NoFo Brew Co was founded by three friends with a passion for craft beer, craft spirits and a perpetual craving for adventure. They’ve traveled the world and wanted to bring the adventure to their hometown of Cumming, Georgia.
NoFo Brew Co is a unique environment centered around great craft beer and hand-crafted spirits where new ideas and friendships are brewed.
“I’ve been a BELAY customer off and on for a number of years with different businesses I’ve been involved with,” Joe says. “[We] just knew right out of the gate when we were starting this business that we would want to work with BELAY specifically on the bookkeeping and executive assistant side.”
“We added the web component not too long after, and we’ve been big fans and customers for a long time.”
BELAY Bookkeeper Amanda Wiltse, Virtual Assistant Amanda Bolton, and Website Specialist Joshua Rystedt are all part of Joe’s team.
“We started with bookkeeping because when you start a small business, you can’t afford to hire a bookkeeper internally,” Joe explains. “We got paired with an incredible rock star in Amanda [Wiltse].”
“She’s never seen our business, she’s never been here, but she’s been phenomenal and super instrumental in our business for payroll and bookkeeping. We love her.”
“Pretty quickly after, we added the executive assistant piece for me and to help with some things around the brewery.”
“And then, the web piece was the final bit. With a small business, we don’t have a dedicated IT department or anything like that. So having somebody that can help us make some small updates and changes and keep everything from crashing is very much needed.”
Because of Joe’s experience of being a BELAY client before through other businesses, he had an added bonus to knowing and understanding the process of working well with his contractors.
“While you want to snap your fingers day one and have somebody fully integrated into your business, it’s just not possible,” Joe admits.
“Being patient and leaning in to ask questions of those contractors will help you to gain their perspective in order for you to work more intelligently.”
Each of Joe’s contractors help him and the business in vastly different ways.
His bookkeeper, Amanda Wiltse, produces financial reports and balance sheets, processes payroll, lists onboarding documentation for new hires, and manages accounts payable.
His executive assistant, Amanda Bolton, was able to jump in and ask about Joe’s typical day in order to figure out some of his tasks she could take off his plate.
She manages his calendar, email, travel, communication with people wanting to schedule meetings, and coordinates times with candidates for interviews.
“I’m easily getting 10-plus hours a week back to focus on other things that help move the business forward.”
His website specialist, Joshua, manages their Wordpress site by keeping information up to date and the security level high. He also makes small changes as needed to add features and functionality, as well as new integrations, such as Shopify.
“BELAY only hires the best of the best,” Joe says. “You know that they are highly trustworthy, vetted individuals.”
“The greatest barrier of trust was probably more with me and just letting go,” Joe admits. “I’m a very particular person, and I have very high standards, especially in the areas of communication.”
“Having someone communicate on my behalf or read an email and answer it as if they were me took a little while, but that was really more me letting go and then just helping craft the language to say, ‘Hey, here’s how I would respond.’
“It’s easier for me to just do it myself, but then what’s the point of paying for a service like this? So you really just have to educate, take the time to pause and explain what you’re offloading, and point to the result you’re looking for.”
With Joe utilizing contractors in three of BELAY’s four service lines, there has been a unique advantage to what he has been able to accomplish with them as a team.
“It has multiplied my efforts fivefold in terms of what I’ve been able to accomplish,” Joe says. “I’ve gained time back in my week to work on the most important things that move the business forward as opposed to the administrative tasks.”
“The hours I get back in a week are spent focusing on doing things that move the business forward in terms of generating revenue and opportunity for the business and then investing back in the business by spending time with my team and thinking about the business strategically.”
“As a CEO, you should be a year to 18 months ahead of the business. Well, if your inbox has 500 emails in it, how do you take any strategic time to think? Being able to do that has been tremendous.”
As for what is next for NoFo Brew Co, Joe is looking forward to continuing to utilize and learn from his contractors.
“Our business is in a season of growth, so [I’m looking forward to] leaning into their respective expertise to help me work differently as we grow and scale our business,” Joe says.
“We’ve had all of our contractors for about three years because we had them before we opened to the public. And so they’ve worked with me for that long so far. Now that I know where we’re headed and I’m able to cast a vision for that, I'm asking them how they can partner with me as we move into this time of growth.”
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