Fatima Butt is a Chartered Professional Accountant, where she specializes in personal and small to mid-sized Businesses’ Accounting and Taxation. She offers a complete range of services to meet the needs of individuals and businesses, including Compilation, Personal taxes, Corporate taxes, Bookkeeping, Payroll, Financial and Tax Planning, while providing personal attention to her clients’ Accounting and Taxation needs. Fatima uses her extensive experience to provide expert advice regarding all business matters, so that her clients can focus on their business operations while she takes care of their accounting and taxation in terms of both compliance and reporting. We are excited to share Fatima’s Success Story!
What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
My children inspired me to become an entrepreneur but it was not planned. I kind of fell in to it but I am so glad at this point that it happened because If I was to plan it then it would not happen for another ten years.
After I had my first son, I felt like a full-time job became very difficult. The corporate culture in a public accounting firm is very demanding in terms of your performance and time commitment. I felt very challenged to perform at the same level after sleepless nights and missed work for my son’s sick days. Then when I had my second son, I decided to take on some contract work instead and slowly started building my own clientele. All my clients come through referrals and I have developed a good base just in a few years. I am only two and half years into being a successful entrepreneur and I am never going back to a full-time job.
What is your “WHY” behind your business/being an entrepreneur?
I am enthusiastic about what I do. I am practical and hands-on and I like to do things in creative ways. I love what I do and my passion and my exceptional client service is shown by the referrals and reviews I receive from my clients.
What’s the best part about owning your own business?
It’s very rewarding because all the hard work I am doing is an investment to my own self, and I reap the benefits of it one way or the other. My motivation level is much higher for the same reasons. I am much more excited to see what the next day will bring to my table. Of course, there is a lot more responsibility that comes with having your own business. Flexibility is there, but a business owner never stops working on or in their business.
Can you describe a typical day?
Every day is different. Some days I work from home while other days I go to see clients. Some days I have meetings all day, whereas other days I focus on wrapping up a number of projects. A typical day starts with dropping off my kids at the daycare and then juggling between phone calls, meetings and client work until its time to pick up the kids again.
Who do you count on for help?
My husband is very supportive of my business activities, and actually he is the one who encouraged me to start working on my own. I schedule my meetings and phone calls around his and my kids’ schedules. Most of the days he picks up or drops off the kids. He is also very helpful with the kids, and my boys are very attached to him. If I need to work over the evening or weekend, he takes the boys out or looks after them at home while I work to meet my deadlines.
Have you ever had to sacrifice something at home for work? Or vice versa?
Yes of course, I think it’s all about sacrifice. My life revolves around my family and my business. If I am not working, then I am spending time with my family and vice versa. Because I was self-employed, I had to put my second son in daycare when he was only 4 weeks old. I worked all through my pregnancies and got back to work right away after having my kids, because I did not have employment insurance benefits. That being said, I also took longer holidays and worked less during the summer after the busy season was over, so I could spend much more time with my kids.
What do you do on a day off? Do you even know what a day off is?
I don’t take any days off; my days off are planned around the kids. They don’t go to daycare on weekends or public holidays, so I try to plan something for those days unless I have a deadline to meet.
What does the future look like for you and your business?
There is a lot of potential for growth and success in my business. The speed of achieving this growth also depends on how much time I am spending on advertising or networking. I feel like I am not very involved at this point, but may be when the kids grow up a little bit, when I believe it will be much easier to invest more time to grow my business. Until then I am relying on referrals to grow my client base.
Any tips for women thinking of starting a business?
I think for women it’s much more important to start a business because it can give them the flexibility that they need, especially if they are raising kids. Also, women are very creative and they have a lot of potential to work under pressure, and that’s what starting a business is all about.