This is one episode of our FOCUS Coworking Members Showcase Videos. In this series, we interview our members to learn more about them and their entrepreneurial journey. 

Kim Kysely is one of the co-founders of FOCUS Coworking. Kim also founded S. B. Office Management, and Frasier Traditions Christmas Tree Farm. Kim turned to entrepreneurship as a second career. She enjoys the flexibility and variety of work that entrepreneurship provides. 

Member Showcase Transcription

 

Damon Schopen

OK, hello, everyone, this is Damon Schopen with Focus Coworking. We’re going to continue our member showcase here today with Kim Kysely. She is one of the co-owners of Focus Coworking and has a couple other businesses as well. So before we get into that, I just wanted to introduce FOCUS Coworking quick. Many of you are familiar with us, but we’re a shared office space. We’ve got an easy way for anyone starting a business or who has an established business to have some office space.

 

Damon Schopen

You don’t have to pay any of the utilities or Internet or any of that stuff. We’re all set up ready for you to come into work. We’ve got private offices, conference rooms and a great community of other business owners and business professionals who want to help each other grow and succeed. So that’s FOCUS Coworking. But now on to Kim, one of our co-owners and members. So first, I guess, Kim, why don’t you introduce yourself and tell us about your businesses.

 

Kim Kysely

Hey, thanks, Damon. I own SB Office Management is my main business is a bookkeeping service. I have about 15 clients right now. I, I will go to their place of employment or just work remotely at FOCUS. Typically I’m here one to two days a week just working on my my virtual, not virtual, but businesses that I don’t want to have to actually go to to their actual company.

 

Damon Schopen

Kim Does my books.

 

 

And it saves me so much time and headache and I don’t have to pull my hair out trying to figure out why the books aren’t right anymore.

 

Damon Schopen

So it’s super nice to be able to pass off some of that stuff and it’s good to not have to do everything in your business to. Right. Focus on what you do best and let people who are experts in their field do the things that they’re experts on at the same time.

 

Kim Kysely

Exactly. So, I mean, I have clients where I put in a couple hours or even one hour every couple of weeks. I just do their payroll.

 

Kim Kysely

Some people, some people, I do their full books and I do office services.

 

Kim Kysely

So I have one client where I do other invoicing and and everything like that, too. So it just kind of depends on what you need for office staff.

 

Damon Schopen

So it’s a small visibility’s great and your rates are very reasonable. I would say if someone thinks they can’t hire a bookkeeper, you should still talk to Kim because you’d be surprised, especially if you’re smaller. There’s not a lot that has to be done there, which helps save on costs, but saves you a lot of time probably. But go ahead.

 

Kim Kysely

And you don’t necessarily have to have employees or anything either. I don’t have to do payroll necessarily, but that’s a service that I can offer to. And then I have a Christmas tree farm, which is busy certain times of the year and not so much other times of the year.

 

Kim Kysely

Obviously, I also do taxes during tax season, which is very nice to have that balance. You know, right after Christmas tree season, then I can kind of go into tax season. So I do that.

 

Damon Schopen

And your Christmas tree farms located again, you’ve got two locations, right?

 

Kim Kysely

We have one in Helenville, which is about twelve minutes away from here, and then we have one outside of Fort Atkinson, which is probably about that, roughly the same amount from Jefferson. And they’re both the Helenville farm has a lot of more mature, older, taller trees and then the one in Fort Atkinson has our smaller, more six to eight foot trees.

 

Damon Schopen

And I got a tree there last year and it was really nice. Turned out really great. Looks beautiful. Gave a nice smell inside the house, the pine smell.

 

Kim Kysely

Yeah.

 

Damon Schopen

So that was great. And the wreath that you do you do some really a wreathes as well

 

Kim Kysely

Yah some of the wreaths.

 

 

We, we kind of just get creative with them so it doesn’t work. That wreath at Wal-Mart that you spend on a truck for six weeks or whatever right before it gets to you that fresh and full and look really nice.

 

Kim Kysely

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

 

Kim Kysely

Thank you. Thank you. And then, of course, we have focused coworking, which is been a fabulous addition to Jefferson. We’re in between Milwaukee and Milwaukee, Waukesha and Madison, Oconomowoc. It’s not very far. So we’re kind of that in between. We have people who come and just meet here because it’s a nice meeting halfway between, let’s say, Waukesha and Madison if you have to have a meeting. So it’s a really nice place for that.

 

Kim Kysely

And it’s very reasonable to rent a conference room for a day. And, you know, I was I have clients, lots of clients who rent office space. And even for a small place for five hundred dollars isn’t unreasonable for a small place, we’re here for much less than that. You can get your own office, you got a conference rooms available and services like a refrigerator and stuff that’s stocked with

 

Damon Schopen

Extra amenities, just for sure.

