Kingwood-based business GrowthForce has been named 2008 Small Business of the Year by the Lone Star College System. This award was recently presented at the 22nd annual Small Business Development Center Advisory Council Small Business Awards Banquet, held at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel. GrowthForce is a local outsourced accounting and financial services firm with clients worldwide. Their focus is on helping small businesses grow with the services of accounting, bookkeeping, taxes and consulting advice. Founded in 2004 by Stephen King, a certified public accountant with nearly 30 years of experience in the accounting industry, GrowthForce provides small businesses with the tools, advice and services typically only available to much larger companies. King is dedicated to providing small businesses with the assistance they require to improve and grow. “Our focus is on providing them with the information they need to help them make improved financial decisions, which leads to improved cash flow,” he said. Providing clients with systems which enable them to keep costs down is key to the operations of GrowthForce. “What’s unique about us is that we are a systems company first,” said King. “What we focus on is automating the back office bookkeeping and accounting processes so that small business owners can reduce their costs. That is what is unique about us, our ability to help small businesses grow by using accounting and bookkeeping as a strategic tool rather than a necessary evil.” Before founding GrowthForce, King had developed and grown a business called Virtual Growth that became the largest bookkeeping bureau in the country. He sold it to Administaff Inc. in 2001 and came to Kingwood to become president of their financial management services. In 2004, King’s division at Administaff closed. He bought it back and from there, GrowthForce was born. GrowthForce can attribute its success to many factors. “A special thanks to Sparky Nolan (Kingwood Chamber of Commerce President) is in order,” said King. “He promoted us heavily, and he put us on the map.” An excellent working relationship with Administaff is also a key support. They trade referrals and conduct seminars together on a regular basis. The most important key to the success of GrowthForce, however, is with the firm’s employees.  “We have an incredibly talented, dedicated staff,” said King. “They love what they are doing because they are helping businesses grow.” Future plans and goals include offices in Sugar Land, Dallas, San Antonio, and from there – all over the country. “I want to build the largest outsourced accounting and bookkeeping firm in the country again,” said King. King has a sincere fondness and enthusiasm for Kingwood. “This is my third business, and it is so much easier here than anywhere else,” he said. “This is the perfect place to start a business. The costs are lower, the economy is stronger, and the environment here is very receptive to new business. There is a southern hospitality and warm entrepreneurial spirit here.” For more information about GrowthForce, go to www.growthforce.com, or call 281-358-2007. Photo: Dr. Katherine Persson, left, and Stephen King.

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