How Crockd expanded internationally with the right financial partner

14 September, 2022
Anfernee Chansamooth

Anfernee Chansamooth

6 minutes
Crockd customer story beanninjas

Crockd is on a mission to ‘get the world out of its head and into its hands.’ Here’s how they’ve been able to scale their business.

Crockd creates and ships high-quality DIY craft kits and supplies designed to inspire creativity, creation, and connection.

The team at Crockd believes that “creativity is an underrated mindfulness practice, not an innate quality or an end result.” 

The business was conceived in November 2019 in sunny Queensland, Australia. At the time, Gold Coast couple Rosa-Clare Willis and Andrew Ford were searching for a fun and creative way to connect with each other at home.

Crockd co-founders Rosa-Clare Willis and Andrew Ford
Crockd co-founders Rosa-Clare Willis and Andrew Ford (photo source: Crockd)

As Andrew explains,

“We started this business out of a need to fulfill something within us that we so desperately wanted – to connect with each other. We really couldn’t find a way to do that meaningfully without alcohol or food or going out for dinners. We were looking for something to do from home, something meaningful, something to help us connect. And we were looking for ways to connect over creativity. The only real way to do that was to go to external classes together; for us, that was just one barrier too many. So we decided to put something together ourselves. We’ve been building Crockd out ever since.”

The Challenge

Getting Andrew off the books and focused on business-building activities

Even though Andrew is a qualified chartered accountant, he quickly realized that his time was best spent on business-building activities, not accounting and bookkeeping.

In Andrew’s words,

“I could hack a lot of this (financial) stuff myself from the beginning. But it comes to a point where you realize it’s more strategic to spend your time looking from the top down rather than always working inside the business you want to work on. You want to work on the business, not in the business.”

Expanding in Australia and overseas to the US required an eCommerce accounting specialist

When Crockd experienced a rapid international expansion in Australia and into the United States, Andrew realized he needed the support of an eCommerce growth specialist. Andrew needed an expert to ensure his books were in good order and provide him with regular financial reporting to make crucial decisions.

Finding the right partner with the expertise Andrew needed

Scaling an e-commerce business internationally comes with unique challenges, so Andrew deliberately searched for the right e-commerce accounting specialist. He knew he needed a partner who could provide expert Shopify accounting support to scale his business quickly and efficiently.

How Bean Ninjas Helped

Andrew first became aware of Bean Ninjas through the brand’s local presence on the Gold Coast.

“They’ve got a great household name led by Meryl (Johnston) and the team here. They’ve always been pretty inspiring for us, especially Meryl, as a business owner and someone who’s building in public. I used to listen to a couple of the Bean Ninjas podcasts back in the day, and I found it interesting for someone who’s a bit of a finance nerd. It’s cool to see finance professionals not just inside the business and doing financial tasks all the time but also building a business. I’ve always been inspired by Meryl and the story of Bean Ninjas.”

When it was time for Crockd to expand into the US, and Andrew found himself overwhelmed with accounting work, he reached out to eCommerce growth specialist and Director of Bean Ninjas USA Wayne Richard.

“My time was being consumed by the nitty-gritty of the accounting world every day, with our expansion to the US, further expansion in Australia, and the broadening of our product lines.”

Getting up to speed on eCommerce-specific P&L reporting during onboarding

Andrew found the onboarding process very beneficial, as he gained specific eCommerce accounting knowledge from the Bean Ninjas team. This helped him better understand how Crockd should analyze its financial information and expand internationally.

“Although I come from a financial background, I’ve never been in E-commerce. I think e-Commerce has a very specific way that you want to look to report on financial information.

What’s the typical structure of high-performing eCommerce businesses? What lens are they looking at their financial information through? That’s specific niche knowledge. So that’s what I leaned on the Bean Ninjas team.

I think e-Commerce has a very specific way that you want to look to report on financial information. I think a lot of the onboarding process was getting us up to speed with what that P&L looked like broken down. So a lot of the process was just working around what that structure looked like and cleaning up the reports. It really didn’t take that long, probably a month from start to finish.”

