BELLINGHAM, Wash.—Solo to Four Employees, doubling revenues and profits in just two years would seem to be too difficult for most solo entrepreneurs to fathom. Siobhan Murphy has done it and shares her story and secrets.
Starting the Thrive Business Group in 2010, as a Certified Public Accountant in the Fairhaven district of Bellingham, WA has proven to be the right move for B. Siobhan Q. Murphy. Thrive Business Group is located at 1500 12th St in a quant converted home on the corner of 12th St and Larrabee Ave. This location and setting was exactly what Siobhan had dreamed of when thinking of the community she wanted her business located.
While working towards her MBA from Western Washington University, Siobhan had a business project where she was asked to develop her ideal business plan for a class she was attending. It was that business plan that was the start of her journey to own and operate her own business. After deciding to leave another accounting firm and setting off on her own, Siobhan used many of the ideas from that original business plan project in her MBA to set in motion the Thrive Business Group.
“Having a really clear vision as a foundation to make decisions from and guide where you are going like a roadmap is the key aspect of success.” said Siobhan.
Taking a modern business approach, Siobhan sees her role as more of a business manager and client coach than just an accountant providing accounting services. This new age approach to her business allows Siobhan to offer a unique set of valuable services to her clients. These services are based around accounting, financial planning, business advising and education of clients. This approach is meant to provide a holistic approach to the client that shows them the implications of business decisions, not only financially, but with the entire business.
This customer first approach has served the Thrive Business Group well. Along this same premise, Siobhan wanted to provide more than a service but sought to improve the community that she and her family call home. To accomplish this community goal Siobhan teaches classes in the community to prospective entrepreneurs on developing a business plan. This also shows in Siobhan’s progressive management style of her employees.
Siobhan says that her success would not have been as effective without the assistance of the WWU Small Business Development Center. Seeking advice and expertise that were outside of her own, Siobhan turned to the SBDC for marketing, branding and for a “second set of eyes” to provide a different perspective for ideas and expertise.
With the help of the staff at the Bellingham SBDC, Siobhan was able to fine tune her business and marketing plans along with clearly defining the brand that Thrive Business Group was pursuing. According to Siobhan, the SBDC helped immensely in expanding the vision and mission of her business along with seeing the big picture of where this new business and brand could take her in the future.