Episode #089 Traditional to Extraordinary: Bookkeeping YOUR Way with Sharon Crombie from MicroChilli

​On this week's episode of The Bookkeepers' Voice, Angie and Maia are joined by Sharon Crombie, a passionate entrepreneur and fellow bookkeeper; aka owner and CEO of MicroChilli.

After so many years in the industry and being disenchanted with starting her own business in the past, Sharon has now decided to embrace her passion and break free from what bookkeepers are “supposed” to be.

Sharon has worked hard over the last few months taking MicroChilli from concept to reality. Within her business she has ditched the 9-5 and focuses on working with micro clients to help them go “From Hot Mess to Flaming Success”.

Key Takeaway: “Once you give yourself permission to be you and only you, you'll transform your business and how much you love it.”

Podcast Info

Episode: #089

Series: General

Host: Angie Martin and Maia Coghlan

Guest speaker: Sharon Crombie

Topic: Bookkeeping YOUR Way

Read transcript

Keywords: Bookkeeping, business owner, entrepreneur, business strategy


How to build a bookkeeping business your way


Angie Martin  0:01 

Good morning, everyone thrilled to have you for another edition of the bookkeepers voice podcast. Today we're keeping with the trend and not having me be by myself. So we have the large portion of team savvy here with Angie and Maia, Maia, do you want to say hi?


Maia Coghlan  0:21 

Hey – I'm here again.


Angie Martin  0:26 

So today, you actually get to hear not just mine I rambling on about something we're passionate about, you also get to hear from one of our savvy clients. And we're super thrilled to have her with us. Her name is Sharon. And she's a passionate entrepreneur, and fellow bookkeeper, which is what I'm trying to really get a lot of you understand is that you're not just bookkeepers, you're business owners and entrepreneurs. And, you know, basically, she's the owner and CEO of Microchilli. Thank you so much for joining us, Sharon.


Sharon Crombie  1:03 

Oh, thank you super excited to be here. So are we. So


Angie Martin  1:09 

last episode, we kind of gave you a little bit of a tidbit that after each kind of training session, or more of an educational podcast series that we're going to do, we're going to really keep in concept with what the bookkeepers voice is all about, and that is having the bookkeepers voice. So we thought it would be great to share what some fellow bookkeepers are actually going through how they're joining journeys are going about and just helping, you know, you're not alone, I think is really great. And Sharon has a fantastic story that I think is really inspirational to just kind of understand that you can do things differently. And it's okay. Yeah, so I'm super excited. We've specifically asked Sharon to join us. So we've kind of, I'm slowly trying to pull her out of her comfort zone. Great job, aren't you


Sharon Crombie  2:12 

Not really doing it with a vengeance.


Angie Martin  2:16 

You're doing it so well. So what I wanted to go through today, is going through your actual bookkeeping journey. And then also discussing your vision on what we're helping you work through is creating a seven figure business.


Sharon Crombie  2:34 

I know how exciting.


Angie Martin  2:36 

Very exciting. And I think, you know, when people hear that seven figure, that's a big goal. But it's one of those things, you can break the goal down into mini milestones really make it achievable, which is very exciting. So I thought to start today, you could have a little chat just to introduce yourself and go through your journey of you know, where you originally came from how you got into the world of bookkeeping, and, you know, figuring out talking about how Microchilli came into existence.

How to become a bookkeeping business owner


Sharon Crombie  3:13 

Oh, for sure, definitely. Wow, it seems like a lifetime ago now that I first ventured into the world of finance. So I have been in this industry for over 25 years. Now, as much as I hate to admit that because it's reflective of my age. And I certainly didn't start I certainly didn't get into finance with the conventional traditional way, I didn't kind of come out of school deciding that I wanted to be a bookkeeper or an accountant and kind of I got into it first from the ground level. So I started off in accounts payable, working with my mom, ironically, recommend working with family so much, but it was a good starting home. And so yes, from there, I decided to go back to uni. So I must have been about 24 and decided to get my charter management accountant and qualification. And I've worked in finance ever since. So mostly in industry. However, I decided that so as you can tell, obviously, I'm not an original Aussie, and we came up with Australia, and almost eight years ago now. So we packed everything up in the UK, we came up with an 18 month old and I was six months pregnant. And so that was kind of my..


Angie Martin  4:29 

That's amazing because I think almost within months of each other. I came to from Canada to here and I was by myself and I can't imagine doing it.


Sharon Crombie  4:39 

Oh, it was Yeah. Especially the country that we'd never even been to, I guess. You know, we just decided that, you know, we've always had the philosophy that we would rather try and fail than never to try at all. So I would think was if we hated it, we could always come back.


Angie Martin  6:08 

My Zoom just crashed. No idea what happened. Gotta love glitches


Sharon Crombie  6:11 

Technology Exactly.


Maia Coghlan  6:12 

If was like, do I need to leave now I don't know where we're up to.


Angie Martin  6:17 

At first I thought you thought I thought you froze. And then I was like, Oh no, everyone's froze. It's me. And then it just shut down. Let's go through that. So what I want to do is kind of introduce you to our listeners and have you kind of give a bit more of a background about who you are how you became a bookkeeper and how you kind of began this journey that has ultimately ended up to be like red chilli.