 

Kim Kysely

Lots of good amenities for, you know, eighty nine dollars. And you can have a really nice office.

 

Kim Kysely

So probably worth mentioning this is the time of Covid. So we’re spacing everyone out. Right. And we’re sanitizing daily.

 

Damon Schopen

We’ve got masks available if you don’t have one.

 

Damon Schopen

So we’re following all the practices and protocols to keep everyone safe.

 

Kim Kysely

Sure. So, you know, as you mentioned, the covid time here, there’s many different options that you can do. You know, if you’re a student, you could come here and work. If you if you’re not having face to face classes, if you’re a parent that needs to get away from their students for whatever reason, you know,

 

Damon Schopen

It’s a nice, quiet place to have a phone call.

 

Kim Kysely

Right. Right, right. And if you know, you can come for just a couple hours a day if you need to, stuff like that.

 

Damon Schopen

Tell us, how did you get your start with this first the office management and then the Christmas tree farm, too, especially.

 

Kim Kysely

Hmm, well, it was kind of it’s kind of my second career, my first career was in manufacturing and I worked in manufacturing for twenty five years as a master scheduler and owned the Christmas tree farm and then owned a lawn care business with my brother in law and just took that over. And he took the the the lawn care business.

 

Kim Kysely

But I was really what I enjoyed doing in the business was the bookkeeping and all the payroll and stuff like that. So I kind of migrated into that. And it’s been really it’s been really a nice second career, a second something I really, really enjoy. I love getting up in the morning. I love doing my job, which which, you know, I’m very fortunate.

 

Damon Schopen

Absolutely. And a lot of people can’t say that. Right. Right.

 

Damon Schopen

It’s funny how things kind of morph and change. You know, you start out in a lawn care business and you wind up running a bookkeeping office management business. Right. You know, and my business has kind of evolved in different ways. I maybe wouldn’t have predicted.

 

Kim Kysely

Right

 

Damon Schopen

when I started my Web development company, I didn’t think I would ever start a shared office space right. Like that. Never came to mind. So it’s kind of fun how things change and evolve and grow.

 

Damon Schopen

Yeah,

 

Kim Kysely

exactly.

 

Damon Schopen

And I remember you when you when we started a mastermind group with Damon myself and, I don’t know, five or six others. And you were not anywhere where you are now. Yeah, right.

 

Kim Kysely

How many years ago was that. Seven or something like that. Longer maybe.

 

Kim Kysely

It’s not that long.

 

 

Some days it seems like some days it doesn’t. Right. But yeah. And that’s what’s nice about the community here too is you’ve got that support to ask people questions, get help, encouragement when you’re frustrated, you know. Yeah.

 

Kim Kysely

And I’ve gotten at least three of my clients are from people who have been at FOCUS here. Very cool. And I know that that’s kind of the other other some of the other businesses here have of either found work through the people here or work for the people here.

 

Damon Schopen

Right? Yeah, it’s a great collaboration.

 

Kim Kysely

Yeah. We have definitely a wide variety of of members and what they do is kind of cool. So how do you start the Christmas tree farm?

 

Kim Kysely

Hmm. Well, I don’t know, but I wonder why too. Yeah, we bought some land. We have 40 acres that we purchased when we first when we moved here about twenty six years ago. And my brother in law just happened to work for a Christmas tree farm. So it was we were trying to figure out what to do with the property. What do you do with 40 acres other than rent it out to somebody?

 

Kim Kysely

Right.

 

Kim Kysely

So we we started the Christmas tree farm because Mike knew all there was to know about Christmas trees and kind of evolved from there.

 

Kim Kysely

And it was intended to be extra cash for my kids to go to college. was kind of the intent. But it’s kind of grown a little bit more than that. So it’s very nice.

 

Damon Schopen

Nice. Very cool.

 

Kim Kysely

Yeah, it’s a lot more work than I thought it was going to be.

 

Damon Schopen

Well, that kind of rolls into what are some of the mistakes or things you wish you could have changed as you learned on your entrepreneurial journey here?

 

Kim Kysely

Sure. Well, with the Christmas tree farm, I think we kind of we’re noticing now we’re having issues with the soil and some of the atmosphere type things.

 

Kim Kysely

And I wish we would have known more about that and done a little bit more research. On, you know, what could happen to the soil because it’s turning the Christmas trees yellow instead of green. So that’s been a challenge for the Christmas tree farm.

 

Kim Kysely

Also getting employees, you know, because we only need you know, we need typically kids for a couple couple of weekends in the spring when we pick pine cones in the summer, a couple of weekends to to do some trimming. And then and then in the winter, when we make wreaths and sell the trees, sometimes it’s hard to find help. So finding help is hard. And then on the office side. What would be some I can’t think of?

