For Seth Larson, truck driving wasn't just a job; it was a way of life. But after he and his wife welcomed their first son Wade Quinn Larson, Seth knew he wanted to be present for the most critical moments in his son's life, and his priorities quickly changed. He set his sights on a new career that would allow him to be at home with his family, so he started his own company called Alamo Dispatch. Seth is passionate about his work and takes great pride in helping others achieve their goals. He understands owning his own business isn't always easy but worth it. Because he clearly understands his "why," he has created a successful business and been the loving father he always wanted.

Tell me about your company and what inspired you to start.

Alamo Dispatch is a truck dispatching company. We receive a load request from our suppliers and connect these jobs with our drivers to complete the delivery. These jobs can transfer pellets for manufacturing, dog food, or other goods that need to be delivered quickly and efficiently. I was a driver for six years, and I have a 4-year-old kid. There is a lot of work in transportation that doesn't require being on the road. I knew I didn't want to miss out on being a father to my amazing boy!

What are some of the challenges you've faced as a small business owner?

Right now, inflation is a challenge. The job rates are not matching up with the increasing fuel prices. The trucking industry has had a steady decrease in drivers over 5-10 years. Last year, trucking companies in the United States suffered a record deficit of 80,000 drivers

What's the best thing about being a small business owner? 

The money I make goes to my family. I start early and work hard to accomplish my goals and not someone else's quota. I have the flexibility to get things done and still be a family man. The decisiveness of making decisions and learning from the result of those decisions along the way. Learning is definitely a huge part of being a small business owner.

What prompted you to start using FINSYNC?

I am part of a group of other business owners, and we advise and support one another. They recommended that Randolph Brooks Federal Credit Union start my business account since they are well regarded with the group.  Someone from the business department called after I opened my account and asked if I was looking for software to do invoicing. The banker recommended FINSYNC as a great resource. It wasn't until I scheduled a demo that I understood FINSYNC is more than invoicing. I was all set to contact ADP for payroll and Quickbooks for cash flow, and I learned from Jack that FINSYNC could do it all. Jack mentioned that FINSYNC syncs up well with my bank Randolph Brooks, which happens automatically.

What are the biggest benefits your business has experienced using FINSYNC?

The price is right, and there aren't all these add-on costs that other accounting software charges. The payments, accounting, and payroll are the three services that matter to me. It is nice that everything is all in one place at an affordable price. All of my drivers are 1099 contractors. They are easy to pay; the system tells me when they have opened the invoice, so I know when they have had their eyes on it. Additionally, we receive money from our clients that need their products transported. Also, I appreciate your customer service. It is so difficult to get someone on the phone in today's world, and you are sitting on hold all of the time. But I have spoken with Clark and know I can contact him anytime. He always responds quickly with a solution, and he has excellent communication skills. 

What financial institutions do you have connected to FINSYNC?

I was only 14 when I opened my first checking account with RBFCU. This is a big military town in San Antonio, and Randolph Brooks was connected to the airforce. My dad was active in the military, so we both set up an account. It made sense to create my business account here too. When I first started using FINSYNC, I felt like it wasn't syncing every day. I spoke with your customer service, and they looked into it. Now it syncs right away. It also has a "manual sync" option, but I rarely use this anymore because I see the transactions right away.

How does having FINSYNC connected to your accounts make your business life easier?

FINSYNC syncs up with Randolph Brooks so cleanly. I know that other accounting software does this too. FINSYNC does my payments, accounting, and payroll just as well as the bigger names in this industry. There are no compromises, and I have everything that I need all in one place at market standard for a far lower cost.  It is easy to think that because something is cheaper, you aren't getting the same quality or missing out on certain features. But that's not the case. You guys are providing services just as well as everyone else and at a lower cost. What's not to like about that?

What advice do you have for those who are thinking about owning their own business?

The pennies matter, and it is important to understand how much cash is coming in and out. Knowing your "why" will help get you there.

What features could FINSYNC implement that will make your life a little easier?