From working in finance to becoming a bookkeeping business owner


Sharon Crombie  6:54 

Sure thing. Yeah, I would love to. So obviously I started my career in finance over 25 years ago. So don't like to bang on about how long it was just because obviously it is reflective of my age, but that is okay with the age becomes is a whole lot of wisdom. So embrace it, I say, yes. I didn't have I never had a burning desire to be an accountant or a bookkeeper, I kind of certainly didn't come out of school with, you know, the idea that I was going to set the world on fire with it. And I was going to have my own practice, etc. and However, my mom had an accounts payable job came up. And she asked if I wanted to take care. And it seemed like a great opportunity. I guess I wanted to get into a career that I could have flexibility around my children. I already had two young kids, they were like three and four at the time. And except what nobody told you when you go into industry and finances, that it's not flexible, and deadlines and everything else you need to hit. So it turns out I actually worked harder than ever. And I also then decided to get my Chartered Financial qualification. So between all of that, and I spent, like I said, 25 years in industry, and the Yes, so eight years ago, we decided I left I quit all of that. And just so that we could start a new life in Australia, and obviously don't recognise the accent I am from Wales, rigidly. And so while I'm passionate while she unfortunately Wales doesn't often lifestyle or sunshine that Australia does.


Angie Martin  8:40 

Definitely get that. We came over yet we yet because we've both been here a little over eight years. So we're like moved here within months of each other. It's so strange when I figured that out. When we were talking about it. I was like, Oh my gosh, How weird is that? Yeah. And you know, I was the same thing. I'm passionate about being Canadian. I love the fact I'm Canadian. I love Canada. Yep. Don't love how cold it is. I love how dreary it can be. Australia is much more my thing.


Sharon Crombie  9:14 

For sure. Exactly. Right. And I wanted, you know, my girls are actual girls. And so, you know, Australia just kind of gives you everything or the lifestyle it gives, you know, it was just everything that it could offer us. So as much as a lot of people told us we were mad and we've never ever been here we've never stepped foot in Australia. And we literally just sold everything up. And you know the big thing for us is that it's better to try and fail than never to try at all. So we decided that if we if we hated it, we would go back home it was really no big deal.


Angie Martin  9:48 

And you have memories of going back. Great for the kids.


Sharon Crombie  9:53 

Yeah, hundred percent hundred percent. So when so yeah, we literally did so the kids Freya was 18 months I was pregnant with Isla at the time. And we literally sold up and yeah, it was a long flight when you're pregnant as well.


Angie Martin  10:09 

I can't imagine doing it with kids and also being pregnant and..


Sharon Crombie  10:16 

Ohh it's the excitement. Angie, it's part of the fun.


Angie Martin  10:18 

Oh, yeah.


Maia Coghlan  10:20 

It's all in the adventure.


Sharon Crombie  10:22 

Right, exactly. Right. Exactly. Right. It's a great story to tell at the end of the day, so. And so yes. So we came up in the January, February, we literally signed up to build our own house. And that was going to be our forever home until seven years ago. Sorry, we decided we were coming to Melbourne. So as with everything in our life, our forever is very fluid.


Angie Martin  10:47 

Which you kind of have to have it fluid forever, like, the world changes so much. And you change so much. Yeah. Be able to be okay to alter your goals to make it Yeah, for where you are.


Maia Coghlan  11:02 

It's really important to plan but to also be okay with the plan not going through.


Sharon Crombie  11:09 

Yeah, hundred percent. Exactly. Right. Exactly. Right. So, so yeah, so that was that was kind of our starting Junior, I'm really sorry. I've got a husky background. And so so yeah, that was that was the beginning of the journey for Australia. And then I guess, so I went back to corporate when I came to Australia. And which was tricky, because getting into the Australian, when all your experiences from the UK was, was hard. But it also gave me once I got in to the to the market, it gave me a whole raft of experience. And once I got my past experience, I was like, dude, you know what, I kind of don't want to stay in industry anymore. I want to set up on my own. And how was it because I didn't want to work in corporate, I guess the big thing was, I didn't want to bring that corporate image with me when I set up. And I was very firm on the idea that if I was setting up a business that I wanted it to be fun, I wanted it to be fresh. I wanted it to be dynamic, and very much your personality, but sure, exactly. Exactly. Right. And you know, I didn't want I didn't you know, there's there's so many bookkeepers, and there's so many accountants, and I think unless you can stand out from the noise, and it's very hard to differentiate yourself. So, you know, to be fair, when people see my website, it is so different. And you know, credit to you guys. And I love it. I look at it every day, by the way, which is I don't care. It's just a different. It's brilliant. It's, you know, and I wanted that that is a reflective, you know, the first thing people say when they see it is obviously not with you. Yeah. Which, which is what we were trying to achieve when we kind of went, yeah, so it's done its job. Yes, definitely. And that was that was the beginning of Microchilli, I guess. So, you know, it started from an idea on a piece of paper. And it's, it's kind of come to fruition, and now we're, we're building that vision and building dreamstime


Angie Martin  13:23 

Yeah, I love it. And, you know, talking about how Microchilli is different is that the whole basis of creating this business for you was that you knew you had done bookkeeping in the past, you've had your own business, but you did what you thought you were supposed to do, for sure. Which, because you weren't able to express yourself. And because you were able to really be yourself. You weren't getting clients that you wanted to work with how it didn't work, because your passion wasn't there because it wasn't relevant for you.


Maia Coghlan  14:01 

It wasn't fulfilling, right? Yeah.


Angie Martin  14:05 

I think this is actually an underlying play. That is happening in the industry. Yeah. Got there is this kind of not stigma, but this kind of this is if you're a bookkeeper, this is what you're supposed to be. This is what you look like, this is what you're supposed to sound like. Yeah, like everything.


