Horsepower Today: Hitting a Stride with Fractional Twist on Advisory Services

As many small business owners know, building the right team to meet goals is challenging. Since jumping out of the gate in 2020, Horsepower Today has embodied the changing nature of work with a simple solution: fractional talent.

Missing Communication

While working in public accounting, CPA Brooke Pauley recalled how she and her attorney husband had mutual clients and a dedication to service.

“We are always proactive for our clients, not reactive,” said Pauley, CEO and co-founder of Horsepower Today. “We wanted to create something that put the clients’ needs first, and that aggregated all of the advisers that are important to a business owner.”

She explained how it’s common for business owners to have multiple advisers – CPAs, attorneys, investment and insurance advisers – who do not collaborate, let alone talk to each other.

“And the business owner then has to play quarterback, something they don’t have time to do,” Pauley said. “What we created is the solution, allowing business owners to focus on what they do best – growing their businesses. We get everyone together for the interest of the client and ensure we are all working toward a common goal.”

She furthermore characterized Horsepower Today as a relationship-based fractional solution to a traditional staffing or recruiting firm.

“Whether it be controller or CFO services, HR and coaching services, strategic planning, IT services (just to name a few), if there is a business need, Horsepower Today can help,” she said.

“Additionally, we work alongside our clients and ‘horses’ to gain institutional knowledge of our clients’ needs. When we unearth an opportunity to help in other ways, we add that value with our clients, and they appreciate it.”

- Advertisement -

A Fresh Take on Employment

Leaving her job to grow a business was a risk.

“When I realized that there were people much smarter than me who I could bring into my ‘stable’ to provide the services to clients, the company started to grow,” she said.

It is often said that challenges breed ingenuity and innovative solutions. Pauley said launching Horsepower Today in 2020 led the company to be more forward-thinking.

“We had visions of what we wanted Horsepower Today to be someday and were laying the foundation on how to get it there,” she said. “This led to the full configuration of Horsepower Today as it is now, essentially re-launched in early 2023.”

Pauley underscored the significance of increased flexibility from business owners.

“Business owners are willing to think outside of the box and try something new when it comes to staffing or finding the right talent,” she explained. “Many have become accustomed to remote work, virtual work, and outsourced work. 

Brooke Pauley, CEO and co-founder of Horsepower Today. (Photography by Debra S. Kaplan)
Brooke Pauley, CEO and co-founder of Horsepower Today. (Photography by Debra S. Kaplan)

“As the talent pool continues to shrink, the ways we used to employ people to work (hiring full-time salaried employees who are expected to sit in office from 8-to-5) don’t necessarily work anymore.”

Pauley pointed back to how, in 2020, the organization was just her and a laptop, supporting clients on a “very part-time basis.”

“Growth was always ‘chicken or the egg,’” she said. “Do we find more clients to jump in full-time while still being capped by my single capacity? Or, find more service providers to join Horsepower Today without having solidified contracts? In 2023, my vision was shared with others, many of whom are now my partners who took the leap to join me.”

The Straightaway to Success

It was those partners’ confidence and connections that paved the path toward finding talent to come on board. This occurred as they were also selling solutions to prospective clients.

“It is still a balancing act, having horses in the stable to serve our client pipeline, but with the volume, more staff on board and connections, it’s much easier and we’re on a roll,” she stated.

The company has expanded beyond Pauley’s initial expertise and has grown to include HR, leadership training, CFO/controller services, bookkeeping/accounting and legal and marketing consulting.

Pauley emphasized the highly tailored nature of its solutions, with each client’s unique needs front and center.

“We realize that business owners and their needs are not a one-size-fits-all proposition,” she said. “We are a relationship-driven business and we work to get to know our clients and learn about what keeps them up at night to provide a solution, whether it be project-based or ongoing, that gives the business owner peace of mind, but also provides the ‘horsepower’ to move the company forward.”

Following the new year re-launch, Pauley said her biggest source of pride has been the talent surrounding her, including COO Diana Novoselska.

“Watching her take my vision and make it into a reality has been astounding,” she said.

The Next Leap

Horsepower Today is now powering up its brand awareness and client base on a national level. Pauley’s goals don’t end there as the company is launching its Family Office Services division.

“There are more family offices controlling more wealth than ever before and our services help harness this wealth to grow through the generations,” she said. “What we offer works extremely well with this growing group of people with family wealth that needs to be managed for optimal generational wealth.”

Solutions that fall under its family office/individual office services category include family governance, asset management liaison, large asset transactions, risk management, HR and recruiting on/off-boarding, and more to help “successful families grow their assets, maintain family unity, develop family talent, and identify trusted partners who contribute to these objectives.”