Author: Alexi Goncalves, BSU student
OnTime Bookkeeping opened in July 2020 in Abington, Massachusetts. I interviewed the owner, Aileen Borders, to find out more about the business and how it got started. OnTime Bookkeeping is a virtual business that can be utilized by small businesses to help them manage their finances and give them time to focus on their business, instead of on accounting. The business also offers the option to clean up financial records and start new accounting systems. Aileen started this business a few months ago, but she has a background in accounting and has always wanted to work for a small business so it was a perfect fit. Aileen started her career in Maryland working in the corporate world doing the opposite of what she wanted to do. She always wanted to work for small businesses, so in 2018 she moved to the South Shore and started her business.
The toughest thing about starting this business is that since Aileen just started the business, during the Covid-19 pandemic, it has been very hard to gain new clients. Many new clients don't think they can afford her services right now, but Aileen hopes that when the economy settles, more companies will find her services helpful. Since Aileen just started the business she doesn't think she would do anything differently. A lot of her current challenges come from the current climate of physical distancing and not being able to meet with business owners in person. Since some of the ideal clients for Aileen are uncertain about their future due to Covid-19, they may not reach out right now but she hopes that in the future they will think of her. Since Aileen’s business is new, she thinks that some customers many not pick her company first. However, though her business is new her experience is not. Aileen’s 20+ years of corporate experience have allowed her to develop accounting and analytical skills. She can do normal bookkeeping, like record transactions and reconcile accounts, but also can help with budgeting and forecasting plans for the future. She is also able to help owners interpret data points that they've been able to gather.
Luckily Aileen’s services can be offered completely virtual and accessible to both clients and herself, which is especially good during a time like this with such uncertainty. The number one way that Aileen is working on getting new customers is by virtual networking. She has social networking accounts on Facebook and Linkedin and posts useful articles for small businesses. She hopes to gain new customers also through word-of-mouth. Since everything is virtual currently, Aileen has relied a lot on technology to grow her new business. Virtual networking in groups on social media has helped to spread the word about her company. In addition to marketing, all of the tools currently used for OnTime Bookkeeping can be accessed online such as accounting software, document management and communication tools.
In the future Aileen would like to have at least six more clients for routine services in addition to clean up projects. Her goal for her business overall is to sustain a way of life from the income received while helping others. She also hopes to work on her long-term retirement plan to have a small business and keep herself busy when she retires from full-time work.
The best way for customers to connect with Aileen and to take advantage of what her company has to offer is to reach her by email or phone. Her website also has a calendar to schedule a getting-to-know-you conversation or send messages. Aileen is also offering discounts throughout the end of 2020 of 15% off of a cleanup project or 10% off within the first three months of service.
Thank you Aileen for talking with me.