Laura Vlasblom decided to start her own company and follow her passion for fashionable and affordable hand bags: Elvy Fashion was born. Elvy Fashion sells hand bags for ‘Women on the Move’. Women going out to the city, to the beach, a concert or festival. On those moments you don’t want to carry along a big and heavy hand bag. Elvy hand bags are fashionable and light. Easy to carry.
Laura sold thousands of hand bags, but faced a problem: she wasn’t organized
The passion Laura has for hand bags was a little less for finance and getting organized. She used Excel files to create sales and manage purchase invoices. These files where send to her bookkeeper. This way Laura didn’t have instant insights in the performance of her company. On top of that: customers weren’t added to a mailing list, so no emails were send to stimulate repeat orders. Laura preferred to put her energy in things she liked: designing, producing and selling face to face. Everything else was a a burden. In 2015 freelancer Annemieke Fernhout started to support Laura with bookkeeping and communications. It didn’t take her too long to see Elvy Fashion needed to become more organized.
“Laura didn’t have any financial insights in her company: she didn’t know how much VAT to pay, how much customers had to pay her and how much she had to pay her suppliers.”
“Insights in the financial performance of Elvy Fashion was a priority. The hand bags need to be pre financed. If you don’t know what your cash flow looks like, it’s hard to decide if you can pay the bills”, Annemiek says. “Besides: I wanted to manage customers and business contacts in MailChimp in order to start sending out emails, manage our stock and do the bookkeeping in one system. Preferably in the cloud so we all could have access 24/7. YouBaze enabled us to get organized. It’s really easy to use, free in the beginning and offers everything we needed to run Elvy Fashion online. Fortunately their paid plans are very affordable”, Annemiek continues.
Laura and Annemiek upgraded to a paid Triple plan. “We can login with 3 people now and store contact details, sales invoices and purchase invoices in the cloud. YouBaze even allows us to manage our email in the cloud. Very handy. I can allow my business partner to access my email and help customers with customers when I’m not around”, Laura says.
Annemiek has imported all customers, suppliers and press contacts in YouBaze. “YouBaze connects with MailChimp. That saves me so much time. Customers will be added to a MailChimp list automatically as soon as I add a contact in YouBaze. Same if you remove on or a customer has unsubcribed. Our sales got a boost after we started sending out emails to our customers”, Annemiek contineous.
“Annemieke is less expensive than my accountant.”
Even Laura is enthousiastic about finance now: “At the beginning of each month I receive a performance report from YouBaze. This way I can see what my cash flow looks like, what sells best, how much profits we’ve made and which types of costs we pay most. This report enables me to take decisions fast. Annemieke enters everything: she sends customers invoices, books purchase invoices from suppliers and enters business card details from potential customers I meet. YouBaze ‘chases’ customers who are too late with paying by sending out automated payment reminders.”
Laura not only saves time she says. “The hourly rate I pay Annemiek is less than my accountant’s. Annemiek even submits our VAT declarations with the YouBaze VAT report, which saves us money too. So we manage everything ourselves and have access 24/7 to all company information. At the end of the year we export everything to our accountant with a YouBaze Exact Online export tool. Takes us 2 minutes… can you imagine? Contact details, sales, purchases, bank and cash entries will be imported by our accountant in his Exact Online account. Works great. Thanks to Annemiek and YouBaze I am able to focus on designing, creating and selling and keep track of our financial situation at the same time. Love it.”