Scaling and Selling Ecommerce Businesses

Scaling and Selling Ecommerce Businesses
The Faces of Business

Scaling and Selling Ecommerce Businesses

In this, The Faces of Business, Nathan Hirsch, CEO  & Co-Founder, EcomBalance, talks about Scaling and Selling Ecommerce Businesses. Nathan has been a successful ecommerce seller and has a deep understanding of the ecommerce space overall.

Nathan is a serial entrepreneur who started as an Amazon seller in 2009. His Amazon ecommerce venture gave him valuable expertise in hiring and training Virtual Assistants. He ran his amazon ecommerce business for seven years before starting a virtual assistant marketplace because other ecommerce sellers he knew wanted to use his virtual assistants. He ran this virtual assistant agency for four years, selling it in 2019 to one of his clients.

Damon greets Nathan on this Livestream with zeal and zest. Since he has reviewed the guest’s LinkedIn profile, he describes him a serial entrepreneur. Nathan started his career as a vendor on Amazon in 2008.

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Damon wants to know about the guest’s experience.

Nathan discloses that Amazon was not trendy then. There was no income or community. Similarly, there “were no courses, consultants, Facebook groups, or Amazon manuals.” Vendors had to abide by Amazon’s guidelines. Concepts of keywords, PPC, and product listing still needed to introduce. “So it was a different time.”

Nathan was one of the first thousand drop shippers on Amazon. “I didn’t even know it was called drop shipping until years later.” He sold textbooks there. He garnered positive comments. He thought of selling other products using ecommerce. Nathan would email the manufacturers to send him the items like toys, baby products, and home goods. Later, he and his partner Connor drop-shipped these goods via Amazon.

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Diversification is the biggest lesson of life Nathan has learned. At that time, he had contact with only one manufacturer on whom he was 99% reliant. One fine morning, Nathan received a call from the vendor informing him they would go directly to Amazon. He lost his biggest supplier. He then realized the importance of building relationships with hundreds of manufacturers.

The other thing he learned was that college students were very unreliable workers. He hired an army of virtual assistants from the Philippines. In 2013, he hired a lot of ecommerce VAs and freelancers.

Working with people from different cultures ramped up Nathan’s interpersonal communication skills. He learned “how to give clear direction and get on the same page quicker.” While hiring, they learned how to “look for not just skill but attitude and communication.”

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Nathan shares his experience of Outsource School and FreeeUp. He says he never trained VAs for others. At Outsource School, they only provided many SOPs to hire VAs. He sold FreeeUp in 2019, a few months before the Pandemic Shutdown.

Nathan says he has been working and hiring remotely since 2012. He also knows how to manage people differently and use tools like Slack. “Hiring good people makes you look good.” He acknowledges that he wouldn’t have been able to grow FreeeUp to $12 million a year and sell it without good people. “I’m not a bookkeeper. That would only go so far if I couldn’t hire good bookkeepers.”

Damon asks Nathan about the forces that motivated the latter to step into accountancy.

He answers that he wants to do something different. He was rather doubtful about the output of Outsource School. Connor and Nathan learned “pretty quickly that we hate being consultants.” The common theme was that before they could help people make decisions, they needed to revamp their clients’ monthly bookkeeping process because they needed accurate numbers.

Likewise, Nathan regards hiring bookkeepers at FreeeUp as “one of the best decisions” because “we were the month would end within ten days, we’d get a monthly report.” It gave them the idea of starting an ecommerce monthly bookkeeping service. And now they have a hundred clients “and a solid team of ten bookkeepers.” They are growing by leaps and bounds.

Damon thinks that there is an economic slowdown. Nathan, however, only partially agrees with the host. The guest feels that “there’s a certain amount of randomness to it.” On the one hand, many clients are struggling, while others have made progress in COVID. Within a decade, Amazon changed the concepts of logistics and inventory for good. Moreover, PPC costs are going up, affecting a strong brand.

