EP185: Analia Martinez - Why Improving Your Workflow is Vital

Business-related problems.

When your clients have them, they will likely be your problems, so educating your customers on how to handle these issues will strengthen your relationship with them.

Today’s guest has been doing this and it has led her to where she is today.

Analia Martinez is the owner of eBookkeeping Inc which is a virtual accounting and bookkeeping business that serves busy business owners.

During the interview, you'll discover...

  • How to overcome the challenges in starting with the right workflow
  • Tips on how to improve your workflow & processes
  • The advantages of following people and connecting in social media

To find out more about Analia, visit here.



Michael Palmer (01:23): Welcome back to the successful bookkeeper podcast. I am your host, Michael Palmer and today's show is going to be an awesome one. Our guest is the owner of E bookkeeping, inc, which is a virtual accounting, bookkeeping business that provides a full accounting service for busy business owners and Aliyah Martinez. Welcome to the show.

Analia Martinez (01:45): Hi, thank you for having me over.

MP (01:48): It is our pleasure. And uh, I met you at QuickBooks connect San Jose, which is a fantastic event to connect with people and uh, I absolutely loved your story and uh, and Aaliyah, I am excited to have you share your story with, uh, with our listener up until this point.

AM (02:11):Yeah, thanks. So I, I had a friend who has been pushing me to become a bookkeeper and this is a career that I took up business classes that at school, so I have a business degree, but I was just like, uh, I didn't understand really so much about bookkeeping and in the area where I leave, there's really no Spanish bookkeepers. So she really pushed me to do it. And then within I have a key. So I'm just trying to decide how to provide for my son in working for somebody. I'm not the best employee. So I went in pretty much say, okay, this, do the bookkeeping. So here I am two years later, pretty much got my own business and now have an office where I'm starting to grow a little bit more, get more income preneurial as we go and learn more from the best in the area.

MP (03:16): That's exciting. So you kind of fell in to the career, your career as a bookkeeper and you know, having started your business. What were some of the first things you did to, to get started?

AM (03:32): Um, what first things I did was to model. I think I kind of went a little bit backwards. I just, some things just kind of fall in my lap and be like, okay, I made a bookkeeper and I was just like, okay, I can do it. Um, but it was a little bit more than I was hoping for. So I kinda had to learn really fast. They're broke, especially with so success in California and they were doing all a lot of the changes. But you know, it's like my friend taught me and then I went into like some online classes to get myself farther up in the education. And I set up two different classes, like BBL, a bookkeeping business lounge, and that was a great program to help me gain the confidence that I need to, um, my practice. I know exactly what I need to be doing. So yeah, that's where I started. And then in, since pretty much, you know, like, um, the friend that got me into bookkeeping, she also suggested to go to people connect. And the first time I went there was in 2017 and I pretty much opened my eyes to see like, Oh my God, there is really a lot of ways to do this. A how to grow the practice virtually. So I'm still in the path and trying to grow in virtually, but I'm trying to also cater to local businesses in my area.

MP (05:12): And what's that been like? Uh, in terms of, you know, you're established a virtual business and you learned about that at QuickBooks connect a, again, a, another great reason to attend conferences is the amazing learning opportunity and you don't know what you don't know. Uh, but now you have a local office and you're catering to local businesses. What's that transition been like?

AM (05:38): It's good actually. You know, it's just, I mean right now you're just going to compete with people more. There's always competition they use just has to be more like, okay, why do you think I want to do? And right now I'm just trying to redefine my, my practice. I still, what I want to focus on in, one of the things I learned in the conference was the whole thing of the meat. You know, like DCS seems like a conference I've been practicing. I focused on a niche focus at an age and that my experiences in restaurants, so I'm pretty much trying to cater mostly towards restaurants locally and they're totally in bookkeeping aspects. So I've been kind of going into talking with restaurants honors and that didn't know my services

MP (06:26): and, and what have you. How have you found that to be in terms of competing with other people, uh, in the marketplace? You're, you've niched into restaurants. What, what's that been like?

