Our Founder's Story | KPMG Small Business - Small Business Stories
Name, title & company name?
Sindy Foster, Managing Director, NYLON Marketing
In a five words or less, tell us what your business does?
Strategically focused integrated online marketing.
When did you know that you wanted to set up your own business and what made you finally take the plunge?
I’ve always wanted to start a business. From about the age of 17, I couldn’t imagine myself working for someone else. I was always more interested and inspired by entrepreneurs and how they scaled up. I ended up working in a marketing agency and while I was there, I said I’d setup a marketing business if I couldn’t think of a better idea. I setup my company in 2010, knowing that online marketing would be key for businesses to promote themselves. It was the most logical step for me as I was already doing this in my day-to-day job. I then re-launched in 2016, as NYLON Marketing with a focus on US and UK clients and, integrating traditional marketing channels with online marketing, PR and collateral development.
What’s the best thing about your job?
I love achieving results for clients. Seeing what happens when our recommendations and work produce increasing revenue for their business gives me a lot of satisfaction. What we do is measurable so you can really see the impact we make. I also enjoy training people and seeing the growth in my employees’ confidence and ability.
And the worst?
I don’t have enough hours in the day to do all the things I want to, or would like to do. I try to find more productive ways to get things done, so I can concentrate on the things that benefit the business e.g. making sure we have enough billable work and that it’s getting done. That in itself is a challenge – so I focus on productivity and finding service solutions to assist our growth.
Why did you choose KPMG Small Business Accounting?
Before moving to KPMG my accounts were taking up at least a day a week of my time and costing me a lot. I saw a sponsored post on Twitter about the KPMG Small Business Accounting service and then got in touch to find out more. As an online business I wanted to embrace online solutions for my accountancy. What I particularly loved about the KPMG Small Business Accounting service was that it was a fixed fee, meaning I would know exactly how much I’d be spending each year. I also liked the fact that I would have the ability to look ahead and forecast accurately.
How have KPMG Small Business Accounting and your dedicated KPMG accountant helped you?
Last year I spent four times what I will spend with KPMG Small Business Accounting this year, and now I have the benefit of a more responsive and comprehensive service. I also love that there are lots of apps that integrate with the cloud accounting software. E.g. Receipt Bank which saves me a lot of time. We’re also using some of the credit checking, budgeting and cash flow forecasting tools that the service provides us access to. The cash flow tools were really needed this year when we experienced a cashflow crunch due to the fall in oil prices which affected some of our clients. Armed with good solid information, we have been able to manage the business for 7 months on a 3 month’s contingency. Thankfully, we are now coming out of that phase and seeing the improvements visually on the KPMG Small Business Accounting client dashboard has been very reassuring. My accountant who I’ve got a good working relationship with is directing me to these tools all the time and recommending what might be relevant to me based on my challenges. We’re in regular contact and when we’re not speaking I can log into the client dashboard and see that he is conducting activity while we’re not speaking. He is the first person I go to with queries and he has always found a suitable approach to our issues. Whether that is clarity around VAT, the value of business assets, or just how to integrate my bank account with Xero for up-to-date bank feeds.
What one thing do you think the Government could do to help small businesses?
My focus at the moment is to be a more effective exporter. Our biggest problem has been dealing with late payments for overseas clients. There is a lot of debt being written off by small businesses and there is no help when it comes to credit checking overseas companies and being able to chase the debt. Since Brexit the government and NGOs are encouraging businesses to look beyond Europe for opportunities. But we do not have the tools we need to make calculated risks or the legislation to support us when things go wrong.
Who do you most admire in business?
I like disruptors, tech start-ups and stories of people who started with a gem of an idea and turned it into a million or billion pound business that has changed the world forever.
If you could give one piece of advice to small business owners, what would it be?
Trust your instincts and fully commit to your idea. You need to make sure your daily activities take the business forward. It’s very easy to be busy but more important to be productive.
What’s next for your business?
Now that Brexit and the U.S. elections are out of the way and we know where the land lies, we will be launching NYLON Marketing in the USA. That involves incorporating a company in USA so we have a lot of work to do next year.
If you hadn’t set up your company, what do you think you’d be doing instead?
There was never a chance that I would not set up a business. Everything I did before I started my business was to prepare for running a business: learning about accounts, marketing, invoicing, debt collection, and relationship management. All of these skills which I learned as an employee I have used in business. My only regret is that I didn’t start my business sooner, but I got there in the end!
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