Nathan highlights the present-day demand for bookkeepers. “I think it’s pretty standard now to have a bookkeeping service.” Like ecommerce, bookkeepers weren’t a thing. New technology has given new meaning to already existing bookkeepers. “And it applies to every business,” especially where the entrepreneurs do not understand accounting and auditing.

Damon wants the guest to talk about AccountBalance. He had to because he “was getting lots of referrals” from the people who “knew me in the past.” They wanted Nathan’s help with their company’s account balance. Nathan launched Accounts Balance for non-ecommerce businesses.

Nathan argues that Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) are good at tax calculation and related affairs. Meanwhile, a CPA “usually costs more than the bookkeeper, so you save money there.”

The guest shares his valuable insights into using the right tool. QuickBooks or Xero should be the only accounting software. He puts forth that not all free apps are made equal. He advises using software called Bench. It, however, is not compatible with anyone.

Similarly, for ecommerce businesses to connect to Amazon and Shopify, 2x is a matchless tool. Furthermore, it generates accurate statements. On a lighter note, Nathan says, “usually, you don’t need twenty bank accounts to run your company.”

Both Damon and Nathan exchange thanks with one another. With this, the conversation closes.

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28:45

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

people, bookkeeper, bookkeeping, hire, business, ecommerce, amazon, selling, clients, econ, e commerce, sellers, balance, free, books, monthly, decisions, accounts, ecommerce businesses, entrepreneur

SPEAKERS

Damon Pistulka, Nathan Hirsch

 

Damon Pistulka  00:00

All right, everyone, welcome once again, the faces of business. I’m your host, Damon Pistulka. And with me today, I have none other than Nathan Hirsch, the CEO of econ balance, accounts, balance and outsource School. Welcome, Nathan.

 

Nathan Hirsch  00:17

Thanks so much for having me. Good to be here. And hello, everyone on LinkedIn.

 

Damon Pistulka  00:21

Yes, yes. Well, Nathan, let’s let’s start back a little bit. Whenever we’re on the face of business, we’d like to you’re an entrepreneur, serial entrepreneur, entrepreneur. I mean, you got several, I’ll just say several businesses that you started sold and different things like that.

So let’s start back because you know, you look in your profile. Today, we’re going to be talking about scaling and selling ecommerce businesses. Well, you you haven’t specifically sold the E commerce business, you definitely have scaled some you’ve worked with them a lot with your your econ balance and other things. So let’s go back and just talk about you had a business where you are selling online in Amazon, correct?

 

Nathan Hirsch  01:02

Correct. I’d started that in 2008 2009, the super early wild, wild west days of Amazon.

 

Damon Pistulka  01:08

Yes. That’s why I wanted to talk about it, because we had just a little bit I know you’re not probably currently heavily involved in selling on Amazon today. But let’s just talk a little bit about that. Because sellers today, because it was 14 1314 years ago now. Man, that had to be a different place.

 

Nathan Hirsch  01:28

Yeah, I mean, there was no one there and there is no income, there are no community. So there were no courses, consultants, Facebook groups, there weren’t like how to sell on Amazon manuals or anything. And you kind of opened up a seller account, Amazon had a few rules, you tried to follow them to the best of your ability. And there was no PPC either. So you list products or go on other people’s products, and just whatever traffic Amazon would send your way you do it.

And I mean, I’m even keywords like no one really knew anything about keywords. So you just kind of guess and put stuff in listings. And there was no like helium 10, or tools to track the best keywords or anything like that. So it was definitely a different time, I had to be one of the first 1000 dropshippers on Amazon when I started.

I didn’t even know it was called Drop Shipping until years later. And I just I was selling textbooks and I doing okay, but I got a cease and desist letter from my college telling me that to knock it off and stop competing with their bookstore. So I had this Amazon account that I was selling some books on and had some positive feedback. And I started just experimenting, selling other products until one day I had this idea What if I built relationships with people that made products and didn’t know Amazon didn’t know ecommerce, and I didn’t really have a lot of money or anywhere to store inventory.

