Episode 064: The Art of Numbers: Making Business Decisions Based on Your Financials with Danielle Hayden
As a business owner, do you understand your numbers? Do you even know what that means? You can’t grow and scale your business unless you have a financial framework in place. My next guest is Danielle Hayden, host of the Entrepreneur Money Stories podcast and CEO of Kickstart Accounting. She helps female entrepreneurs understand their numbers so they can gain the confidence needed to create sustainable profits.
In this episode, Danielle shares her tips on how to evaluate business decisions, what numbers to look at to make those decisions, and what designers need to focus on financially as we surpass key revenue milestones in our business.
To learn more about Danielle and her team, visit kickstartaccountinginc.com or click the links below. And don’t forget to follow Danielle on Instagram and Kickstart Accounting Inc. on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
- Check out Danielle's new podcast "Entrepreneur Money Stories" at https://kickstartaccountinginc.com/entrepreneur-money-stories-podcast/
- Schedule a discovery call with Danielle to see if Kickstart Accounting can help you with your business’s finances. https://kickstartaccountinginc.com/get-started/
- 5 Day Video Bootcamp: 5-days to transform your financial fear to financial clarity https://kickstartaccountinginc.com/Bootcamp
Daily Dashboard Worksheet and Videos: Learn how to transform your financial fear to financial clarity through creating and using a financial dashboard https://kickstartaccountinginc.com/Dashboards
Michelle Lynne began her interior design career after spending more than two decades working in Corporate America. She began in the home staging arena and has since built a successful, award-winning, full-service interior design firm, employing talented designers and serving clients across the country.
In the summer of 2018, Michelle began focusing on a big gap she saw missing in the interior design industry: teaching interior designers how to run the business of an interior design business. She now engages in private coaching and leads an in-depth, 12-month group coaching program, both options focus on teaching designers profitable processes, systems, strategies and mindset needed to run a streamlined, profitable interior design firm.
Her motto is simple: we rise by lifting others.
Connect with Michelle
You can follow Michelle on Instagram or join her Free Facebook Community! You can learn more about Michelle's program, Designed for the Creative Mind right here. You can also learn more about Michelle's Interior Design Firm here.
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Michelle Lynne: Hello, hello, hello, everybody. Welcome back to the Designed for the Creative Mind podcast. As usual, I'm really excited to introduce my guest. Today I have Danielle Hayden. She is a reformed corporate, a reformed CFO, which is Chief Financial Officer, she's on a mission to help rule-breaking female entrepreneurs understand their numbers so they can gain the confidence needed to create sustainable profits. We all love the way that sounds. After spending 10 plus years in the boardroom as a corporate financial officer, Danielle is now in her sweet spot as the CEO of Kickstart Accounting. This is where she helps business owners with bookkeeping, financial analysis, education. She's also the author of the Profit Planner book series. So when Danielle isn't crunching numbers on her clients' behalf or crafting the next iteration of the Profit Planner, you can find her hanging out with her two kids as she inspires them to lead their fullest lives or doing any and almost every fitness-related activity from Spartan Races to Pilates. Welcome, Danielle. That's a hell of an introduction.
Danielle Hayden: Thank you. Thank you. I'm so excited to be here.
Michelle Lynne: Oh my gosh. And I'm exhausted just thinking about all the numbers crunching, running the kids around, and then the Spartan Race, Pilates, all the things.
Danielle Hayden: It's all the things. But you know what? Doing that allows me to do what I'm doing. I can't do one without the other.
Michelle Lynne: I totally understand. And it's so, I think we did a podcast, oh, it's been maybe a month or so. Just about how exercise actually gives you energy.
Danielle Hayden: Yeah, it does. I need it. I have to.
Michelle Lynne: Yeah, and it's sanity so that you don't end up screaming at the kids too much. How old are they?
Danielle Hayden: My daughter 16 and my son is 13. So all the feels, all the fields, this is probably been my most challenging age as they start to have a little bit of their own lives and own personalities and opinions, lots of opinions. So it's very different, a very different chapter for us.
Michelle Lynne: I can only imagine. I have an almost-four-year-old and she's got enough opinions, but doesn't voice them the same way a 16-year-old would.
Danielle Hayden: Yeah, well, it's funny, because I've been saying that she was you know, three going on 21, four going on 21, like I've been saying this her whole life. But she turned 16 and man, does she have an opinion about everything. So I told her she's gonna make a really amazing leader one day and I can't wait to see it.
Michelle Lynne: Exactly. Try not to squash them.
Danielle Hayden: Yep.
