Find out how small business owners (just like you) are living the dream by creating a strong financial plan.
Meet Trivinia Barber — Financial Planning Rockstar
Trivinia is the founder and CEO of Priority VA, a virtual assistant placement firm that matches online business owners with highly skilled administrators. Handpicked by Trivinia, a virtual assistant herself with X years of executive-level experience, Priority VA virtual assistants are an elite workforce who tame the madness of online business life with order, efficiency and style.
Speakers, authors, entrepreneurs, podcasters and bloggers seek the services of Trivinia and her team to unburden them from the tasks they don’t like, aren’t good at or don’t have time for. With Trivinia's training, a Priority VA assistant becomes the “best kept secret” of passionate business owners, allowing them to stop sweating the small stuff and focus on what they do best.
This month, Trivinia graciously took some time away from kicking butt (and parenting four gorgeous children) to tell us how she became a financial rock star.
What does “having a strong financial base” mean to you?
A strong financial base to me, for years, meant not paying myself so I could have enough money in the bank in case disaster struck. In my mind, “disaster” was any client leaving us. Yes, I'd go there in my head, and truly think my children were going to eat ramen noodles forever.
Growing up on government assistance (I still love government cheese–don't judge me!), I learned to get by with little. I save more than I spend, I buy nothing unless I have a coupon or it's on sale, I know how to make something out of not much…but I've always had money issues. (I think many of us do, if we're honest.)
The Bottom Line has helped me overcome those issues in so many ways. They are helping me get more confident in my financial decisions. Jess and Marilyn remind me that I have a strong company and don't need to operate in doom and gloom mode all the time!
A strong base now means that I have money in the bank for expenses that feel comfortable for me. 3-6 months of expenses for us, our business and our VAs is where we've settled and I'm feeling more and more okay each month.
What made you decide to get intentional about creating a financial plan for your business?
I know how to engage with people and how to source talent, but I had no idea how to project revenues for my business. Financial planning truly, it terrified me to my core! If you've heard of Dave Ramsey, then you know of the “security gland” he speaks of – and mine is in overdrive 90% of the time.
I had to stop being so paranoid. And that meant I had to find someone that I could trust to walk me through this and hold my hand. I needed someone to tell me “YES, you can spend money on advertising; YES, you can invest in a coach; YES, you can rebrand your website”–all things I wanted to do, but was so fearful of spending the money.
Now I get monthly reports. I know exactly where my money is going and what I have to spend, and I can make educated decisions about my business with (less) fear of living in a cardboard box.
What are some things that people need to keep in mind when they hire a VA?
A VA isn't an expense to your business. As soon as you're able to shift your mindset to viewing the cost as an investment in the growth of your business, you'll have a much clearer perspective on how you can best partner with a VA to help you scale and grow your business.
You get what you pay for. When you are wanting to truly delegate outcomes and results to your VA, you need to partner with someone that can truly be part of your team.
One thing my clients say about me that means so much is that I treat their business as if it was my own. That's the kind of partner VA you want. You don't want someone looking for a job. Trust me–they are the people who will go on to the next higher paying position and leave you to pick up the pieces. You want someone dedicated to the mission of your business.[Tweet “”You want a VA who treats your business as if it were their own.” –hiring advice from our pal @trivinia”]
I often say character trumps skills any day. I can teach skills. I can't teach integrity. Learning the difference is really important, and will ultimately save you money in the long run.
What are you proudest of, when it comes to mastering your business finances?
First, let me say that I'm not paid to say this…but truly, I'm most proud of bringing on The Bottom Line. I can with 100% honesty say that I would NOT be in the position I'm in financially without them.
I made some massive financial shifts in 2015 that included new revenue streams and finally paying myself for the work I do. For a year, I wouldn't even color my hair because I was worried we wouldn't have the money to pay our VAs if I did!
I'm proud that I took the (huge) leap of faith it required for me to bring on a team that would truly look out for my business, and that would push me out of my comfort zone financially to make bold decisions. The result? Over 200% growth in my business in one year.[Tweet “”I'm proud that I took the huge leap of faith it required for me to bring on a team that would truly look out for my business.” –@trivinia”]
I couldn't (let's be honest, I wouldn't have) made the strides I did without Jessica, Marilyn and her team guiding me along the way, making sure my security gland was not overreacting, and I could make solid financial decisions to propel my business forward. I'm grateful, honored and proud to partner with The Bottom Line.
How has financial planning made your business more amazing this year?
We have plans to hire new employees, to alleviate pressure on me to do it all. Again, this is a decision I never would have felt comfortable making last year.
We're brainstorming new revenue streams and increased our lead-gen efforts to keep business flowing. I have a budget, and a plan and, most importantly, a team that cares about my business and will help me see roadblocks I put in my own way.
I have a profitable business and a direction for continued growth.Things are only looking up and that's a very good thing for this girl.