I could not have done this without LivePlan or LivePlan Advisory.

When barber Kristen Fischer started cutting hair and giving shaves at downtown Eugene's Analog Barbershop, she already had her eye on the future.

“A friend reminded me that after I first started barbering, I told them I was going to own my own barbershop,” says Kristen.

However, when COVID-19 shut down businesses such as barbershops in 2020, Kristen switched focus to being at home full-time with her 10-year-old daughter. Running her own shop stayed on her mind though: If a local barbershop became available, Kristen would check it out. A week before returning to Analog in early 2021, Kristen even discovered that she had just missed another local barbershop getting sold.

Shortly after Kristen resumed barbering at Analog, the owner confided that he was interested in selling the business. He thought Kristen just might be the perfect successor. After a few weeks of discussion and planning, Kristen took over ownership of Analog.

With a bold vision for her barbershop and several changes in mind, Kristen was looking for a better way to organize and implement her ideas.
With a bold vision for her barbershop and several changes in mind, Kristen was looking for a better way to organize and implement her ideas.

The challenges of rebuilding a business amidst a pandemic

With room for up to 11 barbers working at Analog, and the potential for equipment improvements, training, product sales, Kristen saw lots of opportunities to grow Analog's business and profits. She also knew Analog could expand its already broad community appeal by making the most out of the shop's 2,800 square-foot space.

“We want to be that late-night barbershop again, so people can come in, get their haircut and relax before that night on the town,” explains Kristen. “Or if you're a businessperson downtown, you can come down real quick and get a haircut and straight-razor shave.”

The challenge, though, was figuring out how to organize and implement her ideas.

“And it clicked. I needed something I could look at that had all my financials, thoughts, and ideas, organized in one place. That answer was LivePlan.”

“I saw things we could change so the shop could run smoother,” says Kristen. “I thought I would be good at getting those things done. I just wasn't sure when.”

At the same time, Kristen had to find her feet as a business owner, all in the midst of the uncertainties wrought by the COVID pandemic. Chaos, worry, and disorganization were making it hard to figure out what needed to get done each day. Plus, it was hard to track what path the business would be on.

“I had all these notebooks, full of handwritten ideas,” explains Kristen. “Everything was super unorganized. It was so scary. What would I tackle first? How would things come into play? I was all by myself. It was overwhelming.”

Finding her footing as a business owner was even more uncertain amidst a pandemic. Kristen had plenty of ideas but needed a better way to organize them and decide what to tackle first.
Finding her footing as a business owner was even more uncertain amidst a pandemic. Kristen had plenty of ideas but needed a better way to organize them and decide what to tackle first.

Organizing business ideas in LivePlan and finding focus through a LivePlan Advisor

Then, one day, LivePlan advisor Peter Gregory happened to come into Analog for a haircut.

“While I was cutting Peter's hair, he started talking about LivePlan,” Kristen recollects. “And it clicked. I needed something I could look at that had all my financials, thoughts, and ideas, organized in one place. That answer was LivePlan.”

“LivePlan gave me the confidence to do this. When you're unorganized, your chance of failure goes up because of the stress it brings. Having LivePlan to look at helps you succeed.”

A long-time business advisor, Peter began working with Kristen in LivePlan to develop financial forecasts and organize her short and long-term plans for Analog.

“LivePlan gave me the confidence to do this,” says Kristen. “It's really nice to look at something, look at the numbers, and see how many barbers I need to have onboard to do certain things, such as adding equipment or investing toward retirement. When you're unorganized, your chance of failure goes up because of the stress it brings. Having LivePlan to look at helps you succeed.”

Through Peter's guidance, Kristen also began to identify the link between how Analog performed, and what that meant for Kristen's own personal and business goals.

“We go beyond what an advisor would do,” explains Peter. “Everyone has a human piece that needs to be addressed too. It's not the numbers. It's their personal motivations. I help pull that out of them, and they can put those motivations into the plan.”