Michelle Lynne: Squash their spirit. Okay, so Danielle, you have all the things in relation to financials for entrepreneurs. How did you get started in, okay, so obviously, you were CFO, and then branched out. How did you get started in, or what led you towards finance? And then how did you branch off into your own business after being in corporate for a while?
Danielle Hayden: Yeah. So it actually started before my corporate days. I actually used to be a hairdresser. So I was, yeah, it's crazy. Left brain/right brain, yeah. So I loved being a hairdresser. And it was an absolute blast. And I really loved the numbers side of that, that game, right? We had a whole game in the salon about, you know, how many haircuts you needed to do to hit this commission and how many colors, and I was not good at sales, right? I was really good at understanding the numbers and how we can hit our goals and how to get there. So then I started helping the other girls in the salon understand their numbers and how to hit their goals. And I didn't even put two and two together yet. I went back to school because I wanted to open up my own hair salon. So I said I need to have a business background. So I went to school for business and fell into accounting. I fell in love with this art of numbers. I thought it was this really beautiful, like orchestra of how we do business. And it led me into corporate, but I never forgot the fact that really what I went into business for was to be an entrepreneur and I really tapped into that love of educating other people on their numbers, how to hit the goals, how to use the numbers to succeed. And so I was doing some local volunteer work at an entrepreneurship hub here in Cleveland and I kept on hearing the same thing over and over again. I was trying to help people understand their numbers, but they would say to me, Danielle, what numbers? Like, I don't have bookkeeping, I don't have QuickBooks. I'm like, well, I can't help you write a business plan, you can't go get a loan, you can't hire anybody, you can't go on payroll, you can't grow, you can't have this next stage of your business until you organize this first stage. And so it led us to really helping entrepreneurs with their bookkeeping. So getting them organized, setting the foundation, so we have our strategic framework of how we do that and then helping them understand their numbers. But it was really out of a love for helping people understand their numbers so that they can hit their goals. And I just came full circle.
Michelle Lynne: I love that. If it makes sense in your head, and for most, well, my audience, the creatives, numbers are not a comfortable conversation.
Danielle Hayden: No.
Michelle Lynne: Or a familiar topic. So I think it's gonna be very interesting as our conversation unfolds. So as you are working with your clients or as you were evolving into this entrepreneurial leadership role for numbers. What, like, how do you come up with your financial goals for your clients? Like, do you go, do work, begin with the end in mind and go backwards? I'm listening to you talk about how many cuts you have to do, how many colors you have to do and so forth. How do you relate that to other businesses?
Danielle Hayden: So it's interesting, it depends on the business and what all they need at this time. So when we first start working with a client, our first job, our first opportunity, our first goal is to create the foundation. So that means, what is your chart of accounts look like? Right? What is your income statement look like in your accounting software? And most people don't put a lot of thought, time, and effort into setting that up. And so usually what QuickBooks spits out, is I call it the laundry list, but it's just this alphabetical list of BS because it means nothing. And so our first object, our first goal, first opportunity is to restructure that, so that it allows you as the business owner to even comprehend the information. Because how often, you know, I might say to you, hey, Michelle, how much are you spending, what percentage of your revenue are you spending on advertising and marketing? And if you're just using this alphabetical list, you'd have to say, oh, geez Danielle, I don't know. Let me go add up all these random accounts.
Michelle Lynne: Right, right.
Danielle Hayden: It might be my podcast editor, it might be my paid advertising, it might be my marketing consultants. But they're all in different places. So I have to add them all up. Right? So the first order of business is to get this structured in a way where we can have a conversation and we can say, hey, how much are we spending on advertising? Does that align with our goals? Or how much are we spending in payroll? How much are we putting towards our contractor? So that's first, so it's not always starting with the end. Like we're starting with the end in mind, but not, hey, how many services do I have to complete next month.
Michelle Lynne: Right. And that makes sense, because you have to have a foundation on which to build your goals and understand it. Because like you said, if you have like 99 accounts and 14 of them are for advertising, why not just consolidate them?
Danielle Hayden: Or group them together. So they don't need to be consolidated, they just need to be grouped together so that I can say, I still want you to be able to see how much you spent on marketing consultants last year. But I want them all, the advertising and marketing, classifications, categories grouped together so you can see in its entirety, how much you spent in advertising. So it's just, I'm using advertising as just like, my bad seed child, but to think of it that way, so we're thinking about the end in mind but the end is just understanding the numbers right now. And then backtracking into that. Then when we set a budget with our clients, that's when we can go one step further and say, okay, how much profit do we want, right? Like, how much do you want to take home in owner's draw this year? How much do you want to make in salary? Alright now, much does it cost us to operate this business? Now that we have our goals, how much do we want to make? What are the expenses to run this business? Now we can determine how many products or services we need to sell. And so we can back into our goals that way as well.
