How I Got Started: Howard Rosen

What is it?: A business consulting CPA firm. We provide services throughout the Baltimore/Washington metropolitan region and we have clients all over the country. We do a lot of consulting, we have a very substantial practice of high net worth individuals, and we have a strong real estate practice.

When was it founded?: 1979

Who helped?: That would have been my older brother Arvin, who has since passed away. He was the one who encouraged me to start my own practice. He always thought that I related well to entrepreneurs, he said that I could go out and really help those kinds of clients grow and build their businesses. He saw that I had a real knack for that and he encouraged me to go out and pursue that.

How was it financed?: We bootstrapped it. I got a small loan from a friendly bank to support our overhead for the initial year, and that was all we needed.

Where did the idea come from?: I always felt that the middle market was underserved from a business consulting perspective. It always appeared to me that there would be a real business opportunity to go out there and provide high-level business consulting expertise to middle-market clients, and we have done that. We have seen several of our companies grow from small companies into large companies, many of which have been acquired by public companies.

What have you learned?: We can utilize technology to create higher levels of efficiencies in order to provide our clients with the best services on a consistent basis. In the accounting business today, the software that we are using in statement preparation and tax preparation clearly provides a very efficient end result. But it takes a lot of training and a strong commitment of resources to meet those goals and objectives.

Annual revenue: $7.5 million

Is it profitable?: Yes

Growth plans?: We are always looking to continue to grow and are presently looking to expand the practice both by hiring more professionals and, if the right set of circumstances came along, we would consider opening another office outside the Baltimore market, mostly likely in the Washington, D.C., market.

Next big idea?: Our next big idea is to look at other consulting services where we can fill a need. There is a real need out there for business consultants who can provide coaching to business owners to help them execute their business plans.

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