With guidance from a LivePlan advisor, Kristen was able to identify links between performance and her own personal and business goals.
With guidance from a LivePlan advisor, Kristen was able to identify links between performance and her own personal and business goals.

From forecasting in LivePlan to implementing tasks day-to-day

Once Kristen and Peter could review her business ideas inside of LivePlan, they could decide what to implement, when to get underway, and how each improvement could benefit Analog's financials.

For example, Kristen determined the shop needed a new shampoo bin. She made a plan for budgeting and evaluating the right equipment, and then made the purchase. By reviewing her forecasts and business plan inside LivePlan, she could also determine when to do the installation. However, doing the installation meant she wouldn't be available for revenue-generating services, like haircuts and shaves.

“Everything is strategically planned out, so no matter what I do, I can see the impact of any move I make.”

“I showed her on Analog’s forecast which day wouldn’t hurt her in any way,” says Peter, and Kristen made the time to get the shampoo bin up and running.

After checking LivePlan, she's planned out when to add more new equipment—and the results are paying off.

“We did the first plan, but that's been revised twice in three months,” says Peter, “because we were able to accelerate her plan.”

Keeping an easy-to-update forecast has been key to Kristen adjusting to business changes or pandemic-related uncertainties. She and Peter review past performance and can nimbly adjust the forecast so Kristen can maintain a clear view of Analog's current course.

With an easy-to-update financial forecast and a clear plan in place—Kristen can easily make adjustments and focus on providing a unique atmosphere and excellent customer experience.
With an easy-to-update financial forecast and a clear plan in place—Kristen can easily make adjustments and focus on providing a unique atmosphere and excellent customer experience.

Making time for family by letting LivePlan run the numbers

Not only does Kristen run a business, but she’s also a parent.

“I have two jobs that never end,” she says.

Initially, Kristen found herself bringing lots of work home and having less time to spend with her daughter. “Small business owners such as Kristen have to be their own CEO, CFO, and CMO,” explains Peter. Many small business owners can find these demanding, ongoing tasks overwhelming and time-consuming: “It's the sort of work that keeps on going, long after the shop has closed for the day.”

“Peter told me this is a marathon, not a race,” says Kristen. “I like to shoot from the hip. I want to get everything done right now. But he was right. I have to focus on that day, then get to the next.”

“LivePlan helps me balance and be less stressed, I don't have to go home and crunch numbers. LivePlan does that for me, so I can spend more time with my daughter.”

Once she began using LivePlan and working with Peter, Kristen noticed a shift in how she was using her time.

“LivePlan helps me balance and be less stressed,” she explains. “I don't have to go home and crunch numbers. LivePlan does that for me, so I can spend more time with my daughter. My mind is with her, not thinking about my business all the time.”

It's the sort of balance entrepreneurs can gain when they have the right tools working for them.

“Through Liveplan,” says Peter, “she now has the ability to be her own CFO.”

With LivePlan, Kristen is able to spend less time crunching numbers and more time with her family. She has found a balance with the right tools, giving her the ability to be her own CFO.
With LivePlan, Kristen is able to spend less time crunching numbers and more time with her family. She has found a balance with the right tools, giving her the ability to be her own CFO.

Growing the business by strategizing in LivePlan

As Peter watches Kristen work each day at Analog, he also realizes how much she's grown and changed since taking over ownership of the business.

“She started out more scared, not organized,” says Peter. “In two months, she has become a sophisticated business owner.”

Now that the barbershop is moving out of pandemic-related restrictions and resuming somewhat normal operations, Kristen is leveraging LivePlan so Analog can thrive again.

“Everyone has a human piece that needs to be addressed too. It's not the numbers. It's their personal motivations. I help pull that out of them, and they can put those motivations into the plan.”

Located in downtown Eugene, Analog is a natural stop for anyone from businesspeople to university students. That broad appeal isn't an accident. Under both the prior ownership and under Kristen’s ownership, Analog has always been more than just a barbershop. It's a calm oasis for someone's hectic day.