And I would give them my credit card and they keep it on file and I get the sales on Amazon and email them the order and they’d ship it where I told them to. And that was our relationship. And over time we built my business partner Connor and I built relationships with hundreds of US manufacturers just drop shipping, toys, baby products, Home Goods. Yeah, that’s really how we got everything off the ground.

 

Damon Pistulka  03:10

That’s that’s such an awesome story. Because it is it was like you said the Wild West days you really didn’t know people that’s the manufacturers didn’t know or distributors didn’t know about drop shipping. And it was so new. So in those early days, what were some of the lessons learned some of the things that you had, this is pretty cool. This this kind of stinks. What What were some of the things that you learned during that time?

 

Nathan Hirsch  03:35

Yeah, I mean, so originally, we were drop shipping from this one manufacturer and we were killing it. 99% of our orders were from them. Good margins, we were the only people really selling their products. And I remember going on vacation and this manufacturer decided to drop us and go directly to Amazon themselves. And our entire business was put into this one manufacturer and we at the time, we thought we were on top of the world, we were in college making more money than any college kids should and your business was taking off and boom, we lost our biggest supplier.

So that kind of took us a step back. And we learned a very valuable lesson about diversification and, and build relationships with hundreds of manufacturers. The other thing is we learned that college kids were very unreliable. We were hiring a lot of kids to do customer service and fill orders and all the stuff that goes into an E commerce business and it was very frustrating. They weren’t motivated, they were drinking on the job or whatever it was.

So that’s kind of how we got into the world of virtual assistants and freelancers, a buddy of mine told me that you could hire BAs in the Freelancer in the in the Philippines that would be very loyal to you and and that that we built what we call our army of VAs for our Amazon business and that’s what took us into our next company free up which is a marketplace for freelancers and bas because we got into that space and got really good at hiring and built a lot of E commerce Bas and freelancers which was very be rare at the time now there’s a lot of E commerce service providers that that wasn’t the case back in 2013 1415

 

Damon Pistulka  05:06

Well, yeah, yeah. And that’s that’s kind of why I wanted to talk about this because you’ve really followed the path of of continuing to innovate convenient continuing to develop business solutions, around ecommerce and around the challenges of E commerce sellers. And, you know, free up I think, is a great example. And you know, a lot of our clients that are ecommerce clients are using using help from around the globe to do what they need to do virtual assistants.

And I mean, even now you can get people that are really good, like category managers and everything else. Through your, through these kinds of these kind of services, or even direct in some cases, if you’re the right thing. So what what did that really teach you because when you’re trying to manage a workforce, so to say even though they’re they’re outside virtual assistants, or what were some of the things that you really found, was beneficial, and some of the things that were challenging for you as you’re doing that?

 

Nathan Hirsch  06:09

Yeah, I mean, we learned a lot about just culture and working with people from different cultures and have a both culture inside our business but also working with people from different cultures. We learned a lot about just communication and how to give clear direction and get on the same page quicker and, and what to look for in someone because well, you have to realize it is we were in 2021 when we hired our first employee, so we had no idea what we were doing we there was no manual.

That’s one of the reasons why we own a company outside of school today that gives people are interviewing and onboarding process because we had no idea what we were doing and we made bad hires.

So we learned how to look for not just skill but attitude and communication and people who are going to devote themselves to the business and wanted to be a part of it and wanted to see the business grow. And with both the Amazon business and free up we built such a good core group of people and even now without Without school Andy calm balance of VAs that that just cared about Outdoor School and econ balanced and free up so much like we sold free up in 2019. And our internal SEAL team still works there.

And we made sure that the people we sold it to are going to take good care of them. When we sold the company we gave 500,000 to our team in the Philippines and made sure they were taken care of. But yeah, it’s all about treating people well and retention. And we learned in those early years turnover just crushes businesses and sets you back and gets in the way of of everything that you want to do in life.

