Using financial intelligence programs to help businesses thrive w/Natalia Zacharin

May 17, 2022 Brigitte Bojkowszky Season 6 Episode 69
Using financial intelligence programs to help businesses thrive w/Natalia Zacharin
Show Notes Transcript

✨ “Entrepreneurship: A rollercoaster that is worth every minute” 💫 – Natalia Zacharin

Tune in my conversation with Natalia Zacharin, virtual CFO and Financial Analysis Expert, to learn about: 

  • 💡 how she is using financial intelligence programs to help businesses thrive, 
  • 💡 how an outsourced CFO can help a businesses to the next level.
  • 💡the common pitfalls businesses fall into and how to avoid them
  • 💡her perspective on the latest trends in the financial sector we business owners shall know about

💡Natalia also gives advice for women businesses that are just getting started.

✨ “Brands: a way to distinguish yourself and bring value to the world. How you’re different from everybody else. And if you went out of business or if you disappeared, who would miss you?” 💫 – Natalia Zacharin

Get in touch with Natalia Zacharin:

Get in touch with Brigitte Bojkowszky:
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*   Website:
*   Calendly Link: 
*   LinkedIn: 
*   Facebook: 
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*   Twitter:
*   Pinterest: 
*   significant women book: https://www.amazo

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Get in touch with Brigitte Bojkowszky:


