Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in tech innovation but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Andrey Kustarnikov, Owner of G-Accon, located in Novi, MI, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We develop an add-on to automate accounting reporting. Our tool connects cloud accounting platforms such as Xero, QuickBooks, FreshBooks, or WorkflowMax/Xero Practice Manager to Google Sheets, so users can upload the accounting data in a convenient format and work with it online, using Google Sheets features and formulas to create needed reports quickly, or perform data uploads in bulk.
One of our favorite features is automatic updates, so users can set it up once and forget about it: G-Accon will create the required types of reports, update data automatically and send it to everyone who needs it. A really useful tool when you are offline or on vacation.
So our product is for accountants, bookkeepers, and business owners who work with Xero, QuickBooks, FreshBooks, or WorkflowMax/XPM and want to save their time and make routine easy and pleasant.
Tell us about yourself
I am not a stranger to the fintech industry. I worked for ABN AMRO, Standard Federal Bank, Flagstar Bank, Lasalle Bank, and Bank of America for a long time on the IT side. We moved data back and forth and created data visualization applications, and we always had one person on the business side who asked to create integration with Excel or dump data in a CSV file in the worst scenario as “it was not a requirement.”
One day I realized Google Sheets (Excel) would always be in use. That's how G-Accon actually started. I created Google Sheet integration from scratch. Now I am still working on it every single day, trying to optimize the product, and make it even more simple, useful, and convenient. My main motivation (sorry for the banality, but it is true) is to satisfy my clients. I am really happy when I see how users discover more and more features, integrating G-Accon add-ons more deeply into their everyday routine.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Our original product launch did not go smoothly, and we spent a lot of time simplifying the integration and making it intuitive and useful for our users: accountants, small business owners, and advisors. The main accomplishment is that our users see how they can improve their internal processes and save time. Time is the key factor for most accounting companies.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
For me, as a business owner with a programming background, the most difficult part is to speak with the users in the same language. To explain features and product specifications in simple words to be understood by everyone. I am still working on it. Some features are not even announced yet. We just developed them, and they appear like a rabbit from a hat in a proper moment during communication with clients.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Make everything as simple as possible.
Be sure that your product is really needed by your target audience. Creating a product or developing an idea, be sure that THEY need it, not you.
- People first, without a good team and comfortable atmosphere inside the company you will never succeed. And you as a leader are responsible for that.
- Learn different “professional languages” no one will understand and value your product before you explain the benefits, even if it is really good. Try to find the right words to show people that your product is able to solve their problems and can make their lives easier.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Simplicity is one of the key factors for our success. In reality, we are not different from any other IT company, and we use a lot of standard technologies, but we try to hide all IT techniques, so our customers should not have the advanced computer knowledge to get or import data.
Amazing customer service is another key factor. We are spending a tremendous amount of time on zoom calls, helping customers to create custom reports or resolve technical issues.
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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