MMAM 134 | Business Success

Dress Your Business For Success With Krista Beavers (Episode 134)

Patty Farmer podcast


Most businesses started as passion projects, with owners turning the things they love into income streams. However, many are unaware how to secure business success, and they only send money down the drain. Patty Farmer chats with Master Business Growth Strategist Krista Beavers, who talks about her signature customized system, Dress Your Business for Success. She explains how this crash course, combined with her CLOSET system, allows her to educate business owners about financial literacy and cut their learning curve in half. Krista also shares how she uses her newsletter and book club to build a solid community that allows her to connect with other people and spread awareness about the importance of financial management.


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About Krista Beavers

MMAM 134 | Business SuccessKrista Beavers is the founder of Guardian Accounting Services, serving the public for 10+ years. She is a speaker on finance and shares her signature customized system, Dress your Business for Success, with audiences in California and beyond.

She services clients across the United States: Startups, brick and mortar, corporations, and solopreneurs. Her services are customized to the needs of the client, from accounting, consulting, payroll to CFO. Her business growth is driven by referrals from satisfied customers whose businesses have grown using her services.

Krista is also a master business growth strategist. She works directly with her clients to make the decisions that will drive growth, including how to scale the business at the right time.

She is a mother to two sons and a wife who is devoted to her family. She is passionate about being of service to community.


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Dress Your Business For Success With Krista Beavers

I'm looking forward to sharing this industry expert with you. I'm excited about our expert because I have known her for not quite sure how many years but I have to honestly say that I can't imagine not having her in my life. She's that awesome. I'm going to put that out there. We're going to be talking about how to dress your business for success with Krista Beavers. Let me tell you a little bit about her. Krista Beavers is the Founder of Guardian Accounting Services, serving the public for ten-plus years.

She's a speaker on finance and shares her signature customized system Dress Your Business for Success with audiences in California and beyond. She has clients and serves them across the United States, including startups, brick-and-mortar, corporations and solopreneurs. Her services are customized to the needs of the client from accounting, consulting and payroll to CFO. Her business growth is driven by referrals from satisfied customers whose businesses have grown using her services.

She's also a master business growth strategist. She works directly with her clients to help them make the decisions that will drive growth, including how to scale the business at the right time. She's the mother to two sons and a wife who is devoted to her family. She's passionate about being of service to her community. She's so community-minded. If we have time, we can delve a little bit into how she serves her community, both local and national.

It is important. I want to be able to say she's a master networker. She's probably one of the few people that I know that network intentionally as I do and knows how to do an introduction, knows how to do a referral and knows how to do it right. That's not necessarily what we're talking about but I want everybody to know that you get that and you've got it going on. I told you that she was near and dear to me. I am sharing her with you. Krista, thank you so much for being here with me.

Patty, thank you for having me on the show. I'm excited to be here.

I'm so excited to have you. I want to jump right in here. Let's talk about accounting services. Everybody and anybody who networks probably knows somebody who does accounting but just they say accounting doesn't necessarily mean that all accountants are the same like people in marketing are not all the same too. It could be as different as they do websites or brands. There's a gamut of different things in that umbrella. Honestly, what is your differentiator? What is different about Guardian Accounting Services that is different from every other accounting company that everybody else has already heard of? You're the bomb.

Thank you, Patty. That's a great question and probably one of the most often-asked questions that I get. I do accounting but what most people commingle accounting with is their CPAs. CPAs are trained and designated to do tax preparation. I work with accountants all year long. As you mentioned in my bio, I work to strategize. I'm working alongside the business owners to get them at the end of the year.

When we meet with their CPA, they are ready for that tax bill or lack of bill if we have done things correctly but it's what allows me to work with the CPAs very well. Sometimes I work as the translator with the business owner to what their CPAs are telling me. They're probably my number one referral source. They are good at preparing tax returns but not getting into the nitty-gritty of those details. That's where I come in with my business owners.

I love that because a lot of times, owners when the end of the year comes and then they do get slapped with that bill are like, "My goodness," but it's too late then. They didn't ask the right question. A lot of times, people don't realize that your accountant is the person whom you tell everything to. She's the holder of all your business secrets, especially around money.

This is the person that you want to know because she's going to be able to help you. There are a lot of things that people think they can take off, "Here's where I should spend my money. This is a good growth strategy." Maybe it is and maybe it's not. I feel like that is so important. I believe that one of the things that you do is provide financial clarity and peace of mind.

