Tell us about the services you offer?
Smith and Oxley is a Bookkeeping service for Small Businesses and Sole Traders.
I gained my Bookkeeping License from AAT in February 2020 and I have been slowly growing since then. I am passionate about helping small businesses get control of their accounts – life is easier when you don’t have to worry about receipts and invoices. Bookkeeping is about looking at the day to day financial transactions of a business such as bank reconciliations, chasing up outstanding invoices, entering bills. The services I offer also include setting up a cloud account system such as Xero which allows clients to have an up to date picture of how the business is going. For the more established clients I can also prepare and submit VAT returns.
How did you come up with the idea and what motivated you to go for it?
Before my children, I spent 15 years working as a in-house bookkeeper for a number of companies. I then chose to be a stay at home mum for 5 years, but it was when my youngest started nursery, I was unsure what to do with my new found time so got a part-time job with a local Accountant. It was during this time that I rediscovered my love for all things Accounting and decided to do the exams and get my own clients.
What do you love about running your own business and what do you find hard?
I love the flexibility of having my own business, being able to attend school assemblies or not having to worry about childcare when a child is off sick. I find marketing myself hard, I know I’m great but finding the right words to prove this to potential clients is always tricky. I’m a numbers girl!
What kind of BossMum are you and how do you manage the juggle?
During term time I’m pretty organised as I know that I have a certain period of time that I need to do my work in so that I can do the school run and spend the rest of the day with my boys. During the school holidays it more flexible and I catch up as and when I can, so there are a few late nights and the boys spend longer on Minecraft then they normal do.
Do you have a favourite app or work tool you think everyone should know about?
I love Xero. It is a great cloud accounting system. It links to you bank account so you can see how the business is doing in real time. You are also able to save your bills and receipts there so that everything is kept in one place (and saves you having piles of paperwork all over the house!)
What is a normal day in your life like?
A normal day for me will start at 6.30am when my 8 year old comes in and tells us he is going downstairs, I then roll over and try and get another half an hour sleep before the alarm goes off!
We are really lucky and live just round the corner from school so there and back only takes about 5 minutes so I’m normally at my desk by 9am with a coffee in my hand. If it is the beginning of the month I will start the monthly bookkeeping for my clients, this is generally the time I’m most busy so will spend most of the day at my desk before going to pick up the boys from school and then go and hang out in the park with our friends for an hour or so. During quieter times in the month I might pop in to Brixton and wander around the Market or take a stroll around Brockwell Park.
What is your favourite Social Media platform and how has it helped in your success?
I love Instagram! When I first started out it was a great way to find like minded Mums and also as a Plus Size woman it introduced me to the wonderful world of Plus Size fashion and the amazing stylish women out there who I had never seen before and gave me the inspiration to be more me when it came to fashion and not let my size stop that. This in turn lead to a growth in my confidence which gave me the push I needed to set up my own business.
Who inspires you?
Any woman who is making a success of her business (no matter how big or small) makes me want to do the same with mine.
Tell us 3 facts about you…
- I’ve supported Spurs since I was 9 and growing up was obsessed. I had more posters of Spurs players on my wall than I did of any boyband members! I still love the team (despite the many ups and downs that come with following a football team) I have passed my love of the team onto my 8 year old which brings me great joy.
- The only time I will go camping is at a festival! Having spent most of my 20’s and early 30’s going to festivals we have been taking the kids to them since they were babies. Our family favourite is Camp Bestival and I’m dreaming of a time when I can run away to Glastonbury for a weekend of kid free fun.
- I don’t believe in Guilty Secrets. I’m a massive fan of all music and will proudly admit to seeing Steps and S Club 7 live. If music brings you joy, embrace it there is no point in being ashamed of something you love.
Thanks for giving us an insight into life behind Smith and Oxley Sarah, we love having you as a Member of the Tribe.