“It's not just about the haircut. It's a place where you can talk about your day,” explains Kristen. “You can have a beer, relax, and be pampered for a bit. Shut off your mind if you want, or if you don't, talk about your problems and have someone listen.”

With that ethos in mind, Kristen is reviewing her forecasts and ideas in LivePlan. Now she can decide what improvements to implement next, such as offering ongoing training for Analog barbers, attracting new talent to become part of the shop, offering high-end barbering products for sale—even bringing back late-night live music.

“Analog has always been known for its music,” says Kristen. “We're eventually going to have DJs at night again, spinning music while people get their haircuts.”

LivePlan helps Kristen decide what to implement next—whether it's providing training for staff, attracting new talent, or expanding her shop's offerings.
LivePlan helps Kristen decide what to implement next—whether it's providing training for staff, attracting new talent, or expanding her shop's offerings.

Viewing different business scenarios and bottom-line projections in LivePlan

For Kristen, LivePlan has shown the different ways she can visualize the long-term growth of her business, based on different scenarios.

“In LivePlan, Peter walked me through graphs of how Analog could look with one barber, two, three, four, and so on and so on,” explains Kristen. “We could examine a graph that breaks down barbers, hair product sales, haircuts, beard trims. If we're off, it shows us the areas where we're off.”

Today, along with meeting Peter every other week, Kristen reviews LivePlan at least once a month, and often on a weekly basis. Together, Kristen and Peter review tasks and financials. Peter can go over the financials with Kristen, such as examining cash flow.

“You have to create a level of trust beyond the owner and advisor. I've got your back. That's the number one thing an advisor has to do. That trust is so important.”

“The way that focus develops,” says Peter, “you have to create a level of trust beyond the owner and advisor. I've got your back. That's the number one thing an advisor has to do. That trust is so important.”

LivePlan's forecasting tools help Kristen determine the impact of different decisions on the business. She can evaluate anything, such as compensation, headcount, and equipment procurement. Along with reviewing one or two forecasting scenarios, Kristen uses LivePlan to specify expenses as a percent of revenue, as well as set Cash Assumptions for AR and AP terms. As she continues to evolve her accounting, she and Peter will fine-tune forecasts in LivePlan so she can more tactically feel out potential scenarios along with her actual numbers.

“Everything is strategically planned out, so no matter what I do, I can see the impact of any move I make,” explains Kristen. “Through LivePlan, I can look into the future and see where I'm going to be. It's wonderful.”

Strategic, organized, and confident about the future of Analog, Kristen now fine-tunes forecasts in LivePlan to prepare for potential scenarios and stay on top of her actual numbers.
Strategic, organized, and confident about the future of Analog, Kristen now fine-tunes forecasts in LivePlan to prepare for potential scenarios and stay on top of her actual numbers.

From chaotic and messy, to strategic and organized

While Kristen can leverage LivePlan and LivePlan Advisory to help her focus on each day's tasks and projects, she's also used LivePlan to show her where she wants Analog to go. In a year, she expects Analog to once again be “filled with clients, filled with barbers who are educated, the best in town.”

And yes, there will be music too.

“We'll be known as one of the best barbershops in Eugene, if not the best. When people come to town, they will say they want to come to Analog to get their haircut or shave done,” says Kristen. “They'll say this barbershop took a hit during the pandemic, but now it's back.”

“LivePlan made the plan strategic and organized. It helped me see that I was going to be successful at this.”

When Kristen thinks back to when she first took over Analog, the differences between then and now are clear.

“It was a very chaotic and messy time, but LivePlan made the plan strategic and organized,” she says. “It helped me see that I was going to be successful at this. LivePlan has helped me 110%. I could not have done this without LivePlan or LivePlan Advisory. It's been the smartest thing I've ever done.”


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Analog Barbershop

Kristen uses LivePlan's planning and forecasting tools to refine her focus and strategy for her barbershop. What will you do?

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