Founder & CEO
Solvency Now Bookkeeping, Inc.
Tampa, FL & Los Angeles, CA
My female entrepreneur today is Maya Weinreb, a founder & CEO of Solvency Now Bookkeeping, a bookkeeping firm based in Tampa, FL and Los Angeles, CA.
Maya’s bookkeeping firm is all about delivering complete and perfect financial records and services to her clients.
She started her career 15 years ago, climbing up the corporate ladder in the finance field before she decided to take a leap and use her skills and experience to start her own business.
In this interview, she shares how she started her bookkeeping firm, how she grew her team and has an excellent piece of advice for aspiring entrepreneurs.
PLEASE TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF AND THE BUSINESS YOU STARTED.
I was born in Israel but my parents left right around the time of the Gulf War. I went to school in England for a few years and then went to high school in Florida.
I started doing Bookkeeping straight out of high school. It was fun, it was challenging and it paid better than the other entry-level positions. I did Bookkeeping for several different companies for almost 15 years. I moved up the “Corporate ladder” inside small businesses and had many different positions starting as an accounting assistant and moving up to AR Manager, Treasury Manager, and finally CFO. During this time I had started taking freelance clients as my side hustle. I got to the point where my clients were paying me more hourly than my boss was. I decided to risk it all and quit my job to start my own Bookkeeping Firm.
I am now in my third year of running a business and I am loving it. Not because I work less, nope, I work twice as much, not because of all the money, nope, most of it goes back into the business, but because I am building my own company and creating my own destiny.
WHAT DOES YOUR TYPICAL DAY LOOK LIKE AND HOW DO YOU STAY PRODUCTIVE?
I get up, immediately start answering my emails, texts, skype messages, and notes from pigeons.
I usually have client meetings or sales meetings all afternoon.
Then in the evening, I tackle any Bookkeeping reviews, problems, client projects or infrastructure projects. I usually try to eat a few times.
I love reading about entrepreneurs that have it all together and have a great morning routine. But I’m definitely not there yet. If I manage to take a walk over lunchtime or during a long call with a member of my team, I’m pretty happy.
Also, I try to get through a few lessons from Cardone University. Grant Cardone keeps me motivated and excited about being an entrepreneur.
THE JOURNEY SO FAR
PLEASE DESCRIBE THE PROCESS OF LAUNCHING YOUR BUSINESS.
At the beginning of 2018 I was the CFO for a Marketing Company. I had a few freelance clients for my side hustle, but nothing that was going to pay the bills. I took out a small loan to help cover myself for a few months, took the leap and quit my job. My boss was excited and happy for me as he is an entrepreneur as well.
It took me just over a month to train someone new to replace me and then I got my last paycheck.
I had days where I was freaking out, especially as the loan was drying up, but I kept telling myself, “it’s just sales, I can do sales, I’m good at sales”. I just needed a few more clients.
I landed a large client shortly after that and hired another Bookkeeper to take them on. She still works with me today.
I had chosen my business name years ago when a friend and I were looking for a website name that still had a “Dot Com” ending. We kept searching and I was telling him the concept of what I was looking for and we found SolvencyNow.com. I loved it. It was the perfect name.
A former co-worker offered to host it for me and made me a preliminary word press website so I could put up “my shingle”. I had a logo designed and business cards made and I was in business. I hired all friends or friends of friends that had new businesses themselves and it felt like we were really all helping each other.
I always knew I wanted to start my own business, but never knew what to do. (A friend of mine calls this “Analysis Paralysis”.) One day I realized I already had a business since I had side hustle bookkeeping clients, and realized I had my “business vehicle” and just went for it.
It took almost no start-up money, other than the money I needed to pay my personal bills and rent. I took a loan out for that but didn’t get any investments or loans for my actual business. I bootstrapped it and didn’t spend money buying anything unless I had money made from sales to cover it.
I love talking to people and have a lot of friends, so I got referrals pretty quickly. I spent no money on marketing until very recently. Almost all of my business has been built up from word of mouth, or organic Facebook postings.
I hired more bookkeepers as I got more clients, and wouldn’t hire anyone until I had enough work for them.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT AND YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE SINCE YOU STARTED YOUR BUSINESS?
