Monday, 25 March 2024 16:04

Small Business Day: Kōrero with KeriAnn Birch from Birch and Co.

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Small Business Day 9th April is about celebrating, supporting and championing the heart and soul of kiwi communities - small businesses.

At Basestation, we have a lot of small businesses based here in our coworking space.

We sat down with two residents who own a small business, we asked them what they do, how coworking helps them to do this, and what it means to own a small business.

Below is the kōrero we had with KeriAnn Birch, Director and Founder of Birch and Co. KeriAnn is a bookkeeper, her tagline is ‘Crunching the numbers so you don’t have to.’

I kicked off by asking
Please tell us a bit about you and your business.

KeriAnn starts by telling me she was born and raised in Rotorua, she now lives on a lifestyle block between Tauranga and Rotorua, she jokes she hasn’t moved very far!

KeriAnn grew up with both her parents owning their own small businesses, and has three older brothers; two builders, and one working in engineering services. Her father being an electrician, and her partner being in construction, it’s no surprise that she has spent a few years in the construction sector herself. Her skill set led her more into the administration side of things such as looking after accounts, quality assurance, compliance, and streamlining processes.

Back in 2020 KeriAnn decided to take a leap of faith, back herself and started Birch and Co. She admits, it was an interesting time to start a business due to the global pandemic!

Her business focuses on supporting trade-based businesses having been amongst it herself. She feels she has a deeper understanding and connection with the requirements and challenges in the sector.

Birch and Co offers a comprehensive bookkeeping service including (but not limited to) invoicing and debtor management, accounts payable, payroll, GST services and bank reconciliation.


Next question
How does coworking help you do what you do?

KeriAnn shares that for her, coworking has many benefits; It gets her out of her house, there’s the potential for more connections and everyone at Basestation seems to be very like-minded.

She also shares that it’s very convenient, she can just take her gear with her and set up. It’s also a great location to meet customers, rather than them trying to find her at her rural location. Basestation has a number of meeting rooms that KeriAnn can book for free and use for in-person or virtual meetings.

Having Folk (probably the best coffee shop in Tauranga) in-house is also fantastic, KeriAnn adds!


Last question:
What does it mean to you to own a small business?

KeriAnn admits, “Starting out is a really scary place - not knowing if you're going to get clients. You have to really trust in your abilities and get over those initial hurdles.”

Her biggest motivator has been her genuine love to help others. She shares “My favourite thing is when my clients come to me and go, ‘Oh, man, it was so cool, because you're doing what you're doing, I got to spend time with my kids on the weekend!’”

She continues “I love connecting with people. I love treating their businesses as if they were my own and trying to grow them and help them really succeed and do what they do best.”

KeriAnn also shares that she sees her role as being more than just a bookkeeper. Often she will be asked by clients if they can bounce an idea off her, or what she thinks of a proposal or new project.

I definitely get the sense when talking with KeriAnn that she has a strong sense of small businesses supporting and backing other small businesses. She admits herself that she relies on a small business in Christchurch to look after her marketing and social media.  

KeriAnn continues “Don’t get me wrong, being a small business is hard. You have to fight for what you believe in and you've got to hustle hard, but I love the flexibility of it. I think being virtual is a game changer - I can help people anywhere in the world from anywhere in the world. I could be overseas and still run my business.”

We also talk about how she has changed the way she works since founding Birch and Co. KeriAnn says “Every time that you take on a new client or a new task to do, you're learning and working out how to make the processes more efficient. The way that I was doing something three and a half years ago, is very, very different to how I do it now.”

KeriAnn is constantly finding better ways to streamline processes or automate tasks so she can have the information she needs at her fingertips. This means she can have richer and more insightful kōreros with her clients about what really matters. She says she is constantly looking at making things quicker and better.

If you want to find out more about Birch and Co and the services they offer, go to their website at birchandco.nz




Read 174 times Last modified on Monday, 25 March 2024 16:16

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