My guest today is Natalia Zacharin. She is the founder and owner of saccharin consulting firm dedicated to empowering businesses to understand the financial health and give clarity, so they can significantly improve their bottom line. Natalia brings her expertise and knowledge to clients by blending personal service and expertise in a meaningful way. Zacharin consulting offers strategic bookkeeping, monthly accounting, remote CFO Services and Financial Intelligence programmes to help businesses thrive. Stay Organised, save time and give them peace of mind. Salary consulting is always on top of the latest economic trends when it comes to cash flow forecasting and analysis, budgeting, sales projections and accounting support for tax planning and tax rate mediation saccharin consulting session is to offer valuable insights to help clients in navigating the complex landscapes of EnTERPreneurship I warmly welcome Natalia Zacharin, welcome to BrandsTalk. Thank you, Bridget. I'm very excited to be here. So excited as well having you as my guest today. Natalia. Could you tell us a little bit about your background about your own journey that brought you right there where you are now? Yes. I always think it's interesting that many entrepreneurs have a journey where they have a significant challenge in their life, and then that becomes their passion. And so that is part of my history as well. About 10 years ago, I was a stay at home mom, I went through a divorce, it was a bad time in the economy, I couldn't get a job. So I was really struggling financially. And then, when I got a job in the corporate world that the problem was because I hadn't been employed for a couple of years before that, and considered middle aged in in the corporate world. Again, I'm in my 50s right now. But even back then, 10 years ago, I was in my mid 40s. So it was very hard to make enough money to even really live comfortably. And so I was struggling, I was left with a tremendous amount of debt from the divorce, and I barely had enough money to even make my mortgage payment. And, and my mom had to help me, it was just it was really hard. And so also, the job that I did end up getting, it took a couple years to find a job but the job that I did end up getting, didn't see me as potentially with options to grow, they kept kind of downsizing my responsibilities and downsizing what I was making and so I was kind of I was pigeon holed into a certain position as been and I couldn't really grow and I couldn't find another job. It was just like this, this entire difficulty with finances that I had, getting into debt and and just not having enough money. So I started my own company to give me more freedom. And in what I do is part of part of what I do is to help people get out of financial difficulty whether most of them are entrepreneurs. So I pretty much work with all business owners. So you started 2018 Yes, and what exactly I mean, you said you you wanted to have more freedom. But what exactly made you do this both step into enterpreneurship from being a corporate employee into starting something totally new, something that you own something? It's without a net, you are out there all by yourself. So what made you make this bold step? I think I was desperate. I didn't even know it was an option. And someone mentioned to me, why don't you start your own business. And a lot of people start their own businesses because they have a passion, I started my business. And I'd like to tell people also you don't have to necessarily have a passion, you can create something out of nothing. And that's what entrepreneurs do, they create something out of nothing for many different reasons, you don't have to feel like you have to be really good at something. But someone mentioned to me maybe should start your own business. And I thought, Oh, well, maybe I could do this on the side to add a little bit of extra income. In 2018, I started reading about it and looking at an interviewing people and connecting on LinkedIn with people. And then my first client landed in January 2019. And then after that I was so I was working at night and weekends, while still holding down a full time job at SM alum. And I decided after getting a few more clients, I couldn't do both. And so that year in 2019, right before my 50th birthday, so you never, it's never too late. So right before my 50th birthday, I quit my job, I just couldn't sustain both. And I think I had enough momentum, I only had four clients at the time, and definitely not enough money, significantly less money than even what I was making, or what I needed. But I had the momentum that I started realising that I knew that I can get more clients. And so I quit in August 2018. Right around my 50th birthday, and then by November, I tripled my business. Yeah, that's a very safe way to start a business having your, um, from an employment and starting out small and then when you see, okay, I can't do it both anymore, because it's too much. And you know, okay, I can get more clients, if I continue like this. And then to let go of the employment and fully concentrate on your own business, there's this very smart, instead of starting quitting a job and starting something else, because then it's really scary to be out there. Yeah, living from nothing, maybe from the savings. So it's much safer to still have that job that is out there. Alright, what are you exactly offering? I mentioned already in the introduction that you are in Financials, so you're using financial intelligence programmes to help your clients. So what are you doing? Exactly? And who is your client? Exactly? How do you bring both together? Yes, so we do a lot more than just your typical accounting firm. We focus on the accounting side of things and CFO advisory services. And we work mostly with business owners, although a lot of business owners it, it carries over into their personal life also. So we look at a bigger picture. And it goes everything from the, you know, setting up the accounting. We specialise in QuickBooks Online. We can move people into QuickBooks, we can clean up their QuickBooks, we can catch up, we can. We offer training, and we do the monthly services. But what's different, and a lot of people aren't interested in necessarily that what's different is that we evaluate what's happening in the business, we really understand what is happening in the business owners life and in their business, we ask a lot of questions, so that we can work autonomy independently. And we, when we do advisory, we set up the information. So it's like the accounting and