Maia Coghlan  14:27 

Yeah, this is what your website should look like. Yes,


Sharon Crombie  14:29 

exactly. But you've got to stick with stigma, but it is a stigma. it you know, it comes with this, this whole degree of personalism. And you've got to look and act a certain way. And if you don't look and act in that way, then you can't possibly be a painter, which is rubbish. It's total rubbish. And, you know, for the clients that I work with, they needed somebody on the same level as them and I think that's the difference. You know what I mean?


Angie Martin  14:56 

I think that's a big reason as well why so many people accountants and bookkeepers have clients that they hate. Yeah. Where? Yeah, that is where the client ideal client confusion is coming for industry because everyone's different. And there's enough bookkeepers and clients around for everyone to have the client, their ideal client. Yeah. If you let yourself understand who you are to have that representative in your business?


Sharon Crombie  15:27 

Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. So


Angie Martin  15:29 

it's it's one of those things that, you know, when we first started chat, it was that you didn't have clients that you particularly like doing, you weren't really invested. You didn't really want to do. Yeah, you knew you needed to do because you have a great business mindset. But you didn't. You weren't the heart wasn't into it, kind of thing. And but


Sharon Crombie  15:50 

the problem is, you end up working with people that you're trying to move away from from the corporate faces while you're not. I mean,


Angie Martin  15:56 

frankly, it's so hard. Yeah,


Sharon Crombie  15:59 

yeah, absolutely.


Angie Martin  16:00 

You know, it's one of those things that like I love Microchilli's phrase is from flaming hot man, no. So from hot mess, to flaming success, and how good and it's just one of those things, but I think it takes a lot of self resilience in acknowledgement, as a bookkeeper to be like, this is how I talk, this is who I am. And this is what I want to do for my clients. It's actually when you say it as well, like, it just comes out of your mouth, and it's you. And yet, it it doesn't happen often in this industry. That's and that's why Maya and I, when we were doing the website, doing your marketing message, we had so much fun because you have such a house, ality. And you actually let us take your personality, take your passion. So it's called micro Chile, because you like to work with small micro businesses, and you have a passion for it, you have a true passion, you love supporting those kinds of businesses, it's what you do best. And the more that you allow yourself as a bookkeeper to communicate that passion, the better the marketing message is, and then the more ideal clients that you have right away. And I think it takes a lot to be able to be comfortable to do that.


Working on your business strategy as a bookkeeping business owner


Sharon Crombie  17:40 

Hundred percent, but you know what, I mean, a big thing is because we start off with this idea, and then your question, you know, is this really gonna work, but then when you collaborate with, like, people, like you guys, you know, because when we started off, let's face it, really, it was an idea. It was one phone call, and and I was kind of like, you know, this, this is my idea. This is where I'm going. And you kind of fuel that passion, I guess, because you know what? I got it. Exactly. And then there's no, you know, there's the self doubt of, you know, is this gonna work? You know, at the end of the day, your business owners as well, you know, so you kind of, you know, got it from the other perspective as well.


Angie Martin  18:22 

And we also, you know, we're in we are We both Maia and I have our own, let's say side hustles yet, and we would be your ideal clients, our side hustles are exactly who you're marketing towards. So I'm certainly after I got off the first phone call with you. And he told me about this idea. I instantly was like, my needs to be directly involved. Because we are both exactly who you need to be talking to directly. And it's


Maia Coghlan  18:54 

such a great like, yes, our expertise, your expertise. And after


Angie Martin  19:01 

all, it was, it was really the thing that like you the one thing that you're really passionate about with creating micro chilies that you knew you didn't want to be corporate, you wanted it to represent you. But you also already knew how important your client service was, and how you understood their needs, right? So yeah, figuring out your services and actual problems and solutions that you were going to help solve. Yeah, you actually kind of already knew that because you knew this industry so well, that you were like, this is how I want to help them. How do I communicate that and build a business off of this? Yeah. You know, instead of being like, I want to be a bookkeeper. And then you kind of went from that you were more of like, Oh, I want to help these kind of clients. Do this. How do I make this into a bookkeeping business?


Sharon Crombie  20:04 

Absolutely, absolutely. And I think that changes. And, you know, because I've set up a couple of times now and every single time, like I've said to you, I've got stuck on the journey and probably got stuck in from the get go for you. From the gundo. I didn't think you were allowed to be you. Absolutely, absolutely. And I think that that is the difference is once you allow yourself to be you, once you allow yourself to know the clients that you are serving, and those clients come to you, because they're on the same page as you at the end, they get it, they get your message, they get it. Exactly. And that's, that's the thing that I love, and you really communicate it really well in your website, how you want to, like, empower them, yeah, achieve their goals, because that helps you achieve yours. And then everyone gets the lifestyle journey that they won't So sure, exactly, right. But you know what that's come from again, that wasn't an overnight thing. I didn't go into business and suddenly think, you know, of all the people I'm going to serve and kind of took it away from me, that was a massive amount of self development over the years.


Angie Martin  21:16 

And thats you. It's self development. You need to find you.


Sharon Crombie  21:20 

Yeah, absolutely. And I think that when you when you kind of step into your purpose and your passion, and that's when you realise it's no longer about you, it's kind of bigger than that. And it's, and the only way that I am going to succeed in this business is by taking, you know, my community of Chile's on the journey with me, you know what I mean?


