Boogles is a London based bookkeeping company founded by the award-winning entrepreneur Lisa Newton.
Boogles provide a variety of bookkeeping services and products including training, books and franchise opportunities, all designed to help small business owners manage their accounts and reduce their costs.
Lisa Newton won the Young Entrepreneur of The Year award at the Precious Awards in 2007 and an Enterprising Business award in 2008. Lisa is a supporter of women’s enterprise and serves as an Ambassador for Enterprising Women.
Boogles was founded in 2004 and employs a team of 20.
Why did you decide to start your company?
Robert Kiyosaki who wrote Rich Dad Poor Dad said “mind your own business” – so I did. I’ve never had a full time 9 to 5 job in my life.
There’s no time like the present so upon graduating from university I formed Boogles Ltd. No-one was going to employ me on my terms so I decided to employ myself and take charge.
How was your company name conceived?
Boogles was a name I had back in mind since 1990. My street name was “Professor Boogles” or “Miss Boogles Biologicals” so I decided to call the company “Boogles” because I didn’t want to be restricted in what I did.
I didn’t want to call the company after myself, because it was never my intention to be the centre of attention. My character “Boogles” is the face of Boogles and I had no intention of doing one thing and being restricted to it, which is why I didn’t call it “Lisa Newton Accountancy Services.”
I don’t like restrictions. Plus, it’s a catchy name.
What was your career path prior to starting your first business?
I did my GCSEs, then at college I started the AAT NVQ levels 2-4 alongside A-Levels. I did my degree and then my masters in Investment Management.
I was working part-time doing some bookkeeping, whilst also building skill sets in areas such as payroll, acting classing, drama workshops, presentation skills and IT skills.
In the month I had my graduation ceremony I formed the limited company.
Did you always know that you would start your own business?
Yes. My first business was age 13 at school selling bobbles and lingerie to staff and students.
My mum used to work in a lingerie factory and we could buy the cast offs for 25p. I used to sell them for £3.50. I used to make the bobbles myself from scraps of leftover material and elastic.
What steps did you take to launch your business?
I did a financial cash flow as part of a 3 year plan, wrote a business plan on one page and started!
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m working with a legal bookkeeping school training bookkeepers on solicitors’ accounts – the rules, the software etc.
I’m also working with an online global printing company, OG Printers and on the Boogles Junior division. We have a maths game for 5-11 year olds and we’ve created the money-maths workbook to give the kids further practise.
Can you describe your typical working day?
I get up very early, I work very hard and I go to bed very late. I network, read, think and plan.
I’m always open to partnerships and working with others. I’m in communication all the time. Getting feedback, acting on it. I’m always working on the business – making improvements, pushing things forward.
What have been the highlights of running your own business?
The highlights of running my own business include being shortlisted for countless awards. It’s nice to have a day out of the office.
It’s great always being busy and having something to do. I am never bored. And, above all else, the highlight is seeing another year in business and being grateful for it.
Since 2008 there’s been a lot of talk about the credit crunch, and for me, the highlight has been being in business in what has been perceived as many as the worst recession since – who knows when.
Getting the business franchised, getting our first product – a maths game on CD done – and getting my first book Bookkeeping Made Simple. The Boogles Story published all rank high in the highlights.
What is the hardest part of running your own business?
Unfortunately there are a lot of liars and thieves out there who seem to think its okay to either try to steal what you’ve built up, or they’ll lie about what they can do. When you give them a test they fail miserably, and then you wonder why they waste your time?
There are plenty of con artists, such as accountants charging exorbitant fees for bookkeeping, people who think its okay for you to work for them for free and people who actually get to where they are because it’s all down to the very fact that they’ve never paid anyone. I’ve seen it all.
Others are putting on a front about how successful you are – you do business with them, and then realise that they’re not so good and they have no money to pay you. Others just think that you’re stupid and will try it. They’ll steal from right underneath your nose thinking that you won’t notice.
So, people are the biggest problem in business. The government want more people to start up a business, but it’s dangerous because most people will run their business like their private lives – a mess, a shambles – and they want to keep all the money for themselves, but consume everything.
In saying this, as the UK is no longer a manufacturing based economy, but a service based economy we all have to learn how to deal with people because of the close contact many of us have with clients – in serving them.
What has been your proudest business moment so far?
The proudest moment in business so far was winning Young Entrepreneur of the Year award with Precious Online.
What, or who, inspires and motivates you?
I am inspired by self-made multi-millionaires. People like Oprah Winfrey and Robert Kiyosaki. People who come from nowhere as the underdog and rise up against the odds.
I am inspired by reading autobiographies such as Anyone Can Do It by Duncan Ballantyne. I am motivated by my mastermind group and I’m motivated by my own history – being the descendant of slaves I think anything is possible and I’ve got nothing to lose.
What advice would you give to someone who is considering starting a book-keeping business?
I suggest you join team Boogles and get a head start with our bookkeeping franchise – helping you to fast forward and avoid the mistakes we made and just plug into the system.
You can find out more at www.Boogles.info.
Fast forward five years, where do you think your business will be in 2016?
In 2016 we’ll have our bookkeeping network of Boogles and the company will have diversified into various business areas, such as beauty.
Boogles Junior exists to help children to get better with maths and money – adults can’t seem to manage it, so we have to start whilst they’re young.
Lisa, is there anything else you’d like to share?
I am interested in weight loss, I have written a book What Fat People Should Eat to Lose Weight and I’m a partner in Waistline UK, a site designed to help people find their figures.
* * * *
* * * *
Lisa Newton was interviewed by Octavia Goredema, founder of the Twenty Ten Club.
Do you have a question for Lisa? If so, please feel free to post a comment below: