The Stories That Make Great Business Owners

by - Monday, April 15, 2019

Customers don't often see, or realize, the amount of time, money and effort that goes into owning a business. It is extremely hard to have a successful, thriving business but the rewards are well worth it. Three Best Rated® wasn't just founded to help customers find great businesses but also to recognize all the hard work and sacrifices these business owners make. Three Best Rated® sat down with three business owners - Solomon Nordine of Complete Accounting Solutions, Joe Torbica of Tesla Computers and Shilpa Burad of Panda Flowers - to listen to their stories of what it takes to be a top-rated company.

Solomon Nordine is the president of Complete Accounting Solutions. Looking at him today, it's hard to see anything but a successful public accountant. However, like everyone, Solomon had to claw his way up to the top.

For Solomon, it all started with simply enjoying learning about businesses. He was fascinated at the thought of being employable by everyone in the world. “I was encouraged by my CGA father to become an accountant,” he recalls fondly. “Originally, I wanted to be an offshore accountant but after working in the public practice and saving people money on their taxes, I decided to work locally instead.” Solomon started as a controller during a slow period. He was starting from scratch, but he was determined to make his name known by saving his clients money. “By taking extra time to analyze potential tax savings and prior period adjustments, I ended up with happy clients that were more than willing to tell other people about me. My website also started to draw in business and by saving people money, I kept growing through referrals,” says Solomon. “By the third year, I needed two employees just to keep up with my referral growth.” Solomon has been incorporated since 2003 and operating as Complete Accounting Solutions since 2007.

Business hasn't always been easy, however. “[The hardest day of my business was] when our initial win at the B.C. Supreme Court to keep the word 'Professional' in our designation was overturned on appeal by CPABC,” Solomon recalls. They kept fighting and were able to get clarification of the final order in their favor. “We were able to re-brand the designation to Public Business Accountants and keep the PBA designation active in B.C.,” explains Solomon. “In the end, it was well worth defending the designation, but it would have been nice to avoid the hassle.” Even now, Solomon continues to make sacrifices for his business. “I've worked long hours, reinvested profits and taken additional programs so I can offer clients tax shelter services,” Solomon says. “Doing so may have increased my costs upfront, but it was well worth it in the long run.” He also goes the extra mile to resolve potential conflicts and issues to ensure his clients are given the best experience he can give. Solomon wants to continue to grow his business, but not for himself. He wants to grow his business for everyone that needs his services. “I would like to help everyone, [but] we need to prioritize the corporate small businesses,” Solomon says. “We're constantly hiring so we still take on small files by referrals, but I would like to get back to a position where we can take on nearly everyone that wants to use our services.”

When Solomon and his team found out they were listed on Three Best Rated®, they were excited. “We had already won the Consumer Choice Award, so the addition of the Three Best Rated® award meant our hard work was being noticed and that was quite rewarding,” Solomon says. He and his team have worked extremely hard to deliver the best tax services to their clients and being listed on Three Best Rated® makes them feel as though they have. “Our goal now is to keep showing up year after year,” he says. “The team has put in a lot of hard work with me and knowing we've achieved an outstanding [award] makes a big difference.”

Joe Torbica knew he wanted to work with computers the first time he got his hands on one. “The computer was not the best for the time,” Joe recalls, “but I saw all the amazing things you could do with a computer.” It was always a dream of his to own his own business and opening a computer repair shop seemed to be the perfect solution. Before opening Tesla Computers in 2007, he worked as a computer technician for a big corporation to build his skills.

Joe found out opening a business was no easy feat. “In the beginning, I was spending a lot of money for advertising and trying to find ways to bring the customers to my shop,” he says. “My first customer came in to repair their computer and they left happy.” That was the start of Tesla Computers' great reputation. “I always gave a good warranty for service and I make sure every customer is happy with our services and products,” he says. With that, Joe unlocked the key to a successful business.

It hasn't always been easy, however. “My biggest struggle is trying to keep the customers happy,” Joe admits. “A few years ago, a customer returned a computer purchased in my shop multiple times. He was trying to claim warranty because his kids physically damaged the PC and that isn't covered in the warranty. I fixed it anyway, without any problems, in hopes that he will send his family and friends to my business.” In his quest to provide excellent customer service, Joe has also made sacrifices. “I sometimes have to try and leave other jobs to help customers who need their computer fixed immediately,” he says. “Many times, if it's only a little issue, I won't charge them to make sure they come back.” This can cost him a lot of money up front, but it's worth it when the customer does come back and even refers their friends and family.

