Active listening from networking ultimately turns into partnerships. Partnerships creates success and growth.”
Kurt has a B.S. in Public Accounting and M.B.A. in International Business. Past lives in Accounting, Startups, Consulting, and Music. Kurt is a Co-Founder of cloud accounting web app – AccountingSuite. Priorities include strategic planning, product development, building partnerships, on-boarding clients, building company processes, social media implementation, website planning and implementation, growing the sales pipeline, creating marketing strategies, delivering presentations on stage and virtually, heading up trade shows, and implementing marketing plans for our company.
Company launched in November 2012.
Where did the idea for AccountingSuite come from?
Working on converting companies from Quickbooks, PeachTree and SBT to Sage for several years and doing everything on Premise was a big part of the need for a cloud-based ERP for small biz.
There seemed to be a hole in the concept of these smaller companies not being able to collaborate with their supplier chain the way bigger companies were, and by the time they grew enough to afford the Sage solution we were selling, it was a huge project that set them back in time as well to get to the next stage. They weren’t prepared for growth and the change management was overwhelming for the company and the consultants.
In addition, I had met with NetLedger back in 2001 and 2002 to become a reseller, but the founder of the consulting firm I was with did not believe that Web based Accounting and ERP would really be that needed. In later years, this same NetLedger company that started as Larry Ellison’s pet project became NetSuite. I tried to recommend we become resellers but the firm never accepted this idea, and once the firm wanted to become resellers, we couldn’t qualify. One of our thought leading CPA partners and friends around 2007 had suggested we look into Intacct, and I was super excited. But similar to NetLedger/NetSuite, we never got past an initial
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
My typical day starts with Dev Team in the morning, quick break, then start on tasks and calls for the day. Meet with Success Team to teach about newly approved features. The middle of the day is dedicated to our CTO, product development, QA and working on improving features for our solution and processes in the business. We are on a constant improvement and making everything more efficient. Most of the day is in team mode.
In order to make this productive, the first thing I do is check my calendar which may be obvious to everyone reading this, but I also set aside 3 goals for the day, and set aside dedicated time in the calendar to achieve these goals. I Give my meetings a 10 minute buffer – example 9-9:50, 10-10:50 for hour meetings and 5 minute buffer for 30 minute meetings so 11-11:25. This give you time to breathe and break before the next meeting.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Through team collaboration, we have a meeting put the idea on the table, we do some free thinking, listen to everyone’s idea/opinions and then the following week bring a few out of the dozen ideas to the table and we decide from there which to implement.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Without a doubt – Blockchain, which we hear about a lot, but the idea of triple entry accounting and a shared distributed ledger keeping the records much cleaner reconciliation, it’s little things like these that changes history. Another trend that excites me is the sharing economy which will hopefully turn into a resource economy but that’s another interview!
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an Entrepreneur?
The habit I have is whenever a problem comes up or an idea comes up I always try to partner with someone any aspect of production, management, or even other entrepreneurs that may have a solution to one of our clients needs. I found that this one habit makes me more productive as an entrepreneur.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Dear Younger Self, don’t give and stay focused on what you love or what is your passion. If a fork in the road comes up and you have the choice for passion versus money, go for the passion. The money will come and you just need to be smart, resourceful, patient and persistent and it will happen. No matter if it’s music, sales, sports, investments you’ll do what it takes and stay late in order to succeed at what your passion is.
Also, don’t do too many different activities and enjoy the moment as I have had a tendency to overdo hobbies and get sidetracked by too many distractions.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on?
When we vote in this country there should be no political parties. Similar to a flat tax rate, it keeps it simple and apolitical. But there is too much money, power and need for media to make money. In addition, the machine at work is the military industrial complex and the political parties are just a show and front. Can’t really do anything about this at the moment as it runs too deep into our country’s fabric. Most people are red or blue so it’s not worth arguing as most folks don’t want to agree and it hits a nerve.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Every time there is a problem that comes up, you may or may not have employees. Either way, find out if there is another entrepreneur or partner that we can work with. Maybe there is a company that already does this, let’s partner and learn from each other.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.
Active Listening. When I go out to network and meet other people, I go out to hear what other folks have to say. Giving back what someone said turns into respect. At the end of the day, everyone wants to be heard, and this is how successful relationships are spawned. This active listening from networking ultimately turns into partnerships. Partnerships creates success and growth.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
A prospect we closed gave us American Express and it cleared our bank, but then a day later was refunded. It was a huge hit to our business as we had already gone out of pocket to purchase the software to start the implementation and we cannot get a refund. So we had to think quickly and overcome without being angry and arguments. We explained that we are a small business with no backing and not part of a larger company, and showing the human and real side of the relationship and that is was critical to both businesses and we would do whatever it takes. After many back and forth meetings, they turned into a client of 3 years plus, although as you can imagine, they were a bit of a painful client.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
One business idea I want to give away to readers is that when my phone is off or locked, I need to be able to have a mirror on the phone by pressing a button. Using the camera in selfie mode is not the option, the phone is the best option and it’s the best size.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
For sure it was a couples massage. With all the stress from trips, tradeshows, daily grind and push it was just an amazing change for 1-2 weeks in my day.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Evernote is my go to, and I keep coming back to it for business and personal life. Got addicted afterthose Getting Things Done workshops. Most of the time I’m taking notes on my laptop during Zoom meetings or in conference room face-to-face meetings. And Evernote has the simplest shortcuts to get it from my head to another device. If I’m on a plane, work, Lyft, or driving, I can audio record ideas on my mobile device. I’m a lyricist, so I’ve always had the need to quickly write or record ideas and it’s no different in business. I’m always synced on my laptop, cloud drive, and mobile device. Also, I share notebooks with other team members and they instantaneously have the notes from meetings with partners, internal or product meetings. Oh and you can instantly upload images from your whiteboards to the meeting notes, just a cherry on top of the sundae.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
The Goal by Eli GoldRatt. It puts together the concept of problems, problem solving, business process and how to get rid of bottlenecks. Our lives are riddled with bottlenecks and this applies to both personal and business. What’s very compelling about The Goal is the way it’s written with built-in learning, but using a compelling story which has been a great way for humans to learn through our history and dating back to earliest civilizations. An additional Science Fiction book I recommend is Neuromancer by William Gibson which is very prophetic for being written in the mid-80’s. It’s great to see how what was written then is coming to life in 2017 through VR.
What is your favorite quote?
It’s not a toomah – Arnold Schwarzenegger (kindergarten cop). Seriously, not originally from JFK, but he made it famous “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.”
- We all have something to contribute. Everyone has experiences to share, and we are all the same in that we all have something to say and share.
- There is so much more in life than business and work, but push for what you love and what you do.
- At the end of the day you have to have something outside that you treasure.
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Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.