Featured Business – Lisa Newton, Boogles LTD

Boogles Bookkeeping LTD

  1. Give us a high level overview of your business and what people can
    expect from Boogles Bookkeeping LTD
  2. Boogles Bookkeeping Ltd is a bookkeeping service, based in East London and serving the surrounding area. We offer a bookkeeping service (on site or off site), bookkeeping training (various systems e.g. Sage, Quickbooks, Xero, Kashflow, Freeagent) and bookkeeping software (set up and installation). In addition, we have an arm to the business to help bookkeepers to find work via our licensed network and a bookkeeping franchise opportunity.

  3. How long have you been in business?
  4. Founder of the business is based in Plaistow and has been offering a bookkeeping service for over 13 years.

  5. Who are your current customers?
  6. Current customers and clientele vary from the one-man bands who need you once a year to help with their self-assessment tax returns preparation, charities, housing associations, to some very well established businesses (opticians, estate agents) who have been operating for years and need someone 3 times a week!

    Most customers have some sort of service-based business which needs some regular ongoing support. Currently our clients are in industries such as investment houses, family businesses, sole traders, nurseries, churches, consultants, youth groups, charities, events management, film, media and tv.

  7. What makes your company unique?<
  8. We are an award winning business with a team of bookkeepers who are very flexible in our approach. We can work with you on-site or off site, we don’t just stop at bookkeeping, as we have other arms to the business. We even have a song and have a book called Bookkeeping Made Simple. There are a lot of people out there studying bookkeeping, and so we offer over 100 online courses – many of which are on the topic of money, money management, accounting, bookkeeping and the various software out there.

    Plus we have a website dedicated to helping others find bookkeeping work called www.WorkAsABookkeeper.com and we have franchised the business, so there’s someone in our network which is UK-wide (not just in London), who can be called upon to assist you, if needed. work as a bookkeeper

    We are very fond of managing money and money management. We can show you many cost-saving tips and ways to save money, plus we have an online Cashflow Club which is all about personal money management: www.Constant-Cashflow.com

    How you do anything, is how you do everything, so if you tend to have a messy business (money) life, then the chances are, your personal life will be the same, so we are unique in that we don’t just do one thing, but try and widen the offering to help in various aspect of bookkeeping and in money management.

  9. What are some of the main reasons you like living/doing business in this area?
  10. It’s cheap and cheerful. London is extortionate in the centre, but cheaper the further out you go and East London is generally far more affordable that other parts.

  11. Tell us more about your own story and why you started this business in the first place.
  12. The Boogles story is quite remarkable as it all started with extremely humble beginnings. It all began with less than £100 from a hostel in Camden.

    The founder built up the business initially by working all the hours around the clock in the business, and then over the years stepped out and found good people to add to the team to deal with the increasing numbers of clients.

    As the business grew, so did the challenges, and there’s virtually nothing that Boogles hasn’t seen. True Jedi warriors. But the main reason the founder began the business was due to seeing Robert Kiyosaki (author of Rich Dad Poor Dad) on the Oprah Winfrey show talking about wealth and poverty.

    He said ‘if you want to be rich, you have to learn how to become a business owner and/or investor’ and that if there’s anything to study, it’s either accounting or the law.

    So, the founder took it upon herself to study Accounting with Marketing (and got a first class honours degree), and then did a MSc in Investment Management at City University and within the same month of graduating, at age 23 started her first limited company – and has just never looked back since.

    Initially, the idea was to offer an accounting service, but after realising that the gap in the market was for bookkeepers – a reliable, ongoing service – that was when the niche was developed, and what the business focused on.

    The whole ‘why’ was because Kiyosaki said that to become financially free, you’ll never achieve that working for someone else – and that selling your time for money was never the answer.

    The rich don’t work hard for money, they have money work hard for them, so this was the reason for starting a business…. To have a vehicle to make the dream come true. The founder has never in her life had a full time 9 to 5 job.

  13. What have been some of your biggest challenges?
  14. People. When I say people, I mean people who don’t have the same energy, drive, mission and vision as you can be more than a challenge. I have encountered envy in business with some people being deliberately obstructive.

    I have had employees that have forgotten my company has provided them with opportunities, that it’s the client who pays the bills.

    Those particular people lack integrity and a work ethic with non-existent customer service skills. – but my mission is to continue on – regardless. Some people have tried to destroy my business without success.

    Often people don’t realise how long you’ve been in the game, how many thousands of people you know through years of networking and what skills you have due to being a lifelong learner.

