Boutique Consulting Firm
When Amber Cabral launched her bespoke equity and inclusion coaching business in 2018, she never envisioned the growth that would follow.
Year(s) In Business
Our Client Since
About Cabral Co.
Like most new business owners, Amber figured she’d be a solo entrepreneur, maintaining just enough client work to pay herself a salary and keep the company afloat. Fast forward a few years and Cabral Co’s grown to 10 employees that serve an extensive portfolio of distinguished brands like Gap, Inc., Old Navy, and Vans.
Cabral Co.’s traction comes from its values and commitment to developing tailor-made strategies for its clients. They provide a customized approach to inclusion and leadership training, coaching, and education that is uniquely designed to meet the needs of their clients with results that speak for themselves.
However, the immense growth hasn’t come without challenges and added complexity.
Help with the Basics
As every solopreneur knows, running and growing a business requires wearing many hats.
For Amber, this meant she was responsible for bookkeeping, invoicing, and payroll for a 10-person, 7-figure business. Partnered with the complexities attached to tax requirements for business entities, these tasks became overwhelming, and Amber realized she needed a better grasp of her numbers to effectively grow her business. More specifically, she knew she needed financial confidence and peace of mind that she was operating on accurate data.
So, she recruited reinforcements.
Amber reached out to her friend, Keila Hill-Trawick, who was working as an accountant for the federal government at the time.
“Initially I just wanted to make sure I wasn’t spending more than I earned or making any mistakes with the IRS,” Amber said. “All of these things are scary when you have a small business.”
Keila stepped in and provided bookkeeping and tax support, as well as a much-needed sounding board to advise on the many financial and logistical questions that come up as a small business owner; exactly the support Amber was searching for.
“I’m good at bringing in the money,” Amber said. “But I needed someone else to tell me what I could do with that money.”
With newfound clarity and confidence in her numbers, Amber’s time freed up to focus on bringing in new clients, and Cabral Co. continued to grow.
At the same time, almost entirely through word of mouth, small business owners began requesting Keila’s financial expertise. And just like that, Little Fish Accounting was born.
Expand and Simplify
Little Fish Accounting (which was Keila’s one-woman show at the time) continued to give Amber the support she needed to get Cabral Co. off the ground. And as the business grew, its financial management needs also grew.
What started as building a necessary financial foundation with accounting basics like bookkeeping, taxes, and financial reporting expanded into advisory services that took her out of the minutiae of the numbers and elevated her to a more holistic/big-picture approach to making decisions.
“As we started to grow, I needed more help at first with invoices. Then, we moved into virtual CFO services, which made a big impact,” Amber explained. “We get updates on a regular cadence, and we see what’s happening with our numbers compared to projections. We are able to have a conversation and get help in making decisions. It’s really a lot that we can do with confidence because of the collaborative relationship.”
Help with Hiring
One area where Little Fish Accounting’s advisory services were most helpful was hiring.
Before Amber began working with us, she was making hiring decisions in the dark. She lacked the confidence in knowing whether or not she could afford to bring a new team member on board. Essentially, she was taking a swing with her eyes closed.
Now, with the help of Little Fish Accounting, as Amber considers growing her team, she is able to measure the financial impact of adding a new employee before making a decision. Using our projections and scenario planning, she can visualize what the costs of a new hire will be, as well as the amount of revenue that’s needed to meet the demands of the business.
Getting Back on Track
Our expertise also becomes critical when numbers start to fall off track. There are always going to be times when sales might slip or unexpected challenges come up. Without a clear understanding of your numbers, this can lead to anxiety, confusion, and impulsive decision-making within your business.
This is why we provide our clients a clear view of where the business stands. It helps them remain steady during ups or downs and keeps their focus on the bigger picture.
“When I start to get anxious, Little Fish has my back,” Amber said. “We’re able to look at the numbers, and what we need to do next, and it really sets my mind at ease. I don’t have to panic because we can look through the worst-case scenario and the most-likely scenario and see that everything is OK.”
Our services, aligned with the needs of Cabral Co. at each level of growth, eventually allowed Amber to take all financial tasks off of her plate. This gave her the ability to focus on using the insights to make decisions as the firm grew, rather than manage the functions on her own.
Her only wish is that she would’ve started working with Keila sooner. In fact, her advice for other business owners who are considering professional help is to take the leap before you’re ready.
“I recommend entrepreneurs start early,” Amber said of working with an accounting team. “Don’t wait until things are in a mess, but get your foundation set early so you can be confident as you grow.”
HOW WE HELPED
A Different Energy
Our team at Little Fish Accounting understands that finance can be a sensitive topic, especially for business owners who feel inadequate and ill-equipped to take on those responsibilities. This is why, on top of expertise, we prioritize building a relationship that brings trust and a sense of security.
Yes, Amber needed a better understanding of her numbers and reports, but she also needed a partner. A partner who could explain what her financials were telling her, and provide insights in a way that aligned with her company’s goals.
To support business owners like Amber, Little Fish Accounting offers an exceptional client experience through a year-round partnership designed to empower entrepreneurs to make strategic decisions with financial:
“Working with Little Fish is just a different energy,” said Amber. “It’s not your typical accounting firm energy.“
We were designed to be a modern, exciting, and innovative firm that shook off the dust of the antiquated accounting industry and forged our own path. By doing so, we open the doors for our clients to do the same.
“I love Little Fish because they make everything approachable. It’s a relationship where we get to talk about our goals and what we want to see happen. So we can have conversations about our decisions based on goals. I think the warmth, friendliness, simplicity, and uncomplicated element of Little Fish is amazing.”