When we're in growth mode and we need strategic financial advice, that's important because for entrepreneurs and business owners, sometimes it's a rollercoaster. It's not this straight line for your business. It's meandering all over the place. Know when to spend your money and make big purchases and maybe you shouldn't. If you are trying to scale your business or sustain your business, all of those things are important. That is something that you do extremely well but then with all that, what made you decide to create Dress Your Business for Success?

Dress Your Business for Success started as a passion project. I know that every client is not ready for me. Every business owner is in a different stage of their business. Usually, what I've found is once they are ready to hire me and use our services, a lot of mistakes already happened along the way. It's usually a fight in those first 3 years or 5 years. Everybody starts a business because they have a passion for what they do, not because they have a passion for running a business. If the entrepreneur went to college, they're not getting a business education in how to run a business.

Over my ten-plus years of accounting, I saw a lot of the same patterns happen. I took all of that knowledge and created Dress Your Business for Success and my CLOSET system to enable each business owner to get a crash business course to set their financials up properly because the business runs around those financials. Most business owners do understand what a balance sheet, a profit and a loss are.

Many cannot understand how to read those necessarily but what a lot of businesses lack is that cashflow statement. It is probably the most important financial statement that a business offers. It lets you know where you're spending your money or where your money is coming in from. With this system, you're able to get that crash course business class, apply it to your business, understand what you're doing and cut that learning curve in half.

I'm always willing to pay money for things that will cut my learning curve. It's probably the number one thing I am willing to pay money for. Anybody who could show me how they can cut my learning curve is where you should be spending your money. Would you say that Dress Your Business for Success is for people that are not ready for you? Is it for people who don't understand? Is it for certain kinds of businesses like startups? Maybe this is for them so foundationally they get it right. Is it more for people whose numbers aren't right and who can't quite afford an accountant? Where are the parameters?

It covers both of them perfectly. I would love for a startup to start with this program and cut the learning curve. If you don't mind, let me give you a little example of one of the clients. He started a retail business. It was his first time doing retail. He did a few things selling on eBay but he finally put forward a storefront. He was doing great. Sales were booming. He was doing so well that he did raise the eye of the State Board. The State Board of Equalization is what handles the sales tax.

Unfortunately, he didn't realize he was supposed to be charging sales tax for the products that he sold. By the time the State Board was done with him, he owed $60,000 in sales tax for 1 year with fines and penalties. He ended up going out and getting a fast payday loan to pay that. I swear that if I didn't see the loan statement myself, I would have thought it was illegal. There's a 78% interest on that loan to pay off the State Board. Fortunately, he did not quite fix his mistake the second year.

The State Board came back and hit him again. It was one of those lessons that helped solidified me that a lot of the time, business owners don't know what they don't know. He got wiped up into it. Ultimately, he had to file for bankruptcy. He closed the store. He's living a new life in another business and has learned those but by the time he had come into my office, he had paid back the initial loan three times over and still hadn't touched that principle.

That one bit of information could have set his business up in a different light and had a different outcome. That would have also helped him immensely at the beginning but for that person who's in year three doing okay and things are operating but doesn't quite understand where the cash inflows are coming from or the cash outflows and what his overhead is to his business and doesn't have the flexibility of his finances to hire someone like me, this would enable him to get a better understanding of where his operating expenses may be to make room for that down the road and dress his business for success as well.

MMAM 134 | Business Success

Business Success: Hiring an accountant can help business owners to better understand their cash inflows, outflows, and overhead, dressing their business for success.

That is powerful. I have been bitten two times over things that I hadn't thought of. Here's the first time, which was super ridiculous, that I did it. For those that don't know me, in my spare time, I like to make jewelry for myself. I don't sell it. I make it and give it away to my family but somebody told me that I should get an EIN so that when I went to all these craft shows and stuff and bought all my gemstones, earrings things and stuff, I would save money.

I was like, "That's amazing." I did until I didn't file anything. They sent me a bill for thousands of dollars which was more than I ever spent and I didn't even sell them. When I did go down there, I was able to prove it. It ended up being $50 once I went down there and did it, which was because they wanted to slap my hand. It was my ignorance of not knowing.

That was the first time. The second time for me was this. I lived in a state where that state had an additional tax when you did money. I put on an event and the event was successful but I didn't know that I should have been charging them that additional tax. I didn't and then I ended up having to pay for everybody. That was also a thing. You could pick up the phone and ask somebody a question if you have an accountant. You could pick them up the question and say, "Is this true?"

That makes a lot of sense. I learned. Now, I don't do any decisions without checking first but sometimes they're little and sometimes they're big. Sometimes you think, "How come I didn't know that?" It feels like a no-brainer to somebody who that's what they do. Sometimes I see people do things in marketing that I think, "That wasn't rocket science but you never do know." We know what we know in our business and sometimes we don't.

