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Texas and South Carolina Cited Among Top States for Doing Business

November 22, 2014 / by Leslie Jorgensen posted in Franchises, South Carolina, Texas

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Area_DevelopmentWe already knew that Texas and South Carolina are great places for growing companies. After all, both states are home to Supporting Strategies offices where we've seen clients thrive. Now Area Development magazine has chimed in, counting Texas and South Carolina as two of the top states in which to do business. That's good news for all of you out there working to grow your business — or your clients' businesses.

The findings are based on the fifth annual survey of site consultants ranking states based on categories like business environment, labor climate, infrastructure and global access. According to Area Development, Texas was responsible for about a third of America's net-job gains in the 10 years leading up to 2012: "The pillars of its success include a pro-business environment, strong work force, improving schools, and an infrastructure that allows efficient access to global markets."

As for South Carolina, the state was called out for the high quality of its workforce. The survey findings also identified advantages like the state's lower costs of doing business as well as its great incentive programs and supportive state government.

The Supporting Strategies teams in Texas, headed up by Andy Hale, and South Carolina, headed up by Brad Strickland, say the findings underscore why owning a Supporting Strategies franchise is such a great opportunity. We all understand how rewarding it is to put the necessary support infrastructure in place that allow small businesses to get off the ground, and then really take off. Congrats to both states on a terrific showing.

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Supporting Strategies Opens New Offices in Virginia & New York

November 7, 2014 / by Leslie Jorgensen posted in Franchises

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We're pleased to announce the recent openings of two more Supporting Strategies offices, in Northern Virginia and Manhattan's Financial District.

Indre_BauzaIndre Bauza (Northern Virginia) brings expertise in delivering accounting, bookkeeping and QuickBooks support services to small businesses. A Certified QuickBooks Advisor and Xero Certified Advisor, she looks forward to developing long-term relationships with small business owners who want to spend more time growing their business and less time managing company finances.

Indre holds a BS in business and accounting from Baltic International Academy and further deepened her knowledge in accounting while studying at Strayer University-Virginia. Fun facts: She was born on Christmas Day and speaks four languages: English, Lithuanian, German and Russian. Email Indre Bauza.

 

Susan_BlogSusan Blog (Manhattan Financial District) has provided operational support to small businesses since 1985 as controller or director of finance for a variety of businesses, primarily in the not-for-profit sector. Her background spans accounting, financial reporting, budgeting, financial analysis, investing, payroll, benefits administration, office management and software conversion.

An innovative thinker and problem solver, Susan believes every business is unique and deserves professional oversight of its individual needs. She holds an MBA from New York University and a BA in English from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Email Susan Blog. Email Susan Blog.

Welcome, Indre and Susan!

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Jeff Coombs of Stamford, Conn., Office Celebrates First Anniversary

November 4, 2014 / by Leslie Jorgensen posted in Franchises, Stamford, CT

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Jeff_CoombsLast year, Supporting Strategies began offering franchise opportunities. Earlier this month, Jeff Coombs of Stamford, Conn., our first franchisee, celebrated his first year in business. He's building an impressive success story for our other franchisees to emulate.

Jeff didn't come to Supporting Strategies with an accounting background. He studied engineering at Purdue University — an experience he says "teaches you how to solve problems." In 1994 he cofounded the business managing consulting firm RainmakerThinking, Inc. While his partner focused on writing books and giving speeches, Jeff served as COO and managed operations back in the office.

"It was a great fit for me and taught me a lot about running a small business," he says. "I did everything from doing the books to the sales to the website, just like a lot of people in small businesses. Looking back, it has really helped me understand where my clients at Supporting Strategies are coming from and what kinds of issues they face."

Ready for Something New

After two decades at RainmakerThinking, Jeff was ready to try something new on his own. His sister-in-law, who owns a Boston-area medical practice that is a Supporting Strategies client, mentioned that we were looking for franchisees. Right away, he was intrigued.

"I am good with numbers and have a lot of experience managing people and running a small business, so it seemed like a great fit," he says. "Plus, after doing a little research, I saw that CPAs in my area generally don't offer bookkeeping services. Almost all of the referrals I get now come from CPAs."

Jeff signed on with Supporting Strategies and opened his business following Labor Day 2013. When his first associate left unexpectedly (her husband was transferred to London), Jeff rolled up his sleeves to manage a client's bookkeeping himself, which allowed him to pick up some valuable hands-on training.

Today, Jeff manages all of Stamford's clients and has three associates working for him. He hopes to promote one of those associates to manager by the end of the year so that he can focus on business development. His 21 clients include small businesses across a variety of industries.

"My goal is to have 50 clients by the end of our second year, and I think that's realistic, assuming I can be on business development full-time beginning in 2015," he says.

A Strong Support System for Franchisees

Jeff appreciates the support system that is part of the franchise arrangement. We help franchisees with various aspects of recruiting new hires and even refer prospects (which is how Jeff landed his first client).

"Their relationships with vendors are very helpful, too," he says. "One time, late on a Friday night, I got a call from a client struggling with Bill.com. I reached out to [Supporting Strategies CEO] Leslie Jorgensen. She contacted Bill.com, and the issue was resolved within an hour. I couldn't have done that on my own."

We're pleased Jeff has had such a great experience with Supporting Strategies and hope he'll be with us for many years to come.

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