scratch. So just three years ago you enrolled in a cert four just to see you could do it like just to challenge yourself and see, do I still like it at the end? And so you finish that and then, um, and then are you, so are you, because yeah. So how are you doing things in terms of like being a bass agent and that kind of thing? Like you're still owning your points.

 

Samuel:

No, so I've got my best edge in registration back in 2017. Yup. And I had a supervising balance agents so big on that because I think the lucky thing about bass engine supervision is it can be remote. It doesn't need to be an employee like taxation. Yeah. Which is a nightmare. That's the next nightmare I'm going to go through. Oh God.

 

Amy: 

Yeah. Okay.

 

Samuel:

Yeah, so I'll tell you a little bit about that too. But basically I had a supervising baths agents, so they would look over and sign off on any best work and that way you can be honest and say, look, I can do this and best services can be provided under supervision. Yup. And I just follow the rules like my website where it's a Bassett said under supervision by and put them the last agent number. This is like a set wording you have to use. No, it's, once again comes back to the sales thing. I often hear bookkeepers kind of, to me it sounds like they're saying, please don't give me the work. Like they like talking themselves out of the job. There'll be like, I like to do a bookkeeping that I'm not qualified, I don't have my bads as in registration. Um, but I, I like you, I've got a supervisor who might start with the benefit, right?

 

Samuel:

Like, yes, we can do x, y, zed, yes, we can do best days and services. It's under supervision. So you actually get two of us. You know what I mean? And so it's a think about it. Like you're going just being positioning, it's crashing. No one sells things by pointing out, imagine you went to a real estate agent, they're like, wasn't this house mine? The dodges step a ignore that smell. And here's a closet. It's not really a room. We lied about that. Do you know what I mean? You're not going to buy the house. So you've got to think about staying ethical but also not underselling yourself.

 

Amy: 

Yeah, exactly. And that's, I mean, that's a huge thing in our industry. A lot of bookkeepers will say that they feel that they undersell themselves. Um, and so, yeah, I think you, you know, you really setting such a great example and um, you know, I mean, beyond all of these, like what has, because you did a lot in a short amount of time, like what was the driving motivation for you, Assad from not, you know, not wanting to ate peanut butter sandwiches from not putting out, like what was, what was your driving motivation behind it?

 

Samuel:

Um, that's a good question. I'm very goal oriented. So for me, I had tried all this things cause I have a lot of interests and I don't believe that you do to just choose one very millennial of me. But, uh, I believe that you need to be stuck into one perfect career choice his whole life. And so you can tell that I've tried a few things. And what actually happened to me was I realized why not look at the underlying interests. So I looked at my personality profile online and instead of looking at my areas of interest, like music, accounting, whatever, I looked at the underlying personality, um, traits that enjoyed aspects of work and worked out what they were. So, for example, I always enjoyed creating order from chaos. I always enjoyed people facing work. I enjoyed methodical plan, um, coordination, like nice looking things. And

 

Amy: 

what are you, what are you a NFP,

 

Samuel::

e s f j. J where the one coming with the Cape to the party to save the day. Yeah. It's a common line I think because we're just a common bunch. Um, but basically what I realized then was I'm going to stop focusing on the what and not getting tied up in that whole, like you said, Dexy what's, I don't give a shit and Dan about any of that, right? I've done those like 60 industries where people are like, oh, I wish I was a musician. All that sounds great. And I think, you know what, at the end of the day, it's not about the industry, it's about what parts of your personality it serves. Yeah. I realized growing a business really excited me and I love that in accounting, we get to work closely with such an array of businesses. And so that drove me really, really hot and I liked upskills.