    Just because we know how to make the phone ring off the hook, and emails to come flooding in, doesn’t mean that this business is ‘easy’ it is simply because we are good at what we do, and because we make it look easy, people think they can steal or even copy our business model and get the same result.

    We’ll continue to invest in good people – but for some, developing ‘soft skills’ such as interpersonal skills’ cannot be taught. People need to have that within them, and it’s surprising how many don’t. They should add that to the curriculum.

  15. What are some defining moments that made you grow to the level you are at today?
  16. Winning awards, employing people, mastermind groups, finding a good debt collector, court cases, dealing with distractions, standing up for what’s right, putting my skills into use, ongoing training, practise, being good at what I do, calling on the spirit of the ancestors.

  17. Tell us about some interesting/funny/crazy things that have happened within your business.
  18. Interesting story:

    I trained a bookkeeper up from scratch. Taught her everything she knew. She said she was leaving and that the client (a circus company) had offered her a job. I distinctly remember emailing the client about the cost of poaching staff – a finders fee, and then (for whatever reason) nothing happened.

    Fast forward 5 years and I happened to see that there was a business who needed a bookkeeper IN THE SAME BUILDING as the circus company so I went to contact the circus company about putting in a good word for us. Low and behold the bookkeepers face was on the website as ‘Finance Manager’ – I sent them a bill for about £3k, and it was paid that week, which was highly useful because that was when the VAT was due, so it was helpful.

    Funny story:

    I was at a business breakfast networking event and at the end a lady came up to me and said ‘Hi Lisa, I remember you, I’m really sorry about what happened..’ Me (still with a smile on my face) was trying very hard to remember what on earth had happened… it turned out that she used to work for architects in Oxo Tower who subsequently closed down / vacated and never paid the bookkeeper.

    I let her tell me what happened, and how that boss never used to pay anyone – and that was part of the reason she left to branch out on her own… and when she finished, I said ‘well, I never sent the bookkeeper back there, so it wasn’t ME who never got paid… it would’ve been him!’ and we had a good laugh about it, because he went there behind my back – but got ripped off.

    However, there is a flip side to this… that lady had (for all these years) been thinking that the guy came from MY business… that he was from BOOGLES… now, can you imagine what she would’ve been thinking if he’d gone in there, cocked it up and disappeared?

    There I am, at a networking event, getting up at the crack of dawn to eat breakfast at 7am with a bunch of local business owners – and reputation is everything. So, again, its ‘people’ and how ‘people’ can destroy what you’ve worked hard to build just through their disreputable behaviour.

    That particular OXO client came through because I had leafleted that entire area IN THE RAIN. But not everyone is prepared to do what needs to be done. Former colleagues who tried to steal my business must think that clients fall out the sky.

    Crazy story:
    I ended up with a very nice local government contract just because I said I could offer a service and they’d had difficulty finding reliable people. We served the department for YEARS and that was certainly welcome business. This is where networking, after the networking event in the pub can really pay off.

  19. How has your company changed over the past year?
  20. We’ve shed some of the old people. Streamlined. Got more automated and we’ll take on more one-off back log jobs where people have just completely cocked up – and as the HMRC’s Making Tax Digital comes into effect we will be helping more clients to move onto computerised systems from spreadsheets. One-off backlog jobs are great. We like getting it up to speed and then handing over the reins back to the client to carry on with.

  21. What kind of trends are you noticing in your industry that might effect our community?<
  22. More online systems. More automation and less dependency on the individual UK-based bookkeeper to physically come in on site as a lot can be taken away. We don’t see this as a threat because we do a lot of mopping up and clean-up work, from all these people who have done the work initially, but never had a clue so have made a complete mess of it.

  23. If someone is looking to purchase what you offer, what advice can you give to help them make the best buying decision?
  24. Look at the reputation of your bookkeeper, and if it all goes wrong… who is going to be there to mop up the mess. Where does the buck stop? Can you find them or could they disappear into the night with your bank statements and the rest of your paperwork? Can you get a fixed fee quote? How can you be sure that they know what they’re doing?

  25. What are some of the current events or promotions taking place at
    Boogles Bookkeeping Ltd?
  26. We’re running online courses on various online accounting software plus money management programs. You can get the first month for £1 in our online money mastery online mastermind group. Thereafter £10. Cancel anytime. But ask yourself this question…. If you have been working for ‘20’ years of your life and you’ve yet to achieve financial freedom…

    is there something that you’re missing? Our online mastermind group which is a self-study paced programme is all about financial intelligence. Jump in for just £1 and have access to everything: www.Constant-Cashflow.com

Boogles Bookkeeping LTD
Lisa Newton, founder of Boogles Bookkeeping |LTD

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