Thursday the 24th of February – Episode 4
Think compliance is only annoying and slowing you down? Think again! In this week’s episode of The Art of Service Linkedin Live we hear Christine’s story.
So many lessons on how to run multi million dollar businesses through the discipline of systems and compliance! How she exited her business successfully and is now helping small- to medium businesses with their financial compliance (because nobody really wants to go to jail for tax compliance issues, right?)
Christine has owned multiple businesses, and currently have a business consulting firm that specialises in Bas, agent services, and systems for compliance and getting businesses back on track.
Christine on being in business with your life partner:
A lot of the credibility also comes with my husband, we’ve been partners and everything since we were teenagers. So that progression for us both starting our own businesses always seemed like a natural thing to do. I guess the trigger for our initial businesses was we sort of went came from the same place, which was we could provide a better solution than others could.
And and I think, I think most entrepreneurs, they want to find a better way, whether it be a better version of themselves or provide a better service to a client or a better system or a better solution.
And, and that was how it was formed based on ‘That’s what we were seeking’. And then away – we went. And look, we started business back in early 20s. And we had no clue Ivanka, we didn’t have business mentors, we just fumbled our way through, we hired people, stuff got done.
And there were successes, but there was also failures, like we’ve had massive failures and massive wins. We’ve changed business models, and we’ve started new businesses. So you know, can’t sort of go into the depth in this sort of format of 25 years or 30 years of business. But we can certainly stress some key things that have made a significant difference, where I found that we found our feet much faster.
We [my husband and I] had different roles in the business. Interestingly enough, we didn’t have formal structure about what we were doing in the business or necessarily, but there was this kind of like, unwritten rule that we were married, and we’re looking for the same thing, which is financial gain, to raise our family and build ourselves a future for retirement.
So I guess that was our overarching focus on where we were headed. And we weren’t educated enough back then to have the knowledge of business plans and how they are pulled together. We’ve learned that over time through joining industry organisations, networking with industry leaders, just reading books. We’re just hungry for knowledge. And that as we would bring that knowledge into our business, and then learn about systems, that would make it easier, that’s when we found we could start to get traction. And it started to make a difference. So it was, it’s just gathering knowledge is that is a is a really big thing.
And I guess the common goal is what gets you up in the morning, because business can get hard, it can get really exciting. You can get adrenaline it can get really fast and awesome. But there’s times when it gets really hard, like we survived through the GFC. And we had to make some critical decisions during that time.
We survived through COVID. But it was hard. And I don’t make smoke and mirrors about it. And failure doesn’t mean failure.
Right? So there’s times when I felt like we are I was a failure. Actually, I’ll go back to the the the roles of husband and wife in business. And we didn’t plan our roles, but it just went that way. So my husband’s a technician kind of person. He’s very skilled at what he would do, and part of the process that we would sell.
I’m a very systems methodical kind of person. So I built the systems and the back end compliance of the business and dealt with the HR and onshore and offshore teams and and what did the internal systems of the business look like? And how did they flow? So that was my role in the business and that’s why I focused on it. And that’s, I guess why I’m so passionate about that side of it.
So do you feel that as a business owner or as a as a CEO of a business compliance has become much more in the forefront of your daily thinking your daily tasks than it was 10 maybe even five years ago 100% And how has been changed your activities and how has that changed your your focus?
My focus is on documenting everything and having a sequence that it follows. I use project even in the BAS agent accounting business for numbers Australia and restaurant bookkeepers. I use project management software because I see each client as a project with repeating tasks that occur on a daily, monthly and quarterly basis. Some are weekly and fortnightly as well.
And we have I have an audit trail of how we’ve been working with that. And that’s part of my compliance, to demonstrate that I’m delivering on what my client is paying me to do.
Yeah, it also it also means if there’s ATO audits and things like that, I have worked papers and documentation to prove to prove that that journey has been followed. And that’s really important.
If you want to listen to the entire interview (audio only) click here: