Posts Tagged ‘Entrepreneurial Services’

What Does Growth Look Like?

Lisa PurichiaBy Lisa Purichia
Partner, Director of Entrepreneurial Services

You’ve no doubt heard the old business adage, “If you’re not growing, you’re dying.” With the passage of tax reform, most experts say the outlook for improved growth is positive. When business leaders are more optimistic, they start making plans to grow their companies.

But what do we really mean when we say that? In other words, what does growth look like?

The most common meaning refers to growing revenue and profitability, or employees and locations. But positive growth doesn’t just mean expanding your bottom line or your roster. It can mean any number of ways to improve your organization’s processes and capabilities, as well as its reach.

For example, infiltrations into private data are now a constant threat. (For a good example, see the article below on the Meltdown vulnerability.) One form of growth would be to expand and improve your company’s technology and computer systems so it’s less prone to hacking.

Growth can also refer to increasing the skillset of your team, starting with the business leader. If you’re the owner or manager of a company, ask yourself if you have grown in your leadership skills. Have your coaching skills improved? Can you think of ways you can better apply technology to serve your customers? Do colleagues and employees viewing you as providing the right kind of leadership the organization needs?

Take a look at your interpersonal skills, and question if there is room for growth. Do you fully recognize your strength and weaknesses, and know how to best leverage those with employees, clients, stakeholders and everyone else important to the company’s success?

Another way to grow your organization is to look at the rules, regulations and best practices that pertain to your industry, to see if your business is up to competing in the marketplace. If the business environment has changed, do you need to bring your team up to speed? For example, the public accounting profession has largely moved away from paper records to digital ones.

If entering your office feels like walking back in time 20 years compared to your competitors, it’s time to grow your technological capability. Think about rotating in new computers, copiers and other equipment used on a daily basis. Is your workspace ergonomically suitable to attract and retain the best talent?

Are you making it as easy as possible for people to do business with you? For example, many companies use electronic signatures today instead of paper documents. If you’re making your customers physically mail in or fax their paperwork, your company is behind the curve. Look for growth in processes and procedures that can improve efficiency and make it simpler for clients to conduct business.

As you’re talking about what kind of growth your organization will pursue, include all your important stakeholders in the conversation – clients, vendors, employees, business partners, etc. People prefer to work with a company that is a growing, up-to-date enterprise. Top employees seek to work in such a place.

As you’re thinking about growing the company, make sure it is the type of growth that is responsive to the needs of those you serve. Sometimes bigger is better, but it’s also wise to grow your business’ capabilities. That can then lay the path forward toward a “better BIGGER!”

When you are experiencing the right kind of growth, your company will be one that people seek out to do business with, rather than one they run away from.

If you need advice on how to best grow your organization, please contact Lisa Purichia at (317) 608-6693 or email


Employee Spotlight – Aimee Woehler

Aimee WoehlerAimee Woehler joined the firm a little over three years ago as a Staff accountant in the Entrepreneurial Services department after an extensive background in the not-for-profit sector. In July of this year her hard work and dedication to finding value for clients was rewarded with a promotion to Senior Accountant.

A Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor, Aimee sets up QuickBooks for clients and trains their teams with using it, in addition processing payroll, quarterly payroll returns and ongoing bookkeeping services.

Aimee volunteers her time extensively, including the past 14 years with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, co-chairing their annual Walk to Cure Diabetes and lobbying lawmakers for diabetes research and education. She serves as volleyball coordinator for the girls’ team at St. Barnabas Catholic School. In June 2017 she was elected Treasurer of the National Association of Women Business Owners. Aimee also serves on the House Corporation Board for Kappa Delta Sorority at Indiana University.

Born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, Aimee moved to South Carolina to finish high school and attend Clemson University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting. She and her husband, Terry, have two teen daughters, Gwen and Grace, and live on the Indianapolis Southside.