Angie Martin  21:43 

I love it so much. So much. But yeah, I completely agree with you. And I think that's what's different. And that's what we wanted to share to the community. Yeah, that you know, like, micro chilli is the extreme like, yeah, you call your clients, your chilli community. Phillies and like, you know, we've done we've done it to the nth degree. Yeah. But it also shows like, even just a little bit, you can show your personality and yeah, instantly makes a difference like you started to you created your Was it your LinkedIn page? Yeah, before we finish the website, we had already created it with the logo in some of the, you know, mission statements in the About Us that had been done during the marketing strategies that we did. And you instantly started to get the positive feedback, because it was blowing people what away with how original and how fun and different it was. And you started to get that feedback, because it was so different, because you know, okay, so bookkeeping isn't the most exciting industry in the world. That doesn't mean that you as a bookkeeper to know what you made. Well, you know, not everyone loves numbers we do, boss. But that doesn't like the thing that kills me is bookkeepers think. Because they're in bookkeeping. People automatically think their beige.


Sharon Crombie  23:20 

Yeah, correct. It doesn't have to be that way.


Angie Martin  23:23 

That's the best way of saying it is.


Sharon Crombie  23:24 

Yeah, absolutely.


Angie Martin  23:26 

You know, and we haven't, you know, between all the sessions that Maya and I do, like, I don't think we have one base client at Savvy. Yes.


Maia Coghlan  23:35 

I think that they also probably feel like there's an expectation for them to be beige. Yes. So they don't let this personality come out yet, you know, with their clients and their website and their brand, any of that. A lot of them don't even really have branding.


Sharon Crombie  23:53 

exactly right. But I think it's a new concept, this whole branding thing as well, particularly for in the bookkeeping space. I think branding has always been associated with, you know, if you're in marketing, or if you're in kind of that industry, then branding is super important. But as a bookkeeper or an accountant, is branding, really that important? But I have learned that?


Angie Martin  24:14 

Yes, it is. Yes, it is. And it's, it's one of those things like we I quite often have coloured hair. I've got a little bit. You know, you can only see a little bit once in a while now these days. Yeah, we have some clients that do the most fun hairstyles. Yeah. And there's even one specifically and I know my will know who I'm talking about. There is a headshot of one of our clients who has one of the most fun personalities. I know who you're talking about. Yeah. But the professional photo doesn't even like her. Yeah. So it's one of those things that like show that.


Sharon Crombie  24:51 

Yeah, definitely


Angie Martin  24:52 

anything less of you show your personality, because typically it makes them connect with you more


Sharon Crombie  25:00 

Hundred percent. And that's one of my big things. And that's why I, I kind of work with the clients that I do because I think that connection, you connect on a much deeper level it's it's you're not collecting on connecting on a surface level, you know what I mean? It's much deeper than that. And then


Angie Martin  25:14 

you say that so you even say on your website that you are there cheerleader, you are their personal contributor, you are there to help support them get to their goals in as a bookkeeper. That is what you're there to do.


Sharon Crombie  25:29 



Angie Martin  25:30 

it's great. And that's also your personality, like, you are an uppity person like you. You're when people talk to you, you get really inspired automatically, because you are like, a just a cheerleader, like, in the most positive sense, like, you know, dancing without the dancing, and you know, like the bond bonds or whatever they're called, but like, you are like, you're inspiring, and you do that really naturally. And so nice part of your surface, though, like, yes, it is what sets you apart, and you're not afraid to hide, like, you know, you don't hide it. And yet, that's the difference is that micro chilli you're not hiding? Yeah, it's great. So what I kind of wanted, we kind of went through, like why you decided to go away from the traditional. anyone listening to this, I would highly suggest for you to go to the micro chilli website, it's just micro chilli.com.au. Because I want to talk about another way you went against the grain. And why you decided to go against industry beliefs and put your prices on your website? Oh, yes, this is a big one. This is this whole topic of debate on its own. I know. And it's something that the three of us really did discuss. And the way that it was done is just so much fun. It is so innovative. And it really communicates. Again, micro Chile to the core


Maia Coghlan  27:11 

Also shows how much thought you put into it. Yes, yeah,


Angie Martin  27:14 

Yes. But what I kind of thought is that you could do your breakdown as to why you decided to do it. And then Maya can kind of describe for everyone. What you actually did on the website to make that vision that Sharon had into her reality, because I think this is one of the most successful ways of communicating prices on Yeah, I'm not even talking about bookkeeping. I'm talking just communicating your prices in


Sharon Crombie  27:45 



Angie Martin  27:46 

Yeah. General. Yeah. Because it's smart. It's remember, like, it's perfect for knowing what you actually fall into as a business owner. And you remember it, and it makes it sticks in your head?


Sharon Crombie  27:57 

Yeah, absolutely.


Angie Martin  27:59 

Let's first have that chat about, you know, yes. So, what was the deciding factor for you.


Sharon Crombie  28:05 

So the deciding factor was how I operate. And predominantly, if I go to a website, and I want a product or service, and there is no price on there, I come straight out of it, I cannot be bothered to have to ring people, because and I get I get the concept behind it, you know, because I'm told don't put your prices on there. Because then people have to contact you and, and kind of then you go through this whole conversation. And it's the whole psychology, I guess, of how people operate. Well, I don't operate like that. So while other people may operate like it, ultimately, I want to know what the price is. And then I can make a decision instantly. It's either way to my price range, or it isn't. And if it isn't, then I'll have a conversation. And you know that the other reason is that I find that for me, if I'm bringing somebody I'm already thinking that they're trying to sell me something which is outside of my price range. And then there's this whole uncomfortable conversation that you need to go through. And then you get to the end of the quote, and they don't give you a price because they want to go through and they talk it all up. It took it all up how amazing it is. Then you get to the end and all you want is the price you don't care about that stuff. They get to the price in your life. A little bit expensive for what I want right now and and then you kind of go through this whole negotiation. Oh my god, who's even got time for that right now. So my whole thing was put it on the website. Somebody says to me, can you give me a price? I've got 15 price structures on my website.