the bookkeeping is just a means to an end. And that's where most accounting stops is with that. But the whole reason behind the accounting and bookkeeping is to evaluate what's actually happening. So you can see trends so you can ask, what is happening? What do you want to happen in the future? Where are you headed? Are you headed in that direction? What does it look like how to make little corrections in in what you're doing so that you don't end up making really big mistakes. Because in in Financials, it's not where you are today. It's the trend of where you're headed. So if you're not keeping track and not paying attention, you don't have an opportunity to see what's just around the corner and micro correct before you start having issues. And the issues could be lack, you know, losing sales could be you hire too many people, you can't make payroll could be you're not being you're not profitable, you're spending too much money. You don't have the right pricing in line. Maybe it's an entrepreneur and this is very typical, where they're doing everything in the business and maybe they need to price it a little bit differently so that they can hire people. It could be that you have to that you're doing great. And you have a very high net income, and when is a good time to do some tax strategies to start reducing your tax liability, and everything in between. So we just we gauge and we monitor what's happening. So that we can understand, taking into account what's happening in the present and what the business owner wants to happen in the future. And we set those goals and targets. Do you service see helping companies that start out? Or are they in their journey? revenues of 1 million upwards? So who is exactly the client when it comes to the size of the company? Or whether they established companies or just or starting out? Great question. So both, we do work with a lot of startups, we help with setting up everything and explaining. And sometimes if they don't want to continue working with us, because they're just starting out, we just we do some training and send them on their way. I have found that QuickBooks is a very powerful software, QuickBooks Online. And a lot of accountants don't understand the software. And a lot of QuickBooks, people don't understand accounting. And so we know both. So we can take the power of the software, make sure it's done correctly, really use and streamline and automate as much as possible. So we can bring a lot more value to the table. And then we teach that. So that's what we would do with a startup if they don't want to continue. And then we we have companies everywhere from startup to multi million companies. And anybody based in the US, so we do leave and work with people in Europe, but they're based in the United States. And we work all over the United States with anybody. So pre COVID, we've been, we've always been virtual, and he set everything up to collaborate and be able to work with them. So really, anybody who wants to have a little bit more visibility, what's happening, and make things a little bit better, I would say I would even say for a startup or for anybody that is using or doing their own accounting, it's not the best use of their time. So it's a great thing to, to go ahead and hire someone to do for you. And that way you it's more impactful, and outsource and using the time for something that you have your major strength as a business owner, that's what it is all about. So what are some of the common pitfalls businesses have fall into, that you have been able to help them thrive? And so what I've learned now as to getting the software and the business owner to connect to understand, yeah, yeah. And is there anything else that you you think that are some common pitfalls that businesses fall into, that you can have with or that is very common, yet very, very common that the business owners are not, and don't even know how to read the financials to understand what's happening, that's a very common pitfall, that they're not looking on a regular basis, it should be monthly to really evaluate their profitability and evaluate what's happening, that's actually very important that because like we mentioned, if there's something if you're trending in the wrong direction, you can't catch that in time to make some micro corrections along the way. Or if you have some big goals, it's great to set those targets and, and to be able to evaluate if we're getting to those targets. So those and those are some of the pitfalls is not setting those targets, and not evaluating. Another pitfall is to leave the accounting to a family, you know, someone in the family or hire an office clerk or and consider it as data entry. bookkeeping, and accounting is not data entry, it's actually a lot more complicated. So what we get a lot is books and information that is not accurate, and it's done incorrectly. That could be a huge error. Because first of all, you don't see what's happening in your business. But second of all, you're not paying the correct amount of taxes. So even if you're under paying in taxes, if you ever get audited, they'll see mistakes and you'll have to repay anything that you underpaid plus penalties. And then they'll go deeper and deeper into many more years. So once you're on their their audit list of a red flag, the virus will keep auditing you. And then if you're over and then the other option is if your financials aren't correct, you're probably overpaying in taxes. And so we see both And we have a lot of case studies. For instance, we worked with a client who hired us in 2019. So we've been working with him since the beginning. And he just got audited for 2018. And 2019. He owed nothing for the year that he worked with us. And he owed $40,000, for the year prior, and when you work with someone else, so we have, we have a lot of case studies for just staying out of trouble, and helping people understand what's happening and reach their goals, because the whole point of entrepreneurship is your vision and your goal. And what do you want in your life? Exactly. So what is your vision? Do you have a vision statement? I do. So I don't have a like a really good vision statement. But my vision is the same as it is for myself. And as it is for my clients, I want to be able to live a life with financial freedom and abundance, and put out good into the world, I really truly believe that money has an energy. And because money is no longer really backed by anything significant, like gold, money is now more value based. So it is energy, it's giving out a lower value. So you