When Joe found out he was rated as one of the three best computer repair shops in Windsor by Three Best Rated®, he couldn't believe it. “I was very happy and surprised,” he says. “It proves the quality of my work and customer ratings.” He knew that the sacrifices and struggles he went through to open his shop and make it successful were all worth it. “This rating tells customers where to go and who to trust with their personal PC. It tells them who will respect their privacy and keep their private data confidential,” Joe says, “and I'm one of the three best.”

Shilpa Burad always had a mind for the arts and creativity. She always knew she wanted to do something art-related, but couldn't figure out what. She completed her education in the arts and went on to learn digital media to help her husband make architectural walk-throughs. In 2005, they took a big leap and immigrated to Canada in 2005. With two kids to raise, Shilpa decided to take a break from the digital media world. However, her close friend Sonal Raje, an artist, inspired her to pursue floristry. She completed her diploma from the Canadian Institute of Floral Design and hasn't looked back since. “Working with flowers is a delicate affair,” she says. “It's a labor of love.”

Shilpa worked as a florist for some nationally renowned shops in Toronto before she moved to the wild west (a.k.a. Alberta). She worked with a dozen floral shops before the owners of Panda Flowers decided to retire and were trying to sell their business. Shilpa jumped at the chance and started her first flower shop. She would soon realize that owning her own shop wouldn't be all roses and daisies.

The first struggle Shilpa had to contend with was how her shop could stay viable in the age of the internet. Many consumers where moving to online competitors. “We had to understand the ever-changing buying trends of the current generation and invest dollars where most traditional shops wouldn't even think of,” she explained. Most of all, Panda Flowers gives consumers something they simply can't get online – a human connection. Customers order flowers to commemorate a special occasion and Shilpa makes sure every bouquet, every flower, every detail embodies that sentiment.

Her reputation and legacy are built upon the sacrifices she has made. “There are many sacrifices [successful business owners] must take. It may be stability of work, stability of income, balancing our work/life split or sacrificing our sleep and comfort,” Shilpa says. “One must be ready to embrace an unstable path and unpredictable shifts on a daily basis.” Shilpa has seen her fair share of tough days. “Valentine's Day is one of the hardest, exhausting but fruitful days of the year,” she laughs. There's a lot riding on a successful Valentine's Day, for the shop and the customers. The past Valentine's Day was one of the hardest Shilpa had experienced. “We had hired three delivery companies to deliver flowers to three different areas of the town,” Shilpa recalls. “One of the delivery companies did not show up and we had to create an entire family and friends delivery crew within a matter of hours.” It was a very challenging and trying Valentine's Day for Panda Flowers, but it was worth it in the end. “It did end well with some really satisfied smiles,” Shilpa says. “And we learned a valuable lesson about the importance of delivery companies for flower shops.” She knows there will always be challenges and hard days, but there's always a lesson she can learn, too.

It was a pleasant surprise for Shilpa and Panda Flowers when they learned they were listed on Three Best Rated®. “Quite honestly, it was a humbling experience to learn that the work you do on a daily basis is validated by someone, somewhere, who is not connected to the actual business, but is observing it from the internet,” she says. It helped make her feel that the struggles and sacrifices she and many others have put into the business are worth it. “Being listed on Three Best Rated® gives us, as a business, an opportunity to brag about ourselves and Three Best Rated®,” Shilpa laughs. “We always talk about the unbiased, unrelated third-party approach taken by Three Best Rated®.” Shilpa wants to continue to work hard to deliver the best product and experience to the city of Sherwood Park and greater Edmonton area in Alberta.

Support These Great Businesses

Complete Accounting Solutions
17619 - 96th Avenue, #100
Surrey, BC V4N 4A9
Phone: 604-498-2655

Tesla Computers
4650 Tecumseh Road East
Windsor, ON N8W 1K7
Phone: 519-974-3700

Panda Flowers
550 Baseline Road, Unit 200
Sherwood Park, AB T8H 2G8
Phone: 780-416-1717

Written by Eileen Shone, Three Best Rated®
Original Source:

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