Listen to this episode here: Knowledge Is Power

Welcome to our blog for TALKING NUMBERS with Paul Jansz. This article marks the 50th episode, and we want to take this opportunity to thank you, dear audience, for your support in the past year.

In this one, we have a special guest Phoebe Dray, CEO and founder of Phoebe Dray Consultancy (PDC), where she provides innovative financial coaching, online courses, education and bookkeeping services.

The Journey So Far

Phoebe started working with her father in his accounting practice in the Gold Coast after graduation from university. She loved everything about the business, all the different aspects of marketing, accounting, economics and finance. She enjoyed working with clients and helping them to improve their business.

Later, she discovered tax and BAS weren’t her passion. She realised that business management, business strategy, and easy-management accounting are what she really understood and grasped quickly. She then joined GPL Network, where they coached accounting firms specifically about improving and growing their businesses. The firm became very successful, and Phoebe found the journey very exciting.

Later she decided to work part-time for Bendigo Bank and devote more time to her family. However, it was not long before she felt the urge to go back to her passion, so she started her own business. At the moment, she is also setting up a business called Profit 2 Cash, which is about helping businesses understand how to make a profit; and then turn that profit into cash. The goal is to help business owners live the life of their dreams by being financially rewarded for the hard work, the stress, and the risk that they take to run their own businesses.

The Pain Point

Phoebe says she finds it interesting that many business owners are unaware of their profit or loss until they go through their final tax return. Often, they would have made a profit, but they weren’t aware of it. When there is a profit, they will have to pay tax, which often they weren’t prepared for.

Phoebe wants to help businesses understand where the profit is and provide strategies of how to turn a profit into cash through the ‘My Profit Planning’ sessions. The first step is to identify their personal financial goals; then, to look at all their income sources, whether they’re service-based or product-based. After that, Phoebe helps map the numbers out for the month to see what they need to sell every month or the income that needs to be generated. She wants to help business owners get the income they personally want, not just what they need to cover the business expenses. The next stage is to map it out into a ’12-month profit’ plan..

Phoebe had great feedback about these sessions. It was eye-opening for many business owners, especially the newer business owners that may not have done this process before.

There is also a challenge in these sessions, Phoebe says. A business plan often just gets shoved in a bottom drawer and left there to collect dust; some business owners never look at them again. When a year almost ends, they would find they cannot achieve their goals.

Phoebe suggests keeping measuring after setting goals, and adjust plans with taking actions to kick the goal. It is not just about planning; it is a 12-month programme where a business owner should hold people accountable to match the profit plan.

The Rainy-Day Plan

When talking about facing an unprecedented time, Phoebe agrees with the theory mentioned in the book The Barefoot Investor by Scott Pape. Business owners need to set up their rainy-day account, make sure they’re putting some money away on every single sale, just like how you operate superannuation.

By putting in 1% or 2% or up to 5% of income every time you receive income, you will build a buffer account that helps businesses survive for three to six months when unexpected things happen, such as the COVID-19.

Phoebe says, achieving one’s financial goals does not mean you have the assets that can be measured. For most business owners, it’s about being able to be agile when facing challenges or accidents. It can mean you have the freedom to jump on a new idea, as long as you’re not throwing everything into it, like all the eggs in one basket. It is about taking as much risk, fulfilling your dreams and doing what you want to do for your life.

Daniel shares that their first step was talking to the customer and figuring out their pain points. After that, they started the strategic and execution side. Daniel says, banks used to be the only ones with access to payments infrastructure. Now, that infrastructure is becoming much more accessible, which has allowed businesses like DiviPay to build on top of payment utilities. DiviPay doesn’t have to build payment processing capability from the ground up, and they can focus on building a better customer experience.

How to Price Right?

Phoebe points out that a lot of people struggle with pricing, especially new business owners. It can be really challenging to keep the balance between getting new customers and charging what you’re worth.

Phoebe suggests doing a full deep dive into the value proposition, by looking at your offering and what is on the marketplace, before going out there and start selling services.

It won’t be a win to offer the cheapest to get more customers; because those customers won’t be loyal. They basically just bought your services because it was the cheapest thing on the market. So as soon as you start pushing your prices up, they’re going to jump to the next ship that’s sailing in the direction of low prices.

Phoebe says it is really about the quality of service or product. She suggests researching the market, evaluating your service, pricing it right, and then continuing to provide your best service to retain your customers.

Phoebe also mentions it sometimes helps to talk about price with customers. Hearing about the feedback from clients can help understanding how to make a business go a long way.

A Piece of Advice

Phoebe emphasises that knowledge is power; thus, constantly learning and growing is very important. Now we can learn by listening to podcasts, listening to audiobooks and meeting with other business owners- there is so much out there these days that we can learn in different ways. Learning is so powerful for success. Constantly having a curious mind, learning and growing can lead the way to success.

When Phoebe finished her CPA studies, she decided to put education on hold for a while. Phoebe realised that when she stopped learning, she started going backwards. Phoebe says it’s been transformational for her when she started going back to personal development and learning. Not necessarily just learning about accounting and business, but getting different ideas from everywhere, she adds.

Phoebe shares that keeping learning is the biggest thing that turned her life and business around, and it also led her to where she is today.

Phoebe says, keep listening to podcasts like Talking Numbers has been very helpful for her. She also recommends ‘Audible‘ as a convenient app for people who want to learn in their fragmented time, such as driving or walking a dog.