Accomplished Accountant Sophie Plappert on Launching a Practice of Her Own: SJP Services Group
Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business:
Sophie Plappert, a proud Nashville resident for over a decade, graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in accounting from Belmont University in 2012. Armed with years of experience in accounting, wealth management, and financial planning, she took the skills she’d learned— both accounting-wise and people-wise— to launch SJP Services Group in the summer of 2020. SJP Services Group is a virtual accounting and CFO practice based in Nashville, TN, however, we work with clients from all across the US. As a small business ourselves, we understand that you started your business to do what you love and to make a profit from it, not to spend your nights poring over record books and becoming overwhelmed with accounting jargon. We’re honored to make a big impact on small and medium-sized businesses, and pride ourselves on our close and personal relationships with our clients.
What excites you about being an Entreprenista League member?
I am most excited to connect with and learn from other female business owners
What made you take the leap to start your own business?
I lost my job in the summer of 2020 – being that it was in the height of the pandemic, and the fact that I had just switched to a part-time, work-from-home role before that, I was not excited about job searching. I took a huge leap of faith and formed my own firm almost exactly two years ago and haven’t looked back since.
What was your background prior to starting your own business?
I have worked in many areas in the financial services world. I worked for a small accounting and wealth management firm right out of college, then moved on to business management in the music industry which I quickly learned was not a fit for me at all. I worked as an Associate Financial Advisor for Northwestern Mutual – assisting multiple financial advisors in their practices, mostly handling client services and financial plan preparation. I helped start a wealth management firm, but was let go after having a baby and returning from maternity leave. From there, I decided to get back into accounting and the rest is pretty much history.
Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
Nope! I never thought I would own my own business. Now I can’t imagine doing anything different!
Take us back to when you first launched your business, what was your marketing strategy to get the word out, and did it go as planned?
I really didn’t have a marketing strategy. I created a terrible website by myself and did some posting on social media. I was very lucky to inherit several clients from a former employer that was downsizing their practice and that gave me a very solid start.
What is the biggest challenge you have encountered along the way and what did you learn from it?
Getting comfortable with sales and marketing. I’m naturally an introvert and it was hard to start putting myself out there.
What is the accomplishment you are the proudest of to date?
I lost my job on a Tuesday and by Friday of that week, I had a legal business established, a website, a business bank account, and my first client. I’m very proud of how I made that happen!
Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?
Absolutely! I set very firm boundaries for when I’m available for clients and when I am not. I turned off email and slack notifications on my phone so I’m not constantly interrupted and I don’t usually take calls after 5:00 PM
What’s a piece of advice you can share that you wish you’d known when you first started your Entreprenista journey?
Just start. You don’t have to have all the pieces in place, you will figure it out, but you have to START!
What have you achieved recently that you’d like to celebrate with our community?
I became a Certified CFO through The CFO Project
What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?
I would love to grow the fractional CFO side of my business, my 5-year goal is to eventually have my own Mastermind with my clients, and eventually a million-dollar practice.