Monika Tasonyi is in the property styling business. But ask what drives her success and she’ll tell you her most important skill is intuitively understanding market needs and trends to maximise the value of a home.
“What we do is part marketing and part psychology combined with decorating. Our goal is to make our vendor’s property look irresistible so that potential buyers have an emotional attachment. It’s all about getting more people through the door on open days,” says Monika.
She launched MyPad Property Styling four years ago but the seed was planted ten years prior when a real estate agent came into her furniture store and suggested she might have a talent for home staging. The job involves improving a property’s sale prospects using a combination of hired furniture, art work, decorative accessories and a keen sense of style.
When her furniture retail business closed due to cash flow issues, Monika set about realising her property styling dream, combining her passion for property and interiors. But this time, she was determined not to let her financial weaknesses get the better of her.
“I’ve learnt a lot from a failed business that I take into my current business. I knew that bookkeeping wasn’t an area I was strong in, so I was determined to get it right this time,” she says.
Growing with confidence
It was this self-awareness that drove Monika to adopt as many helpful tech tools as she could get her hands on, including QuickBooks Online, and to bring on a bookkeeper to help her with the financial side of the business.
Monika has found that using a cloud accounting solution has given her the confidence, time and financial foundation to grow her business.
“Because I had the experience with my retail business failing, I knew that cash flow was incredibly important. And that things can change in an instant. I really wanted to be able to look at the figures and see what’s happening right away.
“What are my expenses compared with my income, how lean do I need to be this month? I boot-strapped my business right from the start,” she says.
In addition to keeping an eye on expenses and debt through QuickBooks, it also allows her to process transactions faster, forecast sales and more accurately set team performance indicators.
“Transport, rent and wages are the biggest overhead. With QuickBooks I can pop up my profit and loss statement instantly to see how I can tackle that head on. I can look at historical data and work out where I’m headed. It’s an integral part of the business, as it allows me to perform better,” she says.
It’s not just QuickBooks. Monika has gone all in on a range of cloud-based technology, with a view to making life easier. The small business owner says she views outsourcing as her friend in achieving business success.
“I don’t enjoy paperwork, and so I’m always looking to introduce new technology into my business. Time is money so why waste it on admin?” she says.
Single Touch Payroll
Her can-do attitude also extends to Single Touch Payroll, the Australian Taxation Office’s initiative requiring small businesses to submit their tax and super information from their payroll or accounting software at the time of each pay run.
“Having a great bookkeeper has been really important to my business so far, making sure we’re doing payroll right, BAS, super. With her help, I know STP is going to be a really simple process. We’ve already got the process underway.”
Being able to provide employees with the ability to see up-to-date super and tax information directly via myGov, Monika says she expects STP to benefit both employers and employees: “Through myGov they can see where they’re at with their income and their super. It’s a win-win for everyone.”
Learning before launch
Monika found that the hardest part of implementing new technology is often convincing staff that it’s the right way to go, as she finds not everyone is as ready for change.
That’s why she makes a point of researching products in advance to ensure that she finds the tools that are most user-friendly and feels confident that she can answer questions when they arise. Facebook groups and business podcasts have been really helpful resources.
“I always try to learn as much as I can about the product before I leap into it,” she says.
With the support of her favourite digital tools, and a strong client base of local real estate agents who refer her to clients selling their homes and apartments, MyPad Property Styling has been growing rapidly.
Monika’s moved her operations from her a small storage unit to a large warehouse and her team has grown too – from one stylist to four. But competition is heating up and Monika knows she can’t rest on her laurels.
“We’re all competing for attention from the real estate agents. Having a really good offering and a reputation for professional service is what keeps you ahead,” she says.