During the holiday season it’s natural to take stock of your business and personal successes – and failures – giving thanks and credit where deserved and seeking to do better. For the most part I’m feeling pretty good about things.
It was 10 years ago that I decided to devote my last career gig to the nonprofit sector with the goals of giving back and achieving some commercial success. I founded the organization that became NFP Partners, which evolved from selling Abila MIP Fund Accounting™ software to something more, having recognized an emerging opportunity to provide professional accounting services to smaller nonprofit organizations. Laura Jorstad joined me along the way and has played a major role in organizing and growing the accounting services part of the business, as well as, being a key contributor in the accounting technology area. Actually, we found that the two components complement one another.
I feel that our initial goals have been achieved and there’s a lot to be thankful about. We have a small but highly competent and stable team, a loyal client-base, financial stability, and the opportunity for growth, limited only by our ability to take advantage of it. That being said, where do we go from here? Do we stay small and mostly local or expand our horizons to take advantage of a growing demand for smart technology and accounting services?
Over the next few weeks Laura and I, along with input from other team members, will be re-assessing our goals and doing something of a SWOT analysis. Here are some questions that we have to address and resolve:
- Do we want to grow and how fast?
- What types of people do we need to recruit to make growth happen without compromising service quality and a healthy organizational culture?
- Do we need more capitalization?
- How do I, as the founder, phase into retirement?
- How can we improve our marketing and sales effectiveness?
- How can we further utilize technology?
Well, you get the idea, not too much different than many nonprofit organizations go through to reach sustainability. Maybe there are some of you out there who can not only emphasize, but offer some ideas or recommend resources. I’d welcome a conversation.
Lee Bengston, CPA