If you are anything like me, you don’t expect to see bookkeeping and fun in the same sentence but award winning entrepreneur Lisa Newton can change your perceptions and prejudices. When I spoke to Lisa here enthusiasm for the business was infectious and I found myself looking at my own paperwork in a new light!
Lisa set up Boogles Ltd, her award-winning bookkeeping company in 2004, in the same month that she graduated from university, age 23 with £150 and a lot of energy! Lisa put in £100 from her overdraft and her mum contributed £50. Now in it’s 6th year of trading, Boogles has diversified into other markets – including legal cashiering, creating a maths game for kids, bookkeeping training and Lisa is the author of a series of books featuring Boogles, the funky calculator who goes in and rescues many a business owner from their own books.
Lisa has looked at the accounts of many companies and has seen the good, the bad and the ugly. Working on-site, helping businesses with their money and cashflow has given her a unique insight into how different businesses operate, different management styles and what works and what doesn’t. Money, budgeting and how to survive on a shoestring is her passion. Boogles, the Bookkeeping Business is in the process of being franchised. Her intention is to create a global brand and to then help others do the same.
I asked Lisa to talk a little about herself and why she started Boogles.
“From school I took a degree in Marketing and Accountancy at Middlesex University. This course really suited my personality as part of me is dynamic and driven and drawn towards marketing while another part is very structured and enjoys the stability and order of numbers and statistics. On graduating I took a masters at City University in Investment Management.”
” At the time I graduated banking, the stock market and the property market were all on the way up and the Masters course had given me the perfect grounding to go into any of these lucrative areas. But two things made me keen to start my own business. Firstly, I had worked on an internship at Bloombergs and would have been able to take a full-time contract with them. However, like most investment banks, they wan staff to start at the bottom, answering the phones, in order to get a good grounding in all levels of their business. While this is a really good idea from the companies point of view it was not what I wanted to do. Secondly, I had read Rich Dad, Poor Dad while I was studying for my Masters and had been struck by the statement that ‘if you want to be rich you have to be an owner or investor’. Since I’d decided against becoming an investor, being an owner was the only option.”
Most bookkeepers stay small, being self-employed with a small client base. What made you think differently?
“When I started the business it was just me. As I became busier I was starting to have to work through the night to get all of the work done. Then a chance conversation with a stranger convinced me that I had to employ someone to take some of the workload. And I remembered something else from Rich Dad, Poor Dad ’employ people and people will make you your money'”
So, tell me a bit about Boogles.
“At Boogles we work with small businesses / owner managers who have a problem with their paperwork and receipts. What we do is we go in and sort out any problems by implementing our Boogles bookkeeping system. This means that they don’t have to worry about sorting paid/unpaid invoices, chasing debt and the hundreds of other mundane financial issues that can swamp small businesses. Managers then have more time to work ON the business.
Our 10 core values, the things we really believe in, are:
1. Offer good value for money
2. Treat people fairly
3. Embrace all nations into the Boogles family
4. Don’t bamboozle anyone with unnecessary jargon… keep it simple
5. Run on a shoestring – less is more – again, keep it simple
6. Be friendly
7. Be different… who says bookkeepers are boring?! We’re not boring!!
8. Variety is the spice of life… hence, it’s not just bookkeeping that we do… we do a lot more besides
10. Be humble. No-one likes a show-off.
You said that you want to franchise Boogles and take it global. A huge goal. How are you going to do this? “We have already started to diversify. We’ve written a series of books about Boogles the bookkeeper who helps business owners / business women / entrepreneurs with their bookkeeping and we are going to add to the range. We also have a range of training CD’s and have developed a maths game for kids! You can expect to see more Boogles products as we grow the brand as well as the business.”
2009 – Finalist
Entrepreneur of The Year, RBS South London Business
2009 – Finalist
Women On Their Way, Sole Trader Of The Year
2009 – Finalist
Business Woman Of The Year (East Mids), Women Of Worth
2008 – WINNER
Enterprising Business, West Focus
2007 – WINNER
Young Entrepreneur of The Year, Precious Online