Michelle Lynne: I love that and also just talking, because we all, for interior design specifically, we have different types of services. We have the design fee, and then we have the sales of the furniture, and all sorts of different margins that go with that. So to be able to translate that like you're talking about is nice just to be able to glance at your financials and know where you stand. Do you suggest for an industry like ours to break it down by job as well? So like job costing as well as the overall?
Danielle Hayden: Yeah, so I'm going to say the words, it depends, and it like, crushes my soul to say that word. But it depends on you as the business owner. So as somebody who does not sit inside your business, it is difficult for us to say, what every single expense, what job every single expense is for. So I say that with this caveat in mind, what a lot of our clients will do is have a system of purchase orders. So whether, you know, whatever your point of sale system is, have that system create, able to keep track of your time, your products, that way you can do a profitability by project that does not need to be in QuickBooks though. That information can be in your project management software. So we see too many people muddying the waters and syncing all their information from the point-of-sale system to QuickBooks, then it creates a mess and it never matches. Alright, let's use both of these systems for what they're intended for. Let's use the project management system to manage the project and to look at the profitability there. And let's use QuickBooks to manage the profitability of the business. Right? So not the product. Yeah, not the project, the big picture, the whole business, manage things like taxes, hiring decisions, debt decisions, right? So the other operating pieces of that.
Michelle Lynne: No, I think that makes perfect sense. Because in our industry, there are way too many moving parts to be able to manage it all on QuickBooks, I tried it and it was ridiculous. So having the project management software is key, just for sanity’s sake, because you can only have so many spreadsheets and only have so many columns and rows in a spreadsheet. So you had mentioned evaluating different decisions from a financial, like backing into it standpoint. What are some examples that require that type of evaluation?
Danielle Hayden: Yeah, there's so many of them. When you're gonna hire, right? If I'm gonna hire another person, if I'm ready to take on a big project, like redesigning my website, or launching a new system, investing in training, right, you as a business owner, investing in training and coaching. Can I afford to do that right now? Right, what will my financials look like? Or how many products and services do I need to sell in order to support that? What do I want to make as a business owner? Right? So what do I need to support my personal life? What are my personal goals? What does my family need? And be able to back into that as well. And these can all like, when you look at your numbers, you don't have to say, I only have one decision. You have all the decisions, right? So when you look at your numbers, you can say, alright, how much do I need? What does this look like? What are all the decisions that I want to make this year? So you don't have to make them in isolation.
Michelle Lynne: And so how come I would have to have information and my financials? Why can't I make those just from my bank account? And I'm saying that from my early years in business.
Danielle Hayden: Yeah. Hey, look, you know what? And no judgment for anybody who's doing that today. So many of us go into business with the expertise in something else. Your expertise is not in business. And so I understand you having to do that out of necessity. But you're listening to this podcast right now, as this is your alert, right? Red siren going off.
Michelle Lynne: Woo woo, woo woo, woo woo.
Danielle Hayden: Yes, here's the bright lights. So I'm waving my hands. Your bank account doesn't include everything that's coming. Right? It doesn't include everything that's happened. So a good example of this would be your credit card expenses. So if you use a credit card for your business, QuickBooks is keeping track of all those expenses that are coming in throughout the month, but you haven't paid for that credit card yet. And so you can be looking at your cash balance saying, yes, I've got all this money in the bank, and you don't, right, because you've been incurring all those expenses, but you haven't paid it out yet. If you are an owner taking owner's draws, this is a big one, we'll have clients say to us, I have money coming in the bank. But where's all my cash going? They don't understand the difference between revenue and cash. And then lastly, I'll say, you know, your taxes, right? So I think that doing business and having bookkeeping in place is more than just filing your taxes. It's about running your business and making all those decisions we talked about. However, as a business owner, you have to be able to file your taxes at the end of the year. And you have to be able to be prepared for those taxes throughout the year. So if you're only operating your business off of your bank account, you're not able to know and understand and be prepared for tax time. And you can't make business decisions throughout the year to prepare you for that time. So, you know, throughout the year, we're having conversations with our clients that say, hey, make sure you're setting aside X dollars so that you have money prepared for taxes. Hey, have you considered giving yourself or your team or your contractors a bonus because you have so much profit this year? What is the ratio between owner's drawers and salary that you're taking? So these are all the important decisions that you can make if you have more information than just your cash.
