This series allows you to get to know the women of the Little Black Desk Academy and the experience they bring to the conversations. I hope you enjoy meeting Kate Presto, KIS Accounting, and join her in conversation inside the Academy.
Meet Kate, KIS Accounting
I help business owners focus on what they love to do by taking care of the financial side of their businesses.
Why did you want to be a member of Little Black Desk Academy?
I needed a group of like-minded entrepreneurs to bounce ideas off and help me grow.
How long have you been in business?
I founded KIS Accounting in February 2017. I’d been considering starting a company and was listed on a Quickbooks Online directory. My first client reached out and the rest was history.
How long were you in business before you found your groove? And how did you get there?
I was almost at the two-year mark when I first noticed I was in a groove. There wasn’t one specific moment when it hit me. By groove, I mean that I had a handle on my client work, set up the basic internal systems, and had enough monthly revenue to support a modest lifestyle.
Two factors contributed to finding my groove: time and repetition. My business still feels young, and there are many areas I still need to set up, expand, or refine. It should only get more groovy the longer I’m at it!
What’s your favorite part of owning your business?
I love playing with numbers. I love having lots to do and a brain full of thoughts. I love chatting with my clients – what they do is interesting and it’s fun digging into issues and brainstorming solutions together. I get to be part creative, with marketing and in modernizing my industry. I get to be super nerdy with the technical, accounting and tax. I get to be a compassionate human being and create calm by helping others with complex and scary problems.
I’m fortunate to have found a career that fulfills so many passions and needs.
When everything seems to be going wrong, what pulls you through?
Just thinking about how I handle my business when everything seems to be going wrong makes me dizzy. I have recurring problems with anxiety and depression, so often it slows me down. When that happens I repeat a few of phrases to get me into work mode.
“Start again. Just start. Right now is a new opportunity.”
Sometimes all I need to do is start and I’ll get into a flow for hours. Other times all I can muster is 5 minutes. You learn how to handle it via trial and error. As a solopreneur, there are times when we have deadlines and must push through. One method I use is to create a list of everything I have to do. On a scale of low to high, rank each task in terms of importance and how long it will take to complete. Complete the most important items that take the shortest amount of time first to build momentum. Usually, my brain engages and I’ll cross a few items off the to-do list.
Tell us about the biggest lesson you’ve learned.
Early in my business, I had a client meeting go really sideways. I literally ended up crying. As you can expect, I did not get a monthly contract. The person didn’t think I deserved my rates and started downplaying my skills and services. I asked the person to leave and they wouldn’t.
Now I am much more confident in client meetings. I can end a meeting or walk out. I expect push-back on my prices. I’ve practiced a lot of common rejections and can dig deeper into what their real concern is.
“dig deeper into what their real concern is”
It takes a while to develop sales skills and confidence in your new venture. Learn, grow, and give yourself some grace. I still cringe when I think of that day, but I learned and became so much stronger because of it.
What is your favorite process or system?
My current favorite process is my individual’s tax prep workflow. I created it in a CRM and it sends out automated emails, forms, documents, schedules, and allows clients to upload their documents to a portal.
It’s a consistent process that only requires a few manual steps along the way. It keeps the contracts and client emails all within the system, so I can easily find what I need. It made tax season much more efficient this year! I’m developing similar workflows for other service lines in my business now.
What’s your favorite business book or podcast?
It’s hard to say what my favorite business book or podcast is… I love to read books and have recently gotten into audio and e-books. Usually I’m a physical-book reader, but I’m traveling more now and don’t want to lug around the weight.
What are your 1-year and 5-year goals?
- 1 YEAR: Hit six figures in revenue and reach 8 monthly clients
- 5 YEAR: WORLD DOMINATION!!
By that I mean seven figures in revenue, a remote team, travel 4 months each year, have a beautiful home-base in Austin TX, live happily ever after with my by-then-hubby Yigit and our beautiful furbabies, be published as a thought leader in my field and a paid speaker, be expanding my business into KIS Services."Use your feminine strengths, like emotional intelligence, as a competitive advantage." – Kate | KIS Accounting Click To Tweet
What’s one piece of advice you would share with women who want to be better leaders?
Play with the big boys and use your feminine strengths, like emotional intelligence, as a competitive advantage. We need to be brave enough to step onto the field and own our place.