How Joe Romano Found Success by Making Mistakes and Sidestepping the Norms

How Joe Romano Found Success by Making Mistakes and Sidestepping the Norms

How we define success differs from person to person. While one person may have ambitions to become a world-renowned marketing guru, there may be someone else who simply relishes in the idea of delivering an awesome service to customers in need.

That said, there’s also the matter of how people go about attaining those successes in life. We hear so much about how it takes a lot of hard work, sales savvy, and extensive marketing to really get our businesses out there, but is that true? According to Joe Romano of Romano & Associates, it might not be… at least for everyone.

When Professional Interests Align with a Personal Passion

Before launching Romano & Associates, Joe Romano worked for and was a partner at an accounting firm for 20 years. Unlike many entrepreneurs I’ve met through the years who work in one field and then launched their own business in something entirely different, Romano’s professional experience and entrepreneurial passion were perfectly aligned. He simply wanted more freedom for himself.

Romano’s full-service accounting firm works mainly with small and medium-sized businesses across a wide variety of industries. The company’s goal is to help these businesses with their tax planning and projections, with things like QuickBooks training and assistance, bookkeeping, and tax return preparation.

But what Romano has found in his decades of working in this field is that every client is different. As such, he doesn’t want his firm or the services they offer to be one-size-fits-all. And he wants to hire people who understand that mission and wholeheartedly believe in providing the very best experience to every single customer.

To hear more about Romano’s unique approach to running a customer-centric business model, check out the podcast below:

A Lesson About Making Mistakes

Now, just because Romano’s transition into entrepreneurship was likely a smooth one what with his 20 years of experience in the field, that doesn’t mean his path to success was any less bumpy than the one others have taken. “It’s impossible not to make mistakes. We need these to become better,” Romano told me.

“It’s impossible not to make mistakes. We need these to become better.”

But it’s not just his own mistakes that he was able to learn from. “The one thing I can impart that I took away from my situation is to become a sponge and learn what other people are doing.”

“The one thing I can impart that I took away from my situation is to become a sponge and learn what other people are doing.”

It didn’t matter how many days a week or how long he worked each day. Romano discovered much more value in taking the time to find a support network that was willing to share their own trials and tribulations as he first launched this new venture. “Having a support group of other business owners who have gone through it before, have seen it before, that can lend a helping ear, that can tell you what they’d done right and what they’d done wrong, it has been invaluable.”

“Having a support group of other business owners who have gone through it before, have seen it before, that can lend a helping ear, that can tell you what they’d done right and what they’d done wrong, it has been invaluable.”

While he will never give up on trying to provide the best service for his clients, Romano does understand that growing a business goes beyond the client piece. That it’s also about growing your support network so you can continue to learn and grow past your mistakes.

A Lesson About Marketing

Perhaps the biggest surprise from our conversation came about when Romano told me the following: “In the last 10 months, we’ve doubled our business. We’ve grown to almost 800 clients almost all from word of mouth.” He continued, “We don’t even ask for referrals from clients. Because we really pride ourselves on the service aspect and the service side of it.”

“In the last 10 months, we’ve doubled our business. We’ve grown to almost 800 clients almost all from word of mouth. We don’t even ask for referrals from clients. Because we really pride ourselves on the service aspect and the service side of it.”

That’s right. Rather than go the traditional digital marketing route of creating high-value content and engaging with an audience on social media, Romano has used customer service to grow his business. “Talk about learning from your prior mistakes: at the old firm, we spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on social media. Facebook, Twitter, everything… with zero results. What we ended up finding out is that, with accountants, it’s a personal relationship. People don’t look at Twitter or Yelp or Facebook for their next accountant.”

“Talk about learning from your prior mistakes: at the old firm, we spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on social media. Facebook, Twitter, everything… with zero results. What we ended up finding out is that, with accountants, it’s a personal relationship. People don’t look at Twitter or Yelp or Facebook for their next accountant.”

That is at once a shocking and yet truly brilliant observation Romano has made. He took the mistakes of his former employer, studied his audience and their needs, and then applied it to his own business’s practice. This is the kind of lesson marketers will always share with you: pay attention to your industry and your audience, and then do what actually works for them.

Romano’s discovery just isn’t the usual outcome you’d expect to see.

  • I like his message about learning from mistakes and not just your own. I’ve been in positions before where I wasn’t happy, but from those positions I’ve always been able to learn. In one position I learned the importance of integrity, in another the wisdom of following through. Despite those roles not being the right fit for me, I was still able to gain something from the experience by learning from mine and others mistakes.

  • Rachel, thanks for taking the time to share!

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    Are you attending Ramon’s 12th Annual Smart Hustle Small Business Conference in New York City?
    http://www.smarthustle.com/conference – Featuring Seth Godin –

    Ramon Ray, Entrepreneur and Global Speaker
    About Ramon – http://www.ramonray.com 917-685-3920 | ramon@smarthustle.com

    Founder, Smart Hustle Magazine
    http://www.SmartHustle.com

  • Pooja

    Continuous learning is the ultimate way to success.
    Further if anyone wants to start business or needs funds they can refer to Bornbrio, as its a platform to collaborate investors, mentors and idea holders. for more details signup to http://www.bornbrio.com