Angie Martin  29:39 

Let's just clarify as well for everyone. It's package pricing everyone high, right? Yes, it's in you decided to do package pricing because of your clients. Exactly. Because you have a very clear concept of who your clients are and what their needs are. This is the best thing That you can support your clients by being not price competitive, but realistic in in reach for them.


Sharon Crombie  30:09 

Yeah, hundred percent 100%. And, and you know, that's a big thing, especially for those that are just starting out. And, you know, I've kind of gone as low as I can go for those that need support and hand holding and, and kind of, because let's face it, the majority of people that go into business, they don't understand what a p&l and a balance sheet is.


Angie Martin  30:30 

They have gotten to know why a lot of small businesses in Australia fail.


Sharon Crombie  30:34 

Correct. Correct. I mean, you're talking 60% of those small businesses, and no small businesses actually make up 85% of the Australian business sector. And often 60% within three years fail, because they don't have access to this information, they don't have access to the same financial reporting that the big businesses have got an in house finance function that you know, analyse data on a daily basis, weekly basis, whatever it is. So, you know, it's, um, you know, and that's my big thing. It's just really sad that these businesses fail on the basis of not that they're not profitable, but they just don't know how to read the SAT finances, better financial papers, or they can.


Angie Martin  31:17 

Yeah, big ticket people.


Sharon Crombie  31:22 

Correct. And you know, what, this is the other thing, so a lot of those accountants and bookkeepers that, you know, these small business owners go to, they actually don't want these jobs. And so they price because they don't care whether they get them as a client.


Angie Martin  31:36 

And there's nothing wrong with that, but just means that they're those clients are not our ideal.


Sharon Crombie  31:41 

Absolutely. So yeah, absolutely. And, and that's, that's, yeah. So I kind of wanted to put that, you know, they are my ideal clients. So, you know, I certainly don't want them to be pressured into having to spend money to to do the keeping at the end of the day. So, yeah, um, yeah,


Angie Martin  32:01 

it's, it's such a great way. And you know, it's one of those things, we have clients that want 10 clients, Max, yes. And then we have clients that are like, on one 1000, because I want the small ones that


Sharon Crombie  32:17 

correct. That helped me out.


Angie Martin  32:19 

Yes, you know, and there's nothing no one is right. Absolutely. No, there's enough clients for everybody. Exactly. And that's why for, you know, businesses such as yourself, the fact that you put the prices on there, not only do they get the breakdown of what the price is they get the breakdown of what's included, and it makes them understand a bit more about what bookkeeping is, yeah, start educating your clients as soon as they go to your pricing.


Sharon Crombie  32:50 

Yeah, absolutely. Which is


Angie Martin  32:53 

awesome. Because again, you get so many clients who just don't understand what you're doing. So that's why they can't put value to the price.


Sharon Crombie  33:01 

Exactly. Right. Exactly. Right.


Angie Martin  33:04 

Yeah. So Maia, if you went through in a marketing session, a mentoring session that we did the three of us and we kind of went through you know, as homework Sharon had to go through and kind of break down her packages. And then we're like, awesome. So we have these things. We have their awesome names, which it's just put names on.


Maia Coghlan  33:23 

Yeah, but honestly, Sharon can take most of the credit, I put it into a way that looks pretty but it's she put the thought into what was


Angie Martin  33:34 

just for everyone to know Sharon has different marketing packages, and they're all different names of chilli leaf in degree heat.


Maia Coghlan  33:46 

Yeah, so there's five chilies, five different levels. And within each chilli, you can have mild spice, medium spice or hot spots. Yes. So that makes a big difference packages.


Angie Martin  33:58 

Yes. So within it, it works out to you know, I'm starting out. I only need this. I'm starting out. But I'm actually at the point where Yeah, I need a lot more help. But I'm still at the startup stage. So she's broken it down into those five packages. And then each time Yeah, there's the breakdown of the three just in case you're not at that higher price range, which is again great for micro businesses. I can't remember who it was Sharon. It was your idea with the Hito metre right


Sharon Crombie  34:30 

yeah, yeah.


Maia Coghlan  34:32 

Oh no, I think it might be yours was it you sent it to us I used a different Oh,


Angie Martin  34:37 

so for Mai to communicate exactly what the heck we were trying to communicate for your clients.


Maia Coghlan  34:46 

a little before you say this. Yes, this website has Chili's every Sharon said put chilies on it. So I did.


Angie Martin  34:57 

Yes. So the name is micro chilli and like that We took it because you know, your tagline is from hot mess to flaming success.


Maia Coghlan  35:07 

You also said you wanted to work with people who was starting to feel a bit hot under the collar doing right?


Angie Martin  35:12 

Yes. And so we really took that in Maia ran with it introduced yet


Maia Coghlan  35:17 

i ran real far.


Angie Martin  35:20 

Yeah, so little Why don't you to kind of just explain what the heat Oh metre is. Okay.


