As one of Christine’s virtual bookkeepers, we don’t get to spend much time together. Typically, she works in Michigan, while I work around the globe. However, I always enjoy and value our time together. I really admire Christine for her success in business, academics, and public speaking at conferences like Scaling New Heights. I feel blessed to have the opportunity to learn so much from her and jumped at the opportunity to interview her. I hope you too can gain value from the thoughts and experiences of this exceptional woman.
A Little History
Katey: Tell us a bit about yourself! What is your background, education, work experience, etc.
Christine: I grew up in Detroit and moved to the east side when the Detroit riots hit the city. I graduated from Michigan State University in ’79 with an undergrad degree in Education (Qualified to teach Special Ed and Elementary Ed) I went on to earn a M.Ed with a specialization in Learning Disabilities and taught for 17 years.
Katey: What made you decide to become a small business owner? Why did you decide to start your business?
Christine: I was a learning specialist at a clinic and we had a pegboard (yes, manual, paper aligned with pegs in a book) system. In 1993, our director hired an office manager who implemented QuickBooks DOS 1.0 (it was only a few weeks old). I’m fascinated by automation and computerized accounting. I offered to help the office manager with other clients and we became partners in Accounting Resource. There were only a few of us out there implementing this change.
Business As Usual
Katey: What type of business do you have and how long have you been in business?
Christine: I am a single practitioner now, and have been a part of many different business segments. I actually worked in my dad’s franchises when I was in high school and college. I suppose you can say that I’ve been in business since I was 14.
Katey: Do you have employees? How many and do you work in the same place?
Christine: Our company has downsized. At one point, we had 21 of us in 4 offices around the country and now I have a home office with remote workers around the country and in Michigan.
Katey: What do you like about having your own business?
Christine: I love the flexibility of working on my own schedule and I also love managing the moving parts of a business. The diversity of the clients I work with are interesting and stimulating and I’m blessed with amazing consultants who work for and with me. It also made sense to have my own business when I also was raising three children and volunteering for church and school activities.
Katey: What’s something you learned while running your business?
Christine: Never be stagnant. Be fluent in the functionality of your tools and stay current in the information that can keep you ahead of the curve. Be responsive and caring to those you serve.
Katey: How can you sustain a business and stay so busy?
Christine: Good question. Life changes and you adapt. It was a lot crazier when the kids were involved with all of their high school activities, but also loads of fun. Fun watching them grow and rise out of the tough spots.
Katey: How do you stay organization and master time management?
Christine: I’m a list freak. I use Google for calendars. I do not function well with chaos, so I try to stay organized with agendas, project management tools, etc.
Katey: How do you stay relevant?
Christine: I’ve done some reach activities that keep me at a high level of visibility in my profession. I try to spot areas in other people’s lives that I can insert a meaningful change.
Katey: What are your favorite apps or technologies to use in your business?
Christine: QBO is the hub of my wheel of apps. There are so many that automate my system. TSheets, Receipt Bank, Active Collab, Box, Slack, to name a few.
Katey: What do you think your customers like about working with you?
Christine: Well, you can always go on my Find a Pro Advisor page and find out! It is a great way for prospective clients to get to know my work through those I have served.
Katey: What advice do you have for new small business owners?
Christine: I’ve recently mentored a bookkeeping business owner to help her start down the path of building her own organization. Know your unique skillset. We all are learning QBO, so it is important to have your own style that is true to yourself. Be responsive, caring and serve the people. Read and grow to stay current. My dad told my mom to send my birthday card with the Joe Louis stamp because I’m a fighter.
Note from Christine
I love working with Katey as well. She brings a sense of fun to my social media channels, but also brings peace of mind to my accounting projects. She is a joy to work with and I’m lucky to have her.