Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Benjamin Szweda, Founder of Szweda Consulting, LLC., located in Cleveland, OH, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Szweda Consulting, LLC, is an accounting firm based in Cleveland, OH, though our clients can be located anywhere. We currently have clients in 9 states. We do tax preparation and planning for individuals and help non-profit entities with monthly bookkeeping and tax preparation.
Our chief engagements are with small businesses. We work with various industries, including specialty construction contractors, legal and other consultants, and hospitality businesses. We help companies through the entire accounting spectrum, from QuickBooks bookkeeping and payroll to annual tax preparation. In between those tasks, we love working one-on-one with business owners. We are results-oriented accountants and love taking the financial statements we prepare and leveraging that data to show our clients how to enhance their business efficiency and profitability.
Tell us about yourself
I started my own business after working both as an internal accountant and for a boutique firm. I had exposure to business owners of all kinds and saw a space where I could make a difference. Many business owners are skilled in their trade or industry but don't have an academic business background. Most small business owners can also not yet afford to hire a full-time accounting and HR department. I find I can be most helpful in these situations, which motivates me daily. I want to give business owners the information they need when they need it and be there to help them as they make decisions.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
There have been many milestones in such a short period. Whether the feeling of accomplishment comes from saving a client thousands in taxes or receiving positive feedback from a client, watching my business grow and helping other business owners in the process is something I'm proud of daily.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
For me, the most challenging thing has been pacing myself. I have so many ideas and areas of my business that I want to expand and grow, but I found it essential to strategically chose an area of focus and to throw my energy behind just one or two things.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- I'd recommend starting as soon as possible. Do not get lost in the planning, as you can never fully prepare.
- Put sound business (and bookkeeping) practices in place when the company is small. Developing good protocols early on will make them easier to scale, and having valuable financial data at your fingertips will prove invaluable.
- Realize you can't do everything yourself. Focus on your industry and clients and outsource other functions such as managing your website, SEO, and accounting.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
I just started a YouTube page with some QBO how-to videos on it - more coming soon. Check them out here.
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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