Interview with Sara Heermann
Sharon: Hello, everyone, this is Sharon Heller with Network in Action in Denver, and today I'm here with one of our Network in Action members, Sara Heermann with Heermann Financial. Welcome, Sara.
Sara: Hi, I'm glad I'm here.
Sharon: Yeah, so happy to have you today. Why don't you share a little bit about your business and about what you're up to?
Sara: Sure. So I'm an Executive Coach, Heermann Financial is my company name. And I focus mainly on financial coaching, developmental coaching and wellness coaching. I'm really passionate about working with business owners and their teams. And in kind of a full capacity anything from taking care of themselves to making sure that their company is financially sound as well.
Sharon: Wonderful. And you have such a unique scope, I think in what you offer your clients. Can you share a little bit about how you are uniquely qualified to help your clients with the financial aspects of their business?
Sara: Sure. So I actually started kind of in the, not HR, but Office Management, working for a company, so I learned the ins and outs of just the back end and company, of the organization and things like that. And they provided me with an opportunity of on-the-job training to learn just basic bookkeeping. So that's really where I got my start. I was just doing the books.
Sara: And then as my clientele grew, I found that the teaching became a bigger aspect of it, where we were really walking through those financials and the goal setting and where some gaps could be that we could really grow. And that's what I fell in love with.
Sara: So for a lot of clients, I did a really large scope of things. Sometimes the best way I can try to describe it is like an outsourced CFO. So I did anything from their accounts payable to receivable to where are we going to spend our money, insurance. Is like just a very, very large scope.
Sara: And so that's kind of what gave me just the background of really having a strong financial background of know what that means. Some red flags to look for and really just being able to identify through financials, where there's an opportunity to grow or where there might be a gap. And then that led into the developmental side and taking those numbers and then creating a really good action plan and goals, so that they're just growing or being better leaders and just happier all around because they're taking care of themselves.
Sharon: Well, yeah. So important. Thank you. And you work with business owners, I think, all over the country. And we're in very unique, unprecedented times in our world right now. We know businesses are being significantly impacted. Can you share a little bit about how the specific clients you're working with are being impacted during this time?
Sara: Sure. So, I have the honor of working with some really, really great clients. A lot of them are in the sales and marketing industry. I have one that's like a for-profit, doing kind of like the charity work with hospitals of getting, social workers and getting kids gifts and things like that, other coaches as well.
Sara: It's been really interesting to see that, everyone's kind of had to scramble a little bit. Definitely the impact of the relationships, it's really hard to do sales and get more customers if you're not able to go out and speak with them and talk to them. So I've been really impressed with how quickly everyone kind of adapted their businesses to this new way of doing business.
Sara: Personally, I've always done a lot of virtual, but they haven't. And so it's been really impressive to see from anything from a charity to actual sales and marketing, how they've been able to still maintain those relationships, teach and train their employees, retain who they can.
Sara: So, yeah, I mean, I think it's impacted everyone in a little different way, but that's been the biggest thing of just kind of honing in on those really the most vital things in your company to make sure that we're here when everything opens back up.
Sharon: Yeah, yeah. And as you anticipate your clients' needs and their customers' needs into the future, are you finding there some really specific, important things for them to be considering?
Sara: Yeah, I think it's, in a weird way, kind of been a blessing in disguise, where it's forced everyone to take a second, and really hone in on those vitals. Sometimes we get so busy just running our companies that we don't really take a second to see if we could be doing something better or more efficiently.
Sara: So through this whole thing, first and foremost, we've gone through budgets and where can we cut costs, and how can we just keep these doors open for when they open. But just even relationship building, how they're training their employees have actually been better. They've been working on that self-development.
Sara: And I really hope that they continue that going in, as I think it's pointed out, some opportunities that they might be able to change the way they do business a little bit, to be able to reach even more people and be more comfortable with them where they're really building strong relationships, even though we're not in person. So I think when they open back up, they're being very mindful of just their customers as well.
Sara: The fears that may be out there, I think it's going to be interesting to see some people are going to be really open to things getting back to normal. And I think some others are going to be really hesitant and a little fearful. So, again, I've been really impressed with how excited they are to open to get back to whatever the new normal is, but also being very mindful that we can't just go back to the way things were. We're going to have to be very aware of how our customers are feeling, our employees are feeling, our clients are feeling. I think it's just that mindfulness.
Sharon: Yeah. And it's going to be so unique to each business, it seems like, and each business owner. Finding their comfort level and their customer's comfort level.
Sara: Yeah. Well, again, a lot of my clients have kids and, so there's still that aspect to it, myself as well, that when we go back to work, we still have to do all of these other things. I think it's going to be, I think those key areas that I work in are going to be very, very important where we're still really watching those financials.
Sara: But we're really going to need to take care of ourselves as well because we're going to be split again, where we're trying to get our companies back rolling, but our kids might still need homeschooling or, our spouses or our relationships. We're going to want to rekindle those as well. So I think it's going to be kind of an interesting balancing act to add to this new way of life.
Sharon: I agree. I agree. And in the topic of financials, I know it's on everybody's mind whether you're a business owner or not. Huge area. And if you had, like a couple of tips for business owners in terms of how they're looking at their financials or things they can do to tighten things up, what would be a couple of areas to hone in on?
Sara: Sure. Well, it's funny because I'm always preaching the fixed versus the variable. And not many people really love going over budgets as much as I probably do, until now. Now, all of a sudden, people love budgeting, which is great.
Sara: So I think this whole situation has forced you to really identify what do I have to have in order to continue and what are the things that would just be really nice. So right now, I would think the majority of people, they only have the staff that they absolutely need. They are only spending the money that they absolutely have to. When we all open our doors again, we're going to slowly go back into, hopefully, hiring more people and things like that.
Sara: But I think it'd be really smart to remember where that fixed is, that I really only need this much, anything over that is profit unless I choose to spend it in a way that's not benefiting me. So I just want to help everyone kind of keep that in mind. Does that reflection of here's what I need, here's what I want and the same thing with their staff, their clients, I think they've really pointed out to people maybe they love to work with the staff that has really stepped up and been key players in that business.
Sara: I think that's also something you need to remember, that when we open who are, I like to say, like our generals, who are the people that we need by our side in order to come out of this better, stronger and grow even more than we would have.
Sara: And again, I think that this whole situation has forced people to do that. And I think that's a blessing. So I just hope they don't forget, I think be very mindful, take these lessons and continue to implement them, even though you don't have to would be one of the best things to do.
Sharon: Yeah, really, really sound advice, Sarah. And I know you are exceedingly busy during this time taking care of your clients, but if someone out there viewing this video wants to get in touch with you, what's the best way for them to do that?
Sara: So you can go to my website, Heermannfinancial.com, and you can email me Sarah@heermannfinancial.com or just I would say call me. I am on a lot of calls these days, so texting me is even OK. Typically mail is the best way to reach me.
Sara: I'm excited to work with new clients and just kind of make some maybe scary things seem pretty simple, budgets, and walking through those things. I think the better plan of attack you have, the less fear you have. And in a world where we don't know a lot of what's going on and we feel a little out of control, I just definitely encourage everyone to control the things that you can. And something like a budget and a plan of attack for your company is something that you're very much in control of. And it makes you feel good going into this new phase.
Sharon: Yeah, good. Well, thank you so much for your time. It was great talking to you. And I wish you a wonderful afternoon.
Sara: Thank you as well. All right.