Today is the first of several feature “spotlights” of women entrepreneurs who are making their mark by setting goals and creating plans to accomplish them. In today's spotlight, notice how Candy Messer, founder of Affordable Bookkeeping and Payroll Services, Inc., has used three important strategies to expand her business:
1. CLARITY – clear and focused on her ideal client.
2. DELEGATION – understands that in order to grow, you can't do it all.
3. VISIBILITY – being seen and heard by a larger audience to expand her reach.
1. Tell us about your work – what you do, where you do it and who you serve.
I energize business owners by removing the overwhelming burden of the bookkeeping and payroll processing. As a result of using our services, they have peace of mind and the freedom to do what they love. Although I am located in Southern CA, my clients can be located anywhere due to the use of technology. Most bookkeeping clients are in service based businesses, and most payroll clients have 1-100 employees.
2. What inspired you to start your business?
Someone I knew asked me for months to help her with the bank reconciliations until I finally agreed to start a business. Understanding I brought peace of mind to entrepreneurs made starting a business exciting.
3. How do you define success?
Success is being able to help clients with great services they need while doing what I enjoy, having the capability to offer employment to others, and giving back to my community.
4. What have you taken away from your work with Joy?
I have been challenged to do things I never thought I would do, and have been accomplishing them with success. For example, I'm now a writer for Today's Innovative Woman magazine and I've set systems up in my business that have allowed me to plan more effectively and this also creates better service for our clients.
5. What's been your biggest challenge as a woman entrepreneur and how have you overcome this challenge?
Separating my heart from my head. I've made mistakes because I've listened to my heart more than my head sometimes. To overcome this, I've established payment procedures that apply to everyone so that emotion doesn't have to be part of the equation, and I've asked for outside help for hiring decisions.
6. What advice would you share with women who desire to have a successful business?
Get a mentor who can help guide you through the challenges of running your business. Talk with someone in your industry to learn the mistakes they made and how to avoid them. I would have avoided some mistakes had I had a coach from the start.
7. What's next for you?
I set a goal this year to become a published author and to begin speaking from the stage about my expertise in my industry. I'll be a published author by December 2013 and I've currently hit 70% of my goal for public speaking. I began offering online bill pay services to serve people online and allow them to enjoy a paperless home and office.