In a world of big box stores and online shopping, it can be easy to forget the importance of local businesses. Recognizing the vital role that small organizations play in our economy is a mission that WaFd Bank and FINSYNC do not take lightly. By working together, this partnership enables our communities to remain vibrant and thrive by providing small businesses with the resources they need for success.
When Juniper started, Charlotte had this very thing in mind. Charlotte has a considerable drive to support local artists and source her products from neighborhood companies. She plans to create jobs and help keep money circulating within the local community, which can have a ripple effect that helps support the entire local economy. Rhonda, Charlotte’s mother, runs the back office and details their story below.
Tell me about your company and what inspired you to create it.
What started as an ‘idea’ has transformed into a full-on family-run operation. Owner Charlotte Sirianni and her husband David run a small boutique store called Juniper Outpost (JO).
JO is proud to support more than 30 artists from the tri-state area. Artists have the opportunity to offer some of their work along with the merchandise Charlotte has curated for JO. The community of Mesquite NV and the surrounding area are enjoying shopping at JO, and their support is what makes JO a success.
What are some of the challenges you’ve faced as a small business owner?
Some early challenges JO faced included shop design and product selection and making sure our record keeping was sound and, most importantly, accurate. Something that new business owners may not grasp but is important. If you know you need a new solution, don’t rush the decision so you can get the right software that is the right fit. If people give more thought to other platforms other than the most prominent solutions, it will benefit them in the long run.
What’s the best thing about being a small business owner?
At the top is how the community has embraced JO. From the Chamber of Commerce to her customers. All have encouraged Charlotte to continue on her path and reaffirm the need for a specialty/gift shop in our town of approximately 23,000. Residents were looking for more shopping opportunities.
What prompted you to start using FINSYNC?
Charlotte needed to commit full-time to manage and running JO, so she asked me to assist with the office work. I took over what she had started in Quickbooks Online for payroll, accounting, and interface to the point of sale software, Clover. When I took on some of these duties, I found that QBO was quite robust in functionality but not as intuitive as it might be for a newer user. But Quickbooks did not have useful online help and available support, which was not working well for us. QBO was difficult just to walk in and easily understand.
What are the biggest benefits your business has experienced using FINSYNC?
One of the many benefits is that the breadth of functionality in FINSYNC meets the needs of JO, and the application is intuitive for the person learning and using FINSYNC. The interfacing with our bank and business credit cards is a big plus. These interfaces are expected to significantly reduce the office’s individual transaction entry/maintenance.
What financial institutions do you have connected to FINSYNC?
Our Business Bank account is with WaFd. Heidee Draney, a personal banker with Washington Federal Bank, played an important role in introducing Juniper Outpost to FINSYNC. She introduced us to the team and coordinated our demo. Heidee was instrumental in turning us on to FINSYNC, and we are grateful for her efforts and follow-through.
How does having FINSYNC connected to the accounts mentioned above make your business life easier?
As mentioned, the auto interface reduces manual transaction entry and maintenance. Reducing the chance for human error. Third, JO has over 30 commissioned Artist payments each month, adding efficiency for both our Artists and JO. Reduced subscription costs are also a plus.
What advice do you have for those thinking about owning their own business?
GO FOR IT!!! Trust that you have what it takes. Complete a business plan. Understand the business you plan to open, ask for help, and simplify the operation. This is where FINSYNC and its auto transaction interfaces and functionality will be useful. Let me add we expect to use the payroll processing system as we hire employees. Which is another significant advantage. Keep as much of your solution with one reliable vendor.
Anything else you would like to share with other potential and actual small business owners?
Have fun, be patient with yourself, and know your community wants you to succeed. Don’t overlook the value of complete and accurate record keeping. Use automation, such as what is offered by FINSYNC.
FINSYNC continues to support your small business with updated accounting and business knowledge to help you grow, scale and succeed.