Related: A detailed guide to building financial performance dashboards for your eCommerce business

Gaining access to special insider industry knowledge

Another benefit of partnering with Bean Ninjas was that Crockd could access knowledge that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to obtain.

“I want to leverage Bean Ninjas not just because of their skill set but the wealth of information they have from working with high-performing e-commerce businesses. That was a very attractive thing when we were looking for a partner, and it still is.”

The Results

Finding a values-aligned eCommerce accounting growth partner to scale with

When I asked Andrew what he felt the biggest win had been so far working with Bean Ninjas, he replied,

“The biggest win is partnering with people who share similar values to us.”

Feeling more energized working on the business, not in the business.

Andrew was also ecstatic to be a business owner with more time and energy to make decisions.

“I’m now working on the business, and I can see the business from a top-down view rather than a bottom-up view.

I’m more energized to use financial information for making decisions when I’m able to look at a snapshot of it at the end of the month rather than working on it every day — and then trying to make decisions on it.

I have no energy by the time I’ve done all the reports myself. You just can’t be bothered analyzing that data once you’ve done it yourself. “

Having clarity around what to track and how to cost inventory

As an accountant, Andrew naturally loves the financial reporting benefits of working with Bean Ninjas.

“(Another benefit has been) Getting our reporting framework in order. Also, helping us understand the way that we cost inventory has been huge for us.

When you first start, you’re literally just running on a cash basis. Like money in, money out equals your P&L. It’s super lumpy, and you don’t really know if you’re profitable from one month to the next.

Just having Bean Ninjas there to clean all of that up, to allocate costs on an accurate basis, and to have that structure of financial reporting – they’re all signs of what’s helped us scale to the next level.”

Hitting a home run with creativity workshops for corporate teams (and partnering with some epic brands in the US)

Since launching in the US, Crockd has been successful in the US by partnering with well-known brands and hosting team-building workshops (remote & in-person) designed to encourage creativity and connection among participants.

This has helped them to build a following among corporate customers. Crockd has worked with over 600 of the world’s biggest, most progressive brands (including Google, Meta, Twitter, Ernst & Young, Deloitte, and Shopify, to name a few).

A happy employee after a Crockd facilitated team workshop for EY (Image source: Crockd)
A happy employee after a Crockd facilitated team workshop for EY (Image source: Crockd)

Doubling the team within two years

The Crockd team were six people when they engaged Bean Ninjas, and according to Andrew, “it’s around a dozen now.”

Launching new products and their first physical immersive retail event space in Sydney in 2022

Andrew could barely contain his excitement when asked what was coming next for Crockd.

“We’ve got a lot of stuff happening this year, a lot of new products and DIY creativity kits we’re releasing. In addition to that, we’re blending the physical and the online worlds. We’re actually about to launch our first physical, immersive retail event space in Sydney – Crockd Studios. So that’s big for us. We’re hiring a few local roles and providing a space for corporates to help their employees ‘get out of their heads and into their hands.’ But yeah, we’re pumped – never a dull moment at Crockd.” 

Final Words from the Happy Client

“Although I could do a lot of this myself, I think it makes a big difference when you can step away outside the business and look from the top down, rather than from being inside the business all the time and trying to understand what’s going on with the finances.

We have always engaged our partners through what I would call a values-based test. That means the providers and people we work with must align with our values, and I think Bean Ninjas does that really well.”

Want to save time, money, and headaches with your bookkeeping and financial reporting? Check out our eCommerce Growth Partner packages.

Posted By

Anfernee Chansamooth

Anfernee Chansamooth

As Learning & Community Lead, Anfernee's focus is to drive the growth of the Bean Ninjas Educ8tion business through data-driven marketing initiatives, strategic partnerships, community building, and content marketing. In his spare time, Anf loves to cycle around town, drink soy caps with honey, and travel with his wife.

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