I love that you are that person. I love that you're a strategist for business growth too. It's not like, "Should I do this," and you're going to look at this. That's what you help them to do and plan for too. That is powerful. I do love that you created this program. When you first showed it to me, I was super excited because I love the whole Dress Your Business for Success and the CLOSET. You had me at CLOSET. Before we dive into that, what does CLOSET stand for?

This is probably one of my favorite parts to share. Thank you, Patty. CLOSET is for Cash, Liabilities, Overhead, Sales, Expenses, and Taxes. I break down each of the major points of your business in each of these modules to enable you to understand the CLOSET of your business.

Can we break it down a little bit more? I understand that when you are doing this, people don't understand cash inflow, outflow, and some of these things. If we took it letter by letter, could you break it down a little bit? What does that mean for them?

Cash is the first module. We're talking about your cash. We do talk about the inflows and the outflows of your business. Often I had found that many times, business owners can't tell you where their money is coming from or which product is generating the revenue. This module does enable you to see all the different areas where that cash is coming in because cash is key. You have to have the cash to keep it going.

We go into the L for Liabilities. That is all the debt to your business. If you're in retail, you're purchasing inventory that is coming into your shelf and taking in and understanding particular fields where you can save on that by taking those cash credits when they come in. There are many medical practitioners. If you purchase inventory and pay it within ten days, you can save thousands of dollars, increasing your cash, but many businesses wait until the last day of things to be paid. That does hold off some of that growth potential.

The O is for Overhead. That is your operational expenses. Understand what expenses you need to run the day-to-day of your business. There is a big difference between a want and a need. Sometimes, particularly in this world of credit cards, each business owner does need to understand the difference between the want and the need and what they need to propel the sale of their business and keep it growing.

We go into Sales. That's understanding more of those product lines that you may be offering, particularly when you're diverging into a difference. For example, I have coaches that are used to doing a service but may find that they have some products that they want to sell. It's understanding to ensure that they don't get caught up in those sales tax issues, charging appropriately and getting their sales tax permits when needed.

We go into the expenses. That's going to break you down a little bit more into those expenses of your business, partly into fixed and operating, and understanding the difference between those two and how they affect your business and your cashflow. Last are those taxes. There are so many different types of taxes like sales tax, payroll tax, workman's comp tax, income tax, state and federal.

There are a lot of different areas letting you know when each one is appropriate. You should not forget that district tax you brought up there earlier in your example, Patty. Understand what type of business you have, what taxes you may have, and where those resources are because they are different from state to state. I provided the different outlets for you to find exactly where you are as well. There it is, the CLOSET system.

Honestly, if you're one of those CLOSET people who think that you have it all together, you may have realized that you need to come out of that closet and realize that you need help, whether you are ready to hire an accountant or do some type of a system like this first. Do you ever have people who start with the Dress Your Business for Success and then they're like, "I don't want to do this?" Sometimes there are things we like to do and don't like to do. Sometimes we want to do it because we don't feel like we want to hand it over yet for whatever reason. All of a sudden, we're like, "I don't want to do this." Do you have people who transition from one to the other?

That's probably one of the best parts that we do offer into that because it's one of those you don't know until. Sometimes you will get into it and say, "I served my business better by selling it and getting out of the spec office." It's educating yourself a bit on what it all entails to know, "This is not something I want to do. I no longer want to DIY this." You have that conversation of allowing them to come over to the guardian aspect of our business and take it over. In those two, we are working side by side with our clients.

I have a couple of clients who have transitioned. They are processing their AP and sales but they're like, "I don't want to touch payroll. I never want to touch payroll. Let me throw it away." That's what goes into our customized packages to enable the customers to do what they want, outsource what they don't want, be working together to review those financials, and make adjustments each month or each quarter to ensure we are meeting the goals that they want by the end of the year.

MMAM 134 | Business Success

Business Success: Krista’s customized program enables business owners to do what they want, outsource what they don’t want, and make financial adjustments regularly to ensure goals are being met.

What you're saying is because we know that every business is not a one-size-fits-all, you are able to customize it for them based on their business.

That's perfectly said there.

That's good because also at different times in your business, that could change too. Maybe now in your business, you have the time and then all of a sudden, things are taking off and you have to ask yourself where should you be spending your time. I work on my brilliance and hire others to work on theirs. That has always made me more money by doing. If it's not your strength, it's also going to be so far down your to-do list.

