In what has been a sea of doom and gloom for many small and medium-sized businesses during the COVID-19 period, Sam Miller and his Alexilum organisation have been somewhat of a bright light.
While primarily a bookkeeping service, under which part of the business is marketed as Tradies Books, Alexilum has evolved into a much more holistic service with a major focus on mental health needs of business owners.
Networkcafe.com.au was established in an effort to create a network for small to medium-sized businesses associated with the motorsport or automotive industries that could be negatively affected as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tradies Books was one of the first members of Networkcafe.com.au and invested $500 to become a Featured Member.
Miller was born and bred in Brisbane and worked in a range of industries before establishing his company Alexilum three years ago.
After spending his entire career working for small to medium-sized businesses, Miller knew what was missing and wanted to create something that addressed that.
“The biggest thing for small business owners is that there is no support for them,” Miller told Networkcafe.com.au
“They are expected to be the Marketing Manager, Finance Manager, HR Manager and everything else in between.
“That type of pressure does affect their mental health and that’s why we have made that a key focus of our business.”
The environment created by COVID-19 has developed a whole new wave of financial and structural pressures which Miller is seeing through his client list every day.
“There is one email that really struck me the hardest,” Miller continued.
“All it said was ‘I don’t know what to do’.
“It was from a business owner in NSW who was forced to shut down because of COVID and they were simply lost on how to handle the situation.
“I jumped straight on the phone and we worked our way through the situation to give them some relief.”
Sadly, stories like that have been common through the CODID period, according to Miller.
“The uncertainty of COVID has been the biggest thing,” said Miller.
“Not just the uncertainty of what the future holds, but of the government relief and the benefits that have been available. None of it has been simple.
“Our job is to bring some clarity to the individual situations and ultimately provide solutions.”
Alexilum Bookkeeping specialises in partnering with family businesses including sole traders and partnerships. Tradies Books was then created to provide no nonsense services specially for tradies in all industries at a fixed monthly rate.
Alexilum also provides other supporting services such as mentoring, payroll, BAS and compliance to compliment their core bookkeeping offering.
Alexilum and Tradies Books is very active in the online space and services businesses from Cairns in Queensland’s North to Ballarat in Victoria from their Brisbane base.
Miller is a long-time motorsport fan and attends at least one Supercars event in person each year and has rarely missed a televised race over the last 20-odd years.
“I am a motorsport fan and a regular reader of Speedcafe.com which is how I obviously became aware of Networkcafe.com.au and what it had to offer,” said Miller.
“To me $500 to become a Featured Member was cheap, so I am not sure how any small business would not want to take up the free membership option.
“I think Networkcafe.com.au is a great initiative and has really helped connect many like-minded business owners through what has been a pretty tough period.”