bring value back. So it's an exchange of value. And so I want to bring a lot of value into the world for for people, and to help them live their vision and create good and do what they want to do with their lives. And including for myself. So I hope to have financial freedom have time to spend with family and friends, live in a nice place comfortably not have to worry about money, just like everybody else wants to do get out, you know not being debt, I do help people get out of debt, as well. We work on what should you pay, be paying yourself how to fix your credit, I don't do credit fixes, but we talk about how to, you know what you can do? And how to get out of debt or how to use debt strategically and reinvest back into your business. And basically how to build wealth and build your net worth. Yeah, that's, that's a long question. So do you have any pieces of advice, especially for women who want to start their own business? Because you have become so successful after such a journey, it was not an easy journey. So from your perspective, what are some tips for women businesses that are just getting started? How can they be their best already having a vision, but from the vision going forward? Yes, I would say it does, it really makes a difference to have to surround yourself with the right people. You want to surround yourself with people that are ready, maybe at that level that you want to be because that level then becomes more comfortable. So if you're thinking that I want to make, you know, five figures or six figures in a month, you want to surround yourself with people that are making six figures, so that becomes comfortable for you. What's interesting is that once you get comfortable with that number, like once you get comfortable and start hitting$10,000 in revenue a month, it's not that far off to start hitting, you know, 20,000 30,000 I get you just become more and more comfortable with it. Having a mentor I do work with. I have mentors, I went in mastermind. Listening to the mastermind or the mentor tells you because a lot of it feels like it's it doesn't feel right. It doesn't. It almost feels like when they tell me like how to sell to people. I feel like oh I'm being salesy, and this is not part of my personality. And I would never do this. When I don't listen, I don't move the needle forward. When I do listen, the meat the needle moves forward. And I have a different perspective on on sales. So sales isn't about being salesy sales is about someone out there is looking for you to either your service or your product and they need you to it's a matter of finding them. And as a sales is very important. So mentorship sales, reading tremendous amount, and stop standing in your own way. Get out of your own way. Just keep going forward. A lot of people give up it's consistency. It's the little things every single day the boring thing is moving the needle, talking to people selling it's it's that boring, everyday stuff. You just don't stop, keep going. And it's a roller coaster anymore. It's a roller coaster. And as you say the consistency having the perseverance to just no matter what you continue going. Yeah, yeah, so in line with that more Was there any setback that you maybe a major setback that you had to overcome and what you have learned from most, that helps you now being a better business owner. There were a lot of setbacks. I think one of the biggest setbacks since I became an entrepreneur was the imposter syndrome of thinking. So we have stories in our heads at who we are or who we see ourselves as, and a lot of those start and childhood. And the difference between where you are in reality, and where you thought you would be, the bigger that gap is, the harder it is to recover from that gap. So not having, you know, an opinion of where you should be. I thought, you know, I'm in my 50s, I thought I'd be married, I'm single, by the way. Very, that I'd have a, I was, I was actually told yesterday, you need to have a college degree, but you don't really have to work because your husband's going to take care of you what that didn't happen. So I had to change those stories. And so the imposter syndrome starts happening, especially when you become more successful, you start thinking, Oh, this isn't me. Maybe not even that I don't deserve it. But like, how is little me getting getting to this point. And so you have to really work through that. There's a great resource called what to say when you speak to yourself, or what to say when you talk to yourself. Great book. So the words, I had to really change how I talked to my ear, I think that was the biggest thing. And there, there were many setbacks, but the difference between my life is a lot more complicated and a lot harder than it's ever been before. But I struggle a lot less than I ever have before. It's the self talk that we have to be very careful about every day and remind ourselves that it can be very unhealthy. So we have to control that what we are telling ourselves every day. Yeah. Natalia, is there anything that you would do differently now? And you can sell for two, let's say, two years ago, when you started? Yeah, I think so. Yes, absolutely. I would say that, I would have more confidence. I wish I had more confidence when I started. I would have priced things out maybe better. In the beginning, we all under value ourselves. Okay. So you mean you should have priced higher? Yes. Oh, yeah. That's I think that's the big one of the biggest pitfalls, especially when people are starting out, they don't price high enough. And with unders taking into consideration that if they want to hire, they won't be able to afford anybody, so they can't scale. So I think that's a matter of confidence and understanding what you bring to the table. I also think that, that, you know, you have to kind of grow into that. So you have to learn, and maybe the first year, and he learned a lot, especially in your first year, and every time something happens, don't consider that as a setback. Like, oh, you know, like, like, I had a client that didn't pay me. So now I know, I have better terms and agreement, and I have, so every time something happened, I thought through without having an emotional reaction thought through how could I do this better for the next time? And so I had to you know, it's a learning process. From the setbacks more than the hard won, so Oh, my God, I should have thought about that. And this is something then very specific that you remind yourself every time don't forget about this, and that these are the hard look. Yeah, but they are important. Yes. I