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Key Idea: Stand Out in the Crowd

Mir Fox & Rodriguez always thought they would go up against "the big boys", like the firm they left when they started out on their own. To do that, they had to distinguish themselves from other small firms.

Key Question:

A: 

With MFR, the focus moved to technology. By having better technology than any other small firm, they were perceived to be in the category of big firms. This allowed them to compete effectively for the big firms' clients.

Q:
  What are the risks/rewards of being different?

A:
The biggest risk is the risk of failure. When you are truly unique, you have no models, no road map. You have to know where you are going and how much you are willing to invest to get there. Hardest of all, you have to be willing to say, "Well, this idea didn't work", cut your losses, and move on. If you are successful, the rewards are enormous. In addition to the monetary rewards, you experience the joy of the pioneer and the inventor, knowing YOU did it, you really, really did it!

Q:  Do you think most businesses try to be unique?

A: Probably not. MFR is not the typical accounting firm and the owners don't want to be. Most of us are more likely to follow the mold and live by others' expectations of us rather than challenging ourselves to be different.

Think about it

What is your unique selling proposition?

Clip from: Mir Fox Rodriguez: A Study of Resilience

Houston:  Mir Fox & Rodriguez is a CPA firm in Houston.  Their most important product is their public accounting know-how, but this is also a very important story here about turning adversity into greatness.

Most CPAs do not think of themselves as entrepreneurs. They see themselves as players on the team of companies headed by entrepreneurs. Carolyne Fox admits that she would still work in a big, world-famous CPA firm if she had not been forced to leave by a merger.

In this show two of the three founders were fired, "assisted out" by a Big Five firm; they were not invited to become partners. That was 1987. The good-old-boy network weighed woman and minorities by a different standard. Yet, when these three decided to work together, the sum of the whole equaled an entrepreneurial powerhouse with balance, vision, heart and soul. Though they know and respect the rules, these three are also redefining them.

While Gasper Mir works in the community and brings in new clients, Carolyne Fox manages the service side freeing Roland Rodriguez to develop new businesses and work with their offices in Mexico and South America.

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Mir Fox & Rodriguez (CF)

Carolyne Fox, Founder

1900 One Riverway
Houston, TX 77056
713 662 1120

Visit our web site: http://mfrpc.com

Office: 713 662 1120

Business Classification:
Accounting

Year Founded: 1988

Stand Out in the Crowd

(Voiceover) Our research told us that Mir, Fox, Rodriguez is a CPA firm, but you won't find the term CPA at mfrgroup.com. Here, accounting is done as a beginning point, not as an end in itself.

CAROLYNE: FOX: Our goal is always to be the best business adviser we can be and to really offer proactive service to the client.

ROLAND RODRIGUEZ: We create an environment where ideas flow then those ideas will gravitate to where the best of the best is transpiring.

GASPER MIR: We generally end up finding ourselves competing as much against the big firms as we do against other smaller firms. And quite frankly, in competing against big firms, we love it because, obviously, we bring, we believe, the same amount of talent, same qualifications. Our work is of the same caliber. We're much more responsive. We're much more part of their team.

HATTIE: (voiceover) This is Gasper Mir. This is Carolyne Fox. This is Roland Rodriguez. They may look typical to you, but if you thought that, you would be wrong. CPAs are supposed to be boring. They're supposed to be objective and cold. They're supposed to be better at telling clients what to do and what not to do than executing on creative strategies themselves.

GASPER: We had our Internet company that we incubated here, was officing here.

ROLAND: And that particular company is now providing interactive television technology, but also video streaming, video broadcasting, video e-mail. We're just in the process of signing up customers, but they're going to be some of your major television networks.

GASPER: We do rely on one another quite a bit. You know, Roland has carried one aspect of what we're doing. It's more out there with some of the Internet activity and the companies that we've worked with, that we've launched off separately. And he has been totally focused and engrossed in that. And we have total confidence in him. He brings us up to date. He keeps us up to date on what's going on, and so he's off doing it.

ROLAND: I have taken both an equity position and an active management role, and I'm still on the board of that company. We're not straying away from our core competence, in that our core competence happens to be, you know, business, raising money, structuring companies. It's just that we've become what I've almost an incubator.

GASPER: Carolyne, particularly over the last few years, has been concentrated on our CPA side of the house, developing the technologies that are driving that part of it. And she drives it.

CAROLYNE: A partnership is so much like a marriage, and some of them work and some of them don't. But Mir, Fox & Rodriguez collectively are so much stronger than we are individually. And the things that we have in common are our values. The number one priority is integrity, that we're honest--we're honest with each other, we're honest with our clients and we're honest in what we do. We sell integrity. That's our work product. Client focus is absolutely critical and no one works harder than the partners. We have extraordinarily high standards. It's very difficult to meet those standards. We are perfectionists when it comes to rendering service to our clients. And everyone who works here and works here successfully is on board with that.

GASPER: I've sort of been helping on the technology consulting and trying to get that focused and trying to make sure that it fits in with the organization as a whole.

HATTIE: This is more computer power in here than you need right now then? Is that what you're saying?

GASPER: It is more power than we need. Again, you build up the skeleton and the base, the foundation, and then the added part would just come to it. Whether we decide to host applications or whether we decide to co-locate, it gives us a platform. We have the flexibility to go different ways.

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