Questions that keep business owners up at night: how to be less “hands-on”
Reza Jamal recently shared his most pressing business question. He joins 12 other MYOB customers at a roundtable lunch with Shark Tank judge Janine Allis. These customers are also going in the running to take home $10k.
People go into business for many reasons: to take control of their career, to follow their passion or to spend more time with their family.
But sometimes things just don’t go to plan.
Even when they do go to plan, there are still unforeseen problems that can leave a business owner tossing and turning all night long.
This is why MYOB included a competition when planning a recent sponsorship of this year’s season of Channel Ten’s Shark Tank. The competition is designed to reveal some of the most pressing concerns small business owners have, while also creating a way to address them.
The Shark Tank Experience competition asked new subscribers to MYOB’s online accounting software to submit a question as part of their entry and offers them a chance to win a seat at a roundtable lunch with Boost Juice founder and Shark Tank judge, Janine Allis.
There’s also a $10,000 bonus prize up for grabs for one lucky winner.
The Party Room for Kids: a two-for-one acquisition
Winning subscriber, Reza Jamal is a Sri Lankan expat, who has a longstanding career in financial advice.
Having lived and worked as a chartered accountant in New Zealand before moving to Australia, he’d worked his way up to the role of CFO before retiring in 2016.
However, as a father of young children and with his wife working full time, Jamal decided he needed to find a source of solid income that could sustain his family into the future. But it needed to let him spend plenty of time at home.
“To be honest, I had no idea what kind of business I was looking to buy until I came across The Party Room for Kids,” said Jamal.
“It’s a unique model offering people the ability to book a themed party venue online with capacity for up to 25 children and 25 adults – perfect for birthday parties.”
Although the business started around seven years ago, Jamal says he’s now owned The Party Room for Kids for three months.
And it’s already going from strength to strength.
“I’ve managed to bring it up to the first position in Google search results. My plan is to continue building up booking to capacity before franchising it.
“The business also benefits from a strong relationship with Victorian College of the Arts students, who we employ to appear as themed characters at each of our parties.”
But it’s not the only element of the business that’s showing potential. Jamal’s purchase of The Party Room for Kids included a commercial kitchen attached to the venue.
“I’ve secretly always wanted to run a bakery. Little did I know that this kitchen was already producing speciality cakes to customers around Melbourne,” he said.
Giuliana’s Cakes is also gaining momentum as a brand of its own, offering competitive prices on custom-made, occasional cakes, cookies and other baked goods.
Jamal’s retirement plan is looking less and less like retirement.
Working “on” a business, not “in” it
Jamal’s question for MYOB’s Shark Tank Experience roundtable strikes at the heart of his current conundrum:
“How do you balance your business, family and spiritual life? How much rest does a busy entrepreneur allow on a daily basis?”
It’s Jamal’s hope that as his new businesses keeps growing, he’ll be able to employ more people to manage the day-to-day operations, allowing him to spend more time looking after his kids (and himself).
“At the moment, the work-life balance isn’t quite where I want it to be,” said Jamal. “I’d prefer to be working on the business, not in it.”
At least subscribing to MYOB online has reduced his time spent doing the books, Jamal said – an activity he’s been doing most of his working life.
“I’ve used many different finance software over the years,” he said. “I first used MYOB around 12 years ago.
“But after six weeks of using MYOB Essentials I’ve realised just how much change has occurred over that time.
“It’s so intuitive and well-integrated with other business software – I love it.”
Subscribe to MYOB before 13 August to go in the running to win a Shark Tank Experience with Janine Allis as well as the chance to win $10,000.