Mitchell Sharpe

Episode 70: Differentiating Yourself with Mitch Sharpe and SKC & Co.

Who is Mitch Sharpe and the key takeaways in this episode?

Mitch Sharpe is the founder of SKC & Co., and has been a highly respected mentor and advisor for hundreds of aspiring entrepreneurs over the last few decades. He makes sure that his company is always one step ahead of the rest and able to anticipate what lies ahead.

We all have much to learn from Mitch and you can start by listening to this enlightening and inspiring interview to find out:

  • What makes SKC & Co. so different
  • How Mitch defines company culture
  • His advice for budding entrepreneurs
  • And much, much more

The Questions

A significant portion of your clients make it and I think that has to do with your firm and how you go to the marketplace. When we look at SKC & Co., it’s an accounting firm but it’s an entrepreneur’s accounting firm. Can we talk about that a little bit, Mitch? Because it’s very different and I’d like you to share with our listeners about what makes you different.

Answer: I think starting at such an early age I was looking for ways to differentiate myself. I also think, as I mentioned before, that I was really looking to get involved with clients and be more than what I call a ‘mechanic’. I think it was a sort of natural evolution where, as I got some clients, I started asking a lot of questions to find different things to help them. […] After a few years it dawned on me that I was really resonating with people and that this was something a little different. I was in my late twenties at that point and was saying, “Wow, I think I may be on to something here. I need to be a little more conscious of it and run with it.” So I did that, and I think what I did as well was to start reading some books and listening to some broadcasts et cetera. That just kept reinforcing what I was doing. I think what evolved was that I was seeing my clients each month and […] I started talking to them and finding out what their needs were. Then I started trying to help them with these, whether it was talking to the right bank or taking a look at making their insurance a little more comprehensive.

Was there a tipping point or a monumental event that took place when you were starting your company that you could share with us?

Answer: I think some of it started very near the beginning, because I honestly remember opening the office and putting the ad in the paper. It was in 1982, I believe, that I opened my business and at that point I was already thinking, “Okay, now that I’ve put the strings up, so to speak, now what?” For the first year or so I remember scrambling a little bit but I do think that I had started getting the ‘aha’ relatively early. In terms of shifts and things that changed direction it really happened along the way at different times. Some of them were significant events and some of them were just painful learning experiences.

You’ve seen a tremendous amount of companies over the last 25 years and we’ve all seen that companies have a phenomenal presence but when you walk inside their facilities there’s a brand disconnect. Can you share with our listeners how you’ve maintained your brand externally and internally?

Answer: Externally we are behind the curve on some of the social electronic media. We are aware of that and that’s something we’re going to process now. It’s something where we feel fortunate enough to have prospered without that, but also we realize that time moves on and we need to focus on that. […] When a client walks in they have certain expectations and so we’ve worked hard so that when you open the door we meet your expectations. What I’m hoping for in the end is that they’ll say something along the lines of “Wow, I’m really glad I came here because you guys really are what you were talking about in our first meeting.”

Culture According to Mitch Sharpe:

It is an expression of values and bone-deep beliefs. It’s a very interesting concept and process for me in that I was raised to be someone who is of service and enjoys being of service. It’s about being somewhat selfless and thinking of others while you’re balancing that with your self-interest as a business owner. The culture hopefully reflects that. I have to hire a certain type of person as mainstream accountants may not fit here.

Go To Quote for Inspiration

Book Recommendations:

  • A Passion for Excellence by Tom Peters

What Mitch Sharpe Wants His Company to BE:

  • BE Innovative
  • BE Committed
  • BE Positive

Links and Resources Mentioned in this Interview:

Where to Find Mitch Sharpe:

  • Email him at: m.sharpe@skcandco.com
  • Phone him on: (973) 335-1112

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