I wish the timekeeping features were more robust. If I am using the billing system, it is clear how it has been updated; it is so clean and easy to use. Every step of the way, I can download pdfs and access everything from one place. It is far more polished on the accounting side than on the timekeeping product.    If you’re looking for more helpful tips, the FINSYNC blog is a great resource. Maybe your successful business will be featured one day!
In today's world, it can be tempting to choose the most expensive option, thinking it must be the best. However, this is not always the case. Sometimes the cheaper option can be better than the other more expensive tools. As a consumer and business owner, it's important to know that just because something costs less doesn't mean losing out on value or functionality. Often these lower-cost options will turn out to be superior across the board.  This was a prominent topic during this week's featured banker interview. Colleen Ward understands the needs of small businesses and has been a WaFd veteran for over 10 years. She is an experienced banking professional who understands what her clients need to succeed. Colleen enjoys delighting her customers when she can recommend an accounting platform that does everything the big brand names do, but for a fraction of the cost. Read more about how Colleen recommends FINSYNC below.

What do you enjoy the most about your job?

Teamwork and brainstorming solutions to customer issues. I enjoy getting to know and helping the customers.

What is your favorite part of being part of your banking team?

I have been part of WaFd for ten years. I love the sense of community my team brings because we really support each other. 

How do you locate business owners that may be a good match for FINSYNC?

I ask them if they have Quickbooks or another accounting software they are using. If they already have a platform, I ask them how open they are to exploring a similar software at a lower price, this usually gets their attention.  I speak to both new businesses just starting their first account and existing customers as well. The more people I talk to, the more likely I will locate members that would benefit from FINSYNC.

Do you think your customers struggle with other software solutions such as Quickbooks?

I often question the value of Quickbooks and if I can save our clients money down the road, I am happy to provide an alternative. So many times business owners immediately sign up for Quickbooks by default because it is a familiar name. But I want to show them that they don’t have to spend so much on the same features. In fact, I have been told that FINSYNC is much easier to use. 

What do you like best about FINSYNC?

I like that it is an all-in-one platform. It is easy to recommend a financial platform with everything right there in one place. My clients don’t have time to open different tools and download account data into multiple systems.  In today's economy, we are all looking for ways to save money. And when you find something that can be just as effective but at a lower price point, why not try it out? You might end up happy with your choice and pleased by how much more efficiently and effectively you will be able to grow your business.    Take advantage of FINSYNC's all-in-one accounting platform and start your free trial today!
Elena is part of the Caldwell Branch for WaFd and is located in Caldwell, Idaho. Elena enjoys getting to know her banking clients and continues to improve her knowledge so she can consistently make the best recommendations for the people she serves.  Read on about her story and why she feels FINSYNC is a great resource for small businesses that are just starting out. 

What do you enjoy the most about your job?

I enjoy working with our community, getting to know them better, helping where I can, and really establishing those trusting relationships with our clients.

What do you like about being part of the WaFd team?

I like that the WaFd bank experience is more personal. Here our members often contact their local bank directly if they need help with anything. It’s that comfort in actually knowing the person on the other line that I think makes the difference!

How do you locate business owners that may be a good match for FINSYNC?

I start a conversation. For example, someone I signed up recently was in the process of creating a new business account for their first company. I asked them if they had already signed up for QuickBooks, and they said they didn’t know anything about Quickbooks but asked me what I recommended. 

What is your approach like?

I tell businesses as they grow, this platform can perform payroll, pay their vendors, and everything all-in-one place. I also tell them if they are considering purchasing a tool or piece of equipment, FINSYNC can show what their finances will be like months down the road if they had actually purchased it.

Do you think your customers struggle with other software solutions such as Quickbooks?

I don’t know a whole lot about Quickbooks but I have heard it is a complicated platform to work with. FINSYNC has simplified many of the features that Quickbooks offers. 

What do you like best about FINSYNC?