 

Samuel:

So accounting is one of those industries that you can never stop learning. Yes. There's no such thing as an old knowing accounting expert. So it gave me the opportunity to decide, well, what do I want to specialize in? What do I want to get better at? I can keep growing and growing. Like there's no real limit to getting better in this field. Yeah. And answer to your earlier question, a lot of what we pointed out, um, once I finished my backstage at registration, I decided, well, why don't I take it to the next level? A lot of accounting firms are acquiring bookkeeping firms these days, opening up bookkeeping divisions. It's a real, and it will increase because the county funds are realizing we need to make up for some of this loss we're getting. Yes. So I thought, well, why don't we raise the stakes? Why don't we have like quality bookkeepers who also land tax from the ground and then I can have my own full-circle service. Yep. So I just finished my diploma of Accounting and I'm just about to, probably in a month I will finish my tax agent certification. And which that ask me how I find the time to do that.

 

Amy: 

Hi y'all. I was just thinking that

 

Samuel::

it's a little wet. And then I've been accepted to about choke commerce, majoring in accounting at Daikin, which I want to do cause it's online. Oh, all right. And obviously I get a lot of credit off that. So, um, yeah, that's my goal just to keep growing it and then start offering this holistic service. Um, because I'm sure as you say, a lot of bookkeepers. Um, we also, whilst bookkeepers get a lot of hate from it, the accounting side, accountants get a lot of hate as well, acknowledging where we can step in and fill a gap. So for example, a common one is accountants often know the accounting software and people hate that. They'll say that they never hear from their accountant. They have to trace their accountant up. So being bookkeepers and bass agents, we're very proactive. Generally they're very client focused. So if you bring that same attitude to accounting, I can't see how you could not be a formidable force in the accounting industry.

 

Amy: 

Yeah, absolutely. It's great. It's, yeah. So it's really good to see where you've come from and where you're actually heading. And you know, just to talk a little bit more about the actual, you know, the, the, you know, the social platforms and things like that. I spotted on Linkedin a couple of weeks ago that you've got a thousand subscribers on your youtube channel, which I will share the link afterwards if people want to suss out what you're doing there. And so on your youtube channel you are doing like a tutorials for um, yeah, on various um, aspects of the software and things like that. You want to talk a little bit about your software out a youtube channel?

 

Samuel::Yeah, sure. So my youtube channel, I decided, um, well I've tried to think from the client's perspective when I first started bookkeeping, well, even before I started tall books, maybe mid 2016 I watched every single youtube video you can think of, probably twice about how to market a bookkeeping business, being a great bookkeeper, how to grow up bookkeeping business. Like I did a lot of research and youtube is so good because you can just consume it while doing something else. You've got a visual and I can show you things. And um, I realized if I was a client or a small business person looking for help with software, I don't want to read text. I want you to show me the button to click and do it quickly. I don't want to hear you waffle about yourself for half an hour. So I started making this small tutorials and it's just grown exponentially, which is awesome.

 

Samuel:

And so it started with just MYB essentials, obviously coming out of MYOB, that was my focus. Then as I looked at demand, Xero was the biggest demand. So now I have too many as their videos on there. There's like, hey. So my idea was create bite-sized useful videos on a concept. So don't, I hate ones where they like learn Xero in 2019 the whole via goes for an hour and a half. No one's going to sit through that. So except maybe a bookkeeper and even the bookkeeper sitting there like around the like skipping forward. So I thought, okay, show me how to raise a credit note call three to five-minute video. So let me kind of do bank reconciliation. And because that was a long concept, I broken into two videos so people can consume it quickly and it gets really good feedback. And so that was a branding tool, not to directly get leads, but it was to once again show that I'm passionate and have knowledge in the accounting software space.