 

Kim Kysely

Anything, I guess. And taking over, you know, doing the taxes and stuff, I wish I. I want to become more educated in that. It’s not really a problem because I have a good support staff at the office, should the. Just learn more about personal taxes, I guess you’re not as educated in it, but I think just trial and error is hard for some people.

 

Damon Schopen

Yeah,

 

Kim Kysely

Because you got to learn I mean, I remember learning about how to do payroll taxes and you just got to you just got to go through it.

 

Damon Schopen

And a lot of it is trial and error.

 

Kim Kysely

Yeah. And yeah, you’re going to make mistakes and you just apologize, move on and learn from it.

 

Damon Schopen

Right. And correct it. Right. Exactly. That happens in any business. Right. I’ve made my fair share of mistakes over the years, you know, and, you know, own up to it and be transparent. I think most people are pretty understanding. Right.

 

Kim Kysely

You know,

 

Kim Kysely

Be honest with people. So everybody’s got to start somewhere. So even if you start, you know, in your 40s with a new career like I did.

 

Damon Schopen

Yeah, it’s never too late. Right. You can do that and always transition. Absolutely. So, yeah.

 

Damon Schopen

Yeah, I worked full time, seven years, so what was I like 30 ish or something, which I still pretty young, but a lot of people that go kind of completely out from the corporate world to starting their own business, that’s always a big leap, you know, no matter what age. So, yeah, well, with the tree farm, right. That balance of how much research and diligence do you do versus just getting going and started.

 

Damon Schopen

Because the other side of it is you can do way too much research and planning and then you never actually launch extra, you know.

 

Kim Kysely

And I you know, in the spring in the fall too, I also teach at the local community college and well, I haven’t for the last two semesters because of Covid primarily sure I enjoy that too. I learn a lot. I teach a lot of Excel and word and office products, so I learn a lot from that. Yeah, that was really helpful to that school.

 

Damon Schopen

Good. And what is your dream?

 

Damon Schopen

What is the end game? Where do you want to see these businesses go, especially for

 

Kim Kysely

 retirement?

 

Kim Kysely

I would like to see S.B Office Management go more more virtual than it is. Sure. Because I would like to move in a few years up north or to our property up north, and I would only be able to do that virtually. Sure. I think that’s probably a progression that I would like to see, at least in that standpoint.

 

Kim Kysely

Yeah, and now’s a good time for that. Right, because it’s harder to be in person at some places and be a little more distance is good, so. Right. It’s kind of that time to maybe figure some of that stuff out. But yeah, that’s a good, good goal. Absolutely. Yeah.

 

Kim Kysely

Because I don’t I’m not close to retirement, but I am close to wanting to maybe move somewhere different.

 

Damon Schopen

Yeah. And having that freedom ride is something you can do when you own a business, which is really nice. Yeah, I like that. I can work from anywhere pretty much with my business, you know. Yeah. I like being at FOCUS because I’m around others, but it’s nice to have the option.

 

Kim Kysely

Right. And I like to work and FOCUS too. I prefer to work here then. But you know the nature of what I do for certain people just doesn’t allow me to go virtual with them. But sure, new clients. I’d like to primarily have virtual.

 

Damon Schopen

You probably do a little Problem-Solving and think about how can we adapt at least some of this stuff. Right. To be more virtual as well. Absolutely. So what’s your favorite thing about being a business owner?

 

Kim Kysely

Oh, the freedom of just being able to set my own schedule. I love that, you know, I had to get up at and be to work at like six thirty, I think, and my other job. And that was I hated that.

 

Damon Schopen

You are not a morning person.

 

Damon Schopen

So that’s the nice thing right.

 

Damon Schopen

You can schedule in some days you find that you’re working. Crazy amounts of hours, but set that starting point

 

Kim Kysely

Exactly and I would rather work till seven or eight at night rather than having to get up at six or seven in the morning. Sure. So that’s my favorite part. And I don’t know. I like I’m not I like being with lots of different people and doing lots of different things. So for me, it’s ideal that, you know, each one of my clients is different. They each have a different product and or service or something. So that is probably my favorite part, just being doing something different, you know, every single day. Yeah, every couple of hours I’m doing something different. And I like that variety is fun and keeps it interesting.

 

Damon Schopen

And certainly about me to my clients are very different. Everyone’s a little different and there’s always something different new or to understand and figure out and learn. That’s fun.

 

Kim Kysely

Yeah, those are probably my two favorite parts of it.

 

Damon Schopen

What’s one piece of advice that you would give to someone who’s just starting out with a business,

 

Kim Kysely

get a good bookkeeper,

 

Damon Schopen

right? Really very true.