User-friendliness and great customer service. It is easier to get new businesses on board than it is with more established companies. It is hard to get people to change their ways and learn different software.    Thank you, Elena, for all that you do! One thing that separates FINSYNC from other competitors is we get on the phone and support our customers. If someone is having trouble with a feature, accounts not syncing correctly, or where to click to be able to pay someone, we will walk you through every step of the process. Our local support team is easy to contact via phone call, email, or chat. Schedule a demo today if you would like to beef up your FINSYNC knowledge. It only takes about 10 minutes and helps to gain more experience about our features and tools that are available to everyone.    FINSYNC syncs with approximately 7,000 banks and credit unions to help business owners manage their cash flow with less time and better results.
For those of us who have never worked with large corporations, we probably never would have considered the logistics of moving thousands of employees in and out of the parking lots during a shift change.  Well, this is precisely what Jackie and Daniel Arredondo focus on daily. They created a traffic planning business, and it is now a hugely successful operation that spans 14 states.    Photo of JPA Traffic Services directing traffic   Read below about their small business journey and how Jackie used FINSYNC to help navigate the ins and outs of creating their business.

Tell me about your company and what inspired you to start

My husband, Daniel, started our company, JPA Traffic Services. We employ off-duty police officers to do security, traffic control, parking lot control, and for anything else you would want a police officer.  We started this because my husband was a police officer for 32 years and saw a need. Our major client is Amazon. We created a traffic plan to get their influx of over 1,000 employees in and out of the parking lot within a short period of time.  It all began with one facility in San Marcos, TX, and has grown significantly over the past few years. We are now in 23 facilities in 14 states.  Daniel goes to all of the facilities and creates the plan. I do all the books to ensure everyone is licensed with tax information and other paperwork is in order and up-to-date. 

What are some of the challenges you’ve faced as a small business owner?

We weren’t ready for the amount of growth that we went through. Previously, I managed retail stores, so I had experience with businesses and accounts receivable. But I had to learn to come at it from a small business perspective. Then we didn't stay small for very long! It was especially challenging during COVID when we had two kids at home. I had to help him run the business and try to teach my kids. It was a handful.  

What’s the best thing about being a small business owner?

I enjoy being able to do things when I need to do them. The flexible schedule allows me to take care of my kids and even take them to the pool. I worked this morning, and then I will work again just before midnight. It is so convenient to do things on my time when I need to.

What prompted you to start using FINSYNC?

We can link up our business account with FINSYNC and see everything in one place. It is easy for me because I can pay my officers all over the country as long as I have their email addresses. It is easy for them to sign up and not have to wait for a paycheck. UPS and FedEx aren’t the best way to send hundreds of thousands of dollars. 

What are the biggest benefits your business has experienced using FINSYNC?

I like how everything is itemized, just like it would be with a regular account. I can go in and categorize every transaction. Then our bookkeeper can run the reports and run everyone’s 1099. It is so convenient to do everything in one place.

What financial institutions do you have connected to FINSYNC?

For such a long time, we have been with RBFCU or Randolph Brooks Federal Credit Union. We have our mortgage, vehicles, and both personal and business accounts. We like them a lot and everyone there is very helpful. They recommended FINSYNC to us, saying it was a service offered to business customers. We were growing and trying to find an easier way than handwriting checks every day. 

How does having FINSYNC connected to the accounts mentioned above make your business life easier? 

A couple of times, the officers didn’t put in their account information in time or correctly, so we have been able to utilize your customer service. They fix things for us and have helped merge the account and sync it. I am not very tech-savvy, so FINSYNC customer support has pretty much done everything for me and made my transition very smooth. 

What advice do you have for those who are thinking about owning their own business?

Take your time and look at all of your options when choosing a financial platform. Make sure you are picking the best model that will be the best for you. The services are there to be helpful and support you, so choose the one that will do the most for you.   Free up time to focus on mission-critical areas by putting administrative tasks on autopilot with intuitive online tools like FINSYNC that can do the heavy lifting for you.  
WaFd Bank syncs with FINSYNC so business customers can see all their bank and credit card transactions as part of an all-in-one platform that helps businesses send and receive payments, process payroll, automate accounting and manage cash flow with less time and better results. For Scott Pierce, small businesses are near and dear to his heart as he and his son own and operate their own small businesses. Scott owns a small shaved-ice business that he runs as a side business, which helps him empathize with the businesses he serves full-time as a WaFd banker. Scott’s son owns a local tour company near Snake River Canyon where Evil Knievel took his famous leap.    Snake River Canyon Aerial View

What do you like best about working in twin falls, Idaho?

