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IAM1751 – Founder Empowers Business Owners on Financial Health

Podcast Interview with Natalia Zacharin

Why it was selected for “CBNation Architects”:
In episode IAM610 of the I AM CEO podcast, host Gresham Harkless interviews Natalia Zacharin, the founder of Zacharin Consulting, a firm dedicated to empowering business owners to understand and interpret their financial health to significantly improve their bottom line. Natalia has been working in finance since 2012 and has experience working with businesses of all sizes.
In the interview, Natalia discusses her journey as an entrepreneur and the importance of financial management for businesses. She talks about her unique approach to financial consulting, which involves personalized service and expertise to help clients improve their cash flow, increase cash-on-hand, and develop plans for growth.
Natalia also shares her CEO hacks and nuggets, which include knowing your numbers, collaborating with others, and continuously learning.
Additionally, she defines what being a CEO means to her, which involves creating something out of nothing, having a vision, and integrity, and creating a lifestyle for you and your family.

Overall, the episode provides valuable insights into financial management for businesses and the importance of personalized service in consulting.

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Transcription:

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Natalia Zacharin Teaser 00:00

I create a partnership with my client to make sure that whatever they wanna do and whatever they see themselves in the future, their company, and whatever challenges they have, that we are constantly working on those and that we are addressing all of those issues.

The other thing is I really, and maybe this is from my sales background, I feel that customer service and really being there and responsive to my clients is über important.

Intro 00:28

Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs, without listening to a long, long, long interview?

If so, you've come to the right place. Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of.

This is the I AM CEO podcast.

Gresham Harkless 00:55

Hello, hello, hello. This is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast and I appreciate you listening to this episode. If you've been listening this year, you know that we hit 1600 episodes at the beginning of this year. We're doing something a little bit different where we're repurposing our favorite episodes around certain categories or topics or as I like to call them, the business pillars that we think are going to be extremely impactful for CEOs, entrepreneurs, and business owners, and what I like to call the CB nation architects who are looking to level up their organizations.

This month we are focused on our greatest asset talent management and hiring. Think from great resignation to the great renovation and if you disagree with me, maybe these episodes might be especially for you. Life and especially business has changed. It has forced those that are within organizations to look differently at talent, and how it's being managed.

When we talk about change, think about it, we have to realize that business as usual is no longer here. That's evident in attracting and retaining clients, but also in setting up people within organizations to succeed. Think onboarding, think DEI- diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, how it is working from home and even going back into the office.

Things are different in this month. We are going to explore these topics by featuring CEO hacks and CEO nuggets, but also interviews that focus on these changes and how organizations can make sure they care for and attract the most valuable asset- their people. Sit back and enjoy this special episode of the I AM CEO podcast.

Hello, hello, hello. This is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast and I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Natalia Zacharin of Zacharin Consulting. Natalia, it's awesome to have you on the show.

Natalia Zacharin 02:27

Thank you so much. It's awesome to be here.

Gresham Harkless 02:29

Yeah, super excited to have you on. Before we jumped in, I wanted to read a little bit more about Natalia so you can hear about all the awesome things that she's doing.

Natalia began her career in finance in 2012 and worked for several firms before striking out on her own to found Zacharin Consulting. Zacharin Consulting is dedicated to empowering business owners to understand and interpret their financial health to significantly improve the bottom line.

Through personal service and expertise Natalia's goal is to bring her experience and knowledge to clients in a meaningful way. Whether you have been in business for one year or 50, Zacharin Consulting can improve your cash flow, increase cash on hand, and develop plans for growth, not your typical CFO.

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Natalia is the executive director of a nonprofit children's scouting organization, a lecturer on ecology and a nature photographer, a single mom and soul provider. Natalia understands the ups and downs of being an entrepreneur and helps other business owners navigate the sometimes murky waters to clarify an entrepreneurial financial freedom.

Natalia, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

Natalia Zacharin 03:29

I am very excited to do so.

[restrict paid=”true”]

Gresham Harkless 03:32

Definitely. It'll definitely be a great episode. So I wanted to kick everything off with, I guess what I usually call, like the beginning. I wanted to hear what led you to get started with your business. What is your CEO story?

Natalia Zacharin 03:42

So my CEO story is I think it was just happening all along. A long time ago before I was a stay-at-home mom, I was stay-at-home mom for a little while. Before that, I was in sales, so I was on my own a lot and I had a home office and I really loved it and I was killing it. I was a stay-at-home mom for a little while, and then when I was going through a divorce and I had to look for another job it was actually pretty hard to find a job. The economy had changed dramatically and I fell into finance.

I really, really loved it. It was really great for a long time until I was getting very comfortable being there as serene to get frustrated because I wanted to do a lot more. I wanted to just kill it for somebody and I just felt like I was consistently being pigeonholed. I wanted to learn a lot more and do a lot more and help people too.

I really enjoy helping people. The other part of it is that also being a single mom, I wanted to provide a lifestyle that was flexible and was great for my daughter as well. So this allows me to provide for her and also be here for her at the same time, and that was really super important.