 

Samuel:

Secondly, it actually helps you while you're not working to work for you. So whenever clients approached me, they'll quite often say, oh I've watched all your videos on this and I just had some questions and I think, wow, I was teaching them whilst probably in bed like that all you can then say to someone if I must becomes a resource library to like let's say I just trained you and your life and you show me how to do the bankrolls again. I'm like, no worries Amy. I'll send you an email with the link to my youtube. And like how much better is that? It looks so quality. So I don't always get caught up on everything being purely like lead based. Yep. I have had a few leads out of youtube. It's not the main focus of it. Yeah. But yeah, I love that you can teach. And I also want to try and give back a bit, like build up a community to help, cause there's a lot of small business owners out there drowning who will probably never reach a bookkeeper or not yet. And it doesn't mean they don't deserve some help as well. Yeah. Yeah. I love it. It's a great attitude and yeah,

 

Amy: just you're like, I really like what you said about, um, you know, being able to have, what you're doing is you're building up a library of teaching where if you don't have time to get on a video call with people all the time or a long email with steps on how to do stuff, it really saves you time. And it gives them a resource that they can, they can, you know, have at their fingertips if they need to remind themselves. So, and it just, it, you know, as, as you said as well, it just makes you look so professional as well. It makes you look really, yeah, this guy really knows what he's doing. He knows how to make youtube videos. So cause I'm like Whoa, like how does this all work? And um, we use a lawyer to do a similar thing, so we do like little welcome videos for the client and stuff like that. Kind of, I don't know. I just love, uh, yeah, like having, having these technologies where you can just like shoot a quick video and send it off. Whereas a couple of years ago it was just so much more, you know, involved in trying to produce something like that. Whereas you can just now sort of click buttons and it's, you know,

 

Samuel: yeah. To call it mine actually. So I love learning. Like I think I let them know about it a bit. If you don't shout out to loom right now it's freight and it's so good for screen recording so you can have a little bit that you face. I choose not to cut my face there because people that want us to sleep you sound like, yeah. Felony and, and sometimes like you said, like if I have a very specific tutorial for a client, I can just snap it on loom, send it, and then it tells you when they view it and um, they can review it later as well. I think that's a really useful bit of help.

 

Amy:

Yeah. Yeah, that's right. And so I'm very curious to know, you still play music? I do. Yes. You just like, just for fun. What do you do? Are you in a band or are you

 

Samuel:

no, I just do it for my own. Um, yeah. So, um, I've talked to, yeah, no. And vocals. Yeah. Basically my Instagram is just piano covers. Uh,

 

Amy: 

oh, I'll have to have a look. I haven't seen your Instagram. I'll, I'll have to suss it out. I'm a, I'm a musician as well, so awesome. Yup. Say Guitar. Clinicals.

 

Samuel:

Oh, awesome. Yeah, let's do great. It's good. I think everyone needs the credit about that. And um,

 

Amy: 

I think it's quite a few bookkeepers that amuse eyes. I've seen discussions going on before, so yeah.

 

Samuel:

Well everyone likes music, so a lot of people on their hand, which is awesome.

 

Amy: 

Yeah. Why not? Why not? And so, okay. I'm just sorta, yeah, just, okay. So you looking into being it becoming a tax agent because you feel that there's more to offer there. What else is in the future pipeline for you? Like, um, are you looking at growing bigger, like having staff or do you have staff? I, I don't know.

 

Samuel:

Yes, that's been a staff member. Yeah. Shout out to Kristen. She works for me in South Australia. Yeah. So that's probably something I haven't mentioned, but we do everything digital and I mean like bought two printers in the cupboard up there that haven't been used in two years. So every single point of it is digital. Um, and obviously that's allowed me to hire someone anywhere. She lives in a town of about 1,002 thousand people. Yeah. She was the right person for the job, does a great job and does everything remotely. We have a weekly zoom meeting like this on a Tuesday generally to catch up and go over with client questions, things like that, some training. Um, so definitely aims to, to keep growing. We have been growing steadily, which is awesome. Um, I think ideally, like I said, I'd want the tax practice and the bookkeeping practice so they'll work hand in hand and just keep going at the bookkeeping client-based for now.