AM (06:39): Well, because I'd been getting our Hispanic, and one of the things I have been finding out locally is that they really don't understand blot bookkeeping it. So part of my job, it's being kind of educating them the difference between sales taxes in California and central taxes. So they need to keep up with that, which they haven't done that I didn't get him. A lot of clients that have problems with taxes and that itself has been becoming like a major project and it's a good niche to, to help people fix their self boxes, you know? But yeah, they spend a community doesn't really understand what bookkeeping ease became. They don't do that in Latin American countries. Israel completely different. The things that I've been working also is showing them how to import, how important it is to use different bank accounts, not makes a personal waste would be, and they really commingle a lot of those things that I guess that's not just the Hispanic, but yeah. So just being, they trying to translate everything that'd be learning in English into Spanish and educating them better locally. Like what is the importance of doing the way that we do it and why we do it the way that we do it. So that's the project that I've been taking on

MP (08:19): That's very exciting. Number one, I think the lesson for our listener is when you, when you're working with customers is about their problem is your opportunity and your filling that opportunity with education and using it as a competitive advantage to educate them more and to bring them into the light, so to speak, around how this can be valuable to their business along.

AM (08:48): Yeah. So it's, sometimes you think that there's no opportunities. The other thing that, uh, when I was at a conference, I was talking with a friend and you should always, we'll pretend it is the AIDS in the CD, you know, say she was telling me like, Oh, you should become a ProAdvisor when we were at that conference and I'm like, okay, I will do editing. She's like going to take this class. I just, this class is awesome. The problem is when I leave, they cost the class, I can go, it's like four hours driving. So it's like a whole ordeal thing for me to plan a, but you know, it's like after a lot of thinking I've been going to also trying to think of how I can bring everything that I'm learning in conference and things that people are doing in the big cities to bring it here locally so I can bring those opportunities that I'm hoping for for somebody in the future. So I'm working towards that. Still kind of deciding how I want to do it and what are the best steps to do it. So that's an back of project thing. But yeah, you know, like opportunities are everywhere, wherever you look and you're trying to do. So I do believe in that.

MP (10:03): I, I sense that about you and I, I got that sense when we first met and I, I love that spirit in terms of value is providing something that you value, but more so what as someone else values. And so by you traveling far, far away and bringing that knowledge back, it's a burden to you, but it's, it's a value to your customers. When you understand that and you, you actually do it, you can then have something that other people don't have and they're willing to pay you for that value. So it's the, the spirit of the entrepreneur at work in you and many of our listeners, which is you, you're looking deeper, you're going further and you're, you're looking for those opportunities and then, and then actually taking action and doing something about it. What kind of, what have been your obstacles and starting your business?

AM (11:03): Biggest obstacle is being, I'm kind of still is. It's the organization, you know, I think that we can, we think that we are very organized but we are really not organized. I mean I've been talking with a couple of people so I'll pick one name for weight. But as you said, learning the spectation I think everything folds into expectations. And my biggest problem is that sometimes like facials are too high and I still don't know how to reach them. Not impossible to reach, but I they just figure it out. And actually I got the book for Debbie Roberts, they email bookkeeper and it really took me like from chapter one, like things were unorganized for the person in the story. And you know, like I feel like I was, I'm still kind of in that process. I'm still getting better. And like I said things, how it getting better got better is by learning and going into the conference or following people in social media.

AM (12:11): I suppose for me it's been like a weight great where great tool to be able to ask questions and get awesome responses from people who are better. You know, they have some more time doing bookkeeping so they already know the ropes better. And there's always like somebody teaching a class for here on that. So I'm always like trying to go into those classes virtually. And you do pick up a lot of the stuff to make your system a little bit more organized. But I think like starting something, it started looking into, I write workflow, it will really help you a lot. So yeah, so that was a big challenge.

MP (12:53): It's a challenge for many. And one of the challenges around process and workflow is that at first glance, you know, if we looked at what you do every day, you know, we could, you could probably say, well it's not that difficult what you do, but if we really looked really closely, you're doing thousands of steps, it seems every day, right? Different things. And, and so if those steps, whether it's a hundred or a thousand or 10,000, if you have just a little bit, a tiny percentage of inefficiency around that times a hundred or times a thousand or times 10,000 it's an incredible amount of inefficiency. So we underestimate how complex the work that we're doing and we don't really measure those small things. But when you take care of the small things and you improve on a small level, multiple times, it leads to efficiency. And that's where people are surprised by improve process, improve workflow, uh, is that all of a sudden it's like, wow, this is easy. This is going fast. I have more time. Uh, so thank you for, for sharing that about your journey with E-Myth bookkeeper and Debbie Robertson. She was where you were when she first started her business. And I love your comment on social media. You follow people on social media learning from them. That tells me that you're a person that interacts and engages with people and I'd love for you to share where do you hang out in social media and connect with most people.

