“I love people and nothing means more to me than helping small business owners succeed.”
This was the driving force for Melina Rousselle when she created her own accounting and bookkeeping business, Melina Solutions, in 2006.
Introduced to the industry via a high school bookkeeping class at the age of 16, Melina was hooked. She spent the next 20+ years developing and expanding her general business accounting skills, while taking the opportunity to learn from her corporate network and mentors who she still looks up to, to this day.
Realizing that flexibility was key to achieving her goals, it was ultimately the advice from a senior colleague that sparked in Melina the confidence to branch out on her own.
Melina saw there was a need for accounting services that assist small and medium business owners with daily financial tasks. She realized that the financial understanding that came easily and naturally to her was not necessarily the way for others and she wanted to help.
“Business owners would look at me like a deer in headlights, and even on the verge of tears, not knowing how to create systems or what their financial statements meant. I knew that I could bridge that gap of explaining bookkeeping and financial organization that was simple and effective.”
Melina has grown and adapted her business over the years based on where she sees the potential to help. Melina Solutions now offer a range of services that help owners set up or update their current bookkeeping and financial processes and procedures, create budgets and realize their business goals through customized services. With a newfound passion for teaching, Melina provides Financial Coaching and Training on how to use software like QuickBooks and understand basic bookkeeping skills.
Whilst Melina Solutions continues to grow with new and exciting things in the works, Melina herself realizes the importance of community support, mentorship and giving back.
“…I understand what it takes to be a technician in my business, the visionary, decision maker and dreamer all in one. I also know what it means to put everything I have on the line to fulfil my dreams and I want to make the experience for other entrepreneurs as seamless and empowering as possible… In the end, what really motivates me is that behind every business is an entrepreneur or business owner, and behind every entrepreneur and business owner, there’s a dream. It’s that dream that I want to help grow and validate.”
Q. What made you want to be an entrepreneur?
I’ve always been a fast learner and an explorer, and especially in business.
When I worked in the corporate industry, I found that I was continually being restricted with what types of projects I could take on and how fast I could grow depending on what someone else thought was right for me. I didn’t like the idea of someone else deciding how fast I could grow and what jobs I was capable of or not capable of doing.
I’m a person who likes to be constantly challenged and trying new things, so I decided to build my own business so I could add my own unique spin on the Accounting and Bookkeeping industry, try out new roles I hadn’t experienced before and work with a brand new group of people that were out of my wheelhouse at the time. It’s one of the best life decisions I’ve ever made!
Q. Is your business different now than it was when you started? Why? How?
When I started working in my business full-time, I was a bookkeeper and a business manager. I helped business owners manage the administration of their businesses.
As I gained more experience and worked with a variety of business owners, I naturally started adding services such as teaching how to improve processes, training other administrative staff and business owners on accounting software and bookkeeping tasks and using my corporate business skills to help business owners plan budgets and execute business plans.
I now focus on providing my clients with the freedom around finances by coaching, training and supporting clients in transforming their business full-time, and I’ve moved away from the daily tasks of bookkeeping and administrative tasks. I want to continue moving my business forward in this way by providing services that empower my clients to understand their finances and feel competent when making financial decisions.
Q. What’s the biggest lesson you have learned while being in business for yourself?
When I first started my business, my main goal was to establish enough clients to ensure I had a full-time schedule, so I would start working with up to four clients at the same time.
I didn’t leave myself time to get to know the client and their working style, account for delays in receiving information or how manage the relationship.
I didn’t consider the work it would take to set up my own administration such as banking or understand my own bookkeeping and marketing needs. This left me really overwhelmed and with too many responsibilities too quickly.
Now, when I’m ready to expand any area of my business, I take time to understand what’s needed. I grow slowly and set up all my processes and procedures properly from the beginning.
When I have my long-term goal in mind, day-to-day tasks might zig-zag; some things move easily forward and some take a step back but in the end, having my big goal was the key. This allows me to take so many risks in my business because I know that whatever the results of those risks, my end goal is still what matters.
In the long run, I’ve been able to expand and grow at a much faster pace and in an environment that I know how to manage.
Q. What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?
My biggest challenge has been building my reputation in industries that I was new to, and where my network was small – first, in the bookkeeping industry and then in the coaching and training industry. I discovered how important it is to not just have a network of clients, so the work continues to flow in, but to also connect with other professionals in the small business community.
It took time to build a full client list and then have more clients lined up when my current work was finished. I discovered the importance of maintaining genuine connections and relationships and ensuring that I give to and support my network as much as I receive. This just took time and trial and error.
Meeting new people, finding ways to stay connected, even if it wasn’t regularly, and taking risks by asking for support.
I’m still working on creating a healthy network of professionals because it’s still a challenge. I’m not always comfortable putting myself into the world, but I find it makes my work so much more enjoyable when I share it with people. And don’t be afraid to get the help you need to make your dreams come true!
Q. If you could give one piece of advice based on what you have learned/experienced, what would it be?
There are going to be times when you want to give up and you think your dreams aren’t attainable.
You’ll share these doubts with people you admire, respect, and normally seek advice from and they’re going to give you all types of feedback.
Some will agree you should quit; others will give you well-intentioned advice that doesn’t match your working style, and others will support you no matter what you do.
In the end, you are the person that knows what’s best for you and your business. When you find yourself in these moments, pause, take a breath, and listen to your inner voice, which will tell you your next steps.
Where to Find Melina Solutions
Instagram – @MelinaSolutions
Youtube – @MelinaSolutions
LinkedIn – Melina Rousselle
Facebook – @MelinaSolutions