SaltyBooks - Saul
Tell us a bit about yourself and how you got started?
Born in El Salvador, raised in Ottawa.
Growing up, I was always involved in competitive sports. I always had a competitive edge and pushed myself to be the best on the field. This drive translated over to everything I do in the workplace and in business. Some may consider me a “high achiever”.
I remember being in university, studying after my last corporate job and asking myself this very millenial question “how will I ever make an impact in the business world? I’m just a student”. I soon transitioned into a role at a well established non-profit and I went into it with this question at the forefront of my mind...
I began to grow in my understanding and professionalism under the leadership of Chris Adam - Executive Director, and Richard Beaudette. Being involved in the operation and leadership of the organization at St. Joseph’s Parish, I learned to identify the different needs that affect the workflow and efficiency of an organization.
When it came to SaltyBooks, it seemed like a natural next step for me. With the help of my good friend, Carolina Lopez, we put together a business plan. Eric Samure, my mentor, gave me the nudges I needed to launch successfully and the rest is history. Having worked in the service industry for years, I decided to focus on small and non-profit businesses specifically.
How did you come up with the idea for the business?
Once I was introduced to cloud accounting, I was glued in because I couldn’t understand why most businesses hadn’t gone there yet. I saw that these ecosystems of different integrations through apps, if used properly, could provide accurate information that can be very useful to a business owner. The biggest thing was the automation of data entry, which takes up a lot of time manually and can lead to human error.
I was astonished to see how many business owners were having bookkeeping nightmares due to those two contributors. Some of them had even given up! Accounting is an avenue to navigate the areas that can be improved through numbers. I chose cloud accounting because of the benefit the business owner receives by being able to track their progress without having to call their accountant.
Did you always know you wanted to own your own business one day?
That I knew, I knew. The ‘what, when, where, how’ were always uncertain.
Tell us about the name Salty Books - is there a story behind it?
When I began to develop my business plan and tried to find I name, I wanted something that carried a bit of who I am in it. Salty has been a nickname of mine since childhood. To me, it represents growth and forward movement in my own life and it is an attitude I hope to bring into every project we take at Salty Books.
How did SaltyBooks become a partnership?
After a few months in, I reconnected with my buddy Mustafa Terai, we worked together in the corporate world and he is currently pursuing his CPA. His ideas matched mine, but two of us loved thrived on two separate aspects of the business, he loves the operation side of things and I love focusing on the structure and development of the business. We made a great team together and decided to turn SaltyBooks into a partnership.
You seem to focus primarily on entrepreneurs and small business owners. Why did you decide to serve mainly that market?
I found that small business owners are some of the most genuine people you will ever meet. Mustafa Terai and I, chose to service nonprofits and small businesses because they reflect how we like to do business. Through partnership and personal relationships with the business owner/nonprofit executive, we are able to get to know their unique struggles and frustrations. We have gotten to know our ideal clients really well and cater to them, which is why we are able to provide them with exceptional service.
What’s one piece of advice you would give to entrepreneurs starting their first business, that’s not necessarily accounting related?
Find those people you want to serve, and serve them well. We all have something different to offer. If you can find a way to add value to your customers through your product or service, you’ve got something.
What can be found in your coffee cup?
Iced vanilla latte or a straight up americano.
When you’re not busy working, what do you like to do in your spare time?
I like travelling to interesting places, discovering new restaurants and playing soccer league with the guys... Coming from a family of ministers, I’m also fairly involved in music and songwriting in the church.
Do you have a favourite local restaurant?
Check out Flora Hall Brewing on Flora street, it’s my latest discovery! Great food, great vibes.