AM (14:23): So Facebook, um, you know, social media has its good and bad and Facebook, when I decided to go into the journey on bookkeeping, the Facebook could be sending me into groups. So I have, I don't know, there's a lot of groups that I go to. Like of course a successful bookkeeper is the one that I did learn a lot of the staff hectored RCS channel and Michelle on Facebook. And then it's also the QuickBooks community with Matthew Fulton and the Ronica, the five minute bookkeeper. Those are like they key ones that I come up follow a lot. And if I have any questions. The other one I'm starting to fall a little bit more with payroll question is Sharon with, they won't for success in QuickBooks community, I mean in Facebook. So I think it just depends why you're trying to accomplish and especially if you have a niche.

AM (15:23): And one of the things is like I also been sending private messages to people that I kind of follow and they've been great at answering me back and helping me too. You know, like if something that I don't understand, they're right there to help me and willing to share their knowledge with me. And that's really helpful, you know, because it's like, okay, it's nice to know that they're willing to help me reach my goal the same way they reached theirs. So those are my key groups that I go a lot in my new set and Facebook pops up a lot.

MP (16:00): Beautiful. Well it is a, a remarkable community, the community globally of bookkeepers and very supportive and big thank you to all of the people that you mentioned for the work that they do. And uh, and thank you for sharing those groups that, that you're getting value from. You know, you, one of the obstacles, I'm sure that was one that you would have had to overcome and probably still working on overcoming is, is having young children while growing your business. Tell us a little bit about that journey.

AM (16:33): It's hard. It's, it's hard but not impossible of it. Beginning Wayne, I was still learning. I had to pull a couple of all nighters in mole. My son wasn't like in daycare. So during the day I have to be with him and a nighttime kind of study him progress my education. But now that he is in daycare, it makes it a little bit easier. And also like when I was working from home, I was thought I wasn't being very efficient, but I've learned that I'm not efficient when I'm at home because it's like there's always so many other things that you have to do. And now that I have an office I like, I know that I need to come work until I have to pick him up and then I can go and be a mom. And I think like putting the times, even [inaudible] in the future, if I have to be working from home, he's just putting the hours and know that you have from two or three hours, whatever is that you have is he has to be for the basis and nothing else.

AM (17:40): You know? It's like I'm trying to decide which groups I want to join, start growing my practice more and let the public more than I'm open. I've been talking with CPAs and stuff like that, but he's just putting it out there, you know, just with a mom trying to figure out how to juggle being a mom. And be a business owner. It's just you cannot do both at the same time. So my goal is now to make sure that I put in my hours at work and he and my son knows that he needs to go to school so I can work and then I have the time to be with him and actually be a good mom. Not trying to commingle both things because I, I was filling a bloke I felt like about mom and then I was not doing my job properly. So putting hours for anybody who was in that decision. I would say that the right time, you know, just do, even if it's two hours, if you can have somebody to help you be hippies or something, they shows like put those hours in. Just focus on your business. That's something that really helped me to do it. I'm not gonna do anything else that works.

MP (19:00): It is a little bit like a, I guess the term bootstrapping, you're building a business. Many people don't have money and they don't have investors stay. They have to build this business. And they call that bootstrapping. And [inaudible] one of the other resources that many people don't have is time. And if you have children like yourself, uh, that time is very limited. And, and having young children myself, it's, it's like they, they don't the logically don't understand that you need to do something, you know? Uh, it's like for them it's like, Hey, let's go. We, you know, I'm the priority and, and uh, there's going to be no distractions between me and my mom. And so that can be very, uh, that can be stressful. But you, you were building a better life for your child and you had the beach bootstrap at some level. You had to spend the all nighters, you had to spend the extra time, you had to find a way around it. You've done that. And what advice would you give to others that are maybe just about to go through that or going through that right now around keeping your sanity?