 

Samuel:

Yeah, I love having that retainer base. So the more you go your bookkeeping base, live monthly, weekly, fortnightly packages, you're basically setting yourself up on a wage, which is amazing because you just have a set income no matter whether it's quite a busy, easy parents or like gravy because you're getting more views, you're getting training phase, all this income. So yeah, the focus is just to keep going that side of it. Um, also just want it out there cause it's good to say it. Um, I love marketing and so I am interested at some point to open up a side business. I don't know when I'm filed at the time, but a not a business where we help small businesses, specifically service-based professionals with this media marketing.

 

Amy: 

Beautiful. Yeah. Wow. You've just got so much diversity in there. And I love the fact that you're looking at, you know, these are the clients who we enjoy working with and how can we serve them, you know, what are they, what are their needs? What are the gaps in, you know, the types of businesses that you work with. So what, I mean, what is your, I don't know, for want of a better, better word, target market or niche. Like do you have a niche or do you have a topic? Is this that you work with or is it more a type of person or a software or is there any way that you've kind of, um, you know, worked at your, you know, who you work with and that kind of thing?

 

Samuel:

Yeah. I initially I was very big on trying to find a niche. Then I realized I care more about the person definitely. So, uh, they have to be willing to be forward focused. They have to be passionate about their business. And, um, it's not any industry. Definitely not. We have every industry under the sun. It's just crazy. I actually love the, every new client comes along and like, I didn't know that industry existed, but here we go. But it keeps it interesting. Um, so obviously they have to be digital. So yeah, it doesn't mean they have to be digital right now. We obviously help them on that journey, but we will not do onsite work because I'm not run a highly efficient growth focus business being on site. I'm like, I'll say it like, yes, going on site is part of a lot of bookkeepers work. But if you're looking to the future that is going to become less and less popular. And a lot of those clients are old fashioned. Yeah. I tried it with a few people and you end up dropping them because you're spending all this time, they end up being like this pain in your back.

 

Samuel:

Yeah. So they have to be willing to go to the cloud or already on the cloud and [inaudible] so they feel fully supported remotely. Um, and it does not mean once again that I'm going to say to you like, Oh, you don't on the cloud you need to be [inaudible], you know, business is gonna fail. It might be, look, we're not the right fit for you back there. Okay. Plus you love going on site and they might not be interested in modernizing their business and they're at a different stage in their career and that is perfectly fine. It's about being open about that as well.

 

Amy: 

Yeah, exactly. Being understanding about, you know, like, well I guess having empathy for where the client's at and not having to make everything fit into your grid. I mean that's a mistake. I think a lot of people making the new days, I definitely made that, those mistakes myself. I remember when I first started it was very much like this way or no way kind of thing, but I'm a bit of an attitude about it and it took me until, until I closed down my bookkeeping business cause I'll, I ended up like, you know, it didn't work out the way that I hoped left the business. And then coming back in, having this whole different experience of what it's like to be on the receiving end, being the business owner, looking for a bookkeeper, you know, seeing what it's, you know, seeing kind of the other perspective, it's mainly come back in and go, Oh wow, you really have to, you have to see things from the client's point of view and you have to, you know, take the time to understand them instead of expecting everyone to just do everything your way.

 

Samuel:

Yeah. Honestly, that's like Gospel. Like listen to what damage at the center. I'm the same as Xero, MYOB and Quickbooks. So we worked with all three and I have the same attitude with southwest. If you love one or the other. Yeah. That's up to you. I'll, I'll help you choose the right one for your business. I don't like pigeonholing people all, it's fine if you're going to say, look, we only work with one software, but don't push the client. They're like, that's not your job. That's not fair. And we all know what happens when accountants have done that to our book, giving clients and sending up the mess. So I think bookkeepers are just as responsible. Then we need to be ethical with our suggestions and make sure that the client's interests, they're not just

 

Amy: 

exactly, exactly. And so I think, um, yeah, obviously we've talked about your youtube channel and we've talked about your experience on air tasker and you know, how you're working in the cloud and all that kind of thing. Is there any other, I guess, does anything else come to your mind in terms of, you know, social technology or any, you know, anything else that you wanted to share, you know, with the bookkeepers today?

