Nov. 23, 2022

105. Get Financially Fit with Tracey Bissett

105. Get Financially Fit with Tracey Bissett

How do I change my relationship with money? How can I improve cash flow in my business? We talk with Financial Fitness Trainer Tracey Bissett. At Bissett Financial Fitness Inc., Tracey educates and empowers individuals, notably young adults, and entrepreneurs to take control of and live their financial lives with confidence.

Connect with Tracey Bissett:
Website: https://www.bissettfinancialfitness.com/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/traceybissett/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/bissettfinfit
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bissettfinfit/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bissettfinfit/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/TraceyBissettTheMoneyCoachforEntrepreneurs
Podcast - Young Money with Tracey Bissett: https://ymwithtraceybissett.libsyn.com/

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You can find Dana @adashofboss, @dana.dowdell and @hrfanatic
Dana DowdellBoss Consulting – HR Consulting
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You can find Russ @reliable.remediation
Russ HarlowReliable Remediation – Disaster Restoration
Google: https://g.page/r/CXogeisZHEjMEBA

Transcript

Dana Dowdell  00:00

This episode is brought to you by Boss Consulting HR. If you own a small business, you don't have to do HR alone. Boss Consulting provides outsourced HR services such as recruiting, compliance training and employee relations. Visit boss consulting hr.com To schedule a consultation and download our white paper on the steep cost of not having human resources Hey, Russ,

 

Russ Harlow  00:33

Dana, how are you?

 

Dana Dowdell  00:34

I'm good. How are you?

 

Russ Harlow  00:35

Doing well thinking about next year and planning and money and how we can grow?

 

Dana Dowdell  00:41

I know I'm so excited for our conversation. We're going to talk about money, which I think is the reason why so many of us got into being an entrepreneur. And we're going to talk with an expert. We are joined by Tracey Bisset, she is the chief financial fitness trainer of Bisset financial fitness Incorporated. Tracey, welcome to It's Just Business.

 

Tracey Bissett  01:02

Thank you so much. I'm so excited to talk with both of you today.

 

Dana Dowdell  01:05

And we're so excited to talk to you because we're going to be talking about pricing, we're going to be talking about money management, which is essential for being an entrepreneur. But before we get into that, tell us a little bit about how you started your business.

 

Tracey Bissett  01:22

Excellent. And so, for everybody listening, I'm based in Canada, in Toronto, Ontario, so that you know where I am. And I was a banker for many, many years. Ever since I was a kid, I loved money. And so then I went on to do business education started with TD Bank, one of Canada's Big Five also in the US in the areas of commercial lending and risk management, as does happen after banks are moving along. There's restructuring that occurs. So, my seat was taken away from the table, which wasn't the worst thing in the world. I was like, liking the people I worked with, like the work but I was working really hard. So, I got a really fair severance, and then took some time to figure out what I wanted to do. And when I was a kid, I was very entrepreneurial, I was involved in junior achievement. I had my own little businesses on the side, taking care people's houses, doing the lawns watering plants, looking after pets even subcontracted the lawn mowing to my brother. So, I liked business a lot. I liked the idea of owner entrepreneurship. And so, then when I took a pause from my role at TV, I decided to start my business and package up all the things that I like to do. So, teaching people making things simple about money, particularly for business owners is one of my superpowers, and packaging all that up in a way that I can help people learn about it, because it's so critical in life, and have some fun, and really stack my day the way I want to.

 

Dana Dowdell  02:48

So, I feel like a lot of people, they have the idea of starting a business when they're working for somebody else. And I know Ross was the same way like he was. So, if you've listened to some of the previous episodes, he's talking about being so tired of being the one that's working harder than everybody else and getting the same pay and, and so sometimes that can be a point of frustration and kind of like it makes it just really challenging to kind of make the leap. But did you learn were you able to take anything that you learned while working from teeth for TD Bank, into starting your business?

 

Tracey Bissett  03:27

So number one, I had this skill set that most business owners don't have, which is understanding financial statements, cash flow, what being able to plan properly, that part of the business plan when you're thinking about the financial aspect and having enough cash to get it going and sustain it before sales come. So, I had that aspect that most business owners don't have, because they don't have any training. And then I had had some sales roles. But getting back in comfortable with sales. Actually, figuring out what I was going to do was a little bit of a challenge and, and putting it all together is always very challenging. Because I used to be an expert at like three things and now I have to do 50 things. So, I didn't have the idea before I left. But then I did take some time to figure out exactly what I wanted to do and will always happen you think you're going to one thing and the more you start getting experience with the market.

