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Running a business

Sharkcootery's journey: From pandemic inspiration to year-round success

In the thick of the global pandemic, when social gatherings were scarce and uncertainties loomed large, a business called Sharkcootery emerged from a bold idea.

Inspired by their longing to reconnect with friends and loved ones after lockdown, Sarah Anwar and Zaki Chemil formed a catering company with a focus on crafting floral-themed brunch and apéritif tables.

@quickbookscanada Balancing both work and parenthood can be a challenge, and no one understands that better than Zaki, co-owner of @Sharkcootery, a brunch and floral aperitif catering service based in #Montreal. Follow him on his daily journey to bring delicious gourmet culinary events to life. #dayinthelife #FathersDay #smallbiztok #fathersoftiktok #smallbizowner #smallbiztiktok #brunchtok ♬ Fathers Day I Love You Dad - SNC

Sound financial management: a constant companion

Two years later, the Laval, Quebec-based Sharkcootery is a thriving business that has experienced multiple shifts in everything from spending habits to service offerings. One companion that has remained constant from its inception, however, is the importance of sound financial management.

It's a business strategy that couldn't be more helpful as they head into the holiday season and navigate the accompanying surge in demand for their services.

“When I began Sharkcootery, I had just completed my maternity leave, and every dollar invested was of great importance," says Sarah. “I soon sought the assistance of a CPA who introduced me to QuickBooks. I needed a simple, user-friendly solution that would provide me with a clear overview of my expenses and earnings to help me make informed decisions."

Holiday season success strategies

Having a successful holiday season also involves a lot of preplanning that's aligned with their goals, prioritizing getting quality sleep, and relying on dedicated staff to handle the growing demand. A practice they enjoy as a team every Christmas is to craft and mail handwritten letters for each of their customers. This helps reinforce their connection to each other and to what they do.

“I hope it will endure as a cherished practice for years to come," says Sarah. “Big shoutout to our wonderful team without whom nothing would be possible!"

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Finally, prioritize your customers; their satisfaction is where a company's true success lies, so genuinely care about the people it serves.

Post-holiday unwinding

Once the holiday rush subsides, Sarah and Zaki take time to relax with family, often with the soundtrack of Michael Bublé in the background. “We sometimes simply enjoy watching our favourite series on Netflix and cooking comfort food. We also make the most of the wonderful winter activities. Here in Montreal, we're fortunate to have plenty of winter sports and activities to enjoy," says Sarah.

Looking ahead, Sharkcootery's ambitions for the coming year revolve around embracing serenity. This shift will allow them some well-deserved rest while focusing on perfecting their existing services. “The further we progress, the more we cast fresh eyes on our business, refining our insights and cultivating better practices," says Sarah.

Sarah's tips for starting and growing a business

For aspiring entrepreneurs, Sarah offers the following advice: take the leap and learn as you go, even if your service or product isn't perfect from the start. “Mistakes will be made along the way, and failures will ultimately make you better. Don't be afraid, and launch smartly, considering your abilities and resources," she says.

“Finally, prioritize your customers; their satisfaction is where a company's true success lies, so genuinely care about the people it serves. At Sharkcootery, there's no compromise on the quality of our food, so early on, we had to learn to find creative ways to maintain a business that supports the growth we dream about."

QuickBooks: simplifying bookkeeping

While it's not uncommon for their bookkeeping to take a back seat during the holidays, QuickBooks makes it much easier to stay on top of things, says Sarah: “In just one day, with a strong (very strong) cup of coffee and my favourite podcast playing, I can efficiently process invoices and feel a sense of accomplishment!"

Looking to prepare your business for the holiday season? QuickBooks Online can help you track and record all the expenditures you make during this busy time. With automatic tracking and categorizing expenses, filing for deductions can be straightforward. Learn more and start tracking your small business expenses with QuickBooks today.

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