 

Kim Kysely

I have a real dear friend of mine just started her own business and it was pretty smooth getting her to start her own business. And she was she was she she took off running.

 

Kim Kysely

But if she wouldn’t have had somebody to help her like me or someone that understood what documents you needed, what what you needed to do, how you needed to do payroll, you know, get someone that knows what they’re doing to talk to in your field or as keeping track of the tax stuff.

 

Kim Kysely

You know, if you’re starting out real small and you’re only working, I don’t know, a couple of hours a month or something, that’s different. But if you’re going to go full, full speed ahead into a business, I would say get somebody that an accountant or a bookkeeper to help you get set up and structured because that’ll just save you a lot of headache.

 

Damon Schopen

Absolutely. Really down the road. Yeah.

 

Damon Schopen

And it’s hard when you’re starting. You’re trying to be so cost conscious. Right. But even just having a meeting and making sure you’re on the right track, you don’t have to hire someone to, like, reconcile your checking account  right away or enter everything into the accounting software. But just getting that advice and getting.

 

Kim Kysely

How do you structure your business? Do you do you do an S-Corp? Do you do  C-Corp? Do you do you do just an LLC, those kinds of things.

 

Kim Kysely

You really it really helps.

 

Kim Kysely

Absolutely. To get that going.

 

Kim Kysely

You know, another thing I guess would be, you know, just do you know the financial part is hard sometimes, so make sure that you can at least go the first couple of months, you know.

 

Kim Kysely

Yeah. Maybe without having any income. Right. Right.

 

Kim Kysely

Now, get yourself set up so you don’t fail right off the bat.

 

Damon Schopen

And it can take longer than you think I know with my business. Right. I thought a couple months I’ll be profitable. It’s the easy right. And it took quite a bit longer, you know. So luckily I had a lot of savings built up. And yes, set aside, for, you know, for that. But things often take longer than you think and unexpected things happen. So, yeah, I’m kind of be prepared for the worst and hope for the best.

 

Damon Schopen

Right. You know.

 

Kim Kysely

Exactly.

 

Damon Schopen

Because you hate to, like, burn out, like right before you’re about to just really take, like, you know, you are really close and give up so and so.

 

Kim Kysely

And sometimes you can do two things at once. You can do your regular job and then do your part time job and then build it into a full time job.

 

Kim Kysely

That’s that’s a that’s not a bad option at all.

 

Damon Schopen

 Oh, absolutely. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, I did too. Actually a little bit. I work nights and weekends on some projects first before taking the leap you know. Yeah that was good. At least I got some things going and had a starting point. Yeah, absolutely.

 

Damon Schopen

So yeah it doesn’t have to be a stop all here and start all there. You know you can transition and for sure you’re cool.

 

Kim Kysely

And last but not least, what is your favorite thing about FOCUS Coworking.

 

Kim Kysely

You know, I knew you were going to ask you this question and I was going to say the honey lotion in the bathroom was really, really nice.

 

Kim Kysely

Oh, honey, I don’t know. But my hands smell like honey, I guess my favorite thing. I love the location. I love that you can be in the center of town. I live out in the country on a farm. And so I’m in town and I in there’s just a lot of activity. It’s a beautiful space and you can just kind of come and go as you need it and and it’s reasonably priced and you can hold meetings here and you can it’s you know, it’s an office, but it’s kind of like it’s nicer than an office.

 

Damon Schopen

Yeah, it’s got Officemates Clubhouse meets, right? I don’t know. Yeah. And it’s fun. Yeah.

 

Kim Kysely

And before before last spring we were doing a lot of events and a lot of get get togethers and stuff like that. And that was nice to meet people. And we’ve met a lot of nice new people in town. Yeah. Not even members but members of the community. Absolutely. And built a lot of relationships with that.

 

Kim Kysely

So I do like that the community part and meeting a lot of new people.

 

Damon Schopen

Definitely.

 

Damon Schopen

Well, you don’t want to meet people.

 

Damon Schopen

You can you can you don’t have to be people. You have to meet people in the corner and do your thing and come and go as you please as well.

 

Kim Kysely

Yeah, it’s yeah. We had we had someone here who was a musician and that was kind of cool, but he was pretty to himself when he just kind of came in did his music thing and. Yeah.

 

Kim Kysely

And but it worked really well for him.

 

Damon Schopen

Absolutely. Absolutely. Oh cool. Thank you for your time. And again, this is one of our focus coworking members showcase videos. We’re going through all of our members and putting together a video so people can get to know them more and help promote our membership a little bit as well. So.

 

Kim Kysely

All right. All right.

 

Damon Schopen

All right. Thanks, Kim. Thanks. And have a great day.

 

 

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