Coming out of her comfort zone, Farah faced her fears and spoke live on the ZoShow with Zoheb Sadiq. She did amazingly well, covering all things finance through Covid-19. In case you didn’t manage to catch the show, you will find key points made during the interview and below is a link to watch the whole show. Feel free to ask any questions not covered in the interview and we hope the information provided can help you and your business.
Z: Tell us about yourself
F: I have run my own business, SF Accountants, for about 5 years now and the business has flourished, so I use my own personal experiences to help young businesses grow.
Z: We met through the Public Speaking Academy 3 years ago. How do you think your own professional abilities have evolved since then?
F: When I started on my own, I wouldn’t have been able to go in front of a camera and talk about what I do, networking was very new to me. I wouldn’t have been able to stand in front of people and talk. By going to the meetings, I was able to grow in confidence and talk to other business owners comfortably. I can now take myself out of my comfort zone including doing my first Facebook live with you today.
Z: So how do you feel about your first Facebook live?
F: I was always told I should be doing Facebook lives but was worried about doing it. Hearing about the Zo show and how it helps business owners I decided to take the opportunity to come out of my comfort zone. Who knows after this I may be doing a Facebook live every night!
Z: Everyone has been going through challenges and anxieties through Covid-19 and as an Accountant I’m sure you became your client’s best friend for advice and support. How have you supported your clients?
F: The main essence was to be available to answer clients’ questions and concerns. Experiencing a brand-new situation where the whole UK has shut down, was something that affected everyone. When you are a business owner, there were all sorts of worries. We made sure that we knew exactly what was available to them under the Self-Employment Support Scheme.
Z: This information was available on the news and on the government website. Why do you think it was important for people to speak to their Accountant?
F: When there is conflicting information from all different sources, our clients found it overwhelming. We were able to calmly tell them ‘you are eligible for this’ and not to worry about anything else that wouldn’t affect them. We could give them that clear direction that they needed. Clients needed specific information that was relevant to them and we were able to provide this. We made sure that we kept everyone up to date, not just the clients that approached us, we felt it was important to keep all our clients informed of their options.
Z: With your own business, how has that changed?
F: We are a small team so we have had to work from home setting up access to the main server, setting up communication with our clients and each other. It was a challenge as clients still wanted to see us face to face, so we had to adapt to moving everything remotely with them. Encouraging customers to move to cloud-based solutions and to use their computers. Now businesses have begun to open back up again, we have had clients come back to us and thank us for encouraging them to move to online ways of doing things.
Z: Do you think now people have been forced to adapt to using other solutions, this is now going to be used moving forwards?
F: The majority of our customers have adapted really well to using cloud-based solutions, so I do think they will continue using cloud-based solutions. Everyone has experienced a new way of life so I think a lot will be digital, but we understand that face to face meetings are still very important to bring the personal touch and will be bringing that back moving forwards.
Z: Now businesses are starting to come out of it, in terms of if there is another wave of this or a recession hits, how can businesses better prepare themselves?
F: The first thing is to not be an ostrich and bury your head in the sand. The key is to plan ahead and be prepared if remote working is necessary. Fail to plan, plan to fail is relevant here, so looking at your business, cash plan, communication etc is important as well as having open conversations with suppliers and customers. Project cashflow, know your own figures and know your business enough and plan your incomings and outgoings. Plan on having a reserve of cash to cover you for a rainy day. This is where we help.
Z: You have a family yourself, how have you coped personally? How did you find a balance?
F: There was no balance at first. It was hard to have a clear distinction between work and home life. It was difficult to establish a working day and would quite often be answering emails at midnight. Not being able to work from the office was challenging especially with an 18 month old daughter demanding time and attention.
Z: What is the best way for people to connect with you?
F: Either through Facebook https://www.facebook.com/sfcc.accountants LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/company/sf-chartered-certified-accountants or website www.sfaccountants.co.uk
You can watch the whole interview with Farah and the Zoheb on the ZoShow here https://www.facebook.com/farah.saddique.798/posts/902796280202465