How ATB Chartered Accountants mentored a new digital business into reaching its level of success

Imagine going from treating animals in England to starting one’s own digital storytelling business on the other side of the world.

Sounds daunting? Indeed it was.

Deb Croucher is a successful businesswoman who did a massive career switch. She left her former life as a vet in the UK so she could embrace her lifelong love of storytelling. She formed her own business, Brilliant Digital, out of a small flat in Sydney.

The business idea was based on the theory that high quality, engaging storytelling would work across all areas of corporate online content and boost audiences and markets. In her head, Deb was sure that it would work, but she couldn’t be sure till she tried it.

A few years into the journey the business entered a phase of rapid growth. Deb found it like being behind the helm of a fast motorboat that was suddenly hurtling through choppy rapids. She now had to figure out how to steer this thing… quickly!

“I felt really out of control. Because everything was moving so quickly, I wasn’t confident in my numbers. I wasn’t confident in my cashflow. I had my eye on the vision. I needed some solid reliable help to know that if I kept doing what I was doing that we were going to be OK.

Sound advice and a passion for small business Deb Croucher

Sound advice and a passion for small business

Deb knew she needed help:

“In the early days of the business I could hold the numbers in my head and knew week to week how the cashflow would be. As the business grew I realised I needed specialist help and to stay in control.

On the strength of a recommendation this led to her first session with ATB. Deb admits she approached it with misgivings.

I didn’t know if ATB were going to help me or if it going to be the usual backward looking accountant. But I walked out the first meeting thinking knowing the team were going to help me enormously. We now have a structure and a financial blueprint which guides us through our growth.

She was pleasantly surprised to see that ATB weren’t like other accountants she had experienced. And they weren’t just about the numbers. Their sheer enthusiasm for helping small business was contagious. It filled the room.

“They wanted to know who I was and what my dreams were and how the business fitted into the rest of my personal financial plan.

A plan for the future

A plan for the future

Deb found that they not only reassured her about her business’s future but they could map out a plan and a way ahead.

“Jim would say to me… OK Deb if you take these clients at this level and do these services for them… at the end of the year this is what your bank balance is going to look like.

ATB were able to offer Deb the two things she really needed: flexibility and certainty. The certainty came from their detailed number crunching and financial blueprint so that her finances could become rock solid.

The flexibility came through ATB advising her every step of the way what each of her choices meant and then helping her to make her decisions work.

“Before it had been like driving in the dark, and now it was like having really powerful headlights to show every step of the road ahead. I could get a good night’s sleep then and not have to worry whether my team and everyone else was going to be OK.

It ultimately meant that Deb was taking control of her business.

Not just an accountant - a financial mentor

Deb’s business, Brilliant Digital, creates tailored stories and sophisticated marketing content in a structured and strategic way.

It’s a sphere that’s massively growing and evolving.

Once ATB created a financial blueprint and looked after the money side suddenly Deb found she was free to focus on what she truly loves. Her vision and the business itself.

ATB’s Jim Vass also came on board as her CFO, working tirelessly on her behalf to make sure the numbers were accurate.

“The support from Jim is invaluable. I know that if I come to him and say I’m thinking of doing this he’ll come back to me and say the consequences will be this, then I can make that decision with clarity and I’m not just winging it.

Navigating the business through the difficult times

Every business hits some tricky obstacles at some point. Deb had her own major hindrances to overcome.

“We lost a business partner along the way. It was a really hard time for the business and me personally. I couldn’t have done it without Jim’s support and knowing ATB were there every step of the way.

ATB helped Deb restructure and develop a strong financial strategy. Brilliant Digital is now a significant player in the industry.

Deb started in 2009 with just herself in a small flat. Her business now provides regular employment for over 40 people and has transformed the businesses of a number of major clients across multiple industry sectors.

A financial blueprint for growth

A financial blueprint for growth

Brilliant Digital’s success is mainly a result of the high quality service they deliver and the results they achieve for their clients.

Yet that’s not enough on its own to be assured of success. Many businesses have great vision and talent and still founder.

The difference is that ATB gave Deb a sound financial blueprint that’s become the basis of all her financial strategies. It’s enabled her to grow her business with confidence and take on some of the top clients in the marketplace, knowing that she’s covered financially. That every step has been meticulously planned safe in the knowledge that the foundations of her business are secure.

“I’ve never felt like ATB are just my accountants. It’s far more than that. They’re my partners. They know every corner of my business. They get excited every time I have a victory and they rally round when things get tough. They’re as passionately invested as I am.

With friends like that on her side, Deb and the Brilliant Digital team can’t fail.

Learn more about how we can help any small and medium business through our accounting and mentoring services.

Contact ATB Chartered Accountants today

We're here to help you take control of your business