 

Russ Harlow  04:19

I you know training what is it? You work hard, you make some money, you put it in a bank, you pay the bills, what do you got to understand? Oh my gosh, what do you think is the biggest deficit and understanding when working with business owners and entrepreneurs when it comes to understanding financials?

 

Tracey Bissett  04:35

I would say the first thing is the lack of accountability that business owners take for the financial side of the business. And so if they have a bookkeeper if they have an accountant, they think it's those people's jobs to take care of every single thing and it's not your accountants job to put the numbers together that you give them maybe to make your tax remittances, payroll, remittances, those kinds of things. To bookkeepers job to end are the numbers but they can only enter them properly if you actually explain your business to them. But as the business owner, you've got to be looking at your numbers on a monthly basis, setting targets, trying to figure out if things are not going well, how am I gonna change this? Do it with a supportive bookkeeper or accountant, other professionals, but you need to be the number one person. So that's the first thing. The second thing I see pretty consistently is a lack of understanding of how cash flow is different than that when the sales come in, for most businesses in most industries. So, you've got to think about when I make the sale, when does the cash actually hit my business? And how am I going to make sure I have cash on the neat days, I need to pay my bills. So those are two of the big things I see.

 

Dana Dowdell  05:42

So, the cash flow thing is really interesting, because I think I know I look at it as like, I need to give my client enough time to pay me and like, I think about what's best for the client. And should we be reframing that in terms of like what's best for our business operations?

 

Tracey Bissett  06:02

Absolutely. So, the first thing, cash flow to explain it really simply, money comes in, money goes out. And that timing that it happens is really the magic. And that's what creates the issues. So, if you send out invoices, and you don't follow up with your client, you're going to be waiting maybe 6090 120 days for them to pay your bills. And for some industries, that's the norm. But for others, there's no harm in taking deposits, having milestone billings, navy, if you're working with them over a long period of time, it's a monthly fee, they have to pay every single month, not at the end. And so, you've got to learn what's the norm for your industry, make sure you're following it and with your clients do you have the opportunity to do something differently. And making sure that that's, that's the case, the way you touched on it, and you said, I want to do the best for my clients. This is a deal and an arrangement with your client, you're going to provide the product or the service, and they are going to pay you. We don't need to give them Grace time to pay us because we've delivered the parts that we need to do. And so, when we're calling them or were sending them an email and trying to collect, it's not about Hey, could you do me a favor? I can't make payroll this week, I need really need that cash. It's, I did a great service, you told me you really appreciated what I did. It's now time to make your payment. How would you like to do that? When would you like to do that. And so to reframe that, in your mind, that we don't have that emotion all around the

 

Russ Harlow  07:27

On the contracting side, a lot of times I've now me I have conversations about money and collection upfront, this is what we're going to do, it's a multi day job, it's going to be 50% down the 50. The rest is going to be done when we're do one or do when we're done, do a final walkthrough. Everything's good. And a lot of contractors or on the service side in those industries, they they're like afraid to have the conversation. They're afraid to ask for the money. I'm like this person hired you they expect to pay you like, what's the big deal? It's not, don't be afraid have the conversation, right?

 

Tracey Bissett  08:06

Absolutely. And I've done lots of work with contractors and in the construction industry. So that what Russ is, that's where you should start? And gotta have those conversations, because actually now with all escalating prices, was your contracts written properly, that you could pass those escalation and costs through? Are you dealing with change orders properly, a lot of contractors don't like to negotiate that conversation. You know what I'd love to do that for you, that's going to require a change to our contract, which costs more money, more money is required. Now before we go ahead to do those things. So, for everybody listening, think about the industry you're in and kind of those dangerous spots where maybe you get caught. And I'm suspecting for many people listening, you might not realize yet that you're not making money. And then when you're the way you're handling things is leading to you losing money. And I know I generally work with business owners’ sales under 2 million, I've worked certainly over the course of my career with companies of all different sizes, but that 2 million and under, there's really not a great awareness of prices and costs and, and how to manage everything professionally. And and just like Russ said, being upfront is the best way to do it, because they're gonna have trouble paying you or it's going to be a fight, you probably don't want them to be your customer right up front.

 

Dana Dowdell  09:22

I love that phrasing of I would love to do that for you. But it would require a change our agreement, because I've run into that where I've delivered a project and then something has changed or changed or they needed. You know, an additional policy written and often clients are not coming to you and saying hey, I need this change. Can you let me know how much it would cost?

