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Last Update: Wednesday December 13, 2017

Key Idea: Do It Differently

Chaker Aoun owns a beverage distribution company.  Ahmad has been his accountant since 1989 and has helped Chaker grow to over $10 million in annual sales.  In addition to doing the compliance work, Ahmad is his business advisor.

Key Question:

A: 

After getting some experience in his first accounting job, Ahmad could have gone to a big accounting firm or some other established company.

Q:
How did Ahmad build such a strong accounting practice?

A: He did not compete with existing firms. He did work for clients others could not or would not serve. It became clear to Ahmad that he could build an accounting practice by simply focusing on Arab-speaking Americans. Also, he was patient. He stuck with clients who were working hard and as their income increased, Ahmad's did too.

There are thousands of accountants and they all have the same training. By sticking to serving the Arab-speaking community, Ahmad found his unique selling proposition. The only way for a small company to grow is to have a unique product or service. All tax forms are alike. By law, all Americans earning income have to file a tax return and many do this on their own. With the language barrier faced by most immigrants and their desire to do things right, Ahmad had a group of potential clients who were thrilled and relieved to have him by their side.

In conversations that didn't make it into this episode, we learned from Ahmad that older Arab-Americans recommend Ahmad to their sons and daughters. Because in their culture the parents are respected and obeyed, Ahmad has dozens of clients he probably wouldn't have if his practice was an ordinary one. So parent pressure has helped to build Omnex.

Q: Would Ahmad be as successful today if he had left the Arab-American community?

A: We would say, "yes." The discipline and focus we know he developed just to be able to make a living in the US would have taken him to the top of any corporation and probably to the top in any field he would have chosen.

Think about it

What could you accomplish if you committed to serve people who are not now being served? Where is that niche you could serve?

Clip from: Omnex Accounting

Dearborn, Michigan: Meet Ahmad Chebbani. He introduces new Arab Americans to the real heart and soul of their new country.   He represents the United States of America to Arab leaders around the world and helps them to see the profound goodness of this country and to dispel the images they learn from Hollywood and Madison Avenue.

Ahmad Chebbani and his wife, Michelle, began their accounting business in 1987. Today, they are the busiest single tax preparation office in the USA.

Meet the people of Omnex Accounting. This team makes filing tax returns for 3,500+ individuals and 600+ businesses look easy.

Go to all the key ideas and videos of the episode...  
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Omnex Accounting & Tax Services

Ahmad Chebbani, Founder, Chairman / CEO

12740 W. Warren Ave.
Suite 200
Dearborn, MI 48126

Visit our web site: http://www.omnextax.com/

Business Classification:
Accounting, Information Services,

Year Founded: 1987

Do It Differently

AHMAD: That's why I think we're unique. Knowing, understanding what the new immigrant agony is, experience is. Is that we take the extra step of assisting them, of making their life easier. And that's why probably we're liked. That's why probably we are successful. Is that really caring about the small thing that the individual wants, you know. The client knowing that you care about that is enough to create the self-respect.

HATTIE: Chaker Aoun owns this beverage distribution company.

CHAKER: We started the company in May 15, 1989, and Ahmad was the first Accounting to talk to and to sub with at that time.

HATTIE: You now have 3,000 accounts?

CHAKER: Around - between 3,000 and 3,500 accounts. We call on those every week.

HATTIE: And you deliver convenience stores, grocery stores –

CHAKER: Convenience stores, supermarkets, gas stations, liquor stores, everything have -- any stores (where) they sell fresh juices and uh water, iced teas, beverages in general.

HATTIE: Okay. How have you grown? What do you think the secret to your success is?

CHAKER: Well, we started from $0, now we're at over $10 million sales a year. Ahmad is one of the people we consult on a monthly basis, a quarterly basis. He advises. He knows his job in the Accounting. He keeps the numbers straight and he makes sure we're doing the right Account ways. The future looks better.

The harder we work, then the luckier we get.

AHMAD: (voiceover) Let's just set up a new one. It's much easier --

HATTIE: Ahmad does more than number-crunching for his clients. He's a business advisor. He helps them value their assets, tangible and intangible. He shows them how they compare to others in the same industry. He provides real estate cost-analysis, employee wage and benefits data. And here, he puts a banker with a client who is ready to expand.

BANKER: As long as you stay within budget you'll be fine.

CLIENT: I'll be fine.

AHMAD: You have experiences that start from 0 ... then you grow with these individuals who come in as the first-starters, and you share with them their experience, their agony to stay in business. And then a year later, two years later, you share with them the success stories, and then the growth and acquisitions and so on.

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