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Quickbooks or Xero?

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Poppy fields.

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I’m looking for an accounting package I’m a small Ltd company what’s everyone thoughts?
 

BannerPenguin

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Quick books is a little more user friendly but I use Xero just because some of the integrations which I don’t think would apply for yourself :)
 

TheDuchess

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It depends how small you are. If you’re not VAT registered why don’t you just use spreadsheets?

I used quick books for a year and got myself into a fearful muddle because it was geared to a business creating invoices for clients and then receiving payment from each individual client, not receiving a single daily payment from a card machine company for a number of different client transactions.

I loved being able to import my bank statements but the software didn’t really help me with things like costing my treatments or managing my stock inventory. I went back to my own spreadsheets in the end. I send them to my accountant along with my bank statements and receipts and the fee for my accounts is very reasonable.

I have booking software which prepares reports - so I can get year on year figures and compare services. Management accounts are not the same thing as the P&L and balance sheet that you need to file with Companies House, If you’re not making the profit that you expect from your turnover you need to analyse your accounts in detail. You need very simple figures to help you identify savings and sophisticated reports to help you spot growth trends.

If you are using an accountant for your end of year accounts ask them what package they recommend and then get them to set you up initially. Some bookkeepers offer a service where you pay them a monthly fee and they manage everything.
 

Poppy fields.

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Thank you that sounds good. I think I do need someone to set up initially as im Ltd new company and this is whole new way of accounting.
 

Poppy fields.

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Quick books is a little more user friendly but I use Xero just because some of the integrations which I don’t think would apply for yourself :)
I’ve been recommended xero by my accountant and a book keeper friend but I’m not sure how much of the services I require. I’m a new Ltd company just two working directors at this point.
 

Mundo

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It depends how small you are. If you’re not VAT registered why don’t you just use spreadsheets?

I used quick books for a year and got myself into a fearful muddle because it was geared to a business creating invoices for clients and then receiving payment from each individual client, not receiving a single daily payment from a card machine company for a number of different client transactions.

I loved being able to import my bank statements but the software didn’t really help me with things like costing my treatments or managing my stock inventory. I went back to my own spreadsheets in the end. I send them to my accountant along with my bank statements and receipts and the fee for my accounts is very reasonable.

I have booking software which prepares reports - so I can get year on year figures and compare services. Management accounts are not the same thing as the P&L and balance sheet that you need to file with Companies House, If you’re not making the profit that you expect from your turnover you need to analyse your accounts in detail. You need very simple figures to help you identify savings and sophisticated reports to help you spot growth trends.

If you are using an accountant for your end of year accounts ask them what package they recommend and then get them to set you up initially. Some bookkeepers offer a service where you pay them a monthly fee and they manage everything.
As always, such huge nuggets of knowledge! If it wasn't for people like yourself I would never have joined this platform. I'm going to be a one man army when my business opens in the Summer, I'm lining my ducks up and looking at booking systems. Do you have any preference? I currently am looking at Booksy, Schedul, Fresha and Timely. A lot of people on here have loved Timely.

Ideally, like you said it would be great to have something that prepares reports.

Lastly, a bit cheeky as I hate taking your time and asking questions where the footwork isn't done..but do you have a format of your spreadsheets to keep track of stock, business costs etc.
 

TheDuchess

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What I like about spreadsheets is the way you can ask different questions once you’ve plugged all your data in. (Although you might have to google how to write the formula you want...) A lot of the time I just add up the figures with a calculator because I find that quicker.

when I first started I literally took all my booking information and dropped it into a spreadsheet: date (along the vertical axis) and everything else along the horizontal axis: name, service, value. It sounds a bit tedious, but it doesn’t take long if you do it every week.

Then I could add a column and call it wax pot, and note the date I opened a wax pot and review how many treatment I got out of a wax pot (as an example).

Each month I’d do some totals and add a few more Columns depending on what I was interested in. Number of new clients and number of returning clients. Average spend per client visit. Individual treatment totals - what’s the most frequently requested service. I wanted to know what patterns emerged. This helped me upsell and cross sell. And decide what promotions to run and what packages to offer. By analysing my patterns I discovered that waxing (half leg and brows) was popular with pedis but not Hollywoods. Hollywoods would typically combine with brows and possibly underarms but weirdly not top lip.

its really helpful to realise how much money you’ll raise by increasing your prices, or adding in an extra service. For instance a £5 increase on something I only do once a week will raise less than 25p on something I’m doing 5 times a day. And I might want to avoid bundling up my most popular services for a discount because those will sell anyway. There are pros and cons to packages, being on top of your numbers helps you understand your business better.

Whenever I order more stock, I do a quick stock take and count up how many boxes of spatulas I have used etc. and divide by my treatments to keep an eye on costs.

I have separate spread sheets for stock ordering. I make a note of what consumables I order (along the vertical axis) and where from and the price I pay per item along the horizontal. I make a note of the best price/quality and the own brands I like and then I sort by supplier, so I get a reordering list to stock up on, whenever there’s. Discount day with a particular supplier - and I just check how much stock I’ve got against my predicted requirements for the next few weeks abd that gives my my quantities.