 

Damon Pistulka  07:34

Yeah, that’s one of those just just just soak that in a second with what everybody’s dealing with. Now turnover can crush businesses, it’s it’s so important to make sure that you have the right people on the team and treating them right. That’s for sure. Good, good.

So as you as you did this, now you’re used then you started outsource school because it was kind of a natural, you know, we’ve we’ve stubbed our toe a few times. So what did you learn when you when you went in and really started out sort of school? And did what were some of the things that you thought was was interesting about it? And because that’s kind of a it’s a different thing, you know, because sourcing people is one thing, but then when you’re training, that’s a whole nother kind of product you’re selling on online.

 

Nathan Hirsch  08:22

Yeah, so we’ve never trained other people’s VAs like free free up was a marketplace. We provided pre vetted vas, but we didn’t train them and outsource school is more on how to hire gray Bas and then how to train them, although we do provide a lot of our SOPs.

But the real story is, I mean, we sold free up in November 2019. It was life changing. The original plan was to take a few years off, I didn’t think I would see my business partner Connor, I thought he just be traveling the world. And a few months later that pandemic came we were kind of in a weird spot where we were stuck at home with nothing to do no business to run and couldn’t travel or really do anything.

And so that one of our buddies reached out to us and said, Hey, why don’t you start a course on hiring and we’d never built built a course before. So we hired him to come in and help us and like anything else, we didn’t really know if people would like it or hate it. And if people hated it, we would have just refunded everyone and moved on. But we essentially broke down our interview process onboarding, process training, managing all that along with different SOPs.

And over the years, we just kept adding to it and now it’s become a membership where people get access to all our systems and processes that they get to plug into their business and quickly make better hires improve their hiring percentage retain people and it’s been a lot of fun seeing the reviews of people who are finally able to scale their business because the truth is, you can have a great business idea you can be a good entrepreneur, you can be good at marketing, but if you can’t hire you’re only gonna go so far.

There’s very few seven, eight figure entrepreneurs that are solo entrepreneurs doing it all themselves, you’re gonna have to hire people and I always wish back in the day there was someone that said hey, don’t Do this, this is how you hire good people that would have saved me 10s of 1000s of dollars and a whole lot of time. Yeah, yeah.

 

Damon Pistulka  10:07

Well, and I think to one of the things with with you teaching people about how to do virtually, it allows the E commerce person in the middle of the US, Canada, wherever the heck they want to, to hire the best people they can, rather than the best people around them. Because that’s, that’s one of the things that we really noticed with some of our clients is that the ability to hire virtually how the pandemic change that the virtual hires, and then virtually around the globe, when you really understand that, it gives you some distinct advantages.

 

Nathan Hirsch  10:49

Yeah, I mean, I wasn’t one of those people I was working from home before it was cool to to work from home or work remote and hire remote. Same thing. I mean, we opened up an office back in 2012. Ish. And that was one of the worst business decisions we ever made.

And after a year, we got rid of it. And we went back to remote and we kind of it kind of fits our lifestyle. And any company we started is going to be remote going forward. And and yeah, I mean, hiring remote is different. You have to manage people differently and talk people differently and use tools like Slack and, and email differently. And, and it does take some getting used to.

But yeah, I mean, it does open you up to a whole nother just stratosphere of hiring, I mean, why limit yourself to your town or the town or around you when you can open it up to everyone in the US or everyone in the Philippines or wherever you’re hiring from. So there’s a lot of benefits to doing that. And I mean, hiring good people makes you look good. But I wouldn’t have been able to grow free up to $12 million a year and sell it without good people. And same thing with the companies we run now like econ balance. I’m not a bookkeeper if I wasn’t able to hire good bookkeepers that would only go so far.