We love the eat-that-frog philosophy of getting it done but I'm not thinking that accounting is one of those things that people wake up in the morning and say, "I'm going to eat that frog and do it." I'm guessing. I could be wrong but that's probably not true. If it's not your thing, it's probably the thing you're trying to do at 4:00 in the afternoon. Why do it?

From the time I met you, it has always been amazing to me from so many levels because you are a networker. I love the way your brain thinks. You are good at connecting the dots because you've done all these things. I cut through all the stuff and get right to what's important. I thought of that from you being a networker to connecting the way you do referrals but I also see that here. It's in the numbers. Not everybody is a number person.

I find that people are usually this or this and you are one of the few people I know who can perfectly balance the left brain and the right brain in a way that you can be of service. That is amazing and the fact that you are able to get into the weeds when you don't want to, look at that and say, "What is it that you're looking for? You might want to think about doing this." It's not like, "Let me send over my things and we're going to put them in QuickBooks for you." It's not that.

I could get you that. That is out there at a little lower rate but that's not what we are. We are working to get you to that goal, not just regurgitate the data and send you on your way. We do work to make sure you understand what all those numbers are within your business because that information allows each of our business owners to make those strategic decisions and obtain the information to excel their business further than they may have thought.

MMAM 134 | Business Success

Business Success: Accountants help businesses get to their goals, not regurgitate data and send them on their way. They ensure owners understand their numbers and make the right strategic decisions.

You talked about how you work hand-in-hand alongside PAs. Are there other businesses within this that you work alongside as well that are good? When you're in business growth and you're a strategist, as somebody who is the Founder of Guardian Accounting, I would see where you are also the person to go to if you might need some other things. You already see my numbers. Isn't it great if you also can be the person to refer me to the other one? I'm sure you have relationships built with people who serve your market as well. Who else could they be able to come to you for that you work alongside as well?

I appreciate that question because I got asked by it. I was talking with a gentleman. I'm joining a new mastermind. His question to me is, "Why are you joining this mastermind?" My response was, "To meet new people." I have found that when in doubt, you ask your accountant, and when you don't know where to go. I've made it also my mission to know a lot of people in a lot of different industries to know where to direct my clients to.

I can see we got a marketing problem, a culture problem, or a legal problem when I'm looking through those numbers but I know I'm not the expert to help my client. I want to find the experts in each one of the fields to send my client over and know that they're going to get the information they need to resolve that issue, correct that, or scale that. I do work very hard to increase my network and find good people within their industry and their zone of genius because ultimately, it does help my clients to be better business owners themselves.

I love the different ways that you serve. I am excited when I ask you things that you say yes to. Thank you so much for that and when I asked you to write for the Marketing, Media, & Money Magazine, "Would you please write a column because of the information since you can serve clients across the US and beyond?" Sometimes we don't know what we don't know. Sometimes you will say something and I'll be like, "What?" I'm pretty darn successful. You will say things because we are experts in our industry. You have been great with that.

One of the phenomenal things also is how you serve in your community and the boards that you serve. I am a part of your book club, which I am enjoying as a new member of that. I'm loving the community there too. That is amazing. With that said, it's the way you spotlight. For example, I love that in the newsletter that you send out, you serve others and let us know. You have nailed it.

I see all the things that you are involved in and that you're sharing with us and how you serve, yet you're spotlighting other people and giving me great information. It is one of the best newsletters I have ever seen. The numbers that she is getting are unbelievable. I asked her this question. When she told me, I almost got off my chair. I'm going to put you on the spot, Krista. What are those open rates and clickthrough rates that you have? They're phenomenal.

It's 78% in the newsletter. At first, people were like, "What?" People were responding to my newsletter and saying, "Thank you. This was great. Can you tell me more information?" I thought about it, "I've never done that to a newsletter before myself. Do people normally do that?" It was asking people like you, Patty, who are in the marketing world to say, "That is not that. The industry average is around 12% to 20%." It does keep me on my toes to ensure that I am continually providing the information that my readers, clients, and networking partners want to read.

I was amazed when I asked you that because you're right. It's not just open rates. There are a lot of other things to look at like clickthrough rates. I could go on and on about that but that's not what we're talking about. For my magazine, I thought that somewhere between 58% and 60% for us was phenomenal. When you told me that, I was like, "How amazing is that?" I love that. Kudos to you for that, which leads me to a question that you shared with me about how you are creating a second newsletter. Tell us a little bit about that. Who is that? How are you going to serve that? What's your audience there? What can we expect from that? It's amazing.

