Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Nellie Akalp, Founder of CorpNet, located in Westlake Village, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Trusted by thousands of professionals and entrepreneurs across the United States, CorpNet is the smartest way to start a business and maintain compliance. At CorpNet, our team works with professionals such as CPAs and attorneys through a partner program that streamlines the business formation process.
This program offers professionals a way to provide a variety of services to their clients and increase their revenue without adding extra work. We also provide services to entrepreneurs across all industries to help them get their own businesses off the ground, maintain compliance and set up their payroll tax registration.
Tell us about yourself.
My husband and I are business partners and parents to four amazing children. We started our first company in 1997, fresh out of law school. We did not want to go the route of working at a law firm and decided then that entrepreneurship was for us. We took $100, launched a one-page website, and soon found ourselves with a very successful business.
That company sold eight years later to Intuit. A few years after we sold, we decided to get back into the industry with the launch of CorpNet, and I am proud to say we have now built two wildly successful companies.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment as a business owner is not giving up. Our journey with CorpNet has been a rollercoaster. We launched at the height of the last recession amongst an array of big-name competitors who did not exist when our first company was operating.
Although we were close to closing our doors a few times, we rolled up our sleeves and got creative, determined to be a success. And I'm happy to say that we've now been recognized on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing companies in America for many years in a row!
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
For me, the hardest thing about being a business owner is knowing when you have to put yourself first. Similar to being a parent, when kids typically come first, business needs come next, and our personal needs tend to get sidelined.
After years of putting myself last, I've learned the power of self-care and investing in my well-being. The better my headspace is, and the better I feel, the better leader I am to my team.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
The top three tips I would give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today would be:
- Don't focus too much on competitors. No matter how many others are in your industry, if you have a vision go for it and stand out in the crowd!
- Realize that a business will grow and evolve in ways you may not have originally intended. Learn to go with this flow and accept when you may have to transition for the betterment of the business.
- Finally, understand when you are at a breaking point and need to take a breather, if it's a walk around the neighborhood, if it's a long weekend, or even a week off. Give yourself time to regroup when you need it. You will come back stronger.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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