Talking money – Interview with Sheree Rubinstein [one roof founder]

A bit about myself…

I began my career in corporate law. When I discovered the stark gender gaps in business, entrepreneurship and leadership, I became passionate and determined to change the numbers. I dived head first into the world of entrepreneurship and founded One Roof which has quickly become Australia’s leading co-working space dedicated to women-led businesses.
I love what I do. Every single day I work to create an environment that gives women the greatest chances of succeeding in business. I am on a mission to be the driving force that puts Australia on the map as the best place in the world to be a female entrepreneur.

When I am not pursuing this mission (which I am doing most of the time) I love camping (I recently went camping Kakadu for a week and saw some of the best waterfalls I have ever seen), hiking, walking, the beach, travel, markets and festivals, playing cards and games (I play rummy tiles with my grandma most Saturdays), drinking really good coffee, cooking with friends, and spending time in Byron Bay and surrounding areas.

I run a business called One-Roof. Here is what motivated me to start it.

Early on in my corporate career I discovered a lack of women in positions of leadership and a lack of successful female role models to help me navigating my own career trajectory and uncertainties. I became passionate and determined to change the numbers and support women to thrive and succeed in business.

I began hosting networking events and focus groups, brining women together to ask them what they feel are the barriers holding them back from succeeding in business. Time and time again I heard they lacked the confidence, networks, mentors and funding. They didn’t know where to go or where to start.

Through garnering this insight I came up with the concept of physical hub that provides everything women need to succeed in business all under one roof. At the time I didn’t know much about the concept of Co-working and with no funding I knew I needed to test and validate my concept. So I rented a beautiful two story Airbnb home in St Kilda. And for one week turned this home into a pop up co-working space. I curated and programmed the week so that every morning we held a meditation session, a meet and greet during lunchtime, an afternoon workshop with an expert and an event every evening on topics ranging from how to start a business to capital raising.

In one week 400 people came through the One Roof doors and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. I knew I was on to something! Since then One Roof has become Australia’s leading coworking and community hub dedicated to women-led businesses. Since opening in Southbank nearly two and a half years ago One Roof is now home to 85 businesses including small businesses and high growth tech startups ranging in industries from HealthTech, FinTech, Recruitment, Blockchain, Marketing and Social Media, Cyber Security and Artificial Intelligence. We have an event space that hosts on average four events per week and has been recognised as the go-to space for events¬† focused on women. Much more than a co-working space One Roof provides everything women need to succeed in business all under One Roof. This includes events, workshops, free consultations with experts and a curated incubator program that suits the needs of every business. One Roof is on mission to make Australia the best place in the world to be a female entrepreneur!

When making decisions with my money for One Roof

I spend a lot of time analysing the numbers, cash flow, P/L and whether we have hit our targets each month. I have two virtual assistants who support One Roof with bookkeeping, BAS, tax returns, payroll and financial advice. Every month we have a long finance meeting to go through our budget, forecasts, actuals and expenses. We compare to previous months and previous years. This then helps us analyse what we can afford for the next month.

Here are my “must do’s” when it comes to making decisions with your money for your business:

Know your financials inside out. If you need help or need to outsource this, then do so!

Budgets, forecasts and targets are really important and then taking the time to compare actuals

Pay yourself a wage as early on in the business as you can and don’t pay your staff without
paying yourself.

Pay yourself super!

Know that making money is crucial to the success of your business. No matter how passionate
you are about what you do.

Get a good accountant / financial advisor

… and my top “don’t do’s”

Don’t sit on your tax returns and let it build up for years

Don’t underestimate the importance of paying yourself

Don’t leave your financial situation for your partner or somebody else to deal with

Don’t think you are alone. There are plenty of people / experts who can assist!

Don’t pay a lot of money to an expert without finding out their credentials, getting referrals and
asking around as to whether their pricing is reasonable

Here’s a story about when I recently made a decision with my money

Making the decision to give myself a pay rise. I had been focusing on paying my staff and building up the business more than my own financial situation. I work 24/7 on building One Roof and I realised just how important it is to work towards getting the business to a financial position to pay myself accordingly.

I didn’t pay myself a wage for the first year and half and, of course, hadn’t been paying any Super either. I realised the importance of taking myself and my business seriously. Not just paying myself but paying myself a wage commensurate to my work was a big turning point for me. It can put strain on the business but also encourage everyone to work hard to make it successful.

F-Empowered to me means financial independence, choice and self worth.