Gresham Harkless 04:50

Absolutely. I definitely appreciate that. A lot of times people will say not work-life balance, but work-life integration so that you understand that they're both aspects. You're not trying to get away from one or the other. They're both hands in the mock step.

So I wanted to hear a little bit more about your business. Could you take us through exactly how you work with clients and what exactly you do?

Natalia Zacharin 05:09

Sure, of course. So, before I started on my business, actually we talked about this earlier, I did some market research. What I did was I reached out to people on LinkedIn and said, Hey, I'm looking to start my own business if you have a little bit of time, would you mind answering some questions for me and doing like a little informational interview. I had a really great response from people and I had an entire list of questions. I really got to know what was going on with entrepreneurs and their businesses and what was lacking, and that was extremely helpful.

Also, being an entrepreneur myself, I understand a lot of the things that you need to know and the pieces that you need to put together. So I put together my offering according to what I heard were the biggest frustrations and the biggest areas of lack for business owners and that includes everything. Mainly what I do is, I do monthly strategic accounting. I call it strategic accounting because I don't just do bookkeeping and I don't just do financial reporting. Although that's what I do, I go a step beyond that and I really want the entrepreneur, want the business owner to understand where their business is and where they're headed so that they can tell me their goals and where they wanna go.

But you can't, you don't know that until you really understand your numbers and that financial data needs to be correct and accurate for you to do so. So some of the other services that I provide stemmed from that. I also do a lot of cleanup. That means when someone's been either doing it themselves or maybe even had a bookkeeper or another accountant doing it for them. It's unfortunate that happens. I go in and I notice that their books are a mess. So the data isn't really accurate and it's not giving them the information that they really need. So I go in and I clean everything up.

I do set up also if anybody has not been set up on an accounting system. I set up and train on several different platforms. I'm a QuickBooks Platinum ProAdvisor, but I also know Zero and NetSuite and several other platforms as well. I do outsource CFO work which is really the financial data and the financial analysis.

The last thing that I really enjoy doing is a financial roadmap, which means I go in and I do a complete overhaul and really look at every aspect of the business financially to see if everything is working so that it could be the most profitable. So the AR and AP, I even look at the people and interview the people to make sure they have the best training to see what's lacking. I look at your competitors and I give you an entire report on how you can do a lot better in your business.

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One more thing is I do financial coaching as well. I have six weeks pro, six-week program of financial coaching for those people who really need a little bit of help and some consulting.

Gresham Harkless 08:00

Nice. I definitely appreciate that. When we did, first connect and talk, I loved how everything was started just because so many times, especially with me, when I sit down with a business owner, especially from a marketing standpoint, I try to figure out what makes you unique?

Like who's your avatar? Who exactly are you trying to target in doing that research in the beginning and doing that market research? As we talked about before, you get to get an idea of not only what you provide, but sometimes how to communicate it to help solve the problems that the business owners are having.

I think that when you can do that and you've been able to do that and provide different ways that people can get those problems solved, I think it helps out so much as far as you being able to build your business, but also helps out the business owners as far as understanding what they're getting, how it's working, and what exactly the value that you're getting as well.

Natalia Zacharin 08:47

Yes, it's been so helpful. I just get on a call with someone, I don't know anything about them, and as soon as I start with the questions and they start responding to me, I already see the direction that we're heading and what they really need.

That's been really helpful and it's helped me to even work with my existing clients because the more I get with people and the more I understand what's going on and their challenges, the more I can help everybody. So it's been a really great way to do things.

Gresham Harkless 09:13

Yeah, it makes so much sense and that's one of the reasons I always say we're always doing market research because as soon as you have a client and then, even a day longer than you had the client, you start learning more. That not only helps you out with that client, but it helps you out with the future client because you start to see trends and things that people are doing so you can help solve those problems sometimes even before they arise.

Natalia Zacharin 09:32

Exactly. Exactly.

Gresham Harkless 09:34

Awesome. So I wanted to ask you now for what I call your secret sauce. It could be for yourself or your business, but what do you feel sets you apart and makes you unique?

Natalia Zacharin 09:41

I think one of the things that set me apart is truly understanding what the financial reporting and the data are supposed to reflect so that the business that I'm working with is the most profitable. I think that's probably my real secret sauce, is that I don't just leave the entrepreneur. I partner with them or a business. I don't only work with Sole Proprietors, I work with companies as well as partnerships and all kinds of companies. That's part of it, is I create a partnership with my client to make sure that whatever they wanna do and whatever they see themselves in the future, their company and whatever challenges they have, we are constantly working on those and that we are addressing all of those issues.

The other thing is I really, and maybe this is from my sales background I feel that customer service and really being there and responsive to my clients is über important. I find that is not the case in the industry as much. So I find that is truly my secret sauce is. That's been very helpful and I make great relationships with my clients. And, the client retention, I basically kept every single client I've ever had. I've only lost one, but that's because he went to go work for someone else. He decided not to continue being a business owner, but everybody else it's been really helpful.