Michelle Lynne: I love that. And it's just, I hear you talking, and I've got like, anxiety over the things that I know I'm not doing well, you know, happy that I've made the progress that I have made in the past. It's just such an unfamiliar territory I think for so many of us. And I come from a corporate background, like, running multimillion-dollar business units. It's different when somebody's doing it for you and telling you, here's kind of where you need to go versus now, I'm out on my own. And so is the audience for the most part. Not many of us have a built-in CFO.
Danielle Hayden: No, no. It's just so interesting when we become business owners it's all of a sudden like, hey, did you know that you're head of marketing, advertising sales, CFO, and CEO. Good luck.
Michelle Lynne: And the janitor and human resources. Yes, all the things. So how do you, what numbers, so if I'm going through and taking a look at my spending and my income, like the ongoing operational with the projects, what numbers do you basically look at to make decisions?
Danielle Hayden: So the profit and loss statement is usually where we start with our clients.
Michelle Lynne: Also known as the P&L.
Danielle Hayden: P&L, yes, thank you. So we like to start there with our clients because it gives us the most information in terms of revenue and basic expenses. And so when we're trying to make a decision with our clients, we look at, I like to do things in averages. So back in my corporate days, you can't get to the nitty-gritty of every single number, and it would drive you crazy. And so we did a lot of averages. And so you can take the average of a specific time period, maybe it's a year, maybe it's a season of your business, but taking your average income minus your average operating expenses. So now this means all of your cost of goods sold. So the product that you purchased in order to fulfill your contracts, and then all of your operating expenses. So that's everything to run your business on an average basis. So at least go back 12 months, because you need to capture that one-time payment for your insurance. Or the one-time payment for Zoom, you know, I want you to capture all that. And that gives you your average breakeven, your average profitability. And the reason that's important is because it can give you, for one thing, if you're operating at a loss, it gives you a goal, right? So in order for us to break even, I have to hit these revenue numbers. And in order to hit my profitability goals, maybe invest in these new strategies, here's where I need to be, but I have to cover all my operating expenses first. We forget that because we're providing a service that we have to still run our business.
Michelle Lynne: Small details.
Danielle Hayden: Small details.
Michelle Lynne: You have to be able to pay yourself and keep up with your subscriptions and all of the things.
Danielle Hayden: Yes, yeah.
Michelle Lynne: Okay, gotcha. So the P&L and I look at mine, at least once a month. Would you say that that should be a weekly thing a monthly thing? Is it like on average?
Danielle Hayden: Yeah, monthly is perfect. So if you're going to look at anything on a weekly basis, it doesn't need to be your P&L. We, for our weekly clients, so we have weekly, monthly, and quarterly clients. For our weekly clients we send them a weekly financial dashboard. And the dashboard includes things like, and this is different for each client, but sales, cash, well sales compared to goal maybe compared to the prior year, so you know where your sales are throughout the month, cash balances, credit card balances and availability, loans and loan payments coming up, accounts receivable, who owes you money, and accounts payable, who do I owe money to? And that gives you a weekly snapshot of what you want to focus on for the next week. I don't want you as a business owner putting this together yourself. It can be pretty intimidating.
Michelle Lynne: No, you're so right. I'm a huge advocate of outsourcing what you're not good at and 99.9% of us not going to be the best at this.
Danielle Hayden: Yeah, it can be very daunting, very time-consuming. And when you're doing the details, it's really hard for you to come at a high level of, okay, what do I do with this information, right? Because I just put it in all the numbers, your job as the business owner is to say, okay, hold on, I'm arriving at the numbers. I'm arriving here and I can look at them from a high level. On a monthly basis, I would love for you to be looking at your P&L, your balance sheet, your cash flow statements. And there's like five different variations of the P&L that we give to our clients. We give them the P&L year to date, by month so you can see it by month. We give them the P&L compared to prior year, so year to date compared to prior year. And then we give them the P&L as a percentage of income. So don't just look at the P&L in one way because it's not telling you the whole story. You want to compare it to last year, you want to compare it to your income. You want to see those metrics. Again, what can you pull from that information? It's just a guiding light on what you can change. And some people say to me, Danielle, I will never look at that on a monthly basis. Don't bother sending it to me. And so at a very minimum, I want you looking at it quarterly. Same reports, same metrics, but at least quarterly.
Michelle Lynne: Now, what would you do, so let's say there's a designer out there, they've got a bookkeeper who are handling things, they're on QuickBooks and whatnot, but they're not at your level. Or they're not providing that same level of service. Maybe they're just reconciling things and paying the bills. What would you ask for from your bookkeeper to get what you're describing? And can a regular bookkeeper do it?
