To grow one’s business, one must understand the importance of innovation. In order to innovate, it’s critical to devote the proper time and resources to doing the job right.
Lee Spinale Rea opened her Edible Arrangements franchise location in Hanover, Mass., in January 2006. Reaching her 10-year business anniversary has given her an opportunity to take a step back, take stock of the positives and negatives of small-business ownership, and assess growth opportunities. Her store, which specializes in fresh fruit arrangements, has done well over the years, but complacency is not a quality that defines Rea’s business.
Instead, she completed an upgrade of her business last fall by adding a new product line, “Edibles To Go,” offering yogurt parfaits, fruit smoothies and other items in her storefront. The time Rea devoted toward fleshing out this idea stemmed from a rather innovative concept – Remote Quality Bookkeeping.
Rea has six full-time employees to help run her business, but Remote Quality Bookkeeping has become a reliable outside resource to handle her company’s books. Her partnership with RQB has allowed her to shift the entire burden of bill-paying and payroll off her plate, freeing up time and alleviating stress in the process. In the first several years of running her Edible Arrangements franchise, Rea employed a part-time staffer to manage the books, but that still required significant oversight. When she learned about RQB, she felt her business was thriving in such a way that she could try this option to lessen her overall workload. It has worked out well, because Rea can take more of a hands-off approach when it comes to running her business yet still implement concepts designed to promote its continued success.
“Rather than being immersed in the day-to-day operation, I’ve been focused on revamping my store and thinking of different ways that we can attract and retain more customers,” Rea said. “I wouldn’t be able to focus my attention on the big picture if my time was taken up by the small-scale details. Those are important, of course, but I’ve made sure to have trusted people around me to tackle those areas.”
Rea prefers to dedicate her time to seeing her store flourish while outsourcing the bookkeeping function.
“I really don’t have to think about my financials, because I trust RQB,” adds Rea, who retired from a career in the medical imaging field to open Edible Arrangements. “They’re very reliable and honest. I make sure they have all of my bills, and they take care of the rest.”
Her direct interaction with the team at RQB is minimal, she noted, which is exactly why she chose to utilize this resource. Rea – like all other Edible Arrangements franchise owners – must follow strict guidelines in terms of what she reports back to the franchisor. RQB helps to make sure she meets those requirements.
“The whole idea of working with RQB is for me to not have to worry about the bookkeeping,” she said. “I can go weeks without talking to them. I don’t put any time into it. That’s why I like them. They take care of my bookkeeping, bill pay and reporting, while I take care of my business.”
And in Rea’s business, it’s all about staying fresh – literally. She sells unique and creative fruit arrangements, chocolate covered fruits, and an array of gift packages that all revolve around fresh fruits. But surviving, thriving and innovating is also about staying fresh, in a figurative sense. Rea knows that she needs to constantly try to discover new and efficient ways to run her operation. In that sense, RQB provides the perfect complement to what Rea hopes to achieve with her franchise.
Said Rea: “RQB makes my life 100 times easier.”