Small business owners are courageous and inspiring.
When we started our bookkeeping service for small businesses in 2008, we encountered a diverse and powerful group of people with the vision and tenacity to create a better world by living their dreams.
We also discovered that many small business owners lacked basic knowledge and had a crippling fear of the unknown. Feeling alone, they were unsure of where to find support along with simple answers to their complex questions.
Yet, when small business owners have the knowledge and support they need to succeed, they are unstoppable. That's why we created "Ask A Bookkeeper," an online educational video series for small business. And to make it fun and accessible, we use puppets!
We are offering this amazing content to the world for free.
“Ask a Bookkeeper” takes topics that most small business owners think are boring or terrifying, and turns those subjects into a fun and rewarding part of entrepreneurship. This includes great topics such as finding new clients, accounting strategies, fraud prevention, and even just maintaining the mindset to keep your business fun. We help small businesses succeed, and when small businesses succeed, the world is a better place.
How does helping small businesses make the world a better place?
Imagine if each of us were following our passion, doing what we love, and making a good living doing those things. We would be healthier, happier people. When our communities are full of healthy happy people who are doing what they love, we have healthier communities. When our world is made of healthier communities, the world is a better place. Not to mention that if small business made up a larger part of our global economy, that is something that our legislators would pay more attention to!
It all starts with you following your dreams and sharing your voice, and we want to help you do that. That’s our core mission for this educational and entertaining web series, featuring Penny the Practical Professional and other delightful puppet characters.
Each of us working in our strengths
We understand that you have a business you want to run, and that finances, marketing, and human resources are not the reason you started on this path (unless you're an accountant, marketing agency, or HR consultant, of course). We all have our fortes, and we don't have to be an expert at everything. There are a few things you need to learn, however, to ease your journey on the path to success and profit. We’re here to teach those important fundamentals in a fun way and make them less intimidating.
The Ask A Bookkeeper
The core of our team is Ingrid Edstrom, a celebrated bookkeeping nerd and CEO of the award winning bookkeeping firm, Polymath LLC. Penny and the other puppets are brought to life by her husband, Jeffrey Behrends.
History and the Next Steps
We have been releasing lower-quality videos on YouTube for a few years now, managing to generate a modest fan base despite not having good equipment or professional assistance. Our audience has been asking us for more, so we realized that it is time to UP OUR GAME!
We want to get serious about this project by getting some real equipment (lights and a camera would be nice!), and teaming up with experienced videographers. Some talented people are offering us amazing deals on their services, but we still need to pay them. We want these videos to be professional and polished, as well as fun and educational. The project needs to be sustainable for the people working on it, and that means we need your help to get started.
It is also deeply important to us that these episodes are subtitled or close captioned in English AND Spanish, to make sure these lessons are accessible to a broad spectrum of small business entrepreneurs. That also costs money. We want to offer these resources to a broad spectrum of entrepreneurs in our beautiful and diverse world. Please feel free to contact us to let us know how we can better support your needs.
The Bottom Line
We need to raise AT LEAST $15,000 on Kickstarter, with your help, to create a starting series of at least six episodes. From there, we hope to find enough sponsors and patrons to keep producing episodes on a regular (hopefully twice a month) basis.
Our vision is to make the world a better place, built on a foundation of thriving small businesses. That means that we want each of you to be compensated well for your great work, and our professional support team needs that, too. The result is that we create fantastic, fun content that will help your business thrive.
Cost-Benefit Analysis & Brass Tacks
We want the resulting increase in your annual revenue to make your contribution to our campaign a solid win-win, with the Kickstarter rewards as fun perks for being part of this wonderful community.
Where does that money go? Professional videography costs a lot less now than it used to, but prompt, quality production still doesn’t come cheap. Also, we continue to discover more and more areas where flashlights, glue sticks, and love do not make great videos, even when puppets are involved. We need real equipment and professional expertise to properly get this off the ground and make it sustainable.
We’re also working with some extraordinary puppets! For example, Penny the Practical Professional was hand-made for us by the legendary Toby Froud. Many of you may remember his as the baby in the stripey pajamas from the 1986 Jim Henson film "Labyrinth." 30 years later, Toby is a professional puppeteer and film maker. We are so blessed to have a real "Muppet" in the family!
So, where do we go once we’ve reached our main goal of $15,000?
- $25,000 Create an additional 6 episodes.
- $35,000 Introduce Procrastinator Gator with 2 additional new episodes and bonus footage.
- $45,000 Introduce the YEWU character with new episodes and educational materials
- $55,000 Ask Me Anything music video with SJ Tucker!!!
- $75,000 ??? Sky is the limit. You tell us what you want. With $75K, we can do almost anything!!!
- $++ Or, does the sky have a limit?!
These stretch goals allow us to move forward with our creative plan at a much faster pace, building great educational content for you sooner rather than waiting for the time and money. We look forward to commissioning Procrastinator Gator from the talented Melissa Sue, and maybe even something incredible from Bill Cass of Nymbol’s Magic Castle fame! These goals are worth contributing a little extra to achieve!
Be sure to check out the AskABookkeeper.com/kickstarter for more information.
Where there's puppets, there is Music!
The theme song for our web series has been generously contributed by the incomparable SJ Tucker. We found that the song "Ask Me Anything" from from her album "Wonders" perfectly encapsulated the mood we were working to convey. Give it a listen by clicking on her adorable face below!
So, how can you help? By letting us help you and your business!
For $25 we will send you a thank you card from Penny the Practical Professional, perfect for showing off to your friends and family.
For $100, we’ll create a short video specifically for you or dedicated to the audience of your choice. This is perfect to post on your website, social media, or YouTube channel. Want to wish someone happy birthday in a unique way? The possibilities are endless, and you're supporting a great cause!
At higher reward levels, you can directly sponsor an episode or even be a guest on the show!
If you’re not a small business owner, but you want to help, we have some rewards available for you, too! Everybody who contributes ($1 or more) gets access to “behind the scenes” updates and an invitation to our lovely Facebook community, where like-minded folks mingle, network, and help each other out. This show will offer great education that is fun for the whole family!
Join the Adventure
Imagine a world where the global economy is built on a foundation of thriving small businesses. This is a world where people pursue their dreams, and make a decent living while doing the things that they love most.
This can be our world, and we can create it together. This is the dream of Ask a Bookkeeper. Thank you for your support.
Risks and challenges
We recognize that all kickstarters come with unforeseen challenges. We are confident that we have the right expertise and talent on our team to pull this off.
We’re budgeting for professional videography, professional website and graphic design, professional translation and closed captioning, etc. in order to minimize our risks and to make sure that things are done right.
Ask a Bookkeeper has been a labor of love for several years, representing significant time and money investment from the members of Polymath to create just a little YouTube show. To really take it to the next level, turning the show into a video podcast with bonus material on YouTube, we need the support of the community who will benefit from the project.
The Ask A Bookkeeper community includes small business owners, accounting professionals, software applications, and anyone who loves those people. Our vision is to make the world a better place built on a foundation of thriving small businesses, and we recognize that we cannot do this alone. We need the support of viewers and other professionals that want to partner with us to make this dream a reality.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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