Female Founders No.9: Easy as VAT

Female Founders No.9: Easy as VAT

You may have heard of Julia Day, or her business alter-ego, Easy as VAT. She’s kind of a big deal. I first came across her when I was starting up the J&R Instagram account.

I was doing my due best to stalk all of the local business owners I wanted to work with and up comes Julia’s feed. On first sight, I loved it. Here was a savvy businesswoman presenting her financial advisory services to the same audience I wanted to work with. She was the only person I came across offering what she offers in a way that seemed to click with me.

Following Julia and Easy as VAT is more like following a blogger than an accountant. Except, I learn things, try to do better with my money and get major outfit envy a lot of the time.

After meeting IRL at Social Media Meetup, and being interviewed for Julia’s fabulous podcast Easy Numbers, I wanted to highlight Julia and her business in all its glory. So, it’s with great honour that I introduce to you Julia’s Female Founders Interview. Read her wise advice, follow her on Insta NOW and get ready to look at your business with fresh eyes.

1. Why did you start your business? What spurred you on?

I started my business because I knew that finance and accounting was a source of confusion for lots of business owners and I hated the thought of women being put off following their dreams because they felt unable to handle the numbers.

2. What are the unique challenges you have faced as a female founder?

What I do is quite niche and I have found that a lot of people (mostly men) often suggest doing more traditional accounting services which makes me question what I’m doing. Thankfully, things are going well, so I can simply accept that they don’t understand what I’m doing and brush it off now.

I hated the thought of women being put off following their dreams because they felt unable to handle the numbers.

3. What were the 3 steepest learning curves during your first year in business?

  1. Learning to self-promote without feeling spammy
  2. Finding the right prices for my services
  3. Realising that staying in my comfort zone was not an option if I wanted to be able to pay my bills!

 

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Do you set financial goals? I thought I used to. But they weren’t proper goals, if you know what I mean. I’d say things like “I want to be rich” or “I want to run a successful business and work for myself.” They were more like wishes than goals. ⠀⠀⠀ ⠀ Goals need to be specific, and you need to take action to reach them. You can’t just put them out there and then sit back and wait for what you want to find you. You have to go and find it. ⠀⠀⠀ ⠀ If you need help setting real financial goals or creating a plan to make them happen, I’m now taking on coaching clients for June, July and August. Email me at hello@easyasvat.com or click the “Work with me” link in my bio to find out more. Here’s to taking control of your finances ✨ ⠀⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀⠀ ⠀ #financialcoach #businesscoaching #financialadvice #uksmallbiz #creativeentrepreneur #thenativecreative #communityovercompetition #onegirlband #savvybusinessowner #beingboss #mycreativebiz #womenwhohustle #womeninbusiness #creativelifehappylife #femalepreneur

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4. What is your favourite thing about founding your own company?

Connecting with other women in business, like yourself, and finding out all the interesting businesses other people are running. I like I get to play a small part in helping them grow.

On a more personal note, I have anxiety so being able to work from home and be flexible also helps me to manage that, and as a result, my mental health is better than it ever has been.

5. What is the best business advice you have been given by someone else?

Stay in your lane – it’s so easy to get swept up in all the business advice out there or compare your business to what other people are doing, but you usually have a gut feeling guiding you towards the right things for your business.

No two businesses are the same, so it’s best to focus on what you’re doing instead of watching other people.

6. Do you ever suffer with imposter syndrome? If so, what do you do to tackle it and move forward?

All the time! I’ve found that daily meditation, practicing gratitude and journaling helps to boost confidence in the long-term but imposter syndrome still smacks me in the face sometimes.

In those moments I try to work out why I’m feeling that way, acknowledge and accept the feeling and remind myself I’ve worked hard to get where I am.

 

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What do you think of the term “girlboss” – empowering or damaging? Personally I like the term but don’t care for people using it to glamorise the constant “hustle” lifestyle. To me, it means a woman who’s doing incredible things 💪🏻 join the conversation and listen to the new episode of Easy Numbers, where @jnragency and I discuss this topic and more, as well as her advice for business owners 🎙 click the link in my bio to listen 🎧 ⠀⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀⠀ ⠀ #freelance #freelancer #freelancelife #freelancelifestyle #selfemployment #girlboss #bossbabe #femaleentrepreneur #financialcoach #businesscoaching #businesscoach #financialadvice #uksmallbiz #creativeentrepreneur #thenativecreative #communityovercompetition #onegirlband #savvybusinessowner #beingboss #mycreativebiz #womenwhohustle #womeninbusiness #creativelifehappylife #femalepreneur #podcast #podcastlove #podcaster

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7. What’s the best book on business you’ve read?

Book Yourself Solid by Michael Port. It taught me so much about marketing yourself without feeling sleazy and why being authentic is the best way to get clients. It goes very in-depth to help you learn more about your ideal clients and how you can be of the best service to them.

I really wish I’d found this book when I first started my business as it addressed pretty much every marketing question I’d been trying to find the answer to!

No two businesses are the same, so it’s best to focus on what you’re doing instead of watching other people.

8. Tell us about another brilliant business woman you think our readers should know about

My friend Charlotte Dougall has created an insanely helpful resource for bloggers called Blog & Beyond alongside posting on her personal blog, running her own digital marketing business and studying for her degree. I don’t know how she manages it all but I’m in awe of her.

9. What piece of advice would you give yourself if you were starting your business now?

Shyness will stop you from progressing, so get over it.

10. If you were working with a marketing budget of £1,000 what would you spend the money on?

That’s a tough question. I’d probably spend the money on working with influencers or creating something that raised awareness of how I can help people while benefiting my potential clients, like a fun workshop or live event. In this digital age, it’s easy to underestimate the importance of getting out there and meeting real people.