I love talking to the people here and there is a huge outdoor life. Lots of fishing, golfing, and hiking. Besides Snake River Canyon, there is a huge bridge nearby and one of the only sites to allow base-jumping. Sure, most of southern Idaho is considered a desert, but if people decided to get off the freeway and journey towards the mountains, Sun Valley, or the canyon, there are beautiful sites to take in.

What is your favorite part of being part of the WaFd team?

Before WaFd I thought all banks were the same, and since I have gotten into the industry, I have discovered there is a huge difference between financial institutions. I really appreciate WaFd's service and the way we take care of our clients.

How do you locate business owners that may be a good match for FINSYNC?

As I am visiting with clients, I ask them what they are using for their accounting software. If they are using Quickbooks, I ask if they would be interested in looking at something comparable and that I would appreciate some feedback on it. Jack, with FINSYNC, did a great demo so that I could understand what FINSYNC had to offer and I could deliver this to clients.

What do you like best about FINSYNC?

Many people have liked the simplicity of FINSYNC, the price is good, and it has many capabilities.

Do you think your customers struggle with other software solutions such as Quickbooks?

QuickBooks spends a lot of money on promotion and marketing that they have to recoup, usually from their customers. I used to be in the marketing game and sold TV ads, even Superbowl ads, so I know all about ROI.

Any areas we could improve on or opportunities we are missing?

Keeping it simple is important. I like the four different services that are mentioned on your pricing page.  Scott will continue to be a valuable partner to WaFd and FINSYNC because he just signed up for payroll with his shaved ice business. He will be able to use FINSYNC and learn about the benefits while continuing to provide beneficial feedback with both FINSYNC and WaFd teams about how to make this partnership even more successful. Thanks, Scott!     WaFd customers can try FINSYNC’s software at 50% off for 6 months where you can send payments, run payroll, and manage business finances all in one place.   
FINSYNC and WaFd Bank are combining forces to deliver intuitive accounting software with unmatched customer service for business owners to take control of their cash flow and experience financial harmony. In this month’s Spotlight Interview, we chatted with Customer Service Representative, Kawanda Ready. Kawanda’s dedication to the WaFd team and her commitment to the small businesses she assists shines like a beacon and is just another proof-point that WaFd and FINSYNC are better together!

What do you enjoy the most about your job?

I am a very social person so I love being able to meet new people and have those wonderful conversations.

What is your favorite part of being part of the WaFd team?

Being part of WaFd is like being part of a family. My colleagues have become my friends. When you live at work more than at home, it is a blessing to be able to come in every day to a warm, inviting environment. 

How do you locate business owners that may be a good match for FINSYNC?

When I’m looking at potential FINSYNC clients, I am looking for small business owners who are trying to do all of their books, and payroll on their own and just need a little extra help.

What is your approach like?

I approach everyone as a friend so that it is easier to get people to open up. Once I have established that connection, they start talking about their business and pain points. I am listening for areas around payroll being too expensive or their accounting system being hard to use. I am in tune with them and helpful versus being a salesperson. I might ask, who helps you with your books? What do you like about it? What don’t you like? 

Do you think your customers struggle with other software solutions such as Quickbooks?

Definitely! Previously, I was both the operations manager for a trucking company and I was a manager for an accounting shop, for both of which, I did the books for these organizations. I worked with Quickbooks for 10 years and it was hard keeping up with the changes they made, it was so confusing. One owner and I spent 8 months trying to figure it out and we never did. I have a college degree in accounting and it was easier for me to write everything down. It is so confusing, they lost user-friendliness. Then as soon as you figure something out, they charge another monthly fee to use it.

What do you like best about FINSYNC?

I am excited about the products FINSYNC offers. I think it is amazing. It is so nice for small businesses to be able to have an all-inclusive package instead of what other software companies do by adding additional charges. FINSYNC is more user-friendly and everything is right there in one place.