 

Damon Pistulka  11:57

Yep, that’s for sure. That’s for sure. You make that great point. Because it it does, it doesn’t matter if you’re trying to hire across the other side of the state or across around the globe, once your virtual your virtual and it allows you to draw upon that talent and the best talent. And, and in a lot of a lot of cases you can have the timeframe, I think and ecommerce is actually quite nice if you’re using somebody that’s off of your timeframe, because you can process things overnight, that allow you to get information back to the customer by the next morning. That’s that’s pretty nice as well. Yeah, a lot

 

Nathan Hirsch  12:33

of people look at timezones as a something that hurts your business, but you can use it very strategically, like with free up, we had 24/7 customer support, people would work throughout the night, they’d work weekends, even now we have people that get on at 1am till 10am and set everything up for our bookkeepers to get a head start to the day. So you can do it very strategically. And if you don’t want to do that, we have a whole team that works mountain time and they’re in the Philippines and you just have to be a little picky and make sure you hire people that have done that before. And what that kind of schedule.

 

Damon Pistulka  13:02

Yeah, yeah, actually, I interviewed a gentleman last year that has a large injection, a plastic injection mold making company in Canada. And they have an engineering division in India, because they can engineer 24/7 or 24 hours a day. I don’t know if they go seven days a week all the time. But they can they can engineer that much faster and deliver those molds that much quicker. Absolutely. Yeah, yeah. Good stuff. Good stuff. So as we’re going through this, then you decided what really changed you your focus to get into accounting.

 

Nathan Hirsch  13:42

Yeah, I mean, we, when you ran out to a school, we kind of said, Hey, this is the last thing we’re going to do with virtual assistants and freelancers, we’ve been in that space for a while, and we want to do something different, but we’re not sure what and outsource school is kind of like our training on how to hire good people. And, and we’re out of that space. But we started consulting with some different ecommerce businesses, and we my business partner, Connor, and I learned pretty quickly that we hate being consultants. So we’ll never do that again.

But the common theme was before we could help people make decisions, we needed to revamp their monthly bookkeeping process because they didn’t have accurate numbers. And you can’t make good numbers, off decisions or bad numbers. You can’t make good decisions or bad numbers. So yeah, I mean, this is a lesson we learned back with our Amazon business when we try doing the books ourselves. And we tried dumping on the bookkeeper that didn’t know ecommerce and so we kind of knew the the ins and outs of that.

And when we started free up, one of the best decisions we ever made was hiring a bookkeeper from day one because we were the month would end within 10 days, we’d get a monthly report. We make decisions about that report. When we went to sell the company we had four years of Immaculate books to pass due diligence and you know all about that. And so that kind of gave us the idea What if we started an E commerce monthly bookkeeping service. So we did a lot of market research we interviewed Hundreds of E commerce sellers, you can actually check out those interviews on the econ balance blog.

And yeah, we just learned a lot about competitors and what people care about and and what people currently use for bookkeeping in the space. And we saw a market and like anything else, we had to hire that initial team and do a beta run, we gave out some free months of bookkeeping, that people that would give us a chance and people that trusted us from the free up days. And now we’re kind of at the point where we have 100 clients and a solid team of 10, bookkeepers and, and growing from there, so it’s kind of been a fun eight to 12 months getting this thing off the ground.

 

Damon Pistulka  15:35

Yeah. Yeah. So as you’re helping these ecommerce, these ecommerce clients with this what are what are some of the systems that you see that these people are using that break? You know that you go, Oh, it’s, it’s just not working? Well, what are some of the areas where you see them having challenges?

 

Nathan Hirsch  15:56

I mean, first of all, an entrepreneur and ecommerce sellers should never be doing their own bookkeeping. First of all, it’s not a good use of your time and, and your time should be better spent growing your business. And second, most entrepreneurs have no idea how to do bookkeeping at a high level. And clean up always costs more than just doing it correctly from day one.