 

Tracey Bissett  09:48

Yeah, another way you can phrase it is remember when we started this was the scope of what we were going to do. This is outside the scope of what we agreed and I would really love to continue supporting you. Would you like me to create a quote for Are you? And it's very factual. It's not about, Oh, I like you, you like me, I want you to keep liking me and tell other businesses to hire me. It's, it's just really factual. What do we agree on? So upfront, you've got to be very clear on what is the scope in order to be able to pull that out later.

 

Russ Harlow  10:19

So, it makes me think, and I tried to do that as a client to like, because I'm cognizant of it as a business owner, we recently had a photoshoot done for the business. And we hired a photographer that I know and has done work for us before. And I said, Okay, so this is sitting fee. And then depending on you know, we'll get like 10 to 12 images, she said, I said, Oh, that's great. We couldn't settle on it. So, we had like, 14, I'm like, Should I cut two to four? Or should I just pay you extra for the extra deliverables? Because I'm okay with that. Because I don't want it to be 10. I want it to be 14. And I'm glad paying extra to do that. Sick that I got it. It's fine. I'm like you're sure? Because like, as a business owner, I understand.

 

Tracey Bissett  11:03

Yeah, absolutely. If I see that kind of situation, I'm like, No, don't do that charge me. And I've worked with them, I had to get this brace made for my dog's leg because she had torn ligaments in her knee. So, the person I went to, they're like Orthopedic Specialists for dog. She wasn't charging a deposit for this thing that cost $1,500. And so, I'm like, What happens if I don't come back and pick it up? What about those people, maybe their dog passes away. So, I'm like, you've got to start charging deposit, like a really meaningful one for your time and your and your materials. So everybody listening, whatever your industry is, you could have scope creep, you could have these kinds of conversations happen, and be a good business owner, just like Russ was talking about, like, be honest with them, you know, you want to treat them properly. So, then they can in turn pass that on and treat you in the same way.

 

Dana Dowdell  11:54

Yeah, I feel like that's a way to be a better business owner or just a better entrepreneur is creating that openness around that conversation, like, because I'm sure it. I work in the small business market. So every business I serve isn't generally in the same, you know, brain space that I am. So creating that conversation and like the okayness around price

 

Tracey Bissett  12:18

can be just about just about taking advantage of how much can I get now that we've reached this agreement? That's not fair. That's just not a great, great trade to show in business?

 

Dana Dowdell  12:27

Yeah. So your expertise is very much around price. And I'm really curious about your own journey in determining your pricing. Did you like right out of the gate, come in and have a really good comfort level with the prices that you are charging, or has your philosophy around your pricing and packages and all that changed?

 

Tracey Bissett  12:49

I would say it's probably evolved. There's, there's the emotional part of it. And then there's the math part. And both are really important. And without both, you can't do a great job. So, what I did is I was thinking about what is it that I want to do? What kinds of coaching packages do I want to do around the financial management side of business, and then I looked at competitors to see what they were doing. Compared the type of value if it's one on one, or if there's, there's more people in a group. And so really worked it out that way. Because I deliver myself, I don't have as many costs associated, as if you've got employees who are working on something as well, or you have materials, because I'm service based. Because I usually suggest people come in at two ways. And it's just as a caveat with this small business owners, I work with sales under 2 million, I would say 85% of the ones I work with are pricing unprofitably. So, this is very, very important that you get it right. Because if not, you're going to be working really hard and having a hard time. So the first way you can come at it is from the bottom up, we want to think about it. Let's figure out the costs that go into everything that we need to do for the customer. So if I'm going to be delivering coaching, how many hours what's my rate? If I'm going to be having even workbooks, what's going to be the cost of that if you're delivering a physical product, really pricing it out granularly not only for the materials, but how much time does it take each person to do what they need to do to make it or service based like that. From there, you're going to look at what are all those expenses in my business that are overhead, the things I've got to pay no matter what I have to pay my insurance, I have to pay my cell phone, my internet, nobody cares if I make a sale, they want their money. And so if you this is a really rough approximation to do it. But if you know what your sales are in a given year, or what you expect, if you take that overhead number and get it as a percentage of the sale, you can then apply that percentage to then that base cost you have you had that on and then what might be the profit you want to earn because you still want to make money over and above your fixed expenses. So that's one way to come at it. Then I encourage people to look around the market, analyze what are other people doing not so you can copy the price but so you can see how are they communicating that I'll you what is it that they're putting together, and then compare that to what you're doing. So you get some benchmarks for price. If you want to be priced higher, because you feel and you believe that you deliver a more valuable service or product, do it, be prepared to back that up. Going in and in pricing. unprofitably is just a recipe for failure in your business, it's going to create so much stress and turmoil, these, you're not going to be able to even get a paycheck yourself, it's just not going to work out well. So working with someone if that that feels daunting, can help you do that. And for everybody listening, grab a piece of paper right now and for your main thing that you sell, try to figure out what are all the costs that go into that, that the hard ones, and then you can dig into the overhead piece.

