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“Starting our business was a crazy few months! We had to learn so many things in such a short period of time. We didn’t really know what we needed when it came to accounting, so we just started working with a small personal accountant.
But as we grew, we realised that we needed someone who offered more specialised services… that’s when a colleague recommended North Advisory. We haven’t looked back since!” ~ Polly McCourt, Founder and Director, Sage Cosmetic Coaching.
Polly and her business partner, Lu Wilson, needed a team with the expertise and sound knowledge of accounting for new businesses, in order to propel their company to the next level. With North Advisory there to help, they are on a solid upward trajectory.
Polly and Lu started Sage Cosmetic Coaching at the end of 2017. The company is in the natural cosmetics industry but has a unique business model where they host workshops teaching people how to make their own skincare. With such a niche market sector, they needed to be confident that their financial management could support them through their development phase. Lu explains:
“We started the business with only a small amount of capital, but we quickly began to build a great client network and a wonderful collaborative community.
We partnered with various workshop spaces around Sydney and found ourselves watching our bank balance grow.
The accountant we were working with at the time was capable enough… but I never felt confident that we were really in the best hands. I like to learn how each accounting step works and understand processes… whereas he just wanted to finalise the tasks without really explaining things to me.
We’d taken a great deal of time to review our business structure options at the beginning because we wanted to make sure we were well prepared for growth, but the accounting side of the business was an ‘unknown’ for me… and I didn’t like that.
I asked a few colleagues if they knew a professional business accountant and North Advisory’s name came up. From our initial meeting with Marius, we could immediately see an incredible difference in the knowledge and understanding of business accounting. And it was a quick, easy decision to move over to them!”
Changing accountants isn’t always easy. There is a lot of important information that needs to be handed over and it’s critical that the change doesn’t impact the business. Lu says:
“We were lucky that the transition to North Advisory was very smooth. We simply told our previous accountant that we were moving on, and the team did the rest. We only had a few months’ worth of transactional history, but we still wanted to make sure that nothing got lost.
We were already using Xero, so everything stayed the same there, but we immediately saw a higher level of service.
Now if I have questions about payroll or super or our BAS, I simply send an email through and it’s answered really quickly.
Marius, Greg and the whole team are always there when we need them! Accounting is not my strong point, so it’s great to know I have their professional expertise on hand whenever I have a complicated tax issue or need urgent documentation for government applications.”
Like most small business owners, Polly and Lu were heavily impacted by the pandemic as their workshops were suspended for months at a time. It was a challenging period but they managed to keep the business going and have come out the other side even stronger. Polly says:
“We were so lucky to have the professional accounting support of North Advisory during those terrible times in 2020 and 2021.
Sage basically ground to a halt because we couldn’t run any workshops… we’d been growing steadily and were looking at a great year ahead when COVID hit. It really made me want to cry.
But the team at North Advisory stepped in and quickly started helping us find the right government assistance that managed to keep us afloat… it felt like they were on our side and wanted to make sure the business didn’t fail.
Not only did we survive, we actually managed to continue growing by finding new opportunities… and we even signed a lease on our beautiful studio in the middle of the 2021 lockdown! Without their help, I don’t think we’d still be in business.”
Today, Sage Cosmetic Coaching continues to grow, and Polly and Lu are negotiating investment opportunities with potential new business partners. Lu says that the relationship with North Advisory and the business advice they receive are particularly important in helping them feel confident about the decisions they make.
“We would never consider taking on investors unless we discussed it with Marius first. His business advice has become so important to us, and we know that he always has our best interest at heart.
He gives us a well-rounded overview of a situation – from both the financial and operational perspectives. He makes us really consider the positives and the negatives of any business decision and his guidance is invaluable to us.”
If you are looking for expert accounting for a new business, our team is ready to help you. Please contact us today.