Maia Coghlan  35:28 

So I guess it's like a, it's kind of like a spin on mana. Yeah, but that is, um, instead of numbers, it's got little chilies, and they range from light green to dark green. And then there's orange. And then there's like red with a little flame. And then there's really, really dark red with big flame. And for each of the different chilli packages, the little ticker goes up shows you exactly where you're at. Which so not only do we have the creative names of each of the different kinds of chilies, there's also the visual representative representation of exactly what you're looking at. And it's, it makes it more fun. It makes the one of the prices this is boring, like Okay, oh, no, it's expensive, but it's cool. Yes, it makes it so much more fun. And the descriptions as well that I was sharing, right? I write the descriptions. For example, the lowest one is the Hello painter package. And it says so cute. Suitable for those that are just starting out but feeling their books lacks some flavour. Your taste buds are not ready for the full micro chilli heat, but you definitely want to spice it up a bit.


Angie Martin  36:46 

Again, it has all the bookkeeping information, then yeah, no, but it's making it fun to attract the clients that she wants


Maia Coghlan  36:53 

the chilli linger.


Angie Martin  36:55 

Yes. And again, that's all branding. Mm hmm. That is it. That is branding. 101 folk.


Maia Coghlan  37:03 

Yeah. The best example of putting your branding into your voice.


Angie Martin  37:10 

Yes. Yes. Your your marketing message. And now she has that actual voice. It's perfect. Yeah. And what I love so once it goes in there, she actually has a write up of for what this package is suitable for. Men, it takes it to a whole other section where it has an actual chart with the mild spice, medium spice and hot spice with all the different services that is in this and which ones get what.


Maia Coghlan  37:43 

So under funding each. This is the five Chile's Yes, each one, this mild spice, medium spice hot spice at the same. It's just different. That table doesn't change. It's just yeah, price changes yet, depending on how big the business is run. Yeah,


Angie Martin  38:05 

what the business's needs are.


Sharon Crombie  38:06 

Yeah, exactly, exactly.


Angie Martin  38:08 

It really communicate. So again, thinking about what her clients need. She you instantly as a small business can go on here and say, I need this. Or Well, this one is a bit extra price. Why is this one more money? This is the one you actually can answer their questions by explaining what the extra cost is.


Sharon Crombie  38:33 

Yeah. Absolutely.


Angie Martin  38:36 

And it just makes the to and fro so much easier. So they call it a yes, this is fine. today.


Maia Coghlan  38:44 

Much of your wasted time with people asking you for quotes. Yeah, not interested in really spending any money?


Sharon Crombie  38:51 

Yeah, absolutely. And you know it, it's not just me, because, you know, obviously, every single business owner is super, super busy. And, you know, ultimately, this is all about eliminating wasted time for them. And for me, it just takes that whole pain away at the end of the day. It's so you know, they can make decisions in their own time without me pressuring them, or them feeling that they've got to say yes, just because they're on the phone to me. And then you wait two days for them to come back to you. And they go to


Angie Martin  39:23 

and fro like this. Yes. Saves everyone time. Yeah. And again, it's just the fact that you understand your clients pain points. Yeah, because they're also European points.


Sharon Crombie  39:33 

Yeah. Correct.

You’re more than a bookkeeper, you’re an entrepreneur


Angie Martin  39:34 

understand that you're the same piece that you aren't just a bookkeeper, you're an entrepreneur? Yeah. Like them? Yeah. And it really just helps the process in I just I think it's really fantastic. And something that I would love the bookkeeping community to do more of his number one, understand that you're an entrepreneur, your small businesses, yeah. And that you need to allow to show and community Get your passion. Yeah no matter how much like it's and it's just by doing it, it's one of those things that I know you and I've had chats about quite a bit is that you're actually feeling so different this time around because you're still excited about it, you're still you're being accountable to yourself as well. Micro chilli as well, knowing that just because you're your own boss does not mean that you don't get stuff done folks like absolutely you more countable than ever.


Sharon Crombie  40:33 

Yeah, absolutely. I read a thing once about, you know bookkeepers and accountants and they give up work and they actually start working for themselves. And, and, you know, really, they're just technicians that no work. You thought you worked for a bad boss before. But now you actually work for a maniac.


Angie Martin  40:50 

It's so true. I hate to break it to everyone. But that is true. It lets you understand that like, this is the thing that we do with our savvy clients all the time. We give them homework, and then it's like, have you done it? Because I don't want to talk to you until you've done your homework.


Sharon Crombie  41:10 

You actually said that to me one. Oh, my God. Yes.


Angie Martin  41:17 

Yes, you see, mark in you're really good at doing your homework.


Maia Coghlan  41:21 

And we actually, we gave you extra homework.


Angie Martin  41:27 

She was quite Oh, love it. She complained. But she did it. Just like doing this podcast. I can do it. I know makes me bit nervous. And it's exactly. But you know, once you pull the band aid? That's exactly, yeah. It's one of those things that this time around, you know, your goals, you have a very clear picture of what you want micro Chile to be. Yeah. And you're being accountable to achieving the goals. Because bottom line is bookkeepers are in my mind. You guys are like the missing link to having small businesses over in Australia.


Sharon Crombie  42:12 

Yeah, I agree. Hundred percent.


Angie Martin  42:15 

You know. And so once you understand how important your support is for small businesses and get your goals, you need to be accountable, not just to your clients, but to yourself to achieve your goals, because no one else can do it. But you Yeah, kind of thing. And, you know, I think micro Chile is just one of those businesses that it really shows that if you do it this, I think this is one of the best branding exercises to show who you are, what kind of clients because let's face it, you're going to get people going to your website, and they're like, I do not want this book.


Maia Coghlan  42:59 

What is all this weirdness?


Angie Martin  43:03 

Oh, much heartache. Right. And tribulation. Yeah, they're not the people you want to work with?


Sharon Crombie  43:09 

No, if they don't embrace my weirdness, I don't want to work with them.


Maia Coghlan  43:13 

Exactly. I think that's something that a lot of bookkeepers, and it's just bookkeepers, but business in general.


Angie Martin  43:22 

Just making friends. It's the I don't want to show how weird I am with this thing. It's like what do people


Maia Coghlan  43:27 

they don't want to put anybody off? Yes. Theres such an emphasis on getting clients. They don't, you know, they, they? They don't want to…


Sharon Crombie  43:41 

…rock the boat.


Maia Coghlan  43:43 

Yeah, exactly. And they don't want to put anyone off. So like they want to come to me Come to me. Yeah. Yes. It has to be boundaries.


Angie Martin  43:52 

Yes, yes. And it's just, you know, you're doing a great job at really communicating that you found where your audiences? Yeah. And you're communicating through that. And I think it's just, you know, I would highly suggest for bookkeepers to follow you not to copy you, but just to to experience freedom that you have found in your business. Yeah.


Sharon Crombie  44:16 

Oh, I couldn't have put that better myself. It's the freedom assembly with being you.


Angie Martin  44:23 

Yes. And that's what you like to also inspire and empower your clients to do as well. So if it goes full circle circle, you've realised that how great it feels to do it. Now you want to share it with your clients?


Sharon Crombie  44:39 



Angie Martin  44:39 

And it's just really refreshing to be honest. Like, I like looking at your Instagram posts simply because I can actually hear you saying your post.


Sharon Crombie  44:50 

No, I'm not sure that's a good thing.


Angie Martin  44:52 

not great. It's great. I love your voice. I love how excited you get in your inflection. It's awesome. But it's also just very real. Yeah, and it's inspiring. It inspires me things for my own business. Oh, that's so good, you know, and that's ultimately, as bookkeepers, you know, you're their client like they're your clients or not. Yeah. If more bookkeepers can support and inspire other small businesses, just imagine what small business owners can accomplish. Exactly. Exactly. And it's so exciting. And I really hope people you know, take the time go through, see what you're doing? Yes, actually done. Something that I think is really wonderful as well, is that you've actually given an offer for the listeners, which I think is a little bit funny at the same time, because it's something as a bookkeeper you're giving to bookkeepers. But I think it's awesome. Awesome. Awesome. So what Sharon has offered basically for all of our listeners today, and you can access it by going to the savvy, savvy, dot, the savvy bookkeeper.com de au, what's her own website, here? My mg is you can go through go into a podcast into the notes, and she's actually offered to have all of you get a free. Now I actually liked your wording. So I'm actually going to read exactly what you said. So


Sharon Crombie  46:17 

Oh, I'm not sure that's why I can actually remember what I say I liked


Angie Martin  46:20 

it, don't worry, don't worry. So it's your offering our listeners to take their cash situation from hot mess to flaming success, with the help of your free smokin hot cash flow planner. Again, folks lesson 101, branding and marketing messages. So again, all of that has the wording that you need for bookkeeping, but it still is micro Chile,


Maia Coghlan  46:48 

which is amazing.


Angie Martin  46:48 

So basically, what she's offering is her own version of her cash flow planner, which I even do. So I'm a marketer, I'm a business development manager. I'm by no means I'm saying my own business is in the right place for marketing or business development. Okay. Typically, when you do something as a service, right? You do it great for everyone else. absolutely exhausted to do it for yourself. Yeah. So always, I would highly suggest you guys to look at her cash flow planner, because just because you do it for everyone else doesn't mean it's great for you. So I think it's a good thing. So thank you for offering that.


Sharon Crombie  47:31 

It's okay,


Angie Martin  47:32 

just by going through to our podcast notes. But I hope just basically what I wanted to be the main takeaway from chatting with you today is letting people understand that they can combine their career and personal passion into their business. Yeah. And I think just your story is really inspiring to show that you can be traditional and bookkeeping, or you can be exceptional. Yeah. And the difference is you.


Sharon Crombie  48:09 

Yeah, hundred percent.


Angie Martin  48:10 

Yeah. And I think it's just amazing. And I just am really appreciative that you were willing to share your story.


Sharon Crombie  48:19 

It was good fun to do. Yeah, no, I enjoyed it.


Angie Martin  48:23 

Yeah, it's Yeah, it's podcasts aren't as scary when you so we do live our podcasts with actually seeing each other folks, cuz it's makes it much nicer. So we can actually see each other talk. And so it's not so scary. It's more like we're having it. Yes. But some chat. Yes. But I think I think what you're doing with Microchilli is really inspiring. And I think it will ultimately change. Change the industry


Sharon Crombie  48:51 

The direction Yep. which is fabulous.


Angie Martin  48:54 

Yes. The more people who can do this for their own business. Yes. It also keeps bookkeeping relevant. Yeah, I think there's a lot of worry right now that bookkeeping is going to become irrelevant in short in everything. And, you know, the more people who do this, the more relevant it will stay within our industry.


Sharon Crombie  49:18 

Yeah, absolutely.