 

Russ Harlow  15:45

I think a lot of times there's this separation that happens, I think people will say, you know, understand your worth. And then and but they associate that with themselves personally, as opposed to their business and the service and product that they offer. So, if they don't have maybe as high of esteem as they think, you know, maybe they should have, then they put their worth their business worth a little bit lower. And so, I'm like, you have to be able to separate those two. And is it also a good way to start with, you know, like your breakeven number? What are you going to make every month or week or whatever it is, so that you can be you know, what you have to aim at? and above?

 

Tracey Bissett  16:30

Yeah, and breakeven is your variable cost, the cost that change when you make a sale? And then the fixed ones, the things you have to pay no matter what, like rent or insurance. So, knowing that number, people also talk about it like a run rate, what's your monthly run rate? And how much is that. So, if you know, it costs you 7000 a month to run your business or it's 50,000, you then have a target in terms of how you're moving ahead and you've got to get plan your sales, the biggest thing around worth, it creeps up on us when we go to make the sale. And so if we start to have our voice shaking, or we're wavering or the initial reaction, we don't let it sit in silence, if they gasp when they hear the price, and we say oh, don't worry, we can just go lower, we need to sit in silence be comfortable. And if after service, we need to be prepared to say, Okay, that's all right, maybe now's not the right time for you, when you feel like I can support you and help you come back always going to be here and ready to do that. Because if you're doing a lot of unprofitable work, you're not making any room for the clients who are going to make you profitable, and you're going to be overtaxed. And it's going to create a big cash flow issue for you. Because you're going to have to either have access to credit, so that you can put money into the business or you're going to be depleting your personal savings to make it work.

 

Dana Dowdell  17:49

So I feel like this conversation of price is really near and dear to rest. And I because that's how this podcast started. We had a really honest conversation with each other about how he looks at price as a male and how I look at price as a female. And I'm really curious, what do you see? Do you see those differences within the clients that you work with?

 

Tracey Bissett  18:12

So, I work with men and women. And I generally work when I'm doing one on one work, it's over a course of three to four months, I can tell you that tears are very much a part of the experience. And that's men and women. It's not one gender or the other. And sometimes it's tears of embarrassment that how did I let it get to this situation where I don't even know what's going on. And then my company is in big trouble or joy because wow, the light bulb just went on and I understand what you're talking about. And now I can manage my business a little bit better. Everybody has insecurities. So, it depends on people's personalities and how much work they've done. But I've seen lots of construction companies go under because usually the men leading them were not pricing profitably. They weren't actually charging for those change orders. They weren't passing through price increases. So business failure can happen to everyone. I think women tend to show it a bit more on the outside how they're feeling. But I can say from my experience, men are feeling it too. And when I'm having those vulnerable conversations, they're all sharing the same kinds of things. I'm still

 

Russ Harlow  19:16

the only one who's cried on this podcast during a broadcast. So, I'm just 

 

Dana Dowdell  19:20

No, that's not true. I've cried before, okay, 

 

Russ Harlow  19:22

but I did it more times. Okay, so again, now we're talking about taking responsibility and everything else. And so I'm putting it out there right now. So, I'm working on a business plan right now for 2023. And it's the first business plan I've ever written. And so, I'm one of those business owners who's just kind of been, I started in a franchise and so I thought I was going to be given a lot of tools that I didn't and now I'm on my own and I don't, I wasn't given those tools and now I've got to find them. And so, you know, it's not, it can feel daunting, right? But it's not that hard. It takes a little bit of commitment to say this is what I'm going to Do this is what I'm going to aim at quarterly, monthly, weekly. These are my you know, three to five year goals, and this is what we're going to have to do to accomplish it. And it's in a nutshell, it doesn't have to be a lot more than that.

