I’m very excited to announce that I’ve created a page on The Dancing Accountant website linking to some of my clients so that you can find them and become a patron. I couldn’t be prouder of their accomplishments and I wanted to share my enthusiasm with blog readers… and maybe inspire you to share yours as well.
If you follow my blog, you already know that my work isn’t just a job. I honestly feel it’s a calling — a mission. I try to keep my prices low for the industry, offer payment plans, remain accessible to clients at all times, and offer services outside-the-box… stretching my knowledge and abilities as far as I can, taking approximately three times the required continuing education each year, in wide-ranging topics that affect my clients.
Why? Why bother? As I’m reminded regularly by colleagues, salespeople, networking contacts and self-proclaimed “coaches”, I could make so much more money working at a large CPA firm. Or: “Any continuing ed beyond the requirement is a waste of non-billable time.” Or: “You have a waiting list? Well, that’s proof that you should raise prices.” Or: “You should outsource your [fill-in-the-blank] to India; you’re stifling your growth otherwise.” (Note: these are all actual quotes I have been told more than once.)
I struggled for years asking myself why I had such emotional resistance to these criticisms. Aren’t I an astute business-person? Then why am I being insulted as being naive or idealistic or non-business-minded?
The answer is easy — at least now (it took years of soul-searching). I love working with small businesses, and I don’t want to price myself out of their ability to use my services. Part of that is a personal mission and part is selfish; I really want to support the small business economy, especially in my own neighborhood, where daily I see my clients being priced out in favor of big chains. These folks make our neighborhoods quirky, vibrant, and engaging… then people want to shop/dine there… then rents go up… then chains replace them. It’s so painful. I don’t want to be a part of that cycle.
And I want to offer them the services that they need — not just the ones on a pre-determined list of CPA offerings. I want to be able to answer their questions about running a business, not just keeping the books clean and paying taxes. I want my work to be personally rewarding. I love shopping at my clients’ stores, engaging their services, and eating at their restaurants. I love living in a place like Cheers — where everybody knows your name.
Shopping small and shopping local — you’re hearing more about it these days, as large chains and online retailers crush once-vibrant communities. We don’t have to be a part of that. An article in Forbes summed up some great reasons for supporting small businesses.
- Job creation: Did you know that about 63% of new jobs are created by small businesses?
- Local business owners give back to their communities, shop other small businesses, and support local B2B systems. 71% of dollars spent at locally-owned businesses stays in the local economy.
- Customer service is often more personalized and higher-quality at small businesses, and offerings are often tailored to the clientele.
- Local businesses help sustain vibrant, walkable neighborhoods and reduce unnecessary shipping and packaging.
- Independent business owners give approximately 350% more to non-profits than non-locally-owned ones.
So: please Shop Our Clients! Shop yours. Go find a small business in your neighborhood you’ve never been in, and pay them a visit today. If you enjoy ordering online, try to choose websites of independently-owned businesses, or platforms like etsy that provide small businesses a sales venue. It’s a win-win-win.
(Note: if you are a client of mine and would like to be listed on The Dancing Accountant’s Shop Our Clients page, please comment below or contact me directly!)