Angie Martin  49:20 

Yeah. Do you want to say anything more about that? Because he you look at it from a different way. You got to build this website and i


Maia Coghlan  49:31 

i love that you came and wanted us to do this because I don't know I'm actually allowed to say this, but I feel it's probably it's probably similar to like someone. I don't have children, but I assume it's similar to someone having a favourite child, but I'm allowed to say, child is your favourite. I've made a lot of websites for bookkeepers, three savvy and My favourite.


Sharon's fun. So just so fun. I just put Chili's everywhere and everybody loved it.


Angie Martin  50:14 

It was just the thing that cuz this is the way that the industry is going and you let creative people be creative.


Sharon Crombie  50:23 

Yeah yeah hundred percent


Angie Martin  50:26 

which is the same you know you let and you also let your own your mind because business


Sharon Crombie  50:32 

bookkeepers always go to me I'm not creative I can't do that that's me I'm you know what that I think that's been the big eye opener since kind of working with you guys and doing my whole business plan. Before we even started the website, which really was the fundamental key to you guys being able to it was I made all the difference hundred percent indeed. And I think that I am so uncomfortable doing that stuff that normally that you know, when you go to your clients, I mean, I go to my clients and the stuff that ends up in the too hard. just deal with it. But the business plan, I'm like to have to delve into, you know, writing down all of that stuff that your vision, your goals, who you want to work with your values, your mission statement is way too hard, until you start working with people that inspire you. And kindness. Fine. Bring that stuff. It was so much fun. Honestly, we had so much fun with it when


Angie Martin  51:26 

it created this baby die is just so unique. Yeah. And it's one of those things that you know, people always kind of roll their eyes when we talk. Yeah. Have you done your business plan?


Sharon Crombie  51:43 

Exactly, folks,


Angie Martin  51:44 

this is what happens. We need Yes, planned properly,


Sharon Crombie  51:47 

yet. Hundred percent. And that's been a learning curve for me. You know what I mean? That's been a huge, huge thing. But, you know, ultimately taking this business forward. I couldn't have done it without you guys. Realistically, you know, in all seriousness, you've just been a joy to work with to do this as well, you, you know, you say I've inspired you, but you want 100% in five years? Well, so, you know, it's a good team. I think the team effort.


Angie Martin  52:12 

Yeah. And it's that's, that's we love doing it. Like that's the thing as well is that we just like you sat down not even working like, Okay, well, I don't know if my I did. But before I even worked. Like, I'm not going to say that you've done this because I don't. But I worked. I sat down and before working at sabie I was like, What? What is my ideal plant? Yeah, what is what is my purpose? What do I do? And, you know, that is what we get out of savvies that we know our deal clients, we know who we want to work with. So we just are passionate about it. kind of thing. It shows. Yeah. And that's that's why we all had so much fun because everyone was passionate about the same thing. And you know, you always say that, you know, you wouldn't have gotten it. I think you even put it in our brief today about how you wouldn't have been able to do all this without your support system. Yeah. You are also your own support system. Yeah. Dancing job.


Sharon Crombie  53:15 

Artists, like, accountability for you though.


Angie Martin  53:18 

Yeah. Well, you know, you can lead I think Maia, you said at one day is that you can lead a horse to water but yeah, make it drink.


Sharon Crombie  53:25 



Maia Coghlan  53:26 

Yeah. You know, like we we give the same homework to everyone. Who does the planning session? Yeah. But they don't always put in the same amount of effort.


Sharon Crombie  53:40 

Yeah, but again, it's different places. I mean, I guess you wouldn't have got this from me either. I To be honest, when I


Angie Martin  53:47 

get called you last October,


Sharon Crombie  53:48 

correct. wouldn't have got it from me. No, because I wasn't ready. I wasn't in the right headspace. Where was this time? I was very clear on my vision. So it's very different once you get into that headspace and it's it's really about knowing you.


Angie Martin  54:03 

Yes. Well, so it's one of those things like, that's what's great about savvy is that, you know, you can be calm if you're not the person that we get the most out of basically the best results. You can become that person because you're right. In October.


Sharon Crombie  54:20 

Yes. Never happened when I first spoke. No, correct.


Angie Martin  54:24 

never would have happened. But yeah, you went through the journey you needed to go through. Yeah. And you came out and now you're just trailblazing? Yeah. It's great. So I hope everyone listening today has really learned and was able to take away even just, you know a couple things about just accepting who they are even yet and just bringing that into their company. It's amazing. So we will, what we'll do in all of our links will have all of micro Chili's links for Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook will have The link for the amazing, free smokin hot cash flow planner for you guys to look at as well. And I would highly suggest to check out the website. And yeah, thank you for being just an amazing client to work with.


Sharon Crombie  55:16 

And oh, wow, thank you to you guys as well. And thanks for having me on. It's super exciting.


Angie Martin  55:21 

I love it. I love it. Yes, thank you for being the first of this journey that we're going to be doing. Sharing bookkeepers experiences. I think it's


Sharon Crombie  55:32 

Oh, that's that's even more exciting. One.


Angie Martin  55:35 

Yes. You're the first one amazings it's going to be really exciting to be able to share. Yeah, the future of bookkeeping, because you know, these changes are going to be ultimately affecting the industry. And I think it's really exciting. Yeah, Yeah, me too. Beautiful. Well, Maya, do you want to do the usual


Sharon Crombie  55:57 

Thank you somuch.


Maia Coghlan  56:04 

 Now we've come to the end. So I hope you'll stay safe, stay sane and stay savvy.


Angie Martin  56:10 

Bye, guys. Thank you so much, Sharon.


Sharon Crombie  56:13 

Thank you. See ya.