What is your story? Or in other words, what made you your awesome self you are today?
I worked for 17 years in the restaurant industry in management roles for both corporate restaurants and independent owner/operators. My last seven-year stint was with an independently chef-owned restaurant. It was the best education I received in running a small business with a lot of moving parts. I was taking care of the behind the scenes business operations while wearing many hats, HR, bookkeeping, inventory, marketing, & payroll. When you work in an industry with a very tight profit margin, your income and costs are everything to the success of the restaurant. Every day, I had to know what our costs were, what our projected sales were, and if we needed to make changes that day based on current trends. When I left the industry, I quickly realized that a lot of small and large corporate businesses did not pay attention to or know their numbers. I wanted to change this. I want business owners to understand and know how to make the best decisions for their business based on their financial reports. In order to do that we need to start with solid accurate books - that is where the bookkeeping comes in. Next, I spend time working with them reviewing financial documents so they really know what they are looking at and how to make the best decisions financially for their business.
What message do you promote?
Know your numbers. They are those sneaky little tattletales of what is really going on in your business.
In what capacity do you LEAD UP in your community?
I am active in helping in my church, teaching a financial class, and assisting individuals with organizing their personal finances and goals. I also like to give my time or finances to organizations making an impact here in Phoenix.
In business and/or in life, share a struggle you overcame that other women can relate to
Moving to Phoenix at the age of 21 without knowing a soul or having a job lined up, and eventually finding my husband and creating a life here.
I made a complete career change in my mid 30’s into tech & design as a UX designer. I did this between my restaurant career and starting my own business for about 2.5 years. It was fun and humbling but it also made me realize who I really like to work with (business owners) and what I like to do best (helping small businesses). Sometimes you have to do really different things to understand yourself better.
What is the most rewarding aspect of what you do?
Helping business owners be successful and get the income they deserve.
How do you SHOW UP?
Listen - I’m still working on getting better at that.
Doing the best I can to help.
If you could give one piece of advice for women who are entering the workforce or launching their own business what would that be?
Hmmm, just one?
When starting a business keep business and personal finances separate. Get a separate bank account & credit card. Make notes of any crossover. This will save you money on your taxes, the cost of getting your taxes done, and giving you a more accurate picture of your business finances so you can make good future decisions.
If I can add a second, Get Help! Yes, you are a business owner but you do not have to know everything, and you are not expected to. Get help with areas you struggle in or just despise doing.
Contact Erin Lehr -Kpi Bookkeeping & Consulting