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Fiona Nguyen Is on a Mission to Help As Many Small Businesses As Possible Succeed. Here's How.

Headshot of Fiona Nguyen

Meet Fiona Nguyen, the Founder and CEO of Balannx LLC, a boutique firm empowering impact-driven small businesses through financial accounting and consulting.

Fiona’s journey is a testament to resilience, shaped by her Vietnamese upbringing and her mother’s unwavering support for others through her textile business. Fiona’s ultimate move to the United States for college carried with it lessons of community and perseverance. With a mission to democratize financial insights usually reserved for corporations, Fiona founded Balannx. Beyond just the numbers, she aims to make financial understanding engaging and even enjoyable for entrepreneurs.

We asked Fiona about the founding story behind Balannx, the achievements she’s most proud of thus far, and what’s next for her and her company.

Tell us the story behind your company’s founding. How and why did you start working on Balannx LLC?

One of the main reasons I left corporate was because I was passionate about serving entrepreneurs with the same level of insight and expertise that’s usually only reserved for companies with big budgets and deep pockets. It’s also because now I get to start my mornings watching the pink and orange hues of the sunrise, with a steaming cup of matcha green tea in hand, totally in awe of the freedom I have now.

I believe that you deserve to understand what’s really happening with your numbers; forecast multiple scenarios if you’re launching something new; enjoy sitting down to look at your financial results; and grow your business with confidence and excitement. If you know your numbers you’ll have real, easy-to-digest data that will help you make better decisions and reach for the stars.

What problem does Balannx LLC solve? 

We help clients understand their business numbers thanks to proper forecasting, such as cash flow projection, and grow their businesses with financial data. I realized that small businesses normally do not have the analytical data to help their business decisions, and that is where we help them the most.

In what ways has your upbringing or past experiences contributed to how you operate as an entrepreneur?

I am a CPA and earned an MBA in finance. I believe that all small business owners deserve the opportunity to know their numbers inside and out so they can be successful.

Long before I worked for corporate giants, such as Coca-Cola, IBM, and Kimberly Clark, I was watching my mother give opportunities to others in her own business back in Vietnam where I grew up. I learned so much from her along the way. I saw her buy and sell textiles from her old concrete distribution center after the war ended because she wanted something to call her own; I helped her roll hundreds and hundreds of textiles under a single fan blowing hot air at the peak of each summer because she was raising our whole family by herself; I witnessed dozens of women purchased her textiles without paying in advance to start their own businesses. 

We were tested in so many ways, but especially so when her distribution center burned down in a fire overnight. That’s when I witnessed the biggest lesson of all. The women she’d supported with seed funding for years told her: “We don’t know how much you need to rebuild, but we’ll give you the money because you helped us.” As I watched her restore her business piece by piece, I realized that when you build community, you can conquer anything. That became a lifelong lesson that I packed in my suitcase, along with just a few pieces of clothing and $5,000 when I landed in the United States for college. 

What’s been the hardest and most rewarding part of your entrepreneurial journey?

Managing a team. As a leader, you want to make sure everyone is getting what they need to bring their very best selves to work. As the team grows, the number of needs you want to meet grows too. I love it, but it’s a lot. I learned how to build a culture in our team so we are at the top of our game, helping clients determine their needs, decide strategy, and achieve their mission. That’s the most rewarding part, always.

Have you struggled with self doubt as an entrepreneur? How do you navigate this?

Of course I have—everyone does. Taking a business from idea to reality takes everything you’ve got: all your courage, resourcefulness, smarts, creativity, and patience. You’re naturally going to wonder sometimes if you have what it takes. I have two strategies for keeping myself on track. First, I keep a record of every one of my successes and save every word of thanks from my clients. In times of doubt, it reminds me that I can do this. Also, whenever I feel stuck or discouraged, my wonderful, wise mentor helps me look at the problem from new, usually surprising angles. It’s amazing what a fresh perspective can do.

We dare you to brag: What achievements are you most proud of?

My clients are some of the most extraordinary people, with just astonishing grit and resourcefulness, but one case in particular stands out. A woman’s husband died unexpectedly, leaving her with $35 million in debt. He’d been the one running the business, and here she was with all this debt and no experience. Bankruptcy would seem like the obvious solution, but as we talked, it became clear this wasn’t the route she wanted to take. Together, we worked out a strategy for setting things right. In the end, she paid off that enormous debt and came out seven million ahead, saving the business and, in the process, finding a new sense of purpose and meaning for herself.

Has your definition of success evolved throughout your journey as a founder?

When I left the corporate world to start Balannx, I wasn’t thinking about my company’s value in the broader sense; I was just trying to survive. As the business became stable and I stopped worrying, I started seeing that my version of success was really about making a positive difference in my clients’ lives. An example of this is when a new business is in an intense growth phase and needs all hands on deck, but some of its best hands are thinking of leaving the workforce because they’re struggling to find childcare. An option is to strategize a way for the company to help with that. Then, it’s a win-win. Finding these kinds of solutions defines success for me now.

What would you tell your younger self if you were to start your entrepreneurial journey all over again?


I’d tell her not to wait so long to create Balannx, for starters. And I’d tell her that, yes, it’s going to be hard, but the challenges will make you grow—and your growth is your business’s growth. Becoming an entrepreneur is an inner journey too. And it is a well-rewarded journey.

What’s next for you and Balannx LLC?

My mission is to help as many small businesses as possible succeed. To do that, my own business needs to grow. My focus now is on building out my team, refining our organizational structure, and nurturing our company’s culture of integrity, openness, and trust, as well as meeting in person every week!

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