Danielle Hayden: Yeah, so a few things. So it depends, again, not every bookkeeper has the same qualifications. So unfortunately, or fortunately, I don't know, you can become a bookkeeper by going to like Bookkeeping Academy, right? Like, you don't have to have any college education and call yourself a bookkeeper. I think there really literally is something called Bookkeeping Academy. And your level of knowledge is going to be pretty minimal, right? Because you've really only been taught how to navigate QuickBooks, it's not, you haven't been taught how to make business decisions off of those numbers. You might have a bookkeeper who works for your CPA firm, right? So the guy who does, the guy or gal who does your taxes, they might provide bookkeeping for you but really, their focus is just to get you to the tax return. So they're mapping their chart of accounts, their P&L, they're just mapping that to the tax returns so it's as easy as possible for them at year-end. They are, they're tax accountants, right? They didn't spend time in business, they have the same struggle you are. They went to school for tax.
Michelle Lynne: I think that is so key is that just because they're a doctor, or a lawyer, or an accountant, doesn't mean that they're a businessperson.
Danielle Hayden: Right. Yeah, they have the same problem you do. They were taught how to do a tax return. That's it, how to do a tax return. And they were never taught the business side. And so when all of a sudden they open up their CPA firm, they're supposed to do the business side, and then they have businesses calling them and say, hey, how should I do this? What should I do? You know, they're like, I don't know, I do your taxes. But they feel like they have to provide everything. So if you're going to your CPA firm, your accounting firm, for your bookkeeping, you might not get the same level of service. Now you can have a conversation with them and talk to them. All these people, if they're not providing the same level of service, talk to them. Have a conversation. Because we have some clients who never talk to us. I'm like, we're here for you, please. Like literally, we send emails saying, book your monthly call, and people don't do it. So you know, book your call, right?
Michelle Lynne: I would be that person. I'm so bad.
Danielle Hayden: And that's okay.
Michelle Lynne: But it's not because you have the services and the knowledge that we need and by not utilizing that we're doing ourselves a disservice.
Danielle Hayden: Yes, yes. Get on a call with them. Have them walk you through the numbers. Even if, I want to do this, we did this last month, get on the phone with them and now if you are working with a bookkeeping firm who doesn't like, we've heard from clients who've come to us from other firms and say, my bookkeeper has never once sent me a set of financial statements, like I don't even know what they use. So if that's the case, your first step is to call them and say, I want to receive my financial statements on at least a quarterly basis. Right? That would be step one. Step two would be, I would like to have a conversation and have you walk me through my numbers. But lastly, I'll just one other thing on expertise, like when you're choosing who you're going to work with, is decide what you need, right? Like, if your only focus is to file taxes at the end of the year, I don't think that's right, but then working with your bookkeeper at your tax firm might be ideal for you until you are ready to look at your business as a whole, right? To make management decisions as a business owner. That's when you need somebody who has worked with other people in the industry, has worked with other people, other business owners, and can advise you like a business owner.
Michelle Lynne: No, I think that that is key. And ironically, so in my past life, I was the area director for a firm that placed accounting and financial professionals. And one of my biggest obstacles the first 10 years of being in business, was finding a freaking bookkeeper that understood and knew what I needed. So it was kind of kind of funny. Not funny, but funny.
Danielle Hayden: I know, sometimes I'm embarrassed for my industry, because, you know, I had no idea when I started this business, you know, eight years ago that there was even such a need, right? Because I really thought that CPAs were doing it justice. And I really had no idea until I started to talk to our clients who were coming in and realized that so many of us are suffering from this. And you don't have to, right? There's a better way.
Michelle Lynne: There's an expert for it. It's just, that's what we do as designers, we go in and we design a home that's functional, aesthetically pleasing, et cetera, et cetera. That's the expertise. Hairdressers. Lord knows, this not my natural color. She's an expert at that.
Danielle Hayden: Right, right. Yeah, it's important to depend on each other and work with each other. As you know, I think that was my best lesson learned as a business owner, like ever, is that I don't have to do everything on my own, and that it's okay to ask for help and partner with other people.
Michelle Lynne: No, I think that it's so much easier when you can find somebody to lead you in an area that you're not strong in.
Danielle Hayden: Yeah.
Michelle Lynne: So okay, just a couple more questions so we can honor our audience's time. What do you think we should focus on as designers, financially as we go and surpass our key revenue milestones? So let's say we hit six figures for the first time. So we're at $100,000, then we hit $250,000, then we hit half a million. Where should our focus be as we, financially, as we grow?
Danielle Hayden: Yeah. So for the designer who maybe hasn't hit $100k yet, but you're listening to this show, this is your opportunity to get the systems in place now to get ready for growth. So I think that under $100k, that is your opportunity to invest in building out the right website, getting the right team members around you.
