How to run a flexible bookkeeping business

In this episode of The Bookkeepers’ Podcast, Zoe Whitman spoke to Emma James and Leah Crowfoot about building a flexible business.

When Leah Crowfoot started her business, she needed to work within school hours so she was able to look after her young family. When Emma James started her business, she was looking for a solution that gave her location-independent work, allowing her to travel with her partner while he worked overseas.

They’ve both gone on to build businesses that serve their own unique needs and which have changed as their needs from work have changed.

On this episode of The Bookkeepers Podcast we loved hearing from Emma and Leah as we discussed how to go about building a more flexible business, and whether it really is possible to run your business outside of the expected 9-5.

We think you’ll find this episode thought-provoking if you want to build a flexible business or if you just want to have some time out this summer without returning to a backlog of work. We covered:

  • Different needs for flexible working
  • How to create a flexible business
  • How to speak to your clients about flexible working hours
  • How to manage expectations from clients about being in the office
  • Being realistic with yourself about what you can achieve
  • Knowing what’s important for you as you build your own business
  • Managing your response times to clients
  • Setting boundaries with your clients
  • Whether running a flexible business loses you clients
  • Designing a business which is right for the future
  • How time blocking can help with structure
  • Bringing support in to give you more time


0:00 Introduction
0:57 About Emma James and the Number Ninja
2:05 The importance of flexible working for Emma
5:42 Achieving Location Independence
9:02 About Leah Crowfoot
12:55 Developing processes which allow flexible working
15:38 How to communicate with clients about flexible working hours
16:11 How to retrain your clients if you’ve slipped into habits which aren’t sustainable
18:55 How knowing your ideal client can help you design your business
21:48 Making choices now to design a flexible business for the future
23:00 Using time blocking
26:02 How to catch up when you take unexpected time off
29:12 When and how to bring support your business

About our guests

Connect with Emma James at

Connect with Leah Crowfoot at

About us

Join The 6 Figure Bookkeepers’ Club on Facebook at

Find out more about The 6 Figure Bookkeeper at

Watch the full podcast episode on YouTube or listen wherever you get your podcasts.

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