What other “banking tools” could we provide you to help you succeed?

More FINSYNC pins! Also, it would be nice to have a video I could play really quickly on my phone to small business owners about FINSYNC.   Kawanda’s joyful personality and positive attitude will no doubt take her to new heights within the WaFd family. We are honored to have her as a part of the FINSYNC family as well and look forward to future conversations down the road. Thank you, Kawanda!   Learn more about FINSYNC's all-in-one cloud-based accounting platform. As a customer of WaFd Bank, you can use FINSYNC’s software at 50% off for 6 months.  
I had the pleasure of speaking with Mandy Perkins, the Executive Director of Choices of the Heart. Choices is a non-profit organization that provides support and compassion to women who are or think they may be pregnant. Choices of the Heart offers emotional support without judgment by providing counseling, testing, education, and resources. They are with women every step of the way, regardless of their income.  

What drew you to the company and to join in a leadership capacity? 

My husband and I have been business owners of a fabrication business for the past 20 years, and I also own an antique shop near the clinic. Our pastor started choices of the Heart in 1983, so I have always supported it in some capacity. In March 2021, there was a huge staff change, and the pastor asked me to use my business knowledge and take over as Director. I agreed, and even though there has been an enormous learning curve, I feel very blessed to be here. 

What are some of the challenges you've faced running a non-profit organization?

A non-profit is very different from a regular business. With a non-profit, you aren't physically selling anything to pull in income. We are entirely donor-supported, which adds a whole other stress element because we can't operate if we don't have the donors’ support. 

How does your work fulfill your passions?

We support women who are pregnant or think they might be. We provide pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, counseling, and additional resources. Even though this role can be very exhausting, I know this is my purpose right now. 

Who or what prompted you to start using FINSYNC? 

I was so tired of Quickbooks. I used them with our fabrication business. I have used it for years and have never been impressed. But when I came here, it made zero sense how Quickbooks works for a non-profit. Because with our non-profit, we are not here to take payments and invoices. Instead, we need to outline our budget and collect money from donors. QBO is set up for invoicing, bringing in cash for a service rendered.  When I first came on board, QBO disconnected from Synovus, the bank we were currently using. However, I kept going back and forth between these two companies, trying to get to a real person, and they each pointed their fingers, saying it was the other's fault that the bank account no longer synced. I worked for four months trying to reconnect! I was reconciling pen to paper with a spreadsheet. It was ridiculous.  I finally got fed up with it and decided to change banks to Morris Bank, which eventually led me to FINSYNC.

What are the biggest benefits your business has experienced using FINSYNC?

Quickbooks treated our donors as invoices, as in businesses being invoiced, which did not make any sense. This ended up being more work on my part than it should have been.  Plus, ACH donations were not tracked in QBO. These donations were only tracked through the bank. So each month, I had to go to the bank and login into two accounts, transfer ACH donations using a token code from one account to another and then manually put this into Quickbooks. It was ridiculous, and I just knew there had to be a simpler way. The most significant benefit FINSYNC offers is its customer service, without a doubt. I talked to Phil Weidner on many occasions because I am not very comfortable with technology, and Phil was very patient with me and helped me get set up. Phil is still helping me, and he has transferred all my bank statements from 2021 to be up to date. Phil has helped me with ACH payments and transfers done and eventually reconciling. I know he will walk me through whatever I need to ensure I am doing it correctly. 

We have to thank our friends and partners at Morris Bank for this introduction and relationship; tell us a little more about your relationship with them.

I am so happy with Morris Bank. My feeling all along is that we are a local non-profit, so we should be with a local bank and have each other's back. When we moved Choices from Synovus to Morris, I told Robert Benson, who I have known for some time at Morris, that I was so frustrated with Quickbooks. Immediately, Robert said, "Let me tell you about FINSYNC." I told him that if it keeps track of my donors and allows me to reconcile donations, I am in! So Robert put me in touch with Jack Stone, who walked me through the software and showed me how simple it is, which I like. I am so happy with what FINSYNC allows me to do. 