AM (20:06): I think you need to make friends with somebody who is going through this, you know, because that really helped me being is there some things that you think, am I the only one before I was a mum? You know, it's like you're like, Oh my God, this is so easy. How car can it be? And I have a lot of friends who make fun of me because I say I'm going to be the boss of my son and he will do what I say. But the truth is like things are all there the other way around and until you're living it and talking with other people that are going through the same scene, you understand that you're not the only one and you need to have somebody who can you bounce idea with and be like, is this working for you? This is not working for you.

AM (20:53): Are you doing days? And you know, like I have a friend that we talk every single day through messenger. Like, we can send a message any time of the day and we are like, okay, we can answer each other's questions and don't this cart, you know, it's like things will take a while. Things will not happen over night, but you have to keep pushing it. Maybe, you know, like if somebody got clients through a friend, maybe that's not working for you. Look for another outlet to do it and, and talk to people, you know, like find out how they doing it. And like I said, the best advice I can give is find somebody that you can click and be like, Hey, is this working for you? Why are you doing fees or why you're not doing these? And they'll be afraid to ask questions.

AM (21:46): And if you're in the Facebook communities, in different groups as a question, somebody is going to help you and answer it. You know, just whether it's right or whether it's not right, it doesn't matter. But somebody who's going to be there to help you and be willing to listen and learn other things. You know, it's like, because where right now everything was technology. We think that technology solves everything. But sometimes we need to go back into the basics and use technology and just learn a simple, simple stuff and how to do it so we can park there ourselves.

MP (22:23): Fantastic advice. And we're blessed that we have tools like social media, uh, where we can reach out and uh, and often I think it can be daunting for people to share their own challenges because they think that they're their own challenges. Many people like yourself have gone through these things before and it's one of the things that we pride ourselves around the successful bookkeeper community on Facebook is as that it is moderated and, and we, we keep it a safe place to be searching for answers and providing answers in a, in a belief free environment and a positive environment. And so, you know, find the group for you that can provide that. If you can't find the those support people in your locate in your location or your close to your home or an impersonal I guess in person relationships, then find the group where you can have these kinds of conversations that a anemia is a is speaking about. I'd love to hear a couple of your, when you have had a success in your business, a milestone will say, you know, you've done something where it's like, yes, I'm, I imagine moving into your office was both daunting and also gratifying. What was that like for you?

AM(23:42): I'm still in the sale is really my office, you know, because I was just like I want an office and one of the things is like I will be able to get an office last year, like summer last year, but something was not right. My gut, Philly was told me not to go through it and I didn't do it. And so it's like, I think also timing is important and listen to your gut feeling. It's what it will help you move forward to if something doesn't feel right, don't do it. You know with my office since, I mean I got the offers and then I say I'm going to open the first Monday on February and by the last week of January I had no internet in the office and I had no furniture in the office. And everybody think, how are you going to open that office? And I was like, I don't know it's going to happen.

AM (24:40): And one of my local CPA's, we're giving away a desk. And I was like, okay, I will take it. I mean it's a humongous desk, but it was free. So it was just like, okay, let's go and get it. And then I make magic to make the internet happen. And then on Monday I was opening the office and everyone is like, how you did? And I don't know, you know, like I do listen a lot to my gut feeling and once I have my head set into something, I push it through and I think it can be beneficial and can get you in trouble sometimes. But yeah, you know, it's just like it, it's still kind of like, Oh my God, I haven't offered now they, it still feels a little bit surreal. I'm like, Whoa, I have no excuse not to keep growing. You know? It's like things do happen either right time as you keep pushing forward.

MP (25:32): Remarkable. I love it. The good old can do attitude is alive and well in your entrepreneurial spirit, which is, which is excellent. And I will say that this week's episode is Trevor Blake, who is in a New York times bestselling author and he talks a lot about intuition and that females and women have the, a very powerful intuition, much more connected to the intuition than men and that men, what his advice is that men should, should get better at listening to their own intuition. And you've used your intuition for your success. And I would also say that you, it's, it's just trusting your intuition and taking the action that aligns with the intuition, which is, which is remarkable what you've created. So when you have a success, do you do like a fist pump? Do you just kind of smile? What's the celebration look like for you?