Michelle Lynne: Hiring a good coach. A little gratuitous plug for me.
Danielle Hayden: Yeah, hire the right coach. Yeah, get the systems in place that are going to help get you to the next level. And I will say, all of those things are going to set you up for the mindset of the next phase, right? So if you have a great accounting system, and you have a point of sale system, all of a sudden my mindset changes and says, okay, bring it on $250,000. You know, I'm ready for it. If I'm not ready for it, if I don't have a support system and a coach, if I don't have a bookkeeper and a financial team telling me where I need to go, if I don't have a point-of-sale system in place, my mindset, maybe I think I'm a go-getter, but my mindset's, not there.
Michelle Lynne: It's because we know inherently that we're not set up for success.
Danielle Hayden: I'm not ready.
Michelle Lynne: And often times we'll sabotage ourselves unconsciously, subconsciously, by not, that makes, I love that, that's a totally new perspective.
Danielle Hayden: Yeah, you'll say things like, I'm a mess. I am a good designer; I can't get this together. And it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, this vicious cycle. And so this is your opportunity, right now, to put it aside and say, all right, I might be a mess today. And that's okay, I'm gonna honor that. But here are the steps that I'm going to take over the next three months, to get out of this overwhelm. I'm gonna hire a coach, I'm gonna decide what consultants I need in order to get me to the next level. I'm going to decide, yeah, software, systems, people. And I'm telling you, when you get those in place, it brings you up to the next level. And then once you've hit that, right, so now we're at $100,000, it changes a little bit. So $100,000 to $250,000, that is a different bracket of decision making, right? So in this decision-making, we're usually hiring on team members. So contractors, maybe an assistant, operations team members, other people to support you. And now you have to make a decision as a designer, do you want to be the one always designing and you want support staff? Or do you want to have other designers and you're a leader?
Michelle Lynne: And this is where I say that you have to step into the CEO role and make these decisions. Because we're not just designers at this point. We're the CEO of our business. And stepping outside and looking in is an exercise in itself. But yeah, I'm totally with you.
Danielle Hayden: Either decision is, okay. So you might say, you know what? Guys, I want to design, like, that's what I want to do. I don't want to just lead; I want to be a designer. Then the staff you need to hire needs to have those skillsets of an integrator, right. They like systems, they like processes, they like keeping things organized, they can lead your team, because you're not going to be doing that. But if you get into this and you like the leadership perspective, then maybe you say, okay, I'm ready to lead a group of other designers. So you need to decide that. So I think around this time is a really good time to start to think about who you need on the team, what direction you're going to bring in your business. And at this point, you have to have bookkeeping in place. Because once you're hitting these milestones, you're likely hitting revenue, or I'm sorry, net income markers, that probably require you to become an S Corp, thinking about payroll, putting yourself on payroll, and you cannot become an S Corp, and you cannot put yourself on payroll without a bookkeeping firm.
Michelle Lynne: I love that. And at this point, I bet you a lot of our audience, their eyes are just glazing over, and you know, starting to drool and going la la la la la, I don't want to deal with it. That's why you outsource. That is why you have to find the expert to do it. Just like you would, go in to fill a cavity or going to get your oil changed. Like, these are the things that we hire experts for.
Danielle Hayden: I mean, let's be clear, I did not do our website. That wouldn't have been a good choice, it wouldn't have been a good use of my time, it would look like crap.
Michelle Lynne: But I love the little feature on it where you focus on everybody's favorite coffee drink. I think that's just cute. It's unique. It adds something special to your website, which you wouldn't have thought of if you were the one trying to do it.
Danielle Hayden: Yeah. And so it's okay to embrace that. So once we've hit $250k, this is when you get really serious about your money, right? This is this is wealth building. This is analysis on profitability. This is understanding all of your projects, understanding your staff, doing annual budget sessions. So I just consider like from there on is buckle-down time. I want you to buckle down before that. But this is, you have to take it seriously because you have an obligation to your staff, your vendors, your contractors, and your customers.
Michelle Lynne: Shit's getting real.
Danielle Hayden: Yeah. Yeah.
Michelle Lynne: Awesome. Wow, I could talk about this for so long. And I'm taking notes and just thinking about some of the things that I need to tighten back up.
Danielle Hayden: Well, it's a good reminder for everybody, right?
Michelle Lynne: Oh my gosh, it absolutely is.
Danielle Hayden: You can have a bookkeeper in place and still be doing this.
Michelle Lynne: Well, that and it's just like it's balance. You know, it's like work-life balance, or exercise and eating balance, and just like, all the things. Like sometimes you fall out of balance, and it's time to get back in gear.
