Member Spotlight: Abacus Accounting & Bookkeeping
We sat down with Shellee Spafford, President of Abacus Accounting & Bookkeeping to ask her what it was like to start and build a small business. Hear from the master herself what it was like to start and grow a small business.
How did you come up with the name of your business?
I started this business in 1998. I was talking to a marketing guy and it was back when phonebooks were still being used. He came up with it because Abacus is a Chinese calculator. And it started with an A so it would be near the top of the phonebook.
How did you build your business?
I started coming to Chamber events and the Sandy Chamber was one of the chambers I would go to the most. I would go to the power lunches and get to know businesses and they got to know me more and more and they started using me and then it grew from word of mouth and referrals. It’s grown organically, and I would never turn down a referral. As I have more and more businesses coming to me I have just hired more account specialists. For the first ten years I did it all on my own, but now I have three account specialists under me. Whoever I hire has to be very trustworthy because we handle very secure information.
How did you get your start in accounting?
In high school they offered accounting classes and I was really good at math and I enjoyed it, so I thought I would earn some college credit. I really liked the class and figured I may as well get my degree in accounting. Right out of college I saw an ad in the newspaper that said, “learn how to run your own bookkeeping business.” So I went and took the course on how to do bookkeeping and taxes and then started this business.
What were some of the challenges you faced in starting your own business?
I think having the confidence to talk to clients especially when I was brand new at doing the business and didn’t have a lot of experience.
When did you start feeling successful?
At first I did it part-time and then I went full-force. I was really determined to make it happen and in three months I was able to support myself. As soon as I was able to do it on my own I felt successful.
What tips do you have for someone who is looking to start their own business or contract work?
There’s one thing I learned in college that really stands out. SometimesI was given assignments where I thought “oh my gosh, I know nothing about this and I have no idea how I’m going to do this project.” But I found a way to make it happen because I wanted a good grade. That really stuck out to me, so I really truly believe that whatever you set your mind to you can make it happen. I set goals often and I go for them. I would say to anyone starting out a business or anyone wanting to grow their business is to set your mind to it, do the work, and have faith. I believe you can create whatever you can put your mind to.
About Abacus Accounting & Bookkeeping
Outside bookkeepers can get your accounting needs met at a third of the time and a fraction of the cost of doing it yourself. Most small businesses accounting records can be reconciled with only a couple of hours a week. No need to hire a person full time OR do it all yourself. At Abacus Accounting & Bookkeeping, we pride ourselves in only employing account specialists who are experienced and qualified enough to “calculate your peace of mind”. In our profession, we must be very organized, efficient, and most importantly, always looking out for our client’s best interest. Abacus offers bookkeeping, strategic planning, tax preparation, payroll and collections. Call 801.301.0223 for a free consultation.
Visit http://abacusutah.com/ to learn more.