When Brian Nasr started his small food manufacturing business Healthy Food Crew in 2017, he had no idea how to make sense of the numbers. But for many small business owners, getting someone else to look after your finances can be a bit daunting.
Here’s how we catered to Healthy Food Crew’s needs by simplifying their financial data, allowing them to reach their goals faster.
Healthy Food Crew is a Melbourne-based food service company that helps startups bring their food product ideas to life. Whether for humans or pets, Healthy Food Crew takes food brands from initial conception into real life products that stock the shelves of major and minor supermarkets.
“We do everything from manufacturing to packaging, to helping them with distribution,” Brian says. “We love seeing product ideas get into the hands of consumers.”
Being a small business owner, Brian knew how important it was to have a good grasp of your numbers. But like many creative entrepreneurs, he found it challenging to understand the company’s financial data.
“I’m a creative person, and numbers just aren’t my forte,” Brian says. “All I wanted was to make sure at the end of the day that there’s more money coming in the bank account than going out.”
Like most small businesses, Brian couldn’t afford to employ a full-time CFO. He just needed to find the right partner.
“I needed someone that could take the data we get from Xero and help me make sense of it.”
Sourcing the right ingredients
While Brian had worked with traditional accountants in the past, he found their thinking wasn’t quite aligned.
“Generally, you just go to a standard accountant because they’re the ones who help you with your tax and your BAS,” he says. “You would also expect them to be able to help you with forecasting and budgeting, and understanding the figures – but that’s not what I was getting.”
Brian was looking for someone to simplify the figures and present them in a clear and practical way. As a forward thinker, Brian also wanted to work with a partner that was constantly looking ahead.
After following SBO on LinkedIn for a while, he was impressed with the practical and logical approach to accounting presented through videos and posts from Jason Andrew. This was the catalyst that made him reach out for help.
“All of the illogical jargon that you usually hear from accountants never made sense to me,” he says. “Then I saw a video Jason posted that just clicked with me. I thought, ‘If I can understand something from one short little video, then imagine what working with a company like SBO can do for me and my business.’”
Recipe for success
Together, SBO helped Brian to better understand and manage his financial data by providing clear budgets and setting proper, achievable goals.
“SBO helped me to better structure my finances,” he says. “Now each month when we catch up, the team sits down and talks about the goals and why we did or didn’t get there.
“I’m able to throw out problems or suggestions or solutions, and we work through them. We put in place any steps or adjustments that need to be made to ensure we hit our goals for the next month.
“It’s given me a lot of security and peace of mind, knowing that my business is being looked after to a really high level.”
Brian says it’s the “thinking outside the box” that he likes most about working with SBO.
“There are no other businesses like mine in a broader sense, and we don’t technically fit into a particular box,” he says. “We adapt to challenges and circumstances on a daily business, and SBO has been able to fit into my business specifically.
“Healthy Food Crew doesn’t follow the traditional route of manufacturing, and SBO breaks the norm of what a traditional accounting firm is.”
Brian says the biggest benefit SBO provides to Healthy Food Crew is the removal of stress and pressure. SBO takes care of all of the detailed financial data, and presents him with the information he needs to grow and work on his business.
“I get the tools that I need in a broader sense, to be able to make decisions, but then all the detailed stuff I can palm off to them,” he laughs. “I know they’ll do a really good job at figuring it all out, and they come back to me with the information that is relevant.
“It clears my head from all the stuff that I don’t really have time to think about, and they present it back to me so I am able to make quick, applicable, useful decisions.”
Ultimately, Brian says SBO helped him understand his numbers in a way that he never had before, and has provided Healthy Food Crew with the financial and accounting support it needs to succeed and grow.
“Now I actually understand what all that mumbo jumbo means, and how it affects me and my staff and the running and growth of my business,” says Brian.
As a small business owner, Brian says if there is something that you’re not strong at, outsource it.
“And if you’re going to outsource your finances, I’d recommend SBO,” he says. “They just get me and they get my business. And what they have given has only helped us grow.”