Updated: Jun 28, 2020
Do you have the entrepreneurial spirit of opening a business but have the faintest idea of where to begin? For anyone brimming with hopes and dreams of pursuing a ‘passion’ and turning into a business, it’s important that you seek advice and perspective from an outside expert source. Meet Bill Kelley. When it comes to implementing and developing a strong business plan, while understanding operational requirements and assessing small business risk, Bill Kelley is your guy.
Bill’s broad knowledge and diverse background will apply to any industry field. He will draw from all your ideas and aspirations, guiding you on how to open a lucrative and prosperous small business. Everything from property management to hospitality and customer service, Bill works closely with you, establishing organized operations, management, marketing, and plans for how to grow your business.
The foundation of Bill’s long and successful business career began when he was a young serviceman in the US Navy where he drew upon his natural instincts for meaningful organization, working with teams, setting goals, applying discipline and building leadership to achieve those goals. During his military experience, Bill quickly exceeded all his commanders’ expectations and swiftly rose through the ranks of military service. After impressing his leaders with his mature contributions and instinctive leadership skills, Bill easily transferred all that he learned in the military into the world of public business.
Now, in 2020 as part of the Peridot Consulting Team, what exactly is Bill Kelley helping clients with right now?
Bill says, ‘Currently, we’re doing a lot of possibilities thinking and listening to the concerns and needs of local business owners.” Bill is spending a lot of time being supportive and being a good listener. The world today is unchartered territory, so there’s a lot of questions about how business can adjust to all the changes. Exploring all the options for how to remain in business.
There’s a lot of pivoting and restructuring that is going to have to happen quickly, so we’re researching trends, paying attention to what other companies are doing and deprogramming the way business has been operating in the past. The climate is nerve-racking and tense but when we all stick to our guns and support each other, we are empathetic to one another’s needs then we can get through anything together.
What challenges are you facing in doing this for each client?
Bill’s guidance and seriously good advice for developing a business plan will get you on your feet and lead you down the path to success. But, it takes a lot of hard work. It’s detail-oriented, downright tedious and not what most people expect. One common mistake Bill notices quite often is - 90% of small business entrepreneurs who’ve opened a business based solely on a hobby or passion, quickly realize they have zero knowledge about business operations. This is Bill’s passion. He loves to dive into the financial, operational, and management aspects of any business and he takes pride in understanding where the problems are arising and how to fix them.
What’s the most important part of your daily routine?
Bill is obviously detail-oriented and a master of organization, so it’s no surprise that he has a strict regimen that he applies to his daily routine, and it’s important to him. Some of the things most important for his clients include:
Educating clients to the best of his ability
Encouraging his clients to be more business-minded with numbers and forecasting costs
One of Bill’s main goals is to help business owners with payroll and employee management, is to get them to understand the benefit of their emotional connection to the company
Helping clients with revenue management. Numbers, numbers, and more numbers...
What is the most common question you are asked by clients?
With the state of everything that’s happening right now, business clients are at a loss. So, obviously the most common question right now is, “What now?” Bill knows deep down that as heartbreaking as things are for company owners right now, it’s important to remain positive and supportive throughout every aspect of this situation.
What's Bill’s advice? Focus on the things you can control.
How do you balance life and work? Working remotely. Is it a challenge?
It's not really a challenge. I’m a master of my calendar. Time management, setting intentions and being mindful of the tasks that arise so that I can make space for the things I enjoy. Travel, one of my and my wife’s favorite things to do can’t happen right now, so that’s a challenge.
Having a daily routine that you stick to, manage your time well and you’ll be successful in balancing life’s work and life’s enjoyments.
What do you love most about your work?
Bill feels most blessed about being allowed to do the work he’s skilled at handling and the work he adores. The rewards always outweigh the work because there’s nothing more gratifying than bringing a struggling business out of the chaos of disorganization and misguidance. Turning things around for a struggling business owner in completely fulfilling.
How did you first decide to become an accountant, business leader/developer, financial expert?
The seeds for Bill’s career were planted at a young age as an altar boy in his beloved church which set the stage for his advancement in the military leading him down the path to business leader and development strategist. As an altar boy, he realized something about himself. Something within him that a lot of people don’t notice about themselves for a long time. How much he cares for others.
During his time as an altar boy, Bill noticed how much he loved helping his church leaders preparing for the crowds of churchgoers. He took pride in the work that he did for the church and noticed how happy it made him. There was inspiration. The desire to help others in any way he could.
Do you see that you are making a difference in the world?
An unpretentious Bill says, “I think so.” “Yes.” Because Bill doesn’t really see it that way for himself. He is humble and extremely grateful for all his blessings, he knows it’s not about him. It’s about the bigger picture of doing what’s right and doing what’s necessary to make the world a better place for everyone. It’s that simple.
What advice would you give to anyone struggling with their finances?
Previously in his career here in Asheville, Bill moved up the ranks at the well-known Grove Park Inn where he started at the bottom then through the years worked his way to being an important leader in the Grove Park family. He became known for “Billisms.” What are "billisms?" Short, one-liner concepts and ideas - how to make sense of something bigger. Here’s one for example, “If you always do what you’ve always done, then you’ll always get what you got.” His co-workers and staff loved this about him. Bill is capable of turning big concepts into small sentences, making them so that anyone can understand them. Learn from your failures, turn them into successes and triumphs.
Pick another Peridot consultant and compliment something that they do for peridot and what they bring to the team.
Although everyone at Peridot is completely wonderful, Bill has a soft heart for John Michael Kledis, Peridot’s founder and head tax consultant. Throughout the years, Bill has always been impressed with John Michael, with his work and his general attitude towards life. He recognizes humility and determination to always do the right thing.
How do you spend your free time?
I graciously spend a lot of time with my life partner and helpmate, my wife. We often enjoy date nights in Asheville, we love to travel together and we run together. She is an accomplished marathon runner while I am more of a 5k runner but, we love and support each other through the whole process of training. We’re devoted to the sport of running.
She and Bill are also very intentional in their relationship, everything from planning fun travel to having business meetings about where their future lies. Each year on their anniversary, they set aside time to discuss and plan their goals for life and finances which is something Bill believes would benefit a lot of other couples. It takes hard work and great communication to keep the spark alive and evolving.
What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
One thing many might be surprised to know about Bill is his dedication and admiration for horses. For 60 years, Bill has been a student of horses, absorbing everything from their communication style and how to read their bodily cues. He has also rehabilitated and rescued horses that have suffered deeply from past abuse and trauma. It takes patience, understanding and never-ending persistence to work with traumatized horses but once you’ve witnessed their growth from the pain, there’s nothing like it in the world.
Bill knows that horses are highly intelligent animals that have the ability to teach us so much about life and about ourselves. Bill is also passionate about the healing art of equine therapy for humans because of the spiritual connection a person can establish with these gentle giants.
Another thing you may not expect to know about Bill? He still, to this day, gets nervous when he has to do any kind of public speaking. If you’ve ever seen Bill speak, you would never know this about him. He is a natural-born leader.