 

Tracey Bissett  20:13

No, not at all. Absolutely. So, the first thing though, that's going to be helpful to you, if you're not looking at your numbers on a monthly basis in your business, you're already in the dark, you have no idea really what's going on. And so, it's very hard to think about planning if you don't know where you are right now. So firstly, if you don't have monthly financial statements, you've got to work to change that. And so hire a bookkeeper, I don't believe any business owner needs to do it themselves unless they want to, because there's already too many areas they have to cover in their business. And it will get done if someone else is doing it. And bookkeepers are not overly expensive. So then if you were going to make a forecast, let's say for 2023, we want to talk about sales and expenses. Let's look back in our historical results. What were our sales in January and 2022, in 2021, maybe we gotta go back further, we've been in business for a while to mitigate any impacts from COVID. But what was going on then, based on what I know what's on my pipeline, and what the markets doing, do, I think I'll make more than sales and add or less and then put a number in anywhere, it's twice the expenses, there's a lot of expenses that are the same every single month. So plop in those numbers, when it comes to the ones that are like a percentage of sales. So if you're selling something product based, and you're going to have materials and labor around it, you probably know what the percentage relationship is, when I make a sale of 100,000. This is how much that stuff is maybe it's 60% of that. So figure out those rule of thumbs. But step by step, do it very basically in Excel. Or if that makes you feel uncomfortable, because I know some people don't like to use that first doesn't need to be complicated for you to make a meaningful plan. And then from there that the key is to go from that income and expenses, that pro forma budget to actually then look at the cash flow. And I would encourage you to make a cash flow forecast to go with it. So for instance, if in January, we sell 15,000 worth of whatever we do, we need to think about how do those customers pay us? Do we take half on deposit? Do they pay the same month that that we send the invoice and then we're going to try to map that over the months to when the cash will actually hit our bank account. And it's one step at a time not getting overwhelmed, you'll go away from it come back. If you're making any assumptions, make sure you write them down, because you're certainly not going to remember, but just step by step, and I do a lot of work with them. In Canada, the Business Development Bank of Canada, it's the bank for entrepreneurs in Canada, they have some really great resources. So their website is bdc.ca. And they even have business planning templates that actually have those budgets and cash flow templates that anybody can go on the site and download. So I'd encourage anybody who's thinking about it, that's a really great resource. And the templates are standard. So it's no different to here in Canada than what you're gonna see.

 

Russ Harlow  23:07

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Dana Dowdell  23:42

I was talking to one of a student of that I advise and he said I was asking him what he wanted to do. And he said, I think I might want to start a business. But I don't have any business experience or like I'm not going to be getting a business degree. And I think that's a that's a common, that's normal, normal, so normal. And so it's it sounds like you know, for a business owner who doesn't have the business experience, there's not much in the business world that they essentially need to know. But this cash flow and knowing what a p&l and that type of stuff looks like is really essential. When they're looking for a bookkeeper, do you have any recommendations for what to look for?

 

Tracey Bissett  24:26

Number one, only meet with an interview people who you've got a recommendation about there's a lot just like accountants and any other professionals. There's lots of bad ones out there. So you want to make sure that you get referrals from people you know, and trust that this is a good person. So maybe your bank or maybe your lawyer, maybe fellow colleagues who are business owners, and going back to that student you advise, I would suggest that they make a business plan and actually think through all the elements. It's a really important thing. Most business owners don't do it at the beginning. But I think it's a really productive activity if it the end of the plan, you realize this business isn't going to work. You haven't spent all your money, you haven't quit your job or not got a job and spend all this time doing something that you could have known wasn't going to work. It allows you then to say, How can I change this so that it does work? Can I tweak it? Can I now pivot, who I'm going to target in terms of my client, who I can charge them more, and now I can make money. So business planning is really key, whether you're in business for awhile, or you're just getting started, because learning that this isn't gonna work. It's worth so much more. Right up front.

 

Russ Harlow  25:36

You really have to do that. It's so instrumental. I mean, people think, how could it not work? I love doing it. I'm so passionate about it. People love what I do. And so, but the advice that you give there is to evaluate and say, well, if how do I make it work? If I realized that there are some obstacles, because good, honest conversation and don't necessarily have to go to family. Like you have to ask the right people, right, you have to, because there's a lot of naysayers. There's they're trying to hold you back, pull you back. It's the law of average, right? They're trying, they don't want to see, it's not that they don't want to see you succeed. It's just like, we're comfortable here. And we don't like you pushing the envelope because we don't want to feel less of ourselves. And there's a lot of that within friends and family circles. So find somebody who can maybe in the business in another state or in another area that you're not going to be a competitor with that you can ask questions with, you know, there's a lot of things that you aren't going to realize that you can get great information from I mean, what else do you think we can do to kind of hone that process and get a better plan up front?

