Today marks the fifth anniversary of when I hung my shingle and started Hunzinger Accounting & Financial Solutions. I’ve worked hard these last years and had my fair share of growing pains, but also lots of laughs and good times.
Many words come to mind when I reflect on these past five years. They are: Shameless, Referrals, Help, Control and Thankful.
When I started out five years ago, I promoted myself in every way possible: advertisements in the paper, forcing introductions at any outing (#awkwardness), and doing everything and anything I could to get noticed and ensure that everyone knew that I was a CPA looking for clients. I cringe when I think about it now, but I had a mortgage to pay and mouths to feed so I did what ever it took to get my business off the ground.
I spent a lot of money on advertising when I first started. An argument could be made that this helped grow my ‘brand’ and spread awareness, but I didn’t see any direct results from the advertising so it’s tough to assign a true return on investment. What did work? Referrals! I got referrals from many different sources: old friends, past co-workers, people who had done work at my house, neighbors…you name it. Bottom line: all the advertising in the world can’t beat a good referral. Networking and a referral from someone who trusts you is key to success.
I am so lucky to have had help from so many talented people. The expertise of family and friends went into every aspect of the business from coming up with the name, the logo and the website to actually securing clients. Without the generosity of those that gave their time, ideas and efforts there is no way the business would be where it is today.
While I don’t consider myself a control freak, I love steering the ship and having my hands in everything. It was really difficult when I first hired people and had to trust that they would not only do the work, but do it to my satisfaction and the satisfaction of my clients. I am so lucky to have found a talented and trustworthy team to help grow the business.
I am so thankful to my wife, my family, my friends, my co-workers, my colleagues, and, certainly not least, to my clients.
In summary, be (a little) shameless, get referrals, ask for help, lose (a little) control and be thankful.