Meryl Johnston

Scaling Your Business Using A Remote Team – with Meryl Johnston

This episode of Fractal Marketing with Gerard Doyle is “Scaling Your Business Using A Remote Team – with Meryl Johnston”. Meryl is the Founder of Bean Ninjas, a bookkeeping and financial reporting firm, and today leads an in-depth discussion on how to achieve success using a remote team that works with members from anywhere in the world.

Meryl shares the birth of Bean Ninjas, her insights on making her first hire, and the sheer hustle it took to grow the company into a 20-person strong organization. She talks about how specializing in Xero was a huge step for the business and looks back on the masterminds that helped form the company into what it is now. Meryl is a Chartered Accountant who specialises in cloud accounting software “Xero”. The business is now 4 years old and has a distributed team of 15 based in 6 countries around the world. Bean Ninjas were recently awarded the prestigious Xero Bookkeeping Partner of the Year for Australia in 2019. Prior to Bean Ninjas Meryl worked at international accounting firm BDO, ran a consulting business and taught accounting at a local University.

HIGHLIGHTS

01:31 Bean Ninjas and their early adoption of remote teams

08:07 Making the first hire and its birthing pains

12:52 Marketing: finding and maintaining new clients

16:47 Bean Ninja’s creative courses

21:26 Gaining recognition and building the community

30:03 Discussion on masterminds

34:56 Marketing advice you wish you knew back then

QUOTES

07:41 “It’s just we want everyone to be productive and successful and so we have conversations with everyone about, do you need another monitor or are you happy with work from home or do you want us to pay for a coworking space? So it’s a bit more individualized at the moment.”

09:45 “And in hindsight, I probably would hire a VA much further down the track and hire the more senior people possible to help create the processes and take ownership of departments and hiring other people rather than getting the most junior person as, well, the cheapest person that you can as the first hire.”

13:16 “And so we followed that methodology and launched in a week and got our first customer in a week. And really, we got that customer from posting in a Facebook group about our story that we were launching this new business. We had created a web site in a day and we were just having a crack. And so people kind of liked the story behind that and that’s how we got our first customer. And then it was hustle.”

21:26 “We were really proud. In 2019, Xero selected us as their Australian bookkeeping firm of the year. So out of all the bookkeeping firms in Australia, we were number one. It would’ve been very difficult to do that if we were splitting our focus across multiple pieces of software.”

30:37 “The very first mastermind I was in was for accounting firm owners who wanted to think differently and that’s where I found my first co-founder was in that mastermind. We founded Bean Ninjas together. So that was a huge benefit that we found each other… And then built enough trust through those regular calls that we felt that we would be good business owners.”

35:02 “It would be to focus more on sales. So in our early days, it was direct sales that brought in customers and I probably spent a bit too much time on brand building and content which is a long term strategy. And so I’m glad I did because all of that work that I put into content really helped but it didn’t pay off until 2 or 3 years down the track. And really, we needed to be making sales.”

RESOURCES

BeanNinjas Website

The 7 Day Startup: You Don’t Learn Until You Launch” Book by Dan Norris

Connect with Meryl on Linkedin 

Did you enjoy this post?

Enter your email below and receive an email once I publish new content.

I agree to have my personal information transfered to MailChimp ( more information )

I will never give away, trade or sell your email address. You can unsubscribe at any time.