Oodles 4 Kids

Carolyn Miye gets guidance on scaling her systems and using social media to ensure the growth of her toy store.

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Published: April 24, 2015
Updated: January 12, 2017

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CAROLYN MIYE (OFFSCREEN):  

I always knew that I eventually wanted to be my own boss. What I love about running my own business is that I have a sense of ownership. I have a sense of having created something that brings joy to people.

NARRATOR:

This is the Wells Fargo Works Project. Watch as three small business customers strive to take their next step. For 2014 Wells Fargo Works contest finalist Carolyn Miye, it's implementing new financial systems that can match the growth of her small business.

MIYE:  

So are we going to have a party? Should we make them dance? Woo!

Oodles 4 Kids is a specialty toy store, and we also carry books for children. What Oodles offers that's different from other stores is that it's an experience. Kids come in, and they can play with the toys.

CHILD:

I got it.

MIYE:    

Parents feel that it's part of their community. So they buy a present, we help them select it, we wrap it for them.

MIYE:    

Take care, have a great day you guys.

CHILD:  

Bye.

MIYE:  

Bye.

MIYE (OFFSCREEN):  

Owning a toy store of my own really feeds my soul.

MIYE:

You lean it this way, and it goes that way. And you lean it this way, and it goes the other way.

You know that you're creating memories for those children who come into the store, and I'm the neighborhood toy store lady. [Laughs]

ELLEN ROHR:  

I'm Ellen Rohr. I'm a small business consultant with over 30 years' experience. My focus is on business planning.

Knock, knock.

MIYE:  

Hi.

ROHR:  

Are you Carolyn?

MIYE:  

Yes.

ROHR:  

My name is Ellen Rohr. How are you?

MIYE:  

Nice to meet you.

ROHR:  

I bet you're wondering why I'm here. I'm a small business mentor, and Wells Fargo has engaged me to help you reach your business goals.

MIYE:  

That sounds great.

ROHR:

OK. Now tell me a little bit about your business.

MIYE:  

Well, we opened in 2012 — September — and in our two-year anniversary, I expanded the store and doubled the space. We had a 63% increase.

ROHR:  

63%?

MIYE:  

Yeah.

ROHR:  

That's pretty rockin' awesome. You've had so much success so far. Are you experiencing any challenges?

MIYE:  

So when I expanded the store, I added on a full-time person and two part-timers. But there is a lot more to do because the store is twice as big. So, I still do everything. But when I'm number crunching and doing things that are the backend of the business, I still have to do a lot of all-nighters. And I would love to give that up. Obviously, I have to find someone who is affordable and someone I can trust.

ROHR:  

May I suggest that the experience that you've had so far really sets you up nicely to delegate, but it can get easier.

MIYE:  

I'm listening.

ROHR:  

Yay, you sound very —

MIYE:  

Totally open to that!

ROHR:  

The financial plan is really a subset of the bigger picture, and I'm a big fan of a business plan. Do you have one?

MIYE:  

Well, about a month after I opened my hard drive blew up —

ROHR:  

Oh.

MIYE:  

— on my laptop, and I didn't have that backed up.

ROHR:  

I have a tool for you that's going to help you put your business plan together.

MIYE:  

OK.

ROHR:  

Would you like me to show it to you?

MIYE:  

Sure.

ROHR:  

OK, great! Let's go.

Carolyn knows she needs to get more formal and organized about her financial systems. The Business Plan Tool is perfect for that.

It is available to you — and anyone — at no cost, and the really great news is that as you build your business plan, it saves it for you no matter what happens to your computer. You'll be able to create a balance sheet, and a profit and loss, and a statement of cash flows.

MIYE:  

OK.

ROHR:  

Bonus: Someone else can help you with your accounting. Also, there are resources. There are videos. There are educational pieces that help you grow your business.

MIYE:  

OK. The fact that Wells Fargo offers such incredible resources like the Business Plan Center, to me, it says that they really care about businesses like mine, and they want them to succeed.

When I look at a tool like this that can really help me formalize a plan of action, I love it. That's really golden.

ROHR:  

Well, I am so impressed with your success.

MIYE:  

Thank you.

ROHR:  

And with your permission, I'll be back tomorrow.

MIYE:  

Thank you so much, Ellen. Appreciate your help.

ROHR:  

Good morning!

MIYE:  

Hi!

ROHR:  

I'm meeting with Carolyn today to help her get organized about her financial systems, as well as help her grow sales. And social media is a great way to do that.

So I want to talk about marketing a little bit this morning, particularly social media. You do social media —

MIYE:  

— And I hate it. [Laughs]

ROHR:  

OK. But think of social media like a radio station that is playing all the time.

MIYE:  

Right.

ROHR:  

And you're engaging your community with social media. With a scheduling app, you can post to several social media outlets all at the same time and time them for maximum impact.

MIYE:  

Sure.

ROHR:  

This is a way you cannot only expand your sales, but you can free up your time.

ROHR:  

Now, you've mentioned that you struggle with bookkeeping. I've got a surprise for you.

MIYE:  

OK.

ROHR:  

Wells Fargo is providing $10,000 in bookkeeping services for you.

MIYE:  

What? I cannot believe this.

ROHR:  

We've retained Sundhara, your current accountant, to provide the services.

MIYE:  

Are you serious?

ROHR:  

Absolutely!

MIYE:  

Oh my gosh! Thank you so much. Oh my gosh.

I'm completely blown away. This will take such a huge load off of me. It's such a gift.

Wow. To have Wells Fargo support me in this way, I really appreciate it.

ROHR:  

This is the next step for you.

MIYE:  

Oh my gosh!

ROHR:  

Oh, look who's here!

SUNDHARA:  

My name is Sundhara. I'm an accountant, and I'm here to help Carolyn get her finances in order.

MIYE:  

That's so amazing. I can't even believe it.

SUNDHARA:  

I've been working as Carolyn's accountant and bookkeeper for about 2 years now. I've been wanting for a while to work more with Carolyn and help her with her finances, but it just hasn't been able to happen. So I'm very excited to help her get her business to the next level.

We are going to be doing your bookkeeping for you — for all of the past year, plus all of the next year going forward — so that you can have some peace of mind and really grow.

MIYE:  

I'm so excited! Thank you so, so much.

SUNDHARA:  

You're welcome. Thank you. So we should plan to get together like in the next week or two. Then, we can get you set up and get you filed and all those things that need to happen.

MIYE:  

Yes, very soon. Thank you. [Laughs]

I'm so excited. I can't think of another bank that understands the mentality of a small business owner better than Wells Fargo.

ROHR:  

OK. I have one more assignment for you. There's an article called "Creating a cash flow management plan" that I think you are going to find really helpful.

MIYE:  

OK. Great, I will look at it.

ROHR:  

Carolyn already is super successful. I think my suggestions of the Business Plan Center at wellsfargoworks.com are really going to help Carolyn go even further.

ROHR:  

It's time for me to go now, too.

MIYE:  

Oh, thank you so much for coming.

Wells Fargo they don't act like a big national bank because they work to build a relationship with me in the same way that I work so hard to build relationships with my customers.

ROHR:  

Bye-bye.

MIYE:  

Take care.

I'm really looking forward to be able to refocus and to really hone in on what I need to do to be successful in the future.

NARRATOR:

Try the complimentary tools in the Business Plan Center at wellsfargoworks.com.

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