AM (26:28): The smile more every day and you know, and then also like be really central for the chances it's a success. But that other things I was like, okay, now it's come also with more responsibilities in and I don't dunno, like I take my son probably to the movies or we go and do something fun like, so there was the ice cream with him. So he was my, my partner in everything right now. Well, you know, it's like my life just revolves around work in him. Like I have work and then I have to be doing stuff with him. And then like friends, you know, like friends come and celebrate with me. That was like, I think once you start getting into that train of succeeding, you want to keep going farther and farther. So I think, um, I still haven't decided when it's to stop, but right now I feel like I'm still starting in that hole and all these bookkeeping trip and see how far I can go.

MP (27:28): It's remarkable.

MP (27:36): I absolutely love your story of your son and celebrating with your son when you've reached milestones and your son is so blessed to have a mother like yourself. Wonderful.

AM (27:49): The time came perfectly to hear what I needed to hear, you know, just to know that I'm doing it. You know they can. It's like I say, I think when you're going through stuff you don't think that you are making it. That change to happen little by little and then all the sudden there's big changes. So

MP (28:09): it's, it is amazing, isn't it? Sometimes he can look at something in situation that you're in and, and very difficult to even imagine it being any other way. And then in a short period of time, through luck, through, you know, divine intervention, all of a sudden the fog lifts, the, you know, the light shines through and it's like that was easy.

AM (28:32): Yeah. He was like, it was set in about simple

MP (28:41): and looking back. Right. And so I think it's, it's a good reminder for us all to always be cognizant of the fact that whatever we're dealing with today, we're meant to deal with it today and tomorrow we'll be able to deal with it a lot better. Uh, whether it's a lot or a little bit, and, uh, life only gives us things that we can handle and, uh, and it's developing us for the next, the next bit. So I think it's, it's tough sometimes being a small business owner and, and even more difficult when you've got dependents like small children, time is limited and scarce. And so, uh, and, and as well economically, right? So it's, uh, my hat is off to you and, and it's just so great to have you part of the community and seeing you. You're doing it right. It's like where you are today, you won't even believe it. And a year from now where you are.

AM (29:33): Exactly. It's just, you know, I've even yesterday, whatever happened yesterday, today's a better day. You, it says, keep pushing forward and keep going.

MP (29:45): That's right. That's right. It's a wonderful story. Thank you to QuickBooks for connecting people like you with other people. I know meeting you there, I saw you with some of the people that you'd met there. And you know, I think it's for anyone listening, whether it's QuickBooks connect or whether it's a zero con or scaling new Heights or in Canada, a big one is the Institute of professional bookkeepers of Canada holds a annual event. You really must put it on your schedule to get there. Uh, magical things can happen when you go and meet other people and learn new things. And, and you've shared so many of those with us today and, and thank you for being a part of the community and for coming onto the podcast and sharing your story and what, what you've been going through and what you've been working at and where you've been successful.

AM (30:36): Thank you for inviting me. I really appreciate it. You know, just to make these the like a big celebration for me to be cause I never thought it will be part of a podcast. You know, just like, Oh they, you'll feel like, Oh maybe I am doing something right as often and things are not as bad as the one think that it is. That I really appreciate it for all days and meeting you in QuickBooks connect was a great experience. You know, like you were saying, I got to meet a lot of people. I'm still in touch with him and I say that the community in social media, it's always there to help too. I feel fairly lucky and very thankful for all of these opportunities.

MP (31:19): Wonderful. Well, thank you again for being on the podcast today. Thank you Michael. And with that we wrap another episode of the successful bookkeeper podcast. To learn more about today's wonderful guests and to get access to all sorts of valuable free business building resources. You can go to the successful bookkeeper.com until next time, goodbye. Oh yeah. One last thing, if you do get value from this podcast, please leave a review. Let us know at our Facebook page, let us know at the podcast that you listen to, whether it's Spotify or Apple or Google, please leave a review for others. What did you find? Value and let us know what you'd like to see more of. And with that we will say

MP (32:05): goodbye.