 

Tracey Bissett  26:42

Well, there's never been a better time to be able to access information and access people. Pandemic certainly made it normalized to be able to reach out to anybody in any country that we want. We have all these powerful social media tools, so we can reach out to people doing what we want to do. And most people are very generous with their time, if you're respectful. There's also fabulous free resources, like the ones I was talking about BBC, there are so many different sites out there, podcasts are a wealth of information. If you went even just an apple and started googling business plans in the podcast, all these podcasts would have pop up with people's tips. The important thing is that you be honest, you do research when you're doing your business plan. You look at okay, how many people live here? How many people have incomes that could support what it is I need to do? Is what you're selling more of a luxury? Or is it kind of essential? If you're going to become a plumber and start a plumbing business? How many are in your area? Everybody needs that? But are they going to choose you. So figuring out that and being honest, I can tell you that it takes longer to get clients than you expect. So most people's initial plans for how long the cash is going to last you need to probably double or triple it, and then realize, okay, am I comfortable taking this risk, if I have to deplete my savings? Is that a risk I'm okay with. And in what you were saying rest about people wanting to hold you back, you've got to choose the people you listen to. So, I talked to business owners all the time about this, they'll go into like a retail branch of their bank. And they'll say the person's advice didn't seem very good. Or they told me to do this. I said what business those people have advising you about your business finances, they're talking about personal mortgages and personal investments. Like they have no knowledge about business finances. So, you've got to make sure you get to the right people and only take advice from credible people.

 

Dana Dowdell  28:32

Business Lending, and like when you get to the point of needing maybe a line of credit, or you want to do an expansion, I know that there's lots of grant opportunities for business owners, but on the loan side and the lending side of things, what should a business owner be looking at? And what do lenders normally require before issuing a loan to someone?

 

Tracey Bissett  29:00

Okay, so I am a huge advocate of getting credit. As soon as you start your business, I believe that credit should grow as your business grows. And you need to start the clock on the credit reputation of your company as soon as possible. Because if you wait until you need a big loan, it's going to be a lot more challenging. So, I would encourage anybody immediately if you don't have this, you need a small line of credit, at least in your name and at least one business credit card in the company name so that the credit clock is starting. Usually to do that they're going to look for a personal guarantee like recourse to you individually, which that doesn't matter. A lot of people get hung up on oh my gosh, I'm going to have to provide that. Well. You're probably using your personal credit card to fund your business anyway right now. So, it's the same difference. And as the credit score and history builds up for the company and you've got your track record with financial statements, then they would be able to relax that over time. For lines of credit operating lines, they're looking at what's the cash flow of the business? Is it going to reasonably Pay down and fluctuate the line. If you're looking for a term loan, so a long way you'd make monthly payments, so you wanted to buy a piece of equipment, maybe you need to make a large investment into something they're going to look for historically, have you had enough profit to be able to make the principal payments to repay this loan into the future? And yeah, granted opportunities are a great resource, all kinds of things out there, if you can get your hands around them. But establishing credit is absolutely key.

 

Russ Harlow  30:30

Now, in the States, we have the Small Business Administration that, you know, has a lot of opportunities for businesses. I'm guessing Canada has similar opportunities, with government assistance,

 

Tracey Bissett  30:43

absolutely. Get to know those people, like get a bank or start being friends with them, pick their brain, especially people who are starting to learn about the financial side of their business. It's a very humbling experience to talk to a banker or an accountant when you don't have the language. Financial management requires that you learn the language of finance, you need to know the names of the accounts on the financial statements, so that you can converse about your business in the way that they expect to converse. And so usually, they pair newer, Junior lenders with the small business because everybody's learning together, why not talk with them once a month and start practicing your language, I was going to learn Spanish, I would have to practice every single week in order to learn the vocabulary. Same thing happens when it comes to the business, finance language. They're a great resource to practice with. And then they can tell you what they're seeing with other clients, they may know of opportunities, too, that they can pass on to you. So networking with them is really key as well.

