SUPPORTING STRATEGIES HELPED A STARTUP SPECIALIZING IN ONLINE ADVERTISING SALES MATURE INTO AN INDUSTRY SUCCESS STORY.
Since its founding in 2008, BuySellAds (BSA) has gone from a handful of sales to about 50,000 transactions a month. That's a lot to keep track of — which is why BSA relies on Supporting Strategies for outsourced bookkeeping and controller services.
Some of the best business ideas come from dissatisfied customers. That was the case with BSA founder Todd Garland. While working full time as a front-end engineer at HubSpot, Garland created a couple of design-oriented websites on the side. His frustration with the complicated process of buying and selling online ads inspired him to see if he could do a better job. The result, BSA, became what the website Foundora called "a game changer in online banner advertising."
A Taxing Startup Phase
After working nights and weekends to make his idea a reality, Garland completed his transition to independent entrepreneur upon launching BSA in 2008. Business grew slowly at first, as Garland reached out to friends, family and people he'd met through his professional network. He's essentially a matchmaker who helps advertisers connect with website publishers whose content is a good fit for the advertiser's product. "It's more like a sponsorship than a digital ad," Garland says. Both the advertiser and the publisher maintain a cash balance, with BSA receiving a cut of each transaction.
Within a year, the business had gained impressive traction and the customer base had grown beyond the friends-and-family stage. However, there was a price to be paid as significant money started coming in: "I realized I needed to do my taxes," Garland says. That would require gathering all of his financial records into a well-organized package that he could present to his accountant.
Having neither the bandwidth nor the desire to take on that job himself, Garland looked into outsourced bookkeeping services. Based on a recommendation, he contacted Supporting Strategies founder and CEO Leslie Jorgensen. More than a decade later, the relationship is still going strong — stronger, in fact, than ever.
Scaling for Success
"There's a reason I've been working with Supporting Strategies for over 10 years," Garland says. "We've gone from about three employees in 2008 to more than 50 now, and Supporting Strategies has been able to grow right along with us. The people on their team almost feel like an extension of our team. They get what we need done on time. They're always reliable, and the suite of services they offer clients has expanded dramatically over time."
BSA now conducts some 50,000 transactions a month, which they document with a custom system that the company designed. Supporting Strategies accesses that system remotely to conduct the monthly close, flagging variances, noting trends and proactively identifying missing or incomplete information.
And Supporting Strategies is still instrumental in helping BSA prepare for tax time. "They interface with our accountants for any sort of audits or accounting reviews that we've done," Garland says. "They've done an incredible amount of work to make sure that people understand all of our finances. They make every problem just go away."
They've done an incredible amount of work to make sure that people understand all of our finances. They make every problem just go away."
Building Beyond BSA
Since launching BSA, Garland has continued his innovative approach to online ad sales and publishing. He now owns several other businesses, including Digg, a social news site that he acquired in 2018. He's enlisted Supporting Strategies to help with those additional companies for services including payroll management and cutting checks for vendor invoices. "That's a testament to how helpful they've been," Garland says.
A visionary entrepreneur who founded a successful business based on a better way of selling online ads, Todd Garland has found the ideal partner for bookkeeping and controller services in Supporting Strategies.