Natalie Alaimo is a digital strategist and marketing coach. She started her business way back in 2008, where she creates online marketing courses and coaching programs for female entrepreneurs.
This all started when she found success early on marketing her family’s printing business on Facebook. She had customers reaching out to her, wondering how they could get the same results.
Within a few weeks, she had sold out her first face-to-face workshop, and the rest is history.
While the business has evolved and grown rapidly over the years, the one area where she has always felt stuck was bookkeeping and forecasting.
“I think that when we start a business, or when we get into business for ourselves, the fun stuff is the social media set up and branding,” says Alaimo. “What colours are we going to have? And, should I do Facebook Lives, or should I do Instagram?
But, if we don’t track our financial side, it’s really easy for it to slip away from us, and you can potentially market yourself out of a profit or out of business.”
Alaimo adds, “I had my head in the sand about the financial side of our business for years. It wasn’t great. I’m awesome at the marketing side. I love counting sales, but not so good at the tracking of the expenses and cash flow. And to be honest, I have really not a lot of idea what was going on.”
This lack of financial literacy led her to enroll in Bean Ninjas’ Financial Foundations DIY Course.
“I started on the free challenge and read your blogs,” says Alaimo. “Then, I did the course. And, that’s really when I started to get some involvement in that side of the business.
Since then, we’ve set up Xero. We’re up-to-date with our books. We have a GST and PAYG savings account, and we are working on getting regular bookkeeping systems in place.”
Before she enrolled in the course, she was running a very outdated version of MYOB for her business finances.
“The biggest thing that we got from the course, I would say, is really the confidence to move to Xero,” says Alaimo. “So, we had an old, outdated computer-based version of MYOB. Now, we have a Xero file that’s 100% set up.”
She runs the business with her mom. They used this newfound knowledge to create sophisticated financial forecasts.
“I’m in business with my mom, and we both got a better snapshot of the financial side of the business, not just the stuff that we excel at the marketing side,” says Alaimo.
For the first time in more than 10 years, they were able to project cash flow six months ahead of time and use this information to take some well-deserved time off to go on a real holiday.
“By having an understanding of how it all works, which is what the course teaches you to do and putting those simple systems in place, it just makes the rest of what you’re doing a lot easier,” says Alaimo. “It allows you to make better-informed decisions and have a better relationship with business partners or in your personal relationships because you’re not stressing about it.”