 

Russ Harlow  31:45

I like the idea of getting the credit card for the business. I totally forgot that because I have so many personal cards that have been using for different things. So that's something I'm going to do within the next couple of weeks. I appreciate that. Now, correct me if I'm wrong. Now on a personal credit card, you want to check how much credit you use, like no more than 30% within that line relative affects your credit score. with business credit, isn't it different? Is there no stipulation as to the percentage being used to that credit line?

 

Tracey Bissett  32:13

Yeah, there's many on the personal side, there's many factors, I think it's up to seven or eight that factor into your credit score utilization is one. And I think in Canada, we see it's more around 50% than the 30. On the business side, you would run through like Dun and Bradstreet, they do credit reports on organizations. But it's not the same kind of score. Like on the personal side. The other thing I would say, if you don't have if say you're not incorporated, you're operating under your own name. You won't necessarily be getting credit cards and lines of credit in your company name. But even to get a second credit card and only use that one for the business so that you don't commingle all your personal and business transactions, that makes it a mess. And no wonder you don't want to look at your numbers, because now you're dealing with this big pile of stuff and you're trying to figure it out. But if everything's kept separate, separate, so get a separate bank account, separate credit card, at least then everything goes with your business and you're not playing 20 questions every time you're looking at it.

 

Dana Dowdell  33:12

We call that piercing the veil is that what do you guys heard of that? And in the financial industry, like don't pierce the veil between business expenses and personal expenses?

 

Tracey Bissett  33:22

Little bit? Yeah, we got to keep it separate.

 

Dana Dowdell  33:26

Are you able to speak on the DUNS and Broad Street? Because I've had that question asked to me before someone I know is going to do. I think they were applying for a business loan and they were asked to get a DUNS number. And they had never heard of it before and neither had I.

 

Tracey Bissett  33:47

Yeah, you would set up a profile with them. And then your suppliers would report in your activity to them. I don't believe there is a score. Last time I was looking at it, but it gives an indication of how quickly our payments being made and things like that so often as well, not just for loans. So if you're looking to obtain credit, trade credit from one of your suppliers, they may do a check on you to make sure that they feel comfortable allowing you to go from paying upon delivery of what they're you're taking to let you have 30 days or 60 days, because they want to make sure they're not going to lose too much money. Whenever people pay you later. There's always a risk that there's going to be some people who don't pay, but they want to mitigate who they decide to allow to do that. And so they could use that credit report to do that.

 

Dana Dowdell  34:42

This is more of a personal question for you. Not necessarily business related. But when you were talking about your business you said one of my superpowers is and I just am very I admire very much how you speak about what you do. And I'm wondering if you can share a little bit about, like, has it always been that way for you?

 

Tracey Bissett  35:05

Ever since I was a little kid, I loved money. I was fortunate. I grew up in a household. My dad was a banker. But I learned very young that money could help you do the things or get the things that you wanted. So, I'm probably imagine I'm seven years old, it's summer vacation. Monday, I go to my mom and I say, can I have some money to go to the corner store? So, she gives me my quarter my 50 cents. Off I go. Tuesday, I go back to her because I want to go to the store again, I want to get a slushie or some chips or something. And she says, no, you had your money for the week, you're not having any more money to go to the store. We have money, but not for that. So, we had a lot of conversations in my household, which was, a lot of people don't have that. So, I went outside my friend and I we brainstormed ways that we could make money. We had a lemonade stand. Well, another day we sold spots to our little dance lessons we were going to do out on the street, we had tennis lessons, we did all kinds of different things. Basically, parents were paying for us to babysit for like an hour or something. We were younger kids. But we figured out ways to make money. And we realize money could help us get the thing we want. We don't we don't need to wait for someone to give it to us. We can make it. We had a newspaper, we would go around and interview people in our neighborhood. And then we would write down their stories and our dads would take turns photocopying our little newspaper. And then we go and sell it back to the people who gave us their stories. So, there was always that kind of creativity from probably like seven years old. And so I'm explaining it really rationally right now. And that came with time, but I knew from a very young age that money could help you do and get stuff. And so I got into junior achievement. I had my own little businesses. Even when I was babysitting, I'd be sitting there calculating how much money was I gonna get paid? And what could I buy with that? And I always had plans for my money. So I always loved it. I always thought it was powerful, but not from the perspective of it controls me.

 

Russ Harlow  37:04

Yeah, absolutely. I remember investing in some Junior Achievement projects when I was in high school. And getting the dividends back on the back end was like, hey, alright, I like how this works. This is great.

