Why Successful People Hire Successful People – Using An Outside BookkeeperLets Get Started
AUTHOR: Heather Mason
A Q & A between Heather Mason, partner Mason Miller, and Concept of Movement co-owner, Kylee Swales, on what makes a successful entrepreneur and why she believes hiring an outside bookkeeper for their business was the smart choice.
Tom Swales is passionate about human movement. As a registered physiotherapist and strength coach, Tom believes in not just treating the initial injury but also in helping to prevent future injuries by educating and teaching people how to move better.
He and his wife, Kylee, founded Concept of Movement, a very successful physiotherapy and sports performance centre in Barrie, Ontario, offering physiotherapy, massage therapy, athletic therapy, movement training, acupuncture and other health services.
While Tom’s days are filled with clinical work, speaking engagements, writing, and self-enhancement, Kylee, General Manager, is behind the scenes handling the significant responsibility of running the day-to-day operations, from staffing to public relations to finances.
Why They Chose to Hire an Outside Bookkeeper
In this Q&A, Kylee talks about their business, why she chose to hire an outside bookkeeper, and how that has helped their business grow.
Heather Mason: How did you get your idea for this business?
Kylee Swales: It was my husband, Tom’s, passion and he was committed to delivering on his vision of treatment. When he looked at places he had worked in the past, nobody could offer him what he wanted to do. So, he decided the only way to get what he wanted was to create it.
We started in our basement and I was shocked at how busy Tom was in such a short period of time and the fact so many people were willing to come to someone’s basement for treatment.
When we relocated out of our basement, we moved into 110 Bradford Street and started with 4,000 square feet with the intentions to grow, but I never felt fearful. Family members were nervous and expressed concerned but I was never worried. Tom eats, breathes, and sleeps what he does, I knew he would be successful.
It’s actually crazy to look back and think of how far we have come in just six years. We’ve gone from just the two of us to now seventeen people working alongside us and throw in 2 kids and dog too haha. It was a nice comfortable growth and I never felt overwhelmed by the pace.
HM: What services do you offer that are different and that have made you stand out in this industry? Do you feel like you’ve created a niche?
KS: Definitely, I feel like we’ve created a niche. Physiotherapists are trained to treat the source of the pain. They’re trained on a more simple level of movement and they’re not trained to always look at the overall picture. But Tom’s approach to movement and to the whole-body connection and how it really all works together is very different. For example, just because you have shoulder pain, it doesn’t necessarily mean the pain is coming from your shoulder. Tom has taken many courses and expanded his knowledge base to the point where he can combine all he has learned to develop a treatment approach that is unique and effective.
Movement is his passion. He’s very disciplined and he explores and experiments and just persists with finding treatment solutions that work to not only treat pain but to prevent future injuries and excel performance. Then he shares his knowledge with his fellow PT’s and Movements Coaches. They have mastermind sessions regularly to problem solve, share research and talk about clinical skills.
HM: What did you add from the time you started to now?
KS: We’ve tried different things, but we’ve learned that sticking to what we know really works well and have chosen to continue perfecting what we developed. We’ve made sure to stay innovative and stay on top of what’s new in our industry. I want our clients to have the best experience, so I always look at myself as a client and ask, “What would I want as a client?”
Our service is 1-on-1 treatment model because everybody is different, and we need that individual approach. The empowerment of knowing your body and knowing how it moves can be life changing.
HM: What have been your biggest challenges?
KS: I would have to say staffing has been our biggest challenge. Obviously, we uphold a very high standard of care so when a client walks in the door, I don’t want them to just have a good experience with their physio – I want them to have an amazing experience from the minute they walk through the door.
HM: What have been your biggest successes?
KS: Seeing clients that have been to other places, who are in chronic pain, have tried everything, and walk out of here tearfully happy! To be able to help someone, give them confidence in us and hopefully alleviate pain is so incredibly fulfilling.
HM: What have you learned about running a business and accounting that you didn’t know?
KS: I learned so much from my father and grandfather and feel they really prepared me for being in business. They taught me resilience and persistence — if something didn’t work, they would just push forward and try something else.
My dad always said, don’t waste your time at things you’re not really good at. Successful people hire successful people. Hire people to do those things that you’re not good at, it will save you not only time but money. I had a basic understanding of accounting but that was it. It was and still is my biggest weakness, which is why I chose to outsource our accounting.
We hired Mason Miller and feel you are a part of our team. Your service is one of the most valuable services I use. I have such a sense of trust with Mason Miller. This trust allows me to focus on other areas of the business where I am most effective. I don’t waste my time doing something that I am not good at and between us we can keep the goals and the big picture in focus. That has been instrumental in allowing us to grow our business.
Another huge benefit to having you on the team is that you have saved us money, because if we make mistakes in our finances, it can cost us money.
HK: What’s it like working with your spouse?
KS: The secret to working with your spouse is about balance. Knowing what each other’s skills are and respecting those boundaries. We love working together.
HM: What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about starting a business?
KS: Well, I would never go back to working for somebody else, but it’s not for everybody. When we started this business, we worked fourteen hours a day to get the business off the ground. I don’t look at our business as separate from our personal life. It is our life, but totally in a positive way.
For Mason Miller, we have been fortunate to work with great clients like Tom and Kylee. Supporting them from day one in their growth because they recognize the true value of our partnership together. This partnership includes their commitment to review the numbers I compile and to have collaborative discussions from both the accounting and business owner perspective as we will each view the results with a different lens and those discussions are important.
From foundational accounting systems, to analyzing profits and growth potential, to sharing the challenges and the joys of being a business owner, we are invested in their success. More importantly, they can sleep well at night. Relax, we’ve got this.