I Started A Consulting Practice the First Week of March

Five Reasons it Succeeded (So Far) Despite the Pandemic

By Bill Penczak

Everyone is no doubt glad the dumpster fire of 2020 has finally ended and that we have a new year to celebrate.   The accounting industry has endured layoffs, pay cuts, further consolidation, and firms continue to seek ways to remain relevant as compliance services become more commoditized and margins continue to diminish.  After contemplating the move for the greater part of 2019, in January 2020 I formed my articles of incorporation;  in February set up my website;  and in the first week of March, left my job running practice development for a firm that had been named the 5th fastest growing firm in the country the previous year to start my own consulting firm.

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Two weeks later, everything shut down and I thought I’d made the worst decision in my 40-year career.  It turned out to be the best.

Fast forward to year’s end, and I have four retainer clients, did a few projects for other clients, and have a healthy pipeline of other prospects. My business associates and advisors continually remind me that my role of helping firms create a sustainable process for growth and margin management became even more important during difficult times.  In better economies, companies want to grow more.  In tough economies, they must.

As I reflect on the past year, there are five reasons my consulting practice thrived despite a terrible economy, shutdowns, and the other things that made 2020 a year to forget, but at the same time, to cherish.  And perhaps lessons learned from which your firm may be able to benefit.