Danielle Hayden: Yeah, yeah.
Michelle Lynne: So you know, I love that. Okay. Well, you know, I could talk about this for another hour, but
Danielle Hayden: I think we'll lose the listeners.
Michelle Lynne: So we're gonna lean towards our next rapid-fire Q&A sesh. And I've got some questions lined up for those of you who've been listening for a while, the other ones were getting stale. So Danielle, here we go. What's your biggest pet peeve?
Danielle Hayden: Complaining. Not taking action.
Michelle Lynne: Amen. Have you read, oh my gosh, what book is it? It's all about complaining and you get a little bracelet, and you change your bracelet every time you complain or something like that. It's really a good book.
Danielle Hayden: Oh, no, I haven't heard of that. I just, you know, it drives me nuts with my friends, my family, my clients, you know, like, don't complain. Or if you're gonna complain, I have a client, every time we get on a call she complains about the same thing. And every time I say at the end of the call, okay, I heard you. What action item are we taking so that we can change our behavior, change our action, change our outcome? And so complaining is one thing if it can end with action, and so I give my kids, I give them, I say, you have five minutes to complain and to vent and whatever, and then we're going to create a plan and move on.
Michelle Lynne: I love that. Love, love, love it. Okay, I again, bunny trail. Um, what was the last time you laughed into the almost peed yourself?
Danielle Hayden: Oh, my girlfriend Kelly and I, every time we hang out, it ends that way. And yeah, I love it.
Michelle Lynne: So good for the soul. If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
Danielle Hayden: Oh, I don't know. I want to say read people's minds. But I guess it'd be to be invisible. Because then I can hear what they're saying.
Michelle Lynne: Now if you won $10 million tomorrow, what would you spend it on?
Danielle Hayden: I'd invest it.
Michelle Lynne: All of it?
Danielle Hayden: Yeah, I mean, I love my home. I love where I live. I love the vacations that we are already taking. I don't feel the need for anything.
Michelle Lynne: Rock on. That's a good place to be.
Danielle Hayden: Yeah. So I don't, you know, like, I wouldn't run out and buy the beach house, because the housing market's really high right now. I would invest it and wait for the right time, right? Like I think with any kind of money, whether that be our business is having a really profitable year and I'm taking more in owner's draw. You don't have to go buy the beach house, right? You don't have to go buy the Ferrari. You don't have to go buy a new car. It's okay for the money to sit in a well-managed fund.
Michelle Lynne: To make you money.
Danielle Hayden: Yeah, an investment account, until something is the right time, and it is the right opportunity, and it fits where you want to be. So for me, I'm very content with where we are in this world today. And so it'd be investing it until it felt right.
Michelle Lynne: I love that, that's such a blessing. Where do you find your inspiration?
Danielle Hayden: I used to say my kids, but I think that I started to do what we did for my kids and for my family. But now it's so much bigger than that, right? I find my inspiration from my clients and watching them succeed and watching them have these aha moments. And I find my inspiration from being out in nature, being part of a world that's bigger than me. I find inspiration of being on this podcast with you right now and having this conversation and knowing that this beautiful conversation that we had is going to help, if it helps one person, like literally one person, it was well meaningful. And so all of those things help me find my inspiration. I get to help women entrepreneurs, and I get to help, like, my staff are mostly women who are working in a male-dominated field. And so as women, we don't get a lot of support in this field, and as entrepreneurs, and so I feel so fortunate and inspired to be able to help all of them.
Michelle Lynne: I love that. Women lifting women is just such a, well, it sounds cheesy, but it's such an inspiring space to work from. Yep. What is your favorite childhood memory?
Danielle Hayden: I was so lucky to have this really awesome neighborhood that I grew up in. And so I had these three boys next door, and my girlfriend and her two brothers down the street, and my parent's house backed up to this woods, and we would just go get lost in the woods all day, all night. And, you know, eventually, my brother bought a four-wheeler and, I just, so it's not just one memory. It's just this beautiful adventure that I feel like we all got to take together as children.
Michelle Lynne: Oh, that sounds fun. That sounds like a lot of fun. Okay, what is your biggest failure, and what did you learn from that experience?
Danielle Hayden: I think biggest failure is just not asking for help earlier in my business. I think that we could have increased our growth and embraced our growth sooner. But it was really difficult for me to figure out what I needed and how I needed it and what that looked like for customers, or clients, and what that looked like to the industry, and what that looked like, you know. Accounting is a really, you know, you guys have all worked with your tax accountant and your bookkeepers, right? Yeah, and figuring out what our place was in it and being afraid to be an industry disrupter. Because we are, we are an industry disrupter. I go to CPA conferences. I tell them what they're doing. They're like, what the hell do you do? But you know, it makes no sense to them.
