Jul 26, 2020
In this episode, I interview
Christina Bellis, the CEO of Thankyou Payroll. The company was
founded in 2010 and to date they’ve processed over two billion pays
or 3.5 million payslips to charities and small businesses in New
Zealand. From NZD7,000 in year one to now NZD2.7 Million in annual
sales, they are profitable and just paid their first
They are one of the first social
enterprises/businesses that raised funds through equity
crowdfunding in New Zealand to do so. By their separate charitable
trust they have donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to
communities in Dunedin, Wellington, and Christchurch, and have a
genius way to pick the next grant recipients. They provide these
services to registered charities for free, saving them over one
million dollars over the decade. And if that wasn’t socially and
purpose driven enough, they are carbon positive.
The business took off in 2013
when the first CEO started, adding 192 customers that year, 3,000
the following year, then since financial year 2015, more than
doubling every year. Christina started as CEO in 2015 and grew the
business from 5 full-time employees to now 18.5.
They have a board of five
directors and they’re all female. Funding has been through cash
flow, a small overdraft, and in 2017, an equity crowdfundraising of
NZD500,000, and picking up 165 shareholders who are brand
ambassadors. She believes the hardest thing in growing a small
business is managing work-life balance. The advice she would give
herself on day one is, “Stay true to your vision. There's a lot of
noise out there, so keep focus on your own track” Stay tuned for
more on her small business growth journey. Enjoy!
This Cast Covers:
- Thankyou Payroll: A company that offers crowd
based payroll intermediary services.
- Running a charitable trust, an exciting
innovative way to give out grants and minimizing the hoops people
need to jump through.
- Building community resilience and strengthening
connections through charitable trusts.
- Growing from a 7000 turnover in year one to 2.7
million turnover over a period of ten years.
- Adopting a purpose driven approach to business
by using a product or service to do good and make a positive impact
on the world.
the first crowdfunded entity to return a dividend in New
- Equity crowdfunding and giving the community an
opportunity to take part in a purpose driven business.
crowdfunding as a good marketing opportunity and how they raised
NZD 500,000 from 165 shareholders through it.
you need to know when thinking about using crowdfunding as a way to
fundraise and grow.
- Advantages of having employees with trained
skills and working capacity in more than one aspect of the
- Adapting to change and having an “I Can Do It”
attitude in business.
- Managing people, making them feel valued and
keeping their spirits up when running a small business.
- Mentoring management teams, building
capabilities and inspiring change.
- Creating a to do list, breaking it into bigger
tasks and smaller tasks to help you in managing your time and
- Creating a team of people that fits perfectly
into your business as they are both your biggest asset and your
transparent on the big picture, adapting an open door policy for
your team, and showing them that their contributions are
value of being open to feedback and learning how to process
- Managing a team that’s spread out across
- Constantly learning by investing in different
forms of professional development.
- Having a female only board of five directors
with expertise across a number of areas.
difficulties in managing work-life balance when one is a small
Music from https://filmmusic.io
"Cold Funk" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com). License: CC