How This Agency Uses Specialization to Thrive in a Crowded Market

How This Agency Uses Specialization to Thrive In a Crowded Market

While there are many accounting and bookkeeping agencies out there, takes a specialized approach by catering its services specifically to e-commerce brands and Amazon sellers.

In this interview, Alan Chen shares how this approach allows the company to stand out and offer high-quality services through a deep understanding of the issues its clients face.

👇 Key Takeaways

  • Alan started the business based on observations he made while in a previous role
  • offers a highly specialized service to a specific audience
  • They grew the business through networking, content marketing, social media, and webinars
  • Alan and Stanford have partnered with e-commerce platforms to get in front of their target audience


Business Name: Tax & Bookkeeping eCommerce Agency
Website URL:
Founders: Alan Chen and Stanford Dai
Business Location: USA, California
Year Started: 2018

Tell us about yourself and your business.

I’m the founder of, a specialized tax and accounting agency catering to e-commerce business owners who operate on platforms like Shopify and Amazon FBA. My academic background is in finance and accounting. Before launching, I worked at a major accounting Big4 firm where I honed my expertise in e-commerce and digital marketplaces. 

Recognizing the unique challenges faced by online sellers in managing their finances and complying with tax obligations, I decided to start an agency focused on this niche. Our team is dedicated to ensuring our clients’ financial statements are accurate, compliant, and optimized for their business growth.

How does your business make money?

We primarily generate revenue through our specialized tax and accounting services, which include monthly bookkeeping, financial statement preparation, and tax filing assistance tailored to e-commerce businesses. Our pricing model is based on a subscription service, where clients can choose from various packages depending on their size and specific needs. We also offer customized consulting services for more complex tax planning and financial analysis projects, which are billed on a per-project basis.

An eCommerce company normally struggles with filling out and staying compliant with sales tax, as well as bookkeeping so that it can track its revenue and profit margins every month.

For example, if an eCommerce business is dropshipping or buying inventory and doing eCommerce on Shopify, the customer acquisition costs and ad spend dollars are usually high.

Together with the cost of goods sold (COGS), eCom business owners need to have a pulse on the profit margins so that they stay profitable and don’t go bankrupt.

Clean bookkeeping helps with that.

What was your inspiration for starting the business?

The inspiration came from observing the struggles of e-commerce entrepreneurs with their financial management and tax compliance. Many of them are great at selling products online but find the accounting and tax aspects overwhelming.

I saw a gap in the market for an accounting service that not only understands the unique challenges of online sales but also offers tailored solutions to help these businesses thrive financially. This led to the creation of, with the mission to demystify tax and accounting for e-commerce entrepreneurs.

How and when did you launch the business?

We launched in early 2019 after several months of planning and preparation. The launch involved setting up our online presence, creating service packages specifically designed for e-commerce businesses, and initiating marketing efforts to reach our target audience.

We leveraged online forums, social media, and e-commerce webinars to introduce our services and share valuable tax and accounting insights with potential clients.

How much money did you invest to start the business?

The initial investment was around $0, as we had clients that we were servicing already. We were cash flow positive and poured that money into the other parts of the business and hiring people.

Our aim was to keep overhead low by operating remotely, which allowed us to allocate more resources to developing our expertise and client support capabilities.

How did you find your first few clients or customers?

Our first clients came through a combination of networking within the e-commerce community and content marketing. We shared actionable tax and accounting advice on our blog and social media channels, which helped establish our expertise and attract early customers.

Additionally, participating in e-commerce webinars and online forums allowed us to engage directly with potential clients, offering personalized advice that often led to business inquiries.

What was your first year in business like?

The first year was both challenging and exhilarating. We were working long hours, fine-tuning our services, and learning from every client interaction. It took about six months before we started seeing a steady flow of clients and revenue.

The focus was on building a solid foundation for the business and sales process, which included developing efficient processes, creating valuable content, and establishing a strong online presence.

What strategies did you use to grow the business?

Growth was driven by a focus on providing exceptional service, word-of-mouth referrals, and strategic content marketing. We also invested in SEO to increase our visibility to e-commerce business owners searching for tax and accounting help. Partnering with e-commerce platforms and other service providers in the industry helped expand our reach and credibility.

Tell us about your team.

Our team consists of accountants and bookkeepers, who form our service delivery team, and marketing teams that work on SEO and lead generation.

What are your future plans for the business?

We plan to expand our services to include financial advisory and CFO services for e-commerce businesses looking to scale. Additionally, we’re exploring the development of proprietary software to help automate and streamline some of the more routine accounting tasks for our clients.

Our goal is to be the go-to financial partner for e-commerce entrepreneurs, supporting them through every stage of their business growth.

What was the turning point when you knew your business was successful?

The turning point came when we had a consistent month-over-month growth in clients and revenue, which not only covered our operational costs but also allowed us to reinvest in the business. Receiving positive feedback and referrals from satisfied clients was a clear indicator of our success and impact.

Our customers we have measured usually do not leave us, because we get the job done. We have measured that the only time a client has left is because they got successfully acquired by another company through private equity.

Other than that, we know our service delivery is spot on because our retention rates are very high.

What is the most important lesson you’ve learned growing the business?

The importance of niching down and truly understanding your target market. Specializing in e-commerce allowed us to develop deep expertise and tailor our services to significantly add value to our clients, setting us apart from generalist accounting firms.

The customers we serve using Shopify and Amazon FBA, a lot of them have become close friends and by going deep, we thoroughly understand their pain points.

What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome?

One of the biggest challenges was building visibility and trust within the e-commerce community. Overcoming this required a focused effort on content marketing, community engagement, and delivering consistently excellent service to build our reputation.

What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs?

Focus on solving a specific problem for a specific audience. The clarity and effectiveness of your solution will be much greater when you deeply understand the needs and challenges of your target market.

What is your favorite quote?

The best way to predict the future is to create it.

Peter Drucker

This quote resonates with me, as it highlights the proactive mindset needed to succeed in business and life.

If you had to start from scratch, where would you begin?

If I were starting over, I would validate the business idea with potential customers before building out the full suite of services. This lean approach ensures that the business is closely aligned with market needs from the outset.

What are some of your favorite resources for entrepreneurs?

Some of my favorite resources include the book “Profit First” by Mike Michalowicz, for its innovative approach to financial management.

The “Ecommerce Fuel” podcast for staying updated on industry trends.

The Lean Startup” by Eric Ries for its insights on efficient business operations. I also regularly follow the Shopify and BigCommerce blogs for their valuable content on e-commerce strategies.

I also consume a lot of content from the eCommerce entrepreneurs who do content, including Davie Fogarty, Iman Gadzhi (Big Day and Gadzhi Glasses), Alex Fedotoff, Sebastian Ghiorhiu, and Josh Snow.

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