Michelle Lynne: That's awesome. You know you are where you're supposed to be. Oh, very cool. Okay. So I know that our audience has loved all the things that you've said today. Might have hurt some of their ears. But
Danielle Hayden: It's okay. It's good for you. It's tough love.
Michelle Lynne: It is really good for you. How can they find you? How can we follow you, find you, support you? Tell me also about your Profit Planner. I didn't ask you about that.
Danielle Hayden: That's ok. Kickstartaccountinginc.com is the best place to go. You can learn about the Profit Planner. It's a 12-week book series where we help simplify this information. So if you're somebody who's DIY'ing it right now, the Profit Planner is a great tool that it breaks out one action task per day, momentum builds on momentum, where you can start to learn about your finances, your bookkeeping, and what you need.
Michelle Lynne: Nice.
Danielle Hayden: Yeah, so great tool there. Go to the website, there's a five-day video bootcamp. So again, if you want to dive in a little bit more, five-day video bootcamp. You can also book a call there, I have a really amazing team who, we all wake up really excited to serve our clients. And so they're wanting to talk to you about your specific situation. So if you're not sure what your current team should be doing for you, or something rang a bell on this call that you just want to dive into a bit further, you can book a call right there on the website. Come follow us on Instagram @kickstartaccounting. If you thought that accounting couldn't be funny, I have an amazing marketing team who are doing reels and all kinds of funny stuff. So you can check that out there and a lot of good resources for business owners. And then lastly, we have our podcast, Entrepreneur Money Stories, and just walking through other entrepreneurs' money journey and their action steps, how they take, right like, kind of hearing from the other side, right? What do you do to keep your money mindset strong and know your numbers?
Michelle Lynne: Oh, I love that.
Danielle Hayden: Coming from a different perspective.
Michelle Lynne: Oh, Danielle, this has been so informative. And just a great reminder that, I think you said it earlier, that it is the art of numbers. And we don't need to be afraid of them. They can help guide our business to more success if we sit down and listen to them.
Danielle Hayden: Yeah.
Michelle Lynne: My old boss, and I'll leave it with this, my old boss used to say, the numbers will tell you. Like, when you need to make a decision, the numbers will tell you. Can I afford that coach? The numbers will tell you. Can I afford to lease that studio? The numbers will tell you. You just have to know your numbers in order for them to tell you something. Little details there, little details there. Awesome. So we've got the podcast, a discovery call, the five-day video boot camp, and then, you've got, I think you had mentioned something about dashboards, worksheets, and videos when we had first booked our podcast. Will you remind me what that was?
Danielle Hayden: Yes. So we have a dashboard template that you can download. I don't have that link in front of me, hold on.
Michelle Lynne: I have it, kickstartaccountinginc.com/dashboards. So I'll have all of these in the notes.
Danielle Hayden: Thank you. Yeah, so we talked about the dashboard a little bit earlier in the show what you want to do on a weekly basis. So go grab the dashboard. And that will be your template to give to your maybe VA, operations team, bookkeeper, or we can do it for you to update for you on a weekly basis, so that it can keep you on track so you're hitting your monthly goals.
Michelle Lynne: Love it, love, love, love it. Well, like I said, I'll make sure all of these are dropped into the show notes. Thank you, Danielle. I really, really appreciate your time. And I love the fact that you are getting out there and disrupting the financial world for entrepreneurs, specifically and women entrepreneurs. Giving everybody a good foundation on which to build their business.
Danielle Hayden: Thank you.
Michelle Lynne: So for those of you who can benefit from even more resources surrounding the business of running your interior design business, join the growing community on my Facebook, private group. And yeah, I say this every time it is Facebook, but it's a great place to run our groups. So just create a little ninja profile if you don't want to be there personally and come join the Interior Designers Business Launchpad. So until next time, thanks, Danielle.
Danielle Hayden: Thank you.
Michelle Lynne: Hey, y'all. If you love the show and find it useful, I would really appreciate it if you would share with your friends and followers. And if you like what you're hearing, want to put a face with a name, and get even more business advice, then join me in my Facebook group, the Interior Designers Business Launchpad. Yeah, I know it's Facebook, but just come on in for the training and then leave without scrolling your feet. It's fine. I promise you'll enjoy it. And finally, I hear it's good for business to get ratings on your podcast. So please drop yours on whatever platform you use to listen to this. We're all about community over competition. So let's work on elevating our industry, one designer at a time. See you next time.