Alan Vogel finds joy in solving problems. In 2020 at the height of the pandemic, Vogel was working at a corporate office where employee safety seemed like an afterthought. He realized he could do better for both himself and his clients by setting up his own business. He named his consulting firm Vertrauen, which means “trust and confidence” in German.
Setting up a secure financial system was his first priority. Luckily, things fell into place: he was able to set up secure cloud storage through his software provider, CCH Axcess. Then, his business banking partner, KeyBank, connected Vogel with Clover and even sent him a Flex handheld POS device, which he keeps in his office.
Soon his business was up and running. Clients could upload documents to their CCH Axcess cloud portal, where Vogel could then review them. Vogel could, in turn, bill his clients virtually using Clover’s solutions for accounting businesses.
Clover’s virtual invoicing system is Vogel’s favorite feature. For him, “It’s important to be able to quickly and easily invoice my clients and know that they’re going to have a secure site to pay.” It’s the final step to a streamlined process that clients love.
Saving his clients time, keeping their financial information secure, and finding opportunities to bring them extra money has allowed Vogel to expand internationally. Serving U.S. citizens living in Australia, Scotland, and Hong Kong, Vogel provides myriad services for businesses large and small, including tax work, financial statement reviews, forecasting and reporting.
Vogel genuinely enjoys this work. More than just providing accounting support, Vogel likes to make sure his clients understand why and how he arrives at financial outcomes. This is also where his consulting work shines.
One of Vogel’s clients, Ryan Brown, runs River Point Realty in Pittsburgh, PA. Brown oversees about 30 agents, but previously struggled to track each agents’ individual performance. So Vogel worked with his client’s accounting team to develop a tool for updating sales information. That client now has a tool where he can easily access performance by agents, by teams of agents, and by month compared to prior year.
Vogel also loves finding ways to save his clients money. Not surprisingly, his clients love that, too. His business has thrived primarily through maintaining a loyal client base and bringing in word-of-mouth referrals. In Vogel’s words, “When you can save clients money, they are extremely appreciative and will be clients for life.” In 2022, just the second year of his business, he saw a 40% to 50% revenue growth.
In fact, his business is growing so quickly that Vogel’s next major decision will be whether to expand or not. Vogel’s success stems in large part from the time and attention he provides each client. In order to maintain his high standard of quality service, he knows he’ll need to balance his commitments in order to avoid burning out.
So, he’s considering taking on more staff to help grow the business as a logical next step. What’s more, he’s developing a website and improving scheduling options to continue streamlining access and ease of use.
At the same time, Vogel appreciates the flexibility of being his own boss and keeping things simple. With two kids and a spouse who works full time, he values the ability to balance family with work.
Vogel believes the secret for service-oriented businesses is balancing technology with personal interaction.
“If you’re willing to embrace it, the technology that’s available now can really make your life very, very easy,” Vogel says. “And the more you can effectively use technology, the more you can focus on the service part of your business, which is really the part that will be rewarding and make you successful.”
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