Gresham Harkless 11:00

I appreciate that. So I wanted to switch gears a little bit and ask you for what I call a CEO hack. That could be like an app, a book, or a habit that you have, but what's something that makes you more effective and efficient?

Natalia Zacharin 11:12

So definitely the first thing I would say for any CEO is to know your numbers. If you don't know your numbers, you don't have any idea where your business is going. You have to really understand what the financial data of your business is, basically the language of your business. That is how your business is speaking to you. It can answer so many questions for you.

It can tell you if your pricing is correct, if your array of products and services is the correct assortment, if you have the correct clientele, if you are purchasing something like marketing, for instance, and you're getting a return on your investment, if your expenses are too high, if you can afford to hire someone.

Most businesses seem to hire people when they just feel like they're too busy to handle it and they don't really look to see if they can afford it. I feel that they run into that problem a lot. So knowing your numbers is really important. I also think that it's just really important to read a lot and understand what's going on. That's actually gonna be my nugget, so maybe we should move on to the next one.

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Gresham Harkless 12:16

Awesome. So I know you touched on your nugget, so I wanted to hear your CEO nugget. Could you tell us a little bit more about that?

Natalia Zacharin 12:21

So my CEO Nugget, I would say is read, learn. There are so many opportunities. When I was growing up, we didn't have the internet. So aging myself, but we didn't have the internet. We didn't have the opportunities that you have today. You have webinars and seminars and podcasts, for instance. Books and you can read. You don't even have to read a book. You can listen to Audible, you can Kindle with you.

There are so many opportunities to really learn. I think the most important thing is you never can know enough and you just need to collaborate with people, talk to people, and read as much as you possibly can and learn. So the learning never stops and it never should stop.

You should always just keep learning and being an expert in your field. Whatever you decide to do is super important to be extremely knowledgeable and leave no stone unturned in the knowledge.

Gresham Harkless 13:10

Yeah, absolutely. Nowadays there are so many stones that are unturned. There's no excuse for not being able to continue to do that and have that perspective. But even that, I used to say that's hand in hand with being curious.

If you have that curious mindset, you wanna know about something you wanna know how somebody looks at a different problem or a solution and you start to delve down deep, deep in that. It gets really exciting because you know that there's it's an endless trail of information and that's one of the most exciting parts of being an expert at your craft and learning from different perspectives.

Natalia Zacharin 13:39

Yes.

Gresham Harkless 13:40

Awesome. Awesome, awesome. Now I wanted to ask you my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. We're hoping to have different quote and quote CEOs on this show.

So Natalia, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Natalia Zacharin 13:52

To me, being a CEO means creating something out of nothing. Having a vision of creating a lifestyle for yourself and your family, but also having integrity, honesty, empathy, and kindness.

You have to be a badass and fierce, but you also have to have integrity and honesty and kindness and empathy, and that's what I think a CEO is.

Gresham Harkless 14:20

Awesome. I absolutely love that. For whatever reason, what came to my mind, one of my favorite books at least is called The Alchemist. That's essentially what entrepreneurship is, where you're able to create something out of nothing a lot of times, and you're able to paint that picture.

You're absolutely right. You have to have that badass mentality where you're going to go after your goals and you're gonna do whatever it is to make it happen, but at the same time, balance it with being able to be humble, be able to listen, and having that customer service and those things that can help make you successful.

So I definitely appreciate that holistic perspective and definition of what it means to be a CEO.

Natalia Zacharin 14:53

Yes, exactly.

Gresham Harkless 14:56

Awesome. Awesome. Natalia, truly appreciate that. Appreciate your time even more. What I wanted to do was pass you the mic, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional you can let our readers and listeners know, and then of course, how best they can get ahold of you.

Natalia Zacharin 15:07

Sure. The best way that they can get ahold of me is either they can email me at nataliazacharinconsulting.com. I am on Facebook under Zacharin Consulting at a Facebook page. I have a website, zacharinconsulting.com as well. I'm on Instagram and on LinkedIn as growyourbottomline. So I'm all over social media.

I'm trying to actually do a lot more social media. Maybe you can teach me, anybody that I can collaborate with or learn about what they're doing, hook me up, and reach out to me.

Gresham Harkless 15:46

Awesome. Awesome, awesome. We'll definitely have the link in information and show notes so that everybody can follow up with you. But definitely appreciate all the awesome things that you're doing and you're helping out so many entrepreneurs and business owners and thank you again for your time today, and I hope you have a great rest of the day.

Outro 16:00

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO podcast, powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at iamceo.co. I AM CEO is not just a phrase it's a community.

Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Google Play, and everywhere you listen to podcasts, subscribe and leave us a five-star rating.

Grab CEO gear at www.ceogear.co. This has been the I AM CEO Podcast with Gresham Harkless. Thank you for listening.

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Dave Bonachita - CBNation Writer

This is a post from a CBNation team member. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand. We are focused on increasing the success rate. We create content and information focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(CEOBlogNation.com), podcasts, (CEOPodcasts.com) and videos (CBNation.tv). CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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