Empire Times Client Feature: Red Stockholm
Empire Accountants has had the pleasure of working with Katie and Jess from Red Stockholm, assisting with their compliance, taxation and bookkeeping requirements since early 2018.
Red Stockholm specialises in marketing services for small businesses in Brisbane, particularly in the hospitality, events and festivals space. Katie and Jess started their business in 2013 & have achieved a lot in this time! Read on to learn more about Red Stockholm…
Q. Tell us about Red Stockholm? What do you specialise in?
Red Stockholm is a small marketing agency based in Brisbane. We offer marketing services from strategy, design and content creation to online marketing, copywriting, eDM, social media, public relations, photography and videography. We’re passionate about small business and driving results through measurable marketing solutions.
Q. How did Red Stockholm start?
A. Red Stockholm started at the end of 2013. Jess and I had worked in various marketing roles together in large corporates and we would chat regularly over lunch and on weekends about one day starting our own marketing business. We wanted the autonomy and flexibility of owning a small business, to cut out the ‘middle man’ and have direct access to our clients to help them achieve their marketing and business objectives without the ‘red tape’ and lengthy processes involved in big business. Jess and I resigned from our roles within a few months of each other and started out with one client on a weekly retainer. We worked on our laptops from cafes around Brisbane and from a home office in Paddington.
Q. What makes your business different from other marketing agencies in Brisbane?
A. There are a couple of things which differentiate us from our competitors. While we’ve worked with numerous businesses over the years, from protein powder and hairdressers to cafes and child care, we’ve really come into our own in the past few years as the go-to marketing team in the beer industry. We’ve found our niche and now work predominantly in three areas: hospitality (beer & spirits in particular), events & festivals and retail (shopping centres).
Jess and I are extremely hands on which means we wear all hats in the business and many of our relationships with our clients have developed into friendships. We work alongside businesses, essentially as an extension of their team, to deliver results, which means there’s a lot of face time and contact hours. That also means we’re always ‘on-the-ground’ for events and festivals, we’re there for bump-in, we’re there in centre for special shows, and we’re there to capture all of this amazing, engaging content to share with our clients’ customers.
Thirdly, while it is just Jess and I, we have an amazing network of suppliers we’ve fostered over the past decade to extend our team’s skill set when required.
Q. Starting a small business can be challenging in today’s market. What is one thing you feel was a challenge for you and how did you overcome that?
A. The one thing that was probably the most challenging when starting our small business was the administration. Jess and I know marketing inside-out but it was finding the time to balance the books, examine P&Ls, chase overdue payments and lodge our BAS on time. Maintaining cash flow has been a real challenge, particularly with some of our larger clients requiring 30 day trading terms compared with seven day terms for our smaller clients.
To manage this, we ensure we ‘take stock’ once a quarter. This means we take a couple of hours or a day out of the office to actually work “on the business” rather than in it. We look at our numbers and our pipeline and do some forecasting. Adopting Xero was a real lifesaver! It means we have a centralised system for everything and as a result our processes are a lot more streamlined. We also took the time to define each of our roles a little more clearly so we are accountable for different areas of the business. And a natural progression from getting Xero was employing an accountant.
Q. When did you start using Empire Accountants and what difference have you noticed since working together?
A. We started working with Empire Accountants early 2018 and haven’t looked back. Our previous accountant was extremely lax and a very poor communicator. Empire Accountants are the complete opposite and are so professional. From the get-go, we could see the value Beth and her team were providing to our business.
Beth has been there every step of the way for our business, during our transition from partnership to company, establishing proper payroll and superannuation processes, providing a bookkeeping service (why didn’t we get a bookkeeper sooner?!) and assisting us with non-stop tax queries and accounting questions!
Many of our business processes are now automated and/or streamlined which means we have more time to work on the business and actually provide marketing. We now know when important ATO deadlines fall and all our paperwork is in order. No dreadful surprises!
Jess and I also trust Empire Accountants with our personal accounting requirements.
Q. If you were to recommend The Empire to a friend, what would you say?
A. Do it! Beth and her team are extremely approachable and will take the time to talk through any issues or questions you may have. If you want great accounting services AND an accountant you can build a trusting, long-term relationship with, I can’t recommend Empire Accountants highly enough.
Q. Do you have any advice for anyone wanting to start a business in Brisbane?
It’s really, really hard but also extremely rewarding. Set up processes from the start so as you grow, these systems are already in place and second nature. Talk to a good accountant (Empire Accountants!) about tax planning. Get Xero. Take the leap with both feet because nothing makes you work harder than leaving an old job or career behind to pursue your new business.
How can Red Stockholm assist small businesses in Brisbane?
If you’re in need of a new website or a website refresh, if you’re stuck for content ideas for your social media channels, or need to sell tickets to a festival or event, we’re the extra set of hands you’ve been looking for.
Contact Jess or Katie at Red Stockholm today.