It’s exhausting ordering every 3-6 weeks and trying not to run out of stuff and yet not overspend on a good deal and end up short of cash at the end of the month, struggling to pay bills whilst having stupid amount to of product sitting unopened on a shelf. By knowing my numbers I can take advantage of discount offers and order 3 months supply which usually gets me round to the next discount day. It’s good to have a feel for how long stock lasts. You need to know whether to panic when you’re down to your last 2 couch rolls, or whether to hold your nerve, keep a sharp look out for a deal and make a mental note to reorder within a week. You don’t want your stock cupboard bossing you around.
 
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Poppy fields.

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Thankyou that sounds like a great system I think I want to keep it simple at first presumably all data can be transferred from spreadsheets to any accounts system then.
Thankyou for your time
 

Mundo

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What I like about spreadsheets is the way you can ask different questions once you’ve plugged all your data in. (Although you might have to google how to write the formula you want...) A lot of the time I just add up the figures with a calculator because I find that quicker.

when I first started I literally took all my booking information and dropped it into a spreadsheet: date (along the vertical axis) and everything else along the horizontal axis: name, service, value. It sounds a bit tedious, but it doesn’t take long if you do it every week.

Then I could add a column and call it wax pot, and note the date I opened a wax pot and review how many treatment I got out of a wax pot (as an example).

Each month I’d do some totals and add a few more Columns depending on what I was interested in. Number of new clients and number of returning clients. Average spend per client visit. Individual treatment totals - what’s the most frequently requested service. I wanted to know what patterns emerged. This helped me upsell and cross sell. And decide what promotions to run and what packages to offer. By analysing my patterns I discovered that waxing (half leg and brows) was popular with pedis but not Hollywoods. Hollywoods would typically combine with brows and possibly underarms but weirdly not top lip.

its really helpful to realise how much money you’ll raise by increasing your prices, or adding in an extra service. For instance a £5 increase on something I only do once a week will raise less than 25p on something I’m doing 5 times a day. And I might want to avoid bundling up my most popular services for a discount because those will sell anyway. There are pros and cons to packages, being on top of your numbers helps you understand your business better.

Whenever I order more stock, I do a quick stock take and count up how many boxes of spatulas I have used etc. and divide by my treatments to keep an eye on costs.

I have separate spread sheets for stock ordering. I make a note of what consumables I order (along the vertical axis) and where from and the price I pay per item along the horizontal. I make a note of the best price/quality and the own brands I like and then I sort by supplier, so I get a reordering list to stock up on, whenever there’s. Discount day with a particular supplier - and I just check how much stock I’ve got against my predicted requirements for the next few weeks abd that gives my my quantities.

It’s exhausting ordering every 3-6 weeks and trying not to run out of stuff and yet not overspend on a good deal and end up short of cash at the end of the month, struggling to pay bills whilst having stupid amount to of product sitting unopened on a shelf. By knowing my numbers I can take advantage of discount offers and order 3 months supply which usually gets me round to the next discount day. It’s good to have a feel for how long stock lasts. You need to know whether to panic when you’re down to your last 2 couch rolls, or whether to hold your nerve, keep a sharp look out for a deal and make a mental note to reorder within a week. You don’t want your stock cupboard bossing you around.
Ive been waiting to sit down (with my laptop) to send a proper response, this hasn’t happened to responding on my bus ride instead ha ha.

I LOVE the fact that you are collating enough data to establish trends to inform cross selling and potential marketing, packages or offers. This is GOLD. I really hope other geeks have a look at this.
I will admit, I’m not proficient in excel however, my father in law said he would give me a tutorial (how the technological tables have turned!). Since you m starting from scratch I will definitely take your recommendation to seek out formatting on google.
With it being such early days I think I may have to make a few mistakes with stock management, but hoping with knowledge like this I can keep better track of comings and going’s and hopefully make less of these mistakes if possible.

Thank you!
 

Mundo

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Ive been waiting to sit down (with my laptop) to send a proper response, this hasn’t happened to responding on my bus ride instead ha ha.

I LOVE the fact that you are collating enough data to establish trends to inform cross selling and potential marketing, packages or offers. This is GOLD. I really hope other geeks have a look at this.
I will admit, I’m not proficient in excel however, my father in law said he would give me a tutorial (how the technological tables have turned!). Since you m starting from scratch I will definitely take your recommendation to seek out formatting on google.
With it being such early days I think I may have to make a few mistakes with stock management, but hoping with knowledge like this I can keep better track of comings and going’s and hopefully make less of these mistakes if possible.

Thank you!
p.s. as I’m offering advanced massage and advanced facials, I imagine these customers can be a very different demographic so I certainly will be working towards cross selling!
 

Jessica26

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If using a spreadsheet all data can be imported to Quickbooks or Xero using a CSV file you would download from this software and just transfer the relevant data across. Also I believe FreeAgent is good bookeeping software and possibly an cheaper package.
 

Poppy fields.

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Thankyou that’s really helpful
 

TheDuchess

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I’m an advanced skincare and massage salon, however when I set up at the tail end of an earlier recession, cheap and cheerful nail and brow services were booming whilst facials and massages had not recovered from belt tightening as these were the services people had cut back on. In a recession “little luxuries” like coffee and chocolate do well. I talked to one salon owner who said she had her best year in 10 years trading in the year the financial markets crashed. One of her clients explained that whereas in the past she’d have treated herself to a new dress if she was going out, now she was wearing what she had and having her nails done.

I built my business up from offering a nicer pedicure at a good price. It enabled me to showcase my knowledge about health and skincare and of course show off a few minutes of life changing massage. I got into intimate waxing because my daughter had a dreadful experience locally and I spotted a gap in the market.

Now people test me out with a half leg and a pedi. I pay my overheads every month with Hollywoods. I just explain to my clients who are astonished to discover I’m an aesthetic therapist and advanced level clinical massage therapist that my interest is in skincare snd holistic wellness. And that’s what gives me my edge for waxing and feet - because I bring that knowledge and expertise to bear.

Now I think you can just set up as a facials and massage business and people will come, fashions and trends change. I’m having to rebrand in order to play catch up!
 
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BannerPenguin

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I've been playing with Pandle recently and that's free with a very low cost pro plan. Definitely would recommend.
 

Mundo

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I’m an advanced skincare and massage salon, however when I set up at the tail end of an earlier recession, cheap and cheerful nail and brow services were booming whilst facials and massages had not recovered from belt tightening as these were the services people had cut back on. In a recession “little luxuries” like coffee and chocolate do well. I talked to one salon owner who said she had her best year in 10 years trading in the year the financial markets crashed. One of her clients explained that whereas in the past she’d have treated herself to a new dress if she was going out, now she was wearing what she had and having her nails done.

I built my business up from offering a nicer pedicure at a good price. It enabled me to showcase my knowledge about health and skincare and off course show off a few minutes of life changing massage. I got into intimate waxing because my daughter had a dreadful experience locally and I spotted a gap in the market.

Now people test me out with a half leg and a pedi. I pay my overheads every month with Hollywoods. I just explain to my clients who are astonished to discover I’m an aesthetic therapost and advanced level clinical massage therapist that my interest is in skincare snd holistic wellness. And that’s what gives me my edge for waxing and feet - because I bring that knowledge and expertise to bear.

Now I think you can just set up as a facials and massage business and people will come, fashions and trends change. I’m having to rebrand in order to play catch up!
This is fascinating, the true definition of a cross sell! I'm truly not very skilled at nails, waxing (sadly I've just never taken to it) or have explored the makeup, lash extensions and micropigment. I actually think like yourself I have a love for skin and something between relaxing and remedial massage. I'm painfully aware of how saturated the town I reside is with either holistic centres (something won't allow me to put crystals on someones body and ask for £55), aesthetic clinics (kit worth in the £10ks) and the big salons that offer basic to advanced beauty.
I hope I can bridge the gap and certainly focus on being my own version of great. Wish me luck!
 

TheDuchess

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I trained older (47!) and I was remedial at waxing. When I started my own place (just 2 rooms) my daughter seemed to believe I was running a crèche and I often had my toddler grandchild for a few hours. I got used to seeing the treatment door open softly, and seeing a waxing strip advancing like a shark fin along the couch edge whilst my client remained oblivious.

One dau my husband asked our grandchild if she knew how to wax. She nodded sagely, so he asked for a demonstration. Her mime was painfully accurate right down to picking up her feet in a low level jig. Yup she’d noticed I always dripped wax on the floor, stepped in it and then danced in sticky toed distaste.

So I ran an offer on Groupon. Bought a pot of every brand of wax I was interested in and 72 full leg, bikini and underarm waxes later I’d finally become proficient, efficient and clean. Phew. If I’d charged full price I’d have made £900 profit, so I called that money advertising investment and it was the best return I’ve ever had on advertising. I had loads of reviews which pushed me up to the top half of page one on google and a handful of clients booked other services. Of course they were deal hunters so I had to find regular clients elsewhere - but new clients found me through my website by googling...
 

Mundo

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😂 Loving the story about your lovely granddaughter miming you! I could easily see my nephews doing exactly the same! Overwhelmingly I will be offering treatments that I feel comfortable and safe doing, maybe just lower confidence as I'm not doing it everyday at the moment...or potentially I hold all of the risk if something goes awry. Even down to choosing very superficial peels-superficial at most or not the deepest depths on a dermapen. I think I will be more adventurous once I see results and feel more confident.
My biggest take away from your post it that just because you/we may not be natural at something or even just not become completely proficient - that there is surely a way to sort that and even with going to sites like groupon to "cut your teeth". I think I may stray from Groupon initially as I want to work out all of the bugs first as I've heard it can sometimes (maybe like Treatwell) a very persnickety crowd, which sadly my fragile ego may not be able to take the first few months in. X
 

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