Could you talk more about the partnership between Morris Bank and FINSYNC, particularly at the beginning of the relationship?

My husband and I already have our personal accounts and other business accounts through Morris Bank here in Statesboro. So when I called, Robert was extremely helpful in this transition. Robert is the son of Dr. Benson, who we know personally. When I started working at Choices of the Heart, my first thought was Morris Bank. 

Do you have any other financial institutions connected to FINSYNC; if so, how is your relationship with them; how would you compare the relationships?

When I go into Morris, everybody recognizes me and says, "Hey Miss Mandy!" so happy and cheerful. When I walked into Synovus, it wasn't like that at all. I wasn't recognized. They didn't know who I was, they were there to do a job, and that is it. They weren't involved in the community.  It is a huge difference, and I guess if you are not a business owner, maybe it doesn't matter so much. But when you are a business owner, you want to call up your banker, and they know who you are. 

How would you grade your experience connecting your bank accounts to FINSYNC; did you connect more than one account? How has this helped make your business life easier?

Very high! It was very easy. Phil did most of it. He will tell me to press here, click on that. I really appreciate that extra help. Phil was able to design it for what we needed. If I ever have a problem, I know he will figure out a strategy somehow. 

What advice do you have for others running a business or 501c3 (non-profit) like yours?

Pray a lot! Learning along the road is the best way because if you come into a non-profit with no prior experience in 501c3, it will shape you to what it needs. Versus someone coming in thinking they know everything and changing the organization.  With non-profits, our budget is our main thing, and we have to stay in line with our budget since we don't have discretionary funds.  Finally, you have to have the attitude that we are here to serve, not just be served. I think all non-profits work in that way. 

Anything else you would like to share with other potential and actual small business owners?

You need to love what you are doing. If you don't love it, you don't need to be in a non-profit. This is not a job; this is a calling. If you want just to earn a paycheck, don't work for a non-profit. The girls that walk through those doors into our clinic need to know the moment we greet them, that they are not being judged. They are truly our #1 focus. You can't do that if it is not in your heart. I have often said if this ever gets to be "just a job," I will move on to something else. Right now, my heart is here.   FINSYNC ensures you have the best financing options to grow your business.
Building relationships with her community and supporting small businesses ranks among the top of Traci Kelly's key pillars for life enjoyment. Hear about how she and Doug, her husband of 33 years, have successfully managed their business, Kelly Limestone Learn more about her story, what brought Traci to FINSYNC, and why she is passionate about connecting with small organizations.  

Tell me about your company and what inspired you to start.

Kelly Limestone is a family business that Doug's parents started in the 1940s. After Doug's mother passed away in 1991, we moved from Aspen, CO, back to Missouri to help with the family business. At the time, this business was a rock quarry, mining rock, and manufacturing limestone, which ultimately grew into the business today.  In 2002 we officially purchased the entire business from Doug's father. We sold the rock quarry section of the company in 2007 and concentrated on manufacturing limestone and gypsum products The limestone contains calcium deposits which feed the plants and makes other nutrients work better. Calcium is critical to the human body and plant growth as well.  Our target markets include golf courses, agricultural farms, and lawn care. We manufacture this product in Missouri and ship it to over 38 states and countries. 

What are some of the challenges you've faced as a small business owner?

Over the years, the challenges we have faced are the growing pains of a capital-intensive business, and raw material sourcing has been a big challenge.  We have been blessed and have always had wonderful employees. We have not had a lot of employee turnover, high employee retention, and we are grateful for that. 

What's the best thing about being a small business owner?

This is so easy! We forge meaningful relationships with our customers and our employees. We have come to know many of them personally and their families; we are truly blessed. They have made our lives fuller.  Many of the companies who have been our clients since 1991 are also small businesses. We have known them personally over the years, and we go to their funerals when loved ones pass. Their lives are intermixed with ours in lots of wonderful ways.

What prompted you to start using FINSYNC?

I researched all the bigger companies because I knew our software had to be web-based since our secretary was working from a different location.  I have always been a supporter of small businesses. In fact, I told our friends and family that I am buying all Christmas presents locally this year. I felt like FINSYNC was a small company where I could call and talk to an actual person if I needed help. Since I have always been a big supporter of small businesses, I felt you fit me.

