Wesley Melchiorre – Partner, Scotto & Melchiorre Group LLC

Wesley Melchiorre is a partner of Scotto & Melchiorre Group LLC, New York’s #1 fastest-growing private accounting firm on the 2018 Inc. 5000 list. Wesley and his partner, Gregory Scotto, specialize in full-service bookkeeping and CFO services that are custom-designed to assist in overcoming obstacles and achieving business goals. With the support of their team, Scotto & Melchiorre Group provides continuous coaching and offers valuable analytics and financial direction to their clients, management team, and to their investors. Their specialized reporting packages and budgeting analytics have had overwhelming positive feedback and the business insights generates proactive planning for future business decisions among their clientele. Wesley received a B.S. in Corporate Finance from Bentley University in Waltham, MA. Outside of the daily grind, Wesley enjoys spending time with his wife and three daughters.

How did the concept for Scotto & Melchiorre Group come about?
The concept of Scotto & Melchiorre Group came really just from understanding that there’s potential out there to do better than what we have seen and what has been offered. We recognized a major gripe for many business owners – they weren’t getting the proper attention on their books and communication on results, which prevented adaptation to their systems. We took an approach that our team and ourselves would be more accessible to our clients and we would be the business advisory team for them. Most business owners only know what they’ve done, they never trained to be a CEO, which is why we can offer CEO/CFO insights and guidance to help make better and more educated business decisions. Utilizing the technologies available allows us to create an exciting work product that people have been supportive of and can get behind. In working with other numerous employers in the past, we understood the types of products that people were providing; we knew that we were hungry and motivated enough to do it much better.

How was the first year in business?
The first year in business was a tremendous learning curve for us, as we made mistakes and grew from them. There were long hours of hard work and using the bumps in the road as a map to follow and better our business. Family vacations were not an option, and late nights and Saturdays were a necessity as we started out with one full-time employee, and we weren’t in the business of missing deadlines. We hired several key positions to manage and delegate the work and created internal redundancies to prevent oversight and a missed client response, as responsiveness and accessibility are core values to us. We added and adjusted processes as we went through each task to ensure a smooth operation, which is still a key component today – reviewing and fixing processes in your company, as you can always improve.

What was your marketing strategy?
With virtually no marketing budget, we relied on doing the right thing by the clients, setting expectations and over-delivering – CONSISTENTLY. Client referrals were a major factor in our growth. We capitalized on our satisfied customers and leveraged our relationships by requesting them to share their feedback on Google, Facebook and Yelp, which helps validates prospective clients’ concerns. We created strategic alliances with key vendors who have a similar work ethic to ours, vendors that would keep the client’s best interest in mind, who are responsive, and willing to see an issue through to the end. A good referral source that believes in your team, product, and service is a valuable marketing strategy and doesn’t cost anything except great work and time.

How fast did the company grow during the first few years?
We started in October 2015 and growth has been faster than we ever imagined. Scotto & Melchiorre Group was ranked #1191 on the 2018 Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing private companies in America. We experienced a 406% revenue growth, generating over $2.2 million in 2017. We more than doubled our full-time staff over a period of a year – going from 6 employees in 2016 to 15 in 2017 – which caused us to outgrow the space we were in, so we purchased and renovated a 5000 square foot office in Islandia, New York. We were nominated by our team and won the HIA-LI Rookie of the Year award, for businesses that have been operating for less than five years, at their 2018 annual Business Achievement Awards.

How do you define success?
We have a vested interest in all of our clients, which means their success is our success, which motivates us to stay proactive and be resourceful to overcome any challenges that occur. As a business owner, success can be measured in different forms. For me, it was about one-and-a-half years in, with a great team filled with positive energy, and everyone enjoying coming to work and knowing their responsibilities, and I personally was able to enjoy a healthier work/life balance and enjoy seeing my kids during daylight.

What is the key to success?
Success comes hand in hand with having a great job you enjoy coming to every day, mixed with satisfied customers who you consider your friends or partners. For our office, we keep a positive, high-energy working environment, where our staff is continuously growing, training, and able to ask questions which has been a key component for us. For our clients, accessibility, responsiveness, and informing our clients regularly has maintained strong relationships with our clients who entrust us with their business and personal information, plans, and goals.

What is the greatest lesson you’ve ever learned?
It’s not always going to be perfect. We’re going to constantly have bumps in the road, but it’s really how you react to those bumps in a positive or negative way. A big reason why we have been successful is because we’ve been able to react quickly to them. Because you put your heart and soul into something, when there is a mishap, I take it very personally, but I have to realize that’s just the inevitability of business. As business owners, any mishap in the company from any department, we analyze how the mistake occurred, and we identify what “we” could have done better to train or communicate with our team to fix and avoid that mistake from happening again. This lesson helps allow our team to feel comfortable with acknowledging errors which enables us to fix the process in a positive way.

What are some quotes that you live by?
“Remember why you started.” – It keeps me focused and makes me remember that it’s not just about financial achievements. I have a family at home, including three little girls. I don’t want their only memory of me to be just at the office.

“Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people.” – Not letting the success get to your head. Understanding that the team you have surrounding you is a big reason why you are where you are.

What are some of your favorite books?
US Master Tax Guide – Once you start this light read, it’s nearly impossible to put down; we highly recommend it.

Tell me about one of the toughest days you’ve had as an entrepreneur.
Our first day. I was petrified. I was scared, and I didn’t know what was going to happen. At the same time, I was excited and ready to face whatever adventures were coming. I had no idea what clients I was going to have and what was going to happen with the business. Day one, you set a budget on paper or in your mind, on what your personal finances are and what you need to make to cover your monthly expenses. Without a set number of clients, it was very uncertain, and a fearful day. It was the fear of the unknown. Within a day, I would say, those fears dissipated. Once I was confident that this was going to work, then everything kind of fell into place.

When faced with adversity, what pushes you to keep moving forward?
Luckily, I have a great partnership, and my business partner is my sounding board and we are able to collaborate our ideas and thoughts as a team. On a personal level, my family and my kids. Making sure that they have a future and that they seek whatever adventure fulfills them.

What advice would you give to young entrepreneurs?
Nothing happens fast. I feel like with the younger generations, everything has to be a waterfall. For me, it was consistent hard work and adding experiences to my repertoire, and building a presence and a name in the industry. Building a good rapport with clients, as well as understanding that it takes time to develop those skills in order to hold a conversation and be confident in what you’re talking about. It takes time to build a good team. Nothing happens overnight. You have to put the work in. For me, it took 15 years of hard work before the opportunity opened up for me to own my own business. So, just grind. Get out there and grind, because nothing is going to be given to you.

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Interviews are conducted for research purposes by author Jason Navallo for his upcoming book, Underdog.

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