Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Brian Smith, Founder of IA Business Advisors, located in Elgin, IL, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

We are a boutique business advisory company that specializes in over-the-shoulder fractional C-Suite advisory services to companies with average annual revenue of $5-$50 million dollars. We also provide strategic and tactical support to our clients in the areas of Mergers, Acquisitions, Succession, Change Management, and Culture Development/Reorganization. Finally, we provide management leadership development and coaching to our clients based on our #1 Best Selling Book Series, The “I” in Team Series, and our #1 Best Selling Book, Individual Influence, Find the “I” in Team.

Tell us about yourself

I was inspired to be an accountant by watching the show Family Ties and the character Alex P. Keaton; however, being an accountant was not fun for me. However, being involved in the early days of computerized accounting systems and technology, my career grew out of those early days, understanding the impact technology was having on people.

What primarily motivates me is a continuous drive to help others be the most positive influence they can, in whatever area of influence they are in. I believe our greatest responsibility as people is our individual influence, and I think that influence is manifested in each of us in every moment.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Honestly, there are many, so it's very difficult to pick one. However, the success of our books in The "I" in Team Series is really the most influential. We are positively influencing lives around the world daily now, and that positive influence is available to everyone at any time without limitations on our individual accessibility.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

The responsibility of the people we influence. Every decision we make has the potential to influence others that rely on us to make good decisions.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Do your research about the market you will serve.
  2. During that research, be as objective as you can be about your limitation, advantages, and opportunities.
  3. Finally, be S.M.A.R.T. in all you do. Do not just have S.M.A.R.T. Goals but use S.M.A.R.T. tactics when working to reach those goals. By the way, SMART is the acronym for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely, and each of these tenets can be applied to our goals and actions.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Each person reading this is important and influential, regardless of their current station in life. You have an opportunity to be positive every day, so be responsible for your actions and ensure you are as positive as you can be.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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