Learn how Bean Ninjas client Kate Walsh Rose went from pitch to successful startup.
When we hear “startup” it’s easy to jump to the conclusion that we’re talking about a tech startup, an online business or something of that nature, right?
Not all startups fall under those categories.
Rex Plumbing is not your typical startup business, and Kate Walsh Rose is not your typical entrepreneur.
“This is our first year of business and we are on track to complete the financial year just shy of $500k.“
From pitch to Rex Plumbing
It all started when Kate pitched a business idea to a group of directors she was employed by.
Her idea had a completely different model and customer focus. Kate describes it as a “customer-focused plumbing business”.
“Our business model is a customer-focused plumbing business. The aim is to serve B2B and individuals for reactive maintenance and asset management. We prefer to build a long term relationship with our customers so that they get value for money and can talk about budget restrictions and how to best manage asset lifecycle and building compliance to get the best outcomes.”
The directors liked what the business case they saw, and gave Kate the opportunity to create a subsidiary business.
Kate was on her way to transforming an idea into reality.
Kate Walsh Rose on Overcoming Obstacles
Kate’s biggest business challenge thus far was a technical one in nature, but probably not something you hear a lot about (unless you’re in plumbing).
This was the issue…
“Getting technicians to complete timecards in real time! They are awesome at plumbing and sometimes get caught up in problem-solving or getting to the next job they forget to complete their timecards.”
The solution? Implementing a scorecard and tracking the rate of completion.
Another solution was implementing admin checks, to ensure that every worker is accurately billed in a timely manner.
Kate Walsh Rose’s Growth Hacks – Networking and automation
A winning growth strategy that Kate applied to her business was joining a local business networking group (BNI).
“This has opened up a network outside our normal pathways and also given me a great professional development opportunity.”
Additionally, Kate and her team automated some of their sales processes.
“We have automated (to a degree our sales process so that we can be quick to market for potential customers. Implementing automation can free up your time, so you can focus on what you do best in your business.”
When we asked Kate to share with us one project she’s excited about working on, she replied: “I think the project initially of starting the business was really exciting, so, it’s hard to top that.”
Annual finance turnover and income source
Since this is Kate’s first year of business, they are completing the financial year with slightly less than $500K. (I’m sure you’d agree that’s a great result!)
Apart from commercial and residential plumbing, Rex Plumbing is also offering its services to the healthcare and education sectors.
The new financial year brings a revised business and marketing plan for Kate and her team.
“Each person will have something to add to your life; it could be as simple as an affirmation that you’re on the right path.”
Here’s a short video explaining the steps required to transition from an idea to a start-up.Want to turn your idea into a startup? Here’s how Kate Walsh Rose did it. Click To Tweet
Learning financial literacy using Xero
One area that Kate wanted help improving was her own financial literacy and understanding of Xero best practices.
When Bean Ninjas launched the pilot of our new Financial Literacy for Xero Users online training in April 2019, Kate wasn’t sure if it would be suitable for a service-based business like her own.
She signed up anyway and found the course was exactly what she needed to improve her financial skills and Xero understanding.
Along with learning about Xero best practices and automation, Kate’s 3 favorite course topics were:
- Automating bill payment – Why complicate your payments when you can easily configure your billing workflow?
- Cash flow forecasting – How to obtain an estimation of your business’s financial future, so you can predict your incomes and outcomes.
- Applying profit first – How to set up your business to be profitable and pay yourself as a small business owner.
Here’s what Kate had to say about her experience:
“Working with Bean Ninja’s has provided many learning opportunities for me personally and the business. Accounting and bookkeeping were not tools that I had in my toolbox and whilst I have a long way to go Bean Ninja’s allows professional development pathways to increase the range of tools that I have at my disposal.”
Want to read more inspiring Bean Ninjas customer success stories? Refer here.
Key lessons from Kate’s startup journey
- If you have an idea, don’t hesitate to share it
- Embrace new methods, so you can simplify your work days
- Focus on doing what you do best, but also, leave room for any additional knowledge that can come in handy
- You can be one step ahead of your business when you track its metrics
Finally, here are Kate’s parting words to help you find success in your business journey:
“Never pass on an opportunity to talk with, and listen to people from all walks in life, all cultures, backgrounds, industries, each person will have something to add to your life.”
If you’d like to improve your financial literacy just like Kate did, join us in the next round of our 6-week Financial Literacy for Xero Users online course.
Want to meet some of our other amazing Bean Ninjas clients? Refer here.