Please tell us about what you do and how you got into it.

I am a financial advisor. I own and operate my own practice. I volunteered as a financial counselor for my church and realized how little direction everyday people had when it came to their finances and planning. After working in finance at Wrigley Gum company, I decided that it made more sense to build the individual’s “bottom line” rather than a company’s. In 2008 after much searching within the financial services space I found Northwestern Mutual.

You work predominantly with physicians, dentists, and business owners. What common financial challenges do you help these entrepreneurs overcome?

Most of these business owners run their organizations from a “mom and pop mindset.” They are often times leaving things like bookkeeping as the last task on the list. As a result of them not having a handle on their true expenses and revenue, it makes it difficult for them to save for retirement, or do any additional planning around succession, estate, partnership, and employee benefit planning.

I was floored by how little time it took Bench to get my books up to date.

Do you have any advice for other financial advisors serving small business owners in today’s economic climate?

In this climate it is so important to get small business owners to see the bigger picture and create a plan that helps them go from “surviving” to “thriving.” Being able to delegate things like bookkeeping to Bench, and personal, business, and employee benefit planning to their financial advisor, are imperative to their success.

How were you doing your bookkeeping before you started using Bench?

I was using QuickBooks and hired my little brother Drew to work part-time to categorize my expenses. He suffered a traumatic brain injury while playing in a high school football game and has never recovered. Trying to run a business and deal with family health issues became so overwhelming that I completely tabled the task. Months later I took it upon myself to spend weekends categorizing my expenses. One day I stumbled upon Bench and decided to give it a try. I was completely floored by how little time it took to get my books up to date. Using Bench saved me days and even weeks of work. More importantly, it was extremely efficient in terms of how little I spent per hour to get this type of tedious work done.

I was able to get a year’s worth of bookkeeping done in a few short weeks.

What drew you to use Bench as your go-to online bookkeeping service?

I came across Bench on Facebook. It was perfect timing! I was able to get a year’s worth of bookkeeping done in a few short weeks.

What’s the most satisfying part about working with your clients?

I love the generational impact that I help my clients create for their businesses and their families. Often the wealth that I help my clients build would have never been built had I not met with them.

What is the best piece of financial advice you have for small business owners?

Work with a financial advisor!

What is the one thing you wish you knew before starting your own business?

I wish I had hired quality staff sooner. Excellent human resources can take your business to places you would never have been able to go on your own. I am adamant about being adequately staffed at all times with employees who have more experience than I do. Giving my clients the best means giving them access to resources (i.e. knowledgeable staff) when I am not available.