What are the biggest benefits your business has experienced using FINSYNC?

There are actually a lot of things I like about you. I like working with real people. When I have a question, David, or another customer support member, get back to me quickly. When I send an email, I like that someone will get back to me within a few hours. That's a big thing for me. I recently had a banking glitch which was kind of frustrating. But it is incredibly great to know I could talk to a person and they would help me through it, and we would figure out the solution together even if it is just a connection issue that was the root cause of my problem.  Keep doing your customer service the way you're doing it because that is such an asset for your company!

What financial institutions do you have connected to FINSYNC?

I previously was with US Bank, and during COVID they closed the lobby of their branches. I was tired of calling these 1-800 numbers, not reaching a real person. My husband and I decided we were going to try a small, local bank instead. We switched to OakStar using FINSYNC. I am so thrilled I made this change and have nothing but good things to say about that decision.  Moving away from giant conglomerations and supporting small businesses is kind of a theme for me.

How does having FINSYNC connected to the accounts mentioned above make your business life easier?

The bank sync is definitely a game-changer for me, and I can compare transactions and click "done" from my car. So quick and easy. I also like Lockbox for checks. This feature is a good thing for me because I am always on the move. 

What advice do you have for those thinking about owning their own business?

I would say go for it! It has been an incredible ride for us since 1991. It is rewarding, yet exhausting. If you are fortunate enough to do it with someone you love, it makes it all the better. I am very blessed to be in business with my husband. We have a joke in our family that he is the "rainmaker" because he is that guy that goes out and makes everything happen, and I come home and put together the details. We really complement each other. 

Anything else you would like to share with other potential and actual small business owners?

If you are thinking about starting your own business, I highly recommend going with FINSYNC and the smaller banking institutions. I feel both are readily available and interested in your success.    Learn more about FINSYNC's all-in-one cloud-based accounting platform.
Christophe Choquart followed his passion for art and opened LM Frame & Gallery in July of 2020 in Marietta, GA. We had the opportunity to interview him and learn more about his journey and how FINSYNC has helped him along the way.

Tell me about your company and what inspired you to start

I have been a collector of art for a while, and I’ve always had the idea of opening a gallery where I could display Australian art. I ended up having the opportunity to purchase my gallery in July of 2020 right in the middle of COVID. When I saw that the business that was previously located here was going to close, I decided to follow my passion and open LM Frame & Gallery. I was looking to diversify and create an ecosystem with an art shop that could be a one-stop-shop for art and framing.

What are some of the challenges you’ve faced as a small business owner?

There have been many challenges! Due to COVID, we’ve experienced supply chain issues. It has been challenging to keep up with inventory and inflation. As a small business owner, there are always things that need to be fixed. You’re accountable for every single mistake while keeping everyone happy and managing your team. Sometimes there are not enough hours in the day to get everything done.

What’s the best thing about being a small business owner?

Following my passion and making clients happy. To me, the greatest thing is working around art and helping people enhance their art with custom frames.

What prompted you to start using FINSYNC?

I had the opportunity to work with FINSYNC software at my previous job. I wanted to have a tool that would be a one-stop shop where I could pay my suppliers, do my payroll, monitor my P&L, check my bank information, and get bookkeeping help. FINSYNC has allowed me to have a clear understanding of my business and where I was heading.

What financial institutions do you have connected to FINSYNC?

I have Chase Bank which is my main operating bank.

How does having FINSYNC connected to the accounts mentioned above make your business life easier?

I can very quickly categorize my spending. I have quick access to view my P&L, monitor cash flow, and make decisions based on cash flow scenarios. Having my accounts connected has helped me manage my cash flow and bookkeeping.

What are the biggest benefits your business has experienced using FINSYNC?

FINSYNC has allowed me to free up time to focus on running my business. I can go in at any time and see what is coming in and out. It’s such a productive tool that allows me to stay on top of my cash flow without spending too much time worrying about financials.