I put some thought into different ways. Guardian Accounting has a different market than Dress Your Business for Success but I'm trying to serve and I want to get that information out. I have created a newsletter, The 4-1-1. With that, I'm giving 4 tips in each resource to help with that issue, and then 1 quote. I am getting that at the start launch. It's coming out. I'm excited about this one.

It's going to be a little bit more driven toward the individual and the different information that they can get out at the tip of their fingers. There's still a lot of value going into that but not so much of the resource highlight of all the different individuals that you may see in the other. This one is a little more based right toward the reader and hot topics that are coming out or things I find in the industry that can help them in that one tweak or falsity that goes out there to help better inform my readers.

We love snackable information, as I like to call it. A lot of times, it used to be that we liked these nice robust ones. I put them in a file and say, "I'm going to go back and read that when I have more time." That's what happens. I'm very lucky that I was able to see a sneak peek of it. It is amazing. You nailed it with that. If you're getting 78% on your first one, I am pretty sure that it's going to be high here too.

I love that it's nice, focused, and easy. You're going to open it up and get that information. I love that you're giving a resource. You're the resource girl. That's what you are known for and stuff. That resource is based on the trends where they can help. I love that they don't have to pick one. It's not like, "I can only have this." I read every single one of your newsletters, easings, or whatever we want to call them. There are about six people. I get them in my inbox and I stop and read them in yours. It's one of those. That is great. You have another gift too. You're that girl.

I do. Thank you. You asked me to write for the magazine. I'm an accountant. I'm not a writer. I thought that was fun and a little out of my comfort zone. I jumped right on that. Thank you again. I did prepare the accountant in me. Particularly at the beginning of the year, a lot of businesses do not create a budget. I'm not saying you have to create a budget and necessarily stick to every penny of that but creating that budget does enable you to see what you need to do with your business to meet those goals.

We started a business so we can make money. Do not be ashamed of that. I want you to make as much money as you possibly can but you have to know what you need in that business. What I prepared is a budget-friendly Excel spreadsheet that totals things up. It breaks it out and enables each business owner to get an idea of where they are spending their money and where they may need to make adjustments.

It also leads to whether they choose to start with the Dress Your Business for Success program, whether they're going to go straight to Guardian Accounting, or whether they still want to think that they can do it themselves. Whichever the case may be, there's value in all of that. I am going to endorse Krista and tell you that you want to make sure you sign up for that. Make sure that you are following along and reading her articles. They're good.

If you're not already a subscriber to the magazine, go to MarketingMediaMoney.com. You will be able to tap into that. That will be great. We're at the point where I love to ask my guests. While you have shared so generously, if you had to narrow it down to one Marketing, Media, & Money strategy, what would that strategy be?

Don't be a commingled mess. Many business owners when starting don't realize they're starting a business to make money. Business owners commingle their personal and business assets. You will find yourself either overvaluing or undervaluing your business very quickly. A lot of times, depending on your business structure, you could be getting yourself in a little bit of legal trouble by piercing that corporate veil. Don't commingle. Get a business account. Keep your credit card separate. You will be able to obtain a better picture of your business health, plus understand how much money you need to support yourself within that business so you can set the goals. Church and state are important for business and personal as well.

First of all, I'm going to invite you to go and come out of the closet. Check out her CLOSET, and go to DressYourBusinessForSuccess.com. If you're thinking to yourself, "This girl is the bomb. I have been looking for an accountant," go to MyGuardianAccounting.com. Whether you are leaning more toward Dress Your Business for Success and thinking, "Thank you so much, Patty. This is exactly what I've been looking for," or maybe you know someone else that this might be perfect for, that's a great place to start, or whether you want to connect with Krista because you can tell how amazing she is and you want to be able to connect with her, that's great too.

Go to her website. You will see all of her social there and be able to connect with her as well. Make sure you read the magazine. The most important thing is to connect with her because you want to have her as part of your network. Krista, thank you so much for coming on the show and being as brilliant and generous as you always are. I appreciate you so much.

Thank you, Patty. It was a great time. I did enjoy it. Thank you for all you do in bringing awareness to the money, the marketing, and the media. I love your magazine. You put out a lot of great stuff. You also are a master networker. I do appreciate you.

Thank you so much. Thank you to our audience. I appreciate you showing up and trusting me to know that the influencer or the industry expert that we are bringing on is somebody that you need to learn from. Our hashtag is #ListenLearnLeverage. Share it with somebody else. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe and review the show on your favorite platform. Thank you again for being here. Make sure that you have a phenomenal, productive, and profitable day. We will see you again.