My biggest accomplishment was that I built this company all by myself. I am now incorporated, insured, Quickbooks Proadvisor certified and my team is 7 Bookkeepers strong. I have had a lot of help but I have led and spearheaded this entire thing.
My biggest challenge is my own mental barriers. There were so many times I had to deal with negative self-talk, and so many times I had to talk myself out of going and getting a job. One time near the beginning I got an amazing job offer that was more money than I ever made before and more money than my company was even making at the time. I called my close friends to ask them what they thought I should do, and they all told me to take the job. I convinced them all why I shouldn’t take it. So I guess I knew all along. But it was hard. There was a lot of self-doubt and tears. Sometimes I still hear that voice. But usually, I’m too busy and having too much fun to pay it any attention.
WHAT STRATEGY DID YOU USE TO GROW YOUR BUSINESS? AND HOW?
My mission statement is “Solvency Now Bookkeeping delivers complete and perfect financial records and services, which result in your peace of mind”. My growth strategy is that I care about my clients and their businesses. I want them to succeed. I want to help them succeed. I don’t want to just sell them bookkeeping they don’t need or can’t afford. I want to work with them. I believe in very strong customer service.
In the financial field, where you might not hear back from your CPA for 2 weeks, I strive to reply within hours and company policy is 1 business day.
Where you might get a request from your CPA or the IRS that seems overwhelming and confusing, I will make it simple.
I give business owners peace of mind, I give them their time back to focus on what’s important – building their business. And that’s how I grow my business. One happy client at a time.
WHAT IS YOUR VISION FOR THE FUTURE OF BUSINESS?
I plan to hire more full-time Bookkeepers and eventually more support staff. I just started a LinkedIn marketing campaign that on top of Facebook is really giving me great results. I am working on streamlining my infrastructure, getting more and more efficient and eventually getting so big I’m pissing off the Big 4 accounting firms, but being better, more efficient, more cost-effective and definitely friendlier than them.
RECOMMENDATIONS & FINAL THOUGHTS
ARE THERE ANY RESOURCES OR TOOLS YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE WITH OTHERS THAT HAVE HELPED YOU RUN YOUR BUSINESS?
Well, I am a Quickbooks Proadvisor and I use Quickbooks Online daily in my company so I always know my numbers. I can’t imagine running a company without it. Quickbooks also has a task management system built into it for Accountants and Bookkeepers which I use religiously.
I use gotmanagement.net to see my statistics and organizing boards, Pipedrive to manage my leads, LinkedIn and Facebook for organic marketing (haven’t figured out how to make bookkeeping pretty enough for Instagram yet).
And Google Drive, google tasks, and my google calendar save my life and sanity.
And of course, as a remote virtual Bookkeeping Firm, where would I be without Zoom?
WHAT OR WHO HAS BEEN YOUR GREATEST INFLUENCE IN BUSINESS AND WHY?
Grant Cardone and the 10X movement. And my dad, who always believes in me and never in my doubts.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHER WOMEN WHO WANT TO START THEIR OWN BUSINESS?
Don’t get stuck with “Analysis Paralysis” of figuring out what business to start or all the things people “Say” you have to have.
Just start with something you want to produce that people want and sell it. Make money and invest that into your business. You don’t need investors. You don’t need the perfect plan. You don’t need a mentor.
You just have to start. You can work everything else out as you go. And I think that’s the biggest secret. No one else has it all worked out either, we’re all just figuring it out as we go along.
WHAT BUSINESS IDEA DO YOU HAVE THAT YOU ARE WILLING TO SHARE WITH OTHERS?
Virtual assistants! Give me 10 of those. Or marketing people who instead of just selling 1 thing, are full service and have a whole team that can deliver everything you need.
(I mean who knew that I needed a copywriter, a graphic designer, and a website tech, just to post a new blog???)
IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE WITH OUR READERS?
Good luck and you got this girl!
Welcome to the Biz Ladies interview series!
If you’re new to these series, I interview women entrepreneurs on how they started their business, what was the idea behind it, how they got where they are, the struggles, the reality and more.
By sharing their stories, we want to inspire other women to get started.
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