Employee Spotlight: Mary Ferguson

Mary FergusonAs a Manager in the Entrepreneurial Services department, Mary Ferguson has a wealth of experience helping clients with their internal accounting and bookkeeping needs. She is a QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online Certified Pro Advisor who helps businesses and organizations with the setup, installation and training of QuickBooks.

Mary also provides payroll processing, Family Office services, bookkeeping on loan services and financial statement review and analysis. She has a bachelor’s degree in business and accounting from IUPUI, having grown up in Indianapolis and attended school here, including Forest Manor Middle School and Arlington High School (which will become a middle school next year).

Like a number of other Sponsel CPA Group employees, Mary joined the firm at its inception, and has watched the company grow, helping foster new talent and expand the organization’s capabilities.

Mary has been married for 34 years to Stan, and together they have two sons, Pleas and Zachary, and one granddaughter, Tierra Renee. Their son Zachary and his wife, Brittany, married last June and are expecting a baby boy in January. In her spare time, Mary enjoys sewing, walking and serving on the board of the Greater Gethsemane Missionary Baptist Church Summer Youth Academy (SYA).

Brocklehurst retires; Hott joins staff

Sue HottKatie BrocklehurstThe entire Sponsel CPA Group family is sad to bid farewell to Katie Brocklehurst, our longtime administrative assistant for the Entrepreneurial Services team, who is retiring at the end of the month. Katie has worked with us for many years and will be sorely missed both for her dedication and her positive impact on those around her. We also wish to welcome Sue Hott, who has joined the firm and will be taking over Katie’s position.

Have You Recommended a Good Book Lately?

Lisa PurichiaBy Lisa Purichia
Partner, Director of Entrepreneurial Services

Anyone who has or desires a leadership position within a business should have a strong motivation for self-improvement, both for the good of the organization and their own sense of personal ambition.

If you look at the traits of successful people, you will find several common themes: curiosity about things going on in the world and their immediate community; an attention to developments within their chosen industry/profession; a desire to improve themselves and their relationships. They’re also the type of personality that seeks out ways to further these goals, including reading self-improvement books and articles.

Think about your own reading habits: have your read – or recommended to someone else – a good book lately?

The “self-help” genre of nonfiction writing started as a venue for people to work on their interpersonal relationships, especially romance. But writers and readers quickly grasped the potential to assist businesspersons in how to envision, map out and reach their professional aspirations.

No matter what issues a person is dealing with – retirement, succession planning, investments, new ventures or products, communication, general leadership style – there are plenty of great books out there that can speak to them.

With the press of time, it can be a challenge to sit down and read a book, so look for little gaps in your schedule where you can consume self-improvement advice on your own schedule. Going to be spending a few hours on a plane? Have some downtime before that out-of-town business meeting? Going on vacation? Keep a good book handy for whenever you have time to spare, even if it’s a few minutes.

If you read a book you found personally helpful, it’s an excellent gesture to pass along a copy to a friend or colleague you think they could benefit from the information. Make sure to frame it as “this might help you” rather than “you have a problem,” and you will find most people are receptive to the gift of a book.

Between customer and client, peer to peer or boss to employee, recommending a book can be a form of knowledge-sharing that helps cement the relationship. It shows that you care enough about them to seek ways for them to become stronger and more successful in their current role, or even assist them in moving on to the next big thing in their life.

People can come to feel isolated by the myriad challenges of daily living. Often, we believe we’re the only one we know dealing with a particular problem. Offering someone a book that addresses that topic not only gives them possible answers to their questions, it can help enhance their relationship to the giver. You are actively demonstrating that you CARE!!!

So whether hardcover, paperback or electronic, pick up a good business book – and pass one along.

In that spirit, here are a few books I’d like to recommend:

  • The New Retirementality” by Mitch Anthony – For those contemplating retirement.
  • Thanks for the Feedback” by Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen – On how to accept criticism/advice and put it to good use.
  • “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership” by John Maxwell – Insights on leadership from a 40-year veteran.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact Lisa Purichia at (317) 608-6693 or email


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