 

Tracey Bissett  37:17

We had the worst products like probably listeners won't even remember, if you remember popery, like dried berry flowers and stuff, we would buy that in a large bag and then put it in Ziploc small bags and repurpose it and sell it. I was the top salesperson of this stops that I don't know why people even wanted it. But I learned selling. I learned to take rejection. I kept going and trying to do those things. So that was all kind of in my my formative years. But that I know that that relationship with money is not how most people grow up.

 

Russ Harlow  37:52

So that's going to lead us into our lightning round. And I'm going to ask you, what's one thing you wish you knew, before starting a business,

 

Tracey Bissett  38:00

that things didn't have to be perfect? That would be the main thing because I waited, I fooled around a lot with a website that nobody really cared about. And I spent time and money on it while I was still sorting out what I was going to do. So just to jump right in, don't wait for perfect.

 

Dana Dowdell  38:18

What's your favorite way to market your business?

 

Tracey Bissett  38:21

One is networking, whether in person or talking or on Zoom or on phone, and another is through podcasting. So through my own show Young Money, or on guest podcasting just like this with you guys.

 

Russ Harlow  38:35

Is there one business platform that's changed your life or business?

 

Tracey Bissett  38:39

Twitter? So I'm anxiously waiting to see what's going to happen with Twitter, my downloads on my podcast and the downloads on it. And there's a huge personal and business finance community on Twitter. So I get lots of information and connections from there. Hmm.

 

Dana Dowdell  39:02

That should be interesting. You're right, that should be very interesting. When did you feel like you had made it

 

Tracey Bissett  39:09

when people started approaching me to ask questions, and especially when they wanted to come on the podcast, or they wanted to find out more about my services. So it took a long time, a lot of consistent marketing, and putting myself out there and then to see that come back. That was one and then the second was when I could take regular payments from the business. I feel like paid regularly is key.

 

Dana Dowdell  39:31

I want to just note, I think I think you might be our first guests when we've asked that question. Where they were, were you have had felt like you had made it because everyone else normally tells us I mean, I'll let you know. And so I feel like that's impressive that you know you're honoring your success.

 

Tracey Bissett  39:47

Well, yeah, I've lots to do and I certainly can prove in all kinds of areas but I've been doing it for five years, so I gotta take pride in that.

 

Russ Harlow  39:58

Awesome where else now? I want to learn hear a little bit more about this podcast too, because I am really interested in it and maybe even want to listen a little bit to learn more about money. So what are you doing with this podcast?

 

Tracey Bissett  40:09

So, I started way back in December 2017 Young Money with Tracy visit. It is a financial advice show to dispel myths to create education and show different pathways to creating an earnings for your life. It's geared towards 18 to 30 ish and age but I have lots of parents and grandparents who listen and learn things, and they share it with them as well. So, we do an episode every week, we're coming up on episode 270. So been very consistent, going really strong. And it's been a great way to meet lots of wonderful people. I learned every single week because everything is always changing. You Some of you may remember layaway, when I was a kid. That's how sometimes when my parents bought my presents for Christmas, now there's this new Buy now pay later where you can buy something at Lululemon, or, or another store and pay in for four easy payments. You can get those shoes today if you want them, but pay and so all this stuff is coming along that's new and people need to navigate it. And especially with digital and financial literacy come together, it's really important that people have ways to learn that they feel safe. And I can break the concept down really simply. We've got lots of guests. And we we've had over 250,000 downloads so we're listened to in over 40 countries.

 

Russ Harlow  41:25

I think that's awesome. Congratulations on that. I think that's amazing. And I'm guessing you're everywhere podcasts are so please go ahead and check that out too. Young Money, right?

 

Tracey Bissett  41:36

Yes, young money with Tracy. Young Money is around.

 

Russ Harlow  41:40

All right. We'll make sure that's in the show notes. But where else can people find you Tracy?

 

Tracey Bissett  41:45

Best place to find me is LinkedIn. Tracey has an E and Bissett it has two S's, two T's. And you can find all my links there and it's easy to navigate off of LinkedIn.

 

Russ Harlow  41:56

Fantastic. We're gonna have those in the show notes. And we're going to link the podcast too so people can find that nice and easy. I want to thank you for being here. Thanks for stopping by the podcast sharing your expertise. I want to thank our listeners for being here because I know this was good information for you. And if it if it was something that maybe was repeat, you know somebody who needs to hear it and we'd love to have you share that information with them. Like it and share it. You can find us at it's just as podcast on all the places like share, leave a great review, leave a critical review. We'll learn from it. It's no big deal, because it's not personal. It's just business