What advice do you have for those who are thinking about owning their own business?

It’s important to have enough money saved up to go through the beginning stages of starting a business. Make sure you have the cash to support your initial investment until your business is profitable.

Anything else you would like to share with other potential and actual small business owners?

If you are looking for an accounting plus cash flow management tool, you should give FINSYNC a try. The customer service is great and they offer so many resources for your small business such as financing. In my opinion, when looking for a tool you need something user-friendly that’s really going to let you know what’s working and what’s not. Numbers tell a big story and it’s better to have one tool like FINSYNC that helps you understand and move your business forward.   Learn more about FINSYNC's all-in-one cloud-based accounting platform.
We had the opportunity to interview Bridget Chun of Chunogly Productions. Bridget wears several hats including managing her own business, podcaster for Romance at a Glance, and mother of two children, to name a few. Read about her journey as a small business owner and how FINSYNC has helped her simplify her cash flow management.

Tell Me About Your Company and What Inspired You to Start

I have been working as a freelancer in the entertainment and digital space for over 6 years. In the past, I was mostly working 1099 jobs due to being in the creative industry. I still wanted to have the flexibility and not take on the traditional W2 job. I started my company, Chunogly Productions in 2016. My company consists of writing and consulting in the digital podcasting space.

What Are Some of the Challenges You’ve Faced as a Small Business Owner?

One of the largest challenges that I’ve faced is learning how to properly manage cash flow. Part of the reason why I chose FINSYNC for my small business is because of how easy it is to track profitability, invoices, projects, and maintain all the financial aspects. As a result, I have been able to continue focusing on writing, consulting, and working closely with my clients. Navigating through the pandemic has also been challenging. A lot of my clients paused their projects from March until October. This was a huge problem not only for me but for every small business owner.

What’s the Best Thing About Being a Small Business Owner?

Flexibility! I am a mother of two children. I have a three and a half-year-old and a one and a half-year-old. Having my own business has allowed me to spend significantly more time with my children than I would have if I were working full time. I was fortunate enough to have been able to take off six months after having my baby. I was able to keep paying myself because I had a reserve of money. My clients have been extremely understanding during those times.

What Prompted You to Start Using FINSYNC?

My company was starting to earn more revenue from different places. I found myself needing to move from using spreadsheets to an actual system, and I was looking around at all the different options. All of the traditional accounting software systems did not seem intuitive enough for me since I am a very visual person. While I was searching and comparing different plans, I came across FINSYNC. After testing out the 7-day free trial, I found it very easy to use and decided that this was the best route for my business.

What Financial Institutions Do You Have Connected to FINSYNC?

Chase Bank.

How Does Having FINSYNC Connected to the Accounts Mentioned Above Make Your Business Life Easier?

Having my Chase accounts connected to FINSYNC makes my life significantly easier! It is especially convenient for my accountants when they do my deductibles or while figuring out how much we spend and what we spend it on. For example, categorizing everything and knowing exactly how much equipment or website fees we spend on a project is great.

What Are the Biggest Benefits Your Business Has Experienced Using FINSYNC?

Being able to get a very quick and clear picture of how much cash I have coming in or how much cash I have already promised to go out. The reporting feature allows me to pull up all kinds of different information as well. Another great feature is having the ability to send out reminders for my clients if they haven’t paid on time by implementing invoice financing.

What Advice Do You Have for Those Who Are Thinking About Owning Their own Business?

Don’t be afraid to pivot or market yourself in a different way if your original plan is not working out as expected. Oftentimes we have a whole plan of how we would like for things to work out, but it’s okay to change your mind or figure out different ways to obtain your goals. Something else I’d recommend is to spend money on advertising your business.   FINSYNC’s intuitive online tools can help you easily visualize and manage your company’s cash flow so you can gain insights that will optimize your chances of getting the best financing to grow your business.
Services FinSync Quickbooks Bill.com Gusto Expensify TSheets Harvest
Payments
Bill Pay
Invoicing
Accounting
Payroll
Expense Reimbursement
Time Clock
Time Sheets
Projects
Cash Flow Management