And I can’t tell you how many books we get that are done by the entrepreneurs that we need to fix everything. So you got to get into the mentality that anytime you start a company, bookkeeping is a necessary resource, whether you outsource it or hire it internally, or whatever it is, but you shouldn’t be doing it yourself.

And step two is hiring an E commerce bookkeeper, someone who understands accrual, someone who understands how to connect A to X to Amazon or Shopify and actually get the reports to reconcile and not just take the money deposit into your bank account and put that as a top line of your income statement. And also, inventory and cost of goods sold. That’s a big piece of it as well. So I mean, a big thing is finding a bookkeeper that can be on time, every single month, you should have a monthly finance meeting on your calendar like clockwork that you don’t miss for any meeting around the mid 15th mark of each month.

And you need a bookkeeper that provides you accurate books before that you can make decisions. And that’s what’s going to take your business to the next level. Like how good books is good for having clean books is good for taxes, it’s good for selling your company or getting investments. But a lot of people don’t necessarily get investments or sell their company, the the main thing is about making good decisions and everything else is just an added benefit.

 

Damon Pistulka  17:28

Yeah, yeah, that’s for sure. So do you see some of your clients, once they get to the good monthly books, are they trying to get more more periodic, like weekly, weekly snapshots of how they’re doing?

 

Nathan Hirsch  17:44

So our core service is monthly bookkeeping, we charge people on the first they get their books by the 15th. If people want certain things weekly, or p&l weekly, or whatever it is, we can do that. It’s just an add on service, it’s pretty easy. But every business I’ve run, I’ve always done it monthly. That doesn’t mean you can’t track sales weekly, or have KPIs you do daily. But monthly books is kind of the standard. And alternatively, you don’t want to do it every quarter or every half year or dumping your CPA at the end of the year. That’s not gonna allow you to make decisions fast enough.

 

Damon Pistulka  18:14

Yeah, that’s for sure. That’s for sure. So let’s see, I got a few questions here that I was looking at. But the what are you seeing from some of your current clients? Now? You know, we talk about the slowing economy, we talked about the other things, are your your clients seeing some of that in certain sectors not another’s crossed the board or not seeing it at all?

 

Nathan Hirsch  18:41

Sorry, can you repeat that? Again? You cut out for a second?

 

Damon Pistulka  18:44

Okay, so the the current people are talking about we’re having an economic slowdown, or however you want to say it are what are you seeing across your clients? Are there certain sectors that are affected more? They’re certain you got some that are going strong yet? Or? Or what’s it looking like? Yeah,

 

Nathan Hirsch  19:03

I mean, there’s a certain amount of randomness to it. And to be honest, I’m not the one in all my clients books like I bookkeepers that do it. So I don’t know if every clients had a good month or a bad month or anything. Oh, yeah.

So yeah, I mean, it’s all over the place you get people are struggling and need financing, you got people that the COVID was good for them, or the pandemic didn’t really affect them at all, but I’m not sure there’s necessarily a common thread outs or theme outside of it’s harder to sell on Amazon Amazon’s changed things logistics, inventory is always harder than it’s been before. Markets are going down. PPC costs are going up. But I mean, if you have a strong brand and a strong business that will really be affected.

 

Damon Pistulka  19:41

Yeah. So what are the what are some of the benefits that you see right away that people are talking about once they start getting their books timely? And what are some of the things that you see actual increasing and profitability because they’re making better decisions or what are some of those things that you

 

Nathan Hirsch  19:56

see? Yeah, I mean, once you get the once you get a good one Get the rhythm rhythm, that’s where you can target things, hey, my margin is going down and you’re comparing it to the last month of the same month last year. And you can make decisions there, you can locate expenses that maybe you can cut. And maybe you’ve had subscriptions that you don’t need anymore.

You can buy things up front for the year and save money, maybe you realize that you can hire more people are that your payroll is going up faster than sales. So you can make adjustments there, but kind of looking at everything on a monthly basis. And comparing kind of opens up a lot of avenues for you to make tweaks to your business that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to make just by looking at sales or money going going into your bank account.

