Chris found that it has been a huge challenge going from education into setting up a non-profit business, with learning many skills, such as setting up a website and accounting from scratch. With no financial background, Chris was also tasked with finding board members and registering charitable status, all of which was a huge learning curve. But Chris had the vision and believed 100% that it would work.
As a charity, House of Science relies on a mixture of grants and business sponsorship as well as a small contribution from schools to cover its costs. Chris and her team use Xero to provide transparency in their financial accounting processes. “The finance side through Xero has been absolutely fantastic to use for non-accountants like me, so that was a huge help. It’s very affordable, and the power of being able to report to our grantors and sponsors in a really professional and easy way has been key.”
“None of us have experience in manufacturing or sales – we’re all scientists or educators,” Chris explains. As House of Science has grown, they needed help managing operations and have recently started using TidyEnterprise. They can now track everything from research projects and staff resources to stock levels and ordering, as well as what’s needed to create or re-stock resources, kit distribution and return. Because House of Science is a charitable trust, Tidy provides access to cloud-based software at a low cost through its TidyGiving initiative.
Tidy is both a local and international company, also being based in Tauranga, about 5km away from Chris’ office and was recommended to her by one of her board members. TidyEnterprise is exactly what Chris and her team needed, with it being easy to use, user friendly and extremely generous to non-profit businesses.
Day to day this meant that House of Science can spend less time on admin and more time creating new science kits to reach even more primary schools in New Zealand. TidyEnterprise allows Chris and her team to clearly see what stock levels are, without the need for overstocked shelves; it also allows Chris to see what’s on the go, who is working on it and where too much time is being spent.