Helping Entrepreneurs With the Unknowns They Face
this bookkeeper and business consultant knows what it means to make the start-up leap
After working in bookkeeping and office management for a variety of businesses and nonprofits over the years, Kristin Cole finally made the leap into entrepreneurship by opening her own small business.
Now through kCole Bookkeeping & Small Business Consulting, she is helping others get their start-ups off the ground.
“I decided to use all the years of experience I had working with small and large businesses to help others,” said Cole, who moved to Menomonie a few years ago. She formalized her business in 2021 and celebrated a ribbon-cutting at her downtown Menomonie office with the Menomonie Area Chamber in early January.
Cole knows from experience that giving up a regular paycheck and benefits to become self-employed is just one of the leaps of faith that entrepreneurs must take when they step out on their own. “If you don’t have a background in this sort of thing, it can feel really overwhelming – not knowing what you don’t know,” she said.
“If you don’t have a background in this sort of thing, it can feel really overwhelming – not knowing what you don’t know.”
Businesses like Cole’s are there to help with some of these unknowns. Among other services, she helps entrepreneurs get started and trained using QuickBooks, which dominates the small-business accounting market. She provides ongoing bookkeeping services, from billing and payroll to sales and use taxes, as well as offers start-up support such as reviewing business plans plus creative services.
In other words, she helps with the kind of things that entrepreneurs would rather hand off so they can focus on their core products or services. “Most people get into business because they have a passion for something, but it isn’t running a business,” she said.
One key part of being a successful entrepreneur is knowing your limitations and when to seek assistance from a professional, Cole said. Here are three related suggestions she offered for small businesses:
- Keep on top of your bookkeeping. Too often, small business owners wait until the end of the year to manage their books, which can lead to extra stress as they scramble once tax time looms.
- Set aside money at the front end. Small businesses and self-employed folks should set aside money as the year progresses so they aren’t surprised and left unable to pay their taxes, leading to penalties and more stress.
- Pull in extra help. Life – especially as an entrepreneur – can be overwhelming. Businesspeople recognize when they need assistance, whether it’s by hiring a professional to help with the books or by making use of free resources like the Small Business Development Center or free webinars.
“People talk about work-life balance all the time, and running your own business can be all-consuming,” Cole said.
kCole Bookkeeping & Small Business Consulting • (608) 395-9741 • 500 Main St. E, Suite 208, Menomonie • kcolebookkeeping.com