Co-founder of TaxDome – a cloud based practice management solution targeted to small/medium sized firms (1-25), helping entrepreneurs scale quickly & easily. TaxDome is an all-in-one solution for tax and accounting professionals to manage their business.
Looking back Ilya always had an entrepreneurial spirit and when he was younger he wanted to own a restaurant. He managed to get a job as a busboy but found it was much harder than he thought it would be and didn’t last more than a week. He pivoted his focus and got creative with his first business of selling digital items on eBay. With some encouragement from his parents, Ilya followed the footsteps of his brother and went into finance as a banker and financial analyst.
Several years into his career, Ilya’s boss shut down the hedge fund he was working at and took a three month sabbatical. During that time, his brother was getting into product development and found a big opportunity. Ilya decided to team up with him and that’s how we get to present day with TaxDome. Generally, Ilya tries to adapt to the times and look for new opportunities.
Finance has a bit of a bad reputation but in many ways it’s like Medicine. There are a number of different roles that you can play within the industry. Ilya enjoyed his career in finance and if it wasn’t for his boss getting divorced he would have probably just continued working at the hedge fund and wouldn’t have gone on to start a business.
Oftentimes, the experiences that feel uncomfortable lead to better things in the future. Adversity often refocuses your vision of the world in a more clear way than before and the successful person usually follows a winding path with plenty of setbacks before they get to where they are.
In 2010, the trends were moving in the direction of more people completing tax returns online in some way and back in the day, Ilya and his brother started working with a firm that was looking to go fully remote and scale their business. They started building that product for them and it went on to transform their business. A few years ago, Ilya and his brother saw an opportunity with the emergence of SaaS companies and that’s when the idea for Taxdome came alive. They created a similar platform to the one they created before specifically for accountants that allows them to access a plug and play solution for their business without requiring a major IT investment.
If you’re an accountant, you need a lot of different services in order to run your business and TaxDome is an integrated solution that aims to eliminate as many of those services as possible. TaxDome is trying to reduce the software burden for accountants and allow them to better compete with other businesses as technology changes the way transactions occur.
In a lot of ways, small businesses are facing a large challenge of cobbling together a number of software solutions to be able to compete with larger businesses and their economies of scale. TaxDome is championing small businesses and trying to give them the tools and ability to compete and win.
Adopting a new software solution can be daunting so in order to lower the barrier to entry and give clients an idea of what to expect, TaxDome offers a simulated account without having to sign up. The simulated account allows people to experience the software from the perspective of the owner, the contractor, and the client.
Transparency is a core tenet of TaxDome. Safety and security are a part of that, but a big focus is on making change more approachable. Customers can look into TaxDome and get an understanding of everything they are going to get and exactly what the value of the software to their company will be. From a business structure, TaxDome is not a sales heavy company. The goal is to be so easy to use and obviously valuable that the customer can easily make an informed buying decision.
Technology is reducing the barrier to entry. 20 years ago to start a business you had to spend a large amount of money on infrastructure. Today businesses can access incredible resources like cloud computing that have drastically reduced the costs of starting a business. Technology has also reduced the risk of starting a business by lowering the cost of nearly everything.
In many ways, entrepreneurship is not for everyone. It’s not all afternoons off and coffee with friends. You have to be okay with failure and pivoting in order to be an entrepreneur and people shouldn’t feel pressured to start a business just because it’s currently the sexy thing to do.
For Ilya, being an entrepreneur and being comfortable with failure has been a skill that he developed over time. Being able to take in negative feedback and not take it personally is crucial to the improvement and success of your business.
Write down the pros and cons of your potential decisions. Instead of keeping everything in your head, put it down on paper and make it clear. Few things in life are black and white, they’re mostly grey and putting things down on paper allows you to better navigate big decisions.
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