wouldn't consider that as really as a setback. I think that's the other thing. Don't beat yourself up. Yeah, you're gonna make Yeah, yeah. Yeah. It's part of the learning process. Yeah. Is there anything that you are passionate about your business because you are dealing with a lot of numbers and doing the accounting and what is so amazing about it that you become passionate about it? Yes, I'm really, really I love numbers I see actually see the world in numbers. And I am really passionate about what's really exciting is when I work with someone and they're at a certain level where they need help, and I can see the changes being made. being so friendly. I had a client that we started working last year together, and they were their net income. So that means their bottom line, they were like a negative$100,000. I mean, they lost over$100,000. Literally, if they had never been in business or shut their doors, they would have been ahead. Not a reason to give up. However, they hired me, I reached out, and they and they saw me and they hired me. And at first, they were arguing with each other. And it was, it was very complicated. And the main, it was a group of owners and the main owner wanted to leave and, and so we started working on things a little bit, a little at a time, just I, you know, learning about what they're doing about what the problems are, too, I was talking to all the different departments and tweaking little things a little bit at a time, because you don't you can't tweak everything all at once, because it's just it's very overwhelming. And then you don't know, as you're changing things, how you know what that you know, what's going to happen afterwards, you kind of have to tweak a little bit, and then see what happens and then tweak a little bit more and see what happens. So we've been working together now for a year, they were at like a positive 50,000 in net income, and that they ended this year. So they they've increased in more than $100,000 in, in, you know, getting into a positive net income. They're happier, they made some changes with who was who was working for them. We keep changing things. And like we're now it's fun. And it's great to, for me, that's that's a huge passion of mine is to take a company and really work with them and help them to get better and better and better. And you don't have to be in dire straits to work with us, you can be in a great position. And still, there's so much that we can do. It's just it's fun. And we can bounce ideas off of each other and talk about the how do you want to retire? What what's, what's your exit strategy. So we're all going to exit, right? We're all going to somehow exit our businesses, we're either going to sell them, leave them or we're going to leave this world. So we talk about fun things like that, too. Like what are you going to do? Maybe you can sell your business? How to make it more valuable? What does that look like? Wow, that's all very interesting. And you have mentioned before the trends are so important. Do you see any trends going forward? In the let's say, a one to three years? Yes, I do. I think it's becoming more and more important to do a lot more evaluation forecasting, looking forward into the future a little bit in the next, you know, six months to a year to two years, and modelling what that looks like changing it as it goes. And modelling what that looks like, because it has become the new economy has always been and will always continue to be up and down. So this way, it'll help you prepare, help you have a little bit of extra cash on hand, if that's what you need. I think if the pandemic taught us anything, and taught us that we had to be very flexible, and we have to pivot and make changes quickly. And those businesses that were not profitable, and that were not making money, couldn't even get help. Yeah. So you need to help yourself constantly and constantly, you know, have your eye on that. So I think that, you know, right now we've got inflation, for instance. So your money if you have just cash sitting in your accounts, you're actually losing money. So there, there are a lot of variables, you do want to have cash, but you don't want to have too much cash. You need to be want to put into different buckets to build wealth. And so there's, I think the trends are going to be forecasting, understanding what's happening, understanding where to put your money to save up and to build retirement funds, maybe buy real estate real estate's great right now. It's not great to buy but it will be soon. So there's just a lot happening constantly. And then a lot of change the tax in what's happening with taxes. Yeah, yeah. Thank you so much for all the tips and your forecasting. It's so interesting, but we are almost at the end of our time. So before we close, I would love to do a quick word rap with your Natalia. Yes. Great. Okay. Wonderful accountant. Someone that helps you foresee the future and then see the trends in what's happening. Any clarity. Okay. enterpreneurship. A rollercoaster that is worth every minute. Yeah, that's true. It is worth every minute. We learned so much with that setback, an opportunity to do better to learn to not consider a setback. It's not a setback. is an opportunity. Yeah, absolutely. empowerment. Empowerment, I would say understanding what's happening, feeling comfortable, being confident, and, and leaning on others, such as a mentor or, you know, outsourcing or whatever you need to do to learn good, and brands, brands, a way to distinguish yourself and bring value to the world? And how are you different from everybody else? And if if you went out of business or if you disappeared, who would miss you? Know, that's right. Wow, wonderful. Natalia. If someone wants to get in touch with you now after our show. I'm quite sure about that. Where do they find you? Yes, so I am on social media. So first of all, I have a website, www dot Zacharin And my contact information is in there as well, as well as my email address. And you can book a time with me my calendar link is there as well. You can find me on Facebook under Zacharin consulting, I have a Facebook page and then I have an Instagram account under grow your bottom line. And then I'm also on LinkedIn under Natalia Zacharin on LinkedIn. So any of those places you can find me and reach out to me a lot of touch points. Good. Natalia, thank you so much for being my guest today on Brent's talk. It was a pleasure having you here to learn about financial intelligence programmes that help businesses thrive and how you help businesses thrive.