Calvin Foster, CPA and Founder of My Fifth Avenue, started his career in public accounting after graduating from The University of Central Florida with a degree in accounting. He worked for a variety of small to mid-sized CPA firms which allowed him to become familiar with the accounting and financial needs of the startup and small business community. After completing his CPA license and taking some time off to travel and regroup, Foster was ready for a new challenge.
"I reached out to my network and found some opportunities where I could be of assistance," he said. "People needed help with their pitch deck presentations, business plans and/or general accounting. I found that I could add value by providing these advisory services to them."
My Fifth Avenue was launched in December 2016. With a love of entrepreneurship and a desire to serve a community he thoroughly supports, Foster created a place for entrepreneurs to collaborate and receive guidance. With services ranging from accounting/finance to marketing consulting and opportunities for other entrepreneurs to increase their own revenue streams by becoming affiliate members, My Fifth Avenue has grown to include an extensive list of domestic and international members. Industries of expertise include, real estate & development, construction, property management, HOAs & condominiums, commercial goods, e-commerce, manufacturing and non-profit.
Foster shared more about the business model and what makes My Fifth Avenue so unique. "We actually have two websites," he said. "One is for the accounting work and the other is more of an e-commerce site, or as I like to call it, an 'online community'. It's a place where people can share their work, promote themselves, get deals, purchase discounted products and also earn rewards that can be redeemed for additional exposure. Affiliate members can earn discounts on products and services or commissions for acting as a referral source. Our community thrives on collaboration. Although we provide quality certified and professional services, there are also great opportunities for startups and entrepreneurs to collaborate with other members within the community with little-to-no impact on their budget."
When it comes to challenges and growth, Foster admits that navigating the startup environment can be a hassle for anyone just starting out. Fortunately there are organizations, such as the National Entrepreneurship Center and the Small Business Development Center poised and ready to help budding entrepreneurs. Foster also took advantage of his own social network to grow the business. He enjoys meeting new people, discovering new talent & innovation and helping others transform their dreams into reality.
Looking ahead, Foster shared his top three goals and what he hopes to accomplish with My Fifth Avenue. "My goals include, meeting other professionals to network and collaborate with, participating in charities and community activities/events and pursuing my dream of becoming a multi-national professional and growing My Fifth Avenue as a way to support my efforts."
What advice does Foster have for aspiring entrepreneurs? "Don't be afraid to ask for help," he said. "If you have a vision, bounce your ideas off of someone else. It's important to get objective feedback. Also, do it sooner than later. It's never too early in the process to reach out for help. I didn't ask for advice until I established a clear vision. If I could have a redo, I would have reached out sooner."
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