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Meet Nikki Winston of The Winston Accounting Group and The WERKin’ Mommas

Today we’d like to introduce you to Nikki Winston.

Nikki, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Thinking back to my childhood growing up in Cincinnati, Ohio, I have always had an entrepreneurial mindset. I knew I would be a business owner, but I also knew I had value to bring to corporate America. I studied accounting at the Max M. Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University and did so on a full academic scholarship.

I’ve worked in roles of increasing responsibility in accounting, finance, and risk for the last 14 years across multiple industries from multi-billion global organizations, PE-backed companies, and startups. I also have an MBA from Troy University and am waiting for my CPA license to arrive in the mail (that journey alone is a story).

My desire to be successful and positively impact as many people as I can is what drives me. I’ve sold Avon, did taxes, started an accounting firm (then started another), invested in real estate and started a transportation company with my husband and father.

I’ve learned a lot, earned a lot, took major L’s, wanted to quit, celebrated our wins and everything you can think of. Public service is also an integral part of my life. That’s what motivates me – I don’t want to wonder what could have been, I’d rather just do it.

I credit my success to my God, my hustle, my grind, and my family. I am always doing or trying something – my husband has held me down through EVERYTHING.

Our businesses were slow to launch because we spent a lot of time on planning and doing things the right way in the back office. We had business plans, did market research, had start-up funds set aside and were in no rush to get to market. If your back office isn’t right, it’s nearly impossible to execute.

Has it been a smooth road?
There are smooth moments; then there are those bumpy roads that never seem to end! A big struggle for me was being torn between corporate America and being an entrepreneur. I read many stories of people “leaving their 9-5” and taking the leap into entrepreneurship. That may be easy for someone making 50K a year.

In my case, I’ve had 6-figure salaries with sweet perks and benefits, so corporate America was good to me, but that desire to do my own thing never went away. I’d often tell people I have a 9-5 and a 5-9 because I was willing to put in the work to accomplish my goals and if I could do both why not?

In launching our business ventures, there were cash flow issues of course. As a finance person, operating lean was my goal, but in the case of the trucking business where we invested the most, there was always a repair or invoice or fee or something to pay. Of course, we budgeted, but you can’t budget for everything.

Another learned lesson was to vet vendors thoroughly. We ended up paying, in my opinion, more for things that could have been avoided had we done more diligence. Now we’re doing EVERYTHING – references, pulling D&B’s, reviews, in-person meetings when needed.

Of course, time management was a constant issue. I would use my lunch break to have calls related to my ventures or have a lot of late nights working on my business since my corporate job occupied most of my time during business hours.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
In 2015, my husband and I launched Premier Elite Transport & Logistics with the goal of changing the trucking industry. We wanted to be known as THE carrier that gets it done after we heard so many suppliers complain about lazy drivers who don’t want to work or abide by the rules. With the help and expertise of my daddy, a 40+ year industry vet, we were able to earn accolades from our partners that most trucking companies take years to earn. Because of our planning, the business was immediately successful, and within a year we were certified by the National Minority Trucking Association as a certified carrier which opened us up to bigger partnerships and opportunities. Of course, there was uneasiness, but with my finance expertise, my husband relationship building, and my daddy’s knowledge we did very well.

I am the proud owner of The Winston Accounting Group where we focus on providing accounting and financial management solutions for businesses and households. Most businesses have great ideas but lack the financial expertise to understand accounting, which is the language of business. We help with financial analysis, financial statement preparation, cash flow, risk management, and talent development to support the growth of the business. For individuals, we provide budgeting and tax planning services for those looking to improve their financial situation at home. Money management is key no matter where you are – treat your home like a business and your business like a home.

As a champion for working moms, I am also the founder of The WERKin’ Mommas, a lifestyle management service that provides time-saving solutions for busy moms who need more time. We clean homes, grocery shop and run errands – all the stuff moms need to do but don’t have the time or desire to do. I know all too well the struggle of being a working mom trying to be a superstar in the office and at home. When you think about all that we have on our plate, outsourcing mundane tasks to someone else brings the relief every mom appreciates.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Atlanta and the surrounding areas are an ideal place to launch a business. Almost every industry and demographic is represented here. In my case, I wanted to launch “universal” businesses, ones that are in demand regardless of geography. Everything we eat, wear, drive or purchase has been transported from somewhere else. Every business needs an accountant; every household should have one. Busy moms are everywhere, and we all share the same struggle of needing more time and relaxation.

Atlanta has numerous networking events, organizations, and resources available that any aspiring business owner can leverage. I moved here from Ohio 12 years ago, and the theme is the same, “It’s about who you know.” Figure out what value or problem you solve for your ideal audience and present your solutions authentically. People buy from people they know, trust and can relate to. Authenticity wins every time!

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Getting in touch: VoyageATL is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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