 

Samuel:

Another one just to shock

 

Amy: 

people is gun training. When I first started, oh, that was another one that was really prejudice against. And then I've heard good stories. So

 

Samuel:

yeah, and once again it's like filtering the crap, right? So honestly, be careful that one supposed to do on details on any of this, you will get spam.

 

Amy: 

Yes. [inaudible] email address alias

 

Samuel:

and download TrueCaller. So it tells you like you can filter any calls you don't want. Oh, awesome app and any spam calls, it's free. It's called Cherry Cola. Yeah, using app. I've used it since back in the Gumtree day is when you post anything people have experienced as you try and sell a like a fridge or something and you've got 80 calls and nights. And so yeah, it's really good to use something like TrueCaller, it back yourself up. But good story. I can give you, I have a massive client in the city. I ran a big chain of restaurants and started with a single two hour training session in Xero on, uh, at the office, which I thought was the only business. And then they invited me back for another business. So I realize they own 12 businesses and train them today. Thousands and thousands of dollars they've spent in training.

 

Samuel:

So never like be cautious. Don't assume that these things are gold mines, but also don't be naive and think that only bad can come from them. Yeah. I think you need to, especially when you're starting out, have an open mind to these things. Yes. Yup. Great. For training. I think I would, what I would do, and I learned this from my piano and seeing lesson day is that I would set up a single ad that would be like if vocal lessons, Melvin. And then I would set up a separate ad that would be piano lessons, Melvin and you putting all the keywords and the pricing and stuff and you'd get, I've got good leads from that and that's how I built up my music base back in the day. So I thought, why don't I try that with one Xero and one for QuickBooks, one for MYOB Yeah. Copy paste the same blurb, change a few things so it doesn't kick you off the site. Yeah. Um, yeah, I've got, I definitely got by itself that and that Xero one turned into a gold mine, so. Yup. Very good. If you're starting out and you'd like teaching, if you like training in accounting software, definitely separate that as another service that you can offer.

 

Amy: 

Yeah, it's fantastic. I can see why I actually, I have to double-check. But you won an award, right? Do you when a MYOB young accountant of the year award or something like that?

 

Samuel:

I have young bookkeeper. The A, yeah, in 2018 that was awesome.

 

Amy:

Yeah, I can, I can, I can see why. Like you've just got so many things that you've shared. You know, I guess I'm just thinking of, of our listeners and the people that will be tuning in with that. We are all different stages. Um, and you know, just to be able to see the journey that you've gone through. I think from two perspectives, I'm thinking of the startups or the pre startups who are listening in thinking, you know, at what you're sharing, you know, who will give them hope. And then for the bookkeepers that are more at the kind of more mature end of the scale, they're going to look and they're going to see you. It's easy to judge a bookkeeper, you know, this person is only just started out in the industry. They don't have many years of experience and things like that. Um, and to be able to see how quickly someone who's like determined and got a good vision and a great attitude towards what they do to be able to, you know, come in and you know, really make a difference to businesses, which is, you know, to me that's what it's all about.

 

Amy: 

It's about, you know, Australia and small businesses like that these businesses need to ask support. They don't need us, you know, kind of like, you know, being competitive towards each other because there's enough out there. But I mean the example that you've set, I feel that that's inspiring for, you know, all different levels of bookkeepers that might be listening. So thank you very much for joining me today. It's been a real pleasure to have you and no worries. And I will share Samuel's, you can check out Samuel's, your youtube channel. So I'm going to share that in the notes. And also I'll just pop in a reminder in there about the app called TrueCaller and I might even pop in a couple of links just to things like Airtasker and Gumtree and these different platforms. Just to remind you guys that these are out there. If you're looking for a way to get started, then that's the way to go. Thank you. Thank you all. I will see you next week. 

 

Samuel: Thanks Amy. Thanks everyone. 

 

Amy: Awesome. See Ya.