Today marks the third anniversary of Hunzinger Accounting & Financial Solutions. We opened our doors on October 5, 2009 and looking back I can honestly say I’ve learned a lot… about small businesses, myself and people in general. Three lessons particularly stand out for me.
1. Me, me, me, me, me, me, me. You need to toot your own horn.
A business cliché that really resonates with me is “Success always comes when preparation meets opportunity.” When I first decided to launch my business, I spent weeks and weeks learning about local small businesses, my competition, who I should reach out to, what differentiates my firm and how should I communicate that difference to others. I began attending networking meetings and, in spite of my stage fright, I gave speeches at several of them. I made sure that everyone I met knew who I was and what I did. As the New York Lottery slogan says “You gotta be in it to win it” and I made sure everyone knew that I was in it.
2. Most people are genuinely good.
I am proud to say that we are moving into year 3 with well over 100 clients. It’s so easy to watch the evening news and come away from it expecting the worse out of mankind. But the reality is that most people are genuinely good. My clients are honest, hard-working and kind people that I respect and admire and because of them, working hard has never been easier.
3. Never be too proud to accept help.
Starting a business is not easy. It is a lot of work. Among dozens of other tasks, I had to hire an attorney, develop a brand identity, learn new computer systems, get a website up and running, and most challenging of all…get clients! I am very fortunate to have a smart and loving wife who had already started and grown a very successful small business and who excels in areas where I needed the most help. I also have some great friends who helped with everything from creating my logo, to building my website, to hosting wine & cheese networking parties with other small business owners. In addition to help from family and friends, I met a lot of like-minded small business owners who helped me to further network and provided me with introductions. Between this help from others and “tooting my own horn” I landed some great clients who then introduced me to more great clients. The bottom line is that I had a lot of help and my business wouldn’t be where it is now without the help of these great people!
The last 3 years have been the most difficult, but rewarding, years in my life…and I relish the thought of the next 30. Thank you to my wife, my kids, my family, my friends, my colleagues and my clients!