 

Damon Pistulka  20:34

Yeah, yeah, that’s for sure. That’s for sure. So are you seeing that more ecommerce companies? And we’ll talk a bit too about accounts balance? But are you seeing that more ecommerce companies or ecommerce sellers are more I started to say, quicker to look at outsourcing their accounting now than they were in the past.

 

Nathan Hirsch  21:02

Yeah, I mean, I think it’s pretty standard now to have a bookkeeping service and have a CPA and have them communicate. i It all depends. Like there’s people that go, there’s people who have never outsourced bookkeeper before, and they always have it internally. And there’s seven, eight figure entrepreneurs who have never hired a bookkeeper in their life, and they’ve outsourced it in every single business they’ve had. And, and there’s combinations of both.

So I’m not sure how much is necessarily changed. I mean, back when I started, like E commerce, bookkeepers weren’t really a thing. They were bookkeepers. And you kind of had to hope that they had a little ecommerce experience or had another client that sold on Amazon. But I mean, I think that it’s a huge market, which is one of the reasons we got into it. And it applies to every business. And it’s kind of like hiring if you can’t hire or you can’t understand financials. You’re only gonna go so far as an entrepreneur.

 

Damon Pistulka  21:51

Yeah, yeah, that’s for sure. That’s for sure. So accounts balance, you guys started, you had econ balance? It’s been going for a while now. And you just started accounts balance not too many months ago. Was that because you saw similar things in another industry? Or what what was really the the spark that got you guys going there?

 

Nathan Hirsch  22:15

Yeah, I mean, we we launched on balance, we were getting lots of referrals. And people that knew me in the past, or people saw me posting on social media, say, Hey, can you help my company? I’m not ecommerce, I think the name kind of threw them off. So we started up a separate team and a new brand accounts balance for non ecommerce businesses. I mean, the truth is, ecommerce is one of the toughest kind of bookkeeping.

If you can do that, at a high level, it’s fairly easy to build systems and processes to to do other types of bookkeeping. There. So I mean, it’s a brand we opened up a few months ago, it’s been growing, we work with a lot of clients. And the beauty of it too, is we have a good referral program. So you hire you get like an agency as a client, and they refer their clients and their bookkeeping becomes cheaper, free. And it’s a lot of Win Win relationships. So it’s been fun kind of running two brands and marketing for both things at the same time.

 

Damon Pistulka  23:04

Oh, yeah. Yeah. So outside of the accounting in the EAC, I’m kind of jumping around here a little bit. But back into econ balance outside of the accounting the clients that you’re talking with, what are some of the common mistakes that you see ecommerce? So making right now?

 

Nathan Hirsch  23:25

Yeah, it’s a good question. Um, so I have actually a bunch, I just did a presentation on that. So let me pull that up and make sure awesome. We talked to we talked about a few. So I have doing bookkeeping yourself, which we talked about using your CPA, for bookkeeping, you have to remember Oh, that’s horrible.

 

Damon Pistulka  23:40

That’s horrible. Because if people don’t, most people don’t realize CPAs are really good for doing taxes or other specialized things. But as a bookkeepers, they stink, no. And I shouldn’t say I’m sorry, I didn’t mean that for everyone. But as a rule, it’s they’re not they don’t do it every day. That’s yeah.

 

Nathan Hirsch  23:58

And there’s plenty of CPAs that that might be good at bookkeeping, but the real issue is they do in a way that’s accurate for taxes, which is fantastic, but not necessarily in a way that’s good for you to make decisions each month. Yeah, the other issue is they have their own busy season. So you want a monthly bookkeeper that is on time every single month.

That’s tough to do when during April’s tax season and during October’s extension. So it’s tough to have that and it’s always good to divide and conquer and keep people what they’re good at the bookkeeper is good at monthly bookkeeping CPAs good at taxes. And the CPA usually cost more than the bookkeeper anyway, so you kind of save money there. Yeah. Yep.

 

Damon Pistulka  24:34

But yeah, what else you got? You got to list here. This is awesome.

 

Nathan Hirsch  24:37

Yeah, so we mentioned doing books yearly or quarterly instead of monthly. So we talked about that already. Using the right tool. So QuickBooks or Xero should be the only accounting software you consider. There’s free ones that are out there, they’re free for a reason. They’re only going to go so far, and you’re gonna have to migrate over anyway.

Or you might use a company called bench that uses their own bookkeeping software. That’s not compatible with anyone. And if you want to switch down the line, that’s a nightmare too. So things to keep in mind. And if you’re an E commerce business, you need a connecting tool like a 2x, to connect to Amazon, to connect to Shopify, or you’ll never get accurate statement, you’ll never get it to match your bank. So that’s like your core setup as an E commerce business, either QuickBooks Online or Xero.

And, yes, you need the online version, because this is 2022, you’re probably not having someone go into your office, and then that that connecting tool as well. And the other side of this setup is US business banks that allow you only access you don’t have to download statements every month. Don’t use personal accounts that you those don’t allow the only access don’t intermingle personal and business pretty standard stuff like that. But in my opinion, the simpler is better. Usually you don’t need 20 bank accounts to run your company.

 

Damon Pistulka  25:50

Yeah, yeah. And you made you made a great point there, you went over it quickly. And what most ecommerce sellers don’t realize is as you scale, that connecting tool is going to save you tremendous amount of time and hassle. By getting your your platform and your orders connected to your your accounting is there’s a lot of data, it’s got to move around. You got to move around. Good. Good stuff. So as you look forward to 2023 What are you excited for Nathan?

 

Nathan Hirsch  26:24

Yeah, I’m I don’t know, like, life’s pretty good. Right now I get to do what I like growing businesses, it’s a lot of fun. And it’s definitely less stressful than it was in the past. But also just having a good work life balance. You and I were chatting about this before, selling free up allowed my wife and I to become foster parents, we have a foster kid who’s in high school right now.

So it’s been kind of fun setting allowance and helping them apply for jobs and hopefully helping him and a lot of times you you take for granted things that you just had in life, like I had loving parents and we didn’t grow up rich, but we had food on the table and a house to live in. And not everyone had those opportunities.

So it’s been fun to give back also be able to take a lot of vacations like we did this year. And I told you my whole family moved here to Colorado and my sister just bought a house in Fort Collins so I get to hang out with them. And before that I was in Florida and my sister was in Seattle and my parents from Massachusetts, so we couldn’t have been farther away. So it’s been a lot of fun to just be around family and I live 10 minutes from my business partner and life’s pretty good. So it should be an exciting 2023.

 

Damon Pistulka  27:26

Good, good. Well, I tell you what, Nathan, it’s been awesome talking to you today and just talking about econ balance accounts balance and you know how you’re helping these ecommerce sellers scale their companies by providing good solid accounting behind it. So they can make the decisions they want. Is there anything that was the first of all, where’s the best place for people to talk to you or econ balance? Or are it Yeah,

 

Nathan Hirsch  27:57

I mean, feel free to connect with me on any social media channel, Nathan Hirsch, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram. But yeah, econ balance.com mentioned this live, you’ll get two free months of bookkeeping, you could check out Outdoor School, shoot us an email right on the site support at outsource school.com and we’ll give you 40% off if you’re interested in joining that and accounts balance if you’re a non ecommerce business, same deal. And yeah, I love just networking and connecting with other entrepreneurs, so feel free to reach out.

 

Damon Pistulka  28:23

Awesome. Awesome. Well, thanks so much for being here today. Nathan and Sharon Sharon about the E commerce account and we’re talking a bit about scaling and selling ecommerce businesses. Thanks everyone for listening. We will be back again later this week with another faces of business hangout Nathan we’ll talk for a moment

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