If you struggled with math, it’s hard to imagine that some people were born for it.
“I love numbers,” said Lisa Woods, who run Woods Accounting in Billings. “I have been working in the accounting field for over 15 years now and I really enjoy it.”
She loves tax law, too.
Her clients can sense that passion, and that helps with word-of-mouth advertising.
Woods Accounting is located at 1430 Parkhill Dr. and can be reached at 671-6579. Here’s what else Woods had to say about starting a business and helping it thrive during a recession:
Nature of the business:
To provide accounting and bookkeeping services for businesses and individuals. This includes monthly and quarterly bookkeeping, payroll, quarterly reports, reconciliation of accounts, general accounting, and individual and business taxes. I support federal and state taxes for individuals and not limited to Montana. I support federal and state taxes for businesses, LLC, sole prop, S corp, C corp., amended return.
Why start this business?
To work with people on a more personal basis. I enjoy learning all there is to know about taxes and tax laws, a topic that not many people enjoy. I use that passion to help people with a task that most people dread. It makes me happy to help people get that return back they are hoping to receive.
Where did startup funding come from?
Money from savings and ongoing work.
How long have you been in business?
Since January of 2008.
Your biggest challenge during the current recession?
A lot of people have moved their accounting/bookkeeping in-house to save money.
What was done to overcome those challenges?
I began networking with various groups for advertising and referrals. I also started my own referral program where my clients receive 10 percent off their tax fees per paid client referral. I have had clients who have appreciated the work that I perform well enough to have had their taxes done for free for the year by making use of this program.
What is being done to expand the business?
I am always working on expanding my tax client base and adding more monthly clients for payroll and bookkeeping services. I am advertising through business networking groups as well as standard media. I enjoy working on ways to improve my referral program.
Your best business decisions?
Simply starting this business and working out of my home. This allows me to keep my overhead costs down, which I can then pass on to my clients. Working out of my home gives me the opportunity to sit down in a relaxing environment and work one-on-one with each of my clients. I also operate during business hours that are also outside of the normal. I know that a lot of my clients work 9-to-5 jobs so I am available to meet with them in the evenings and weekends when they need.
Your worst business mistake?
Not starting out with getting the business name and services out to the public faster. Branding and business accomplishment goes hand in hand.
What advice do you have for someone running a business?
Stick with it. To start a business there are a number of hurdles that you have to overcome. Keep going, those hurdles do get easier to jump over as time passes and your business gets bigger.
Number of workers?
Just myself for now. My husband helps to watch the kids when I am meeting with clients.
What’s your five-year plan for the business?
Expand. Eventually, I understand that I will need to open an office to provide more professional setting for meeting a constantly changing and growing clientèle base and embrace the opportunity that will provide. However, I also intend to keep my home office for clients who are more comfortable to just drop in.
A question you would ask other entrepreneurs?
What marketing techniques are most successful to get clients in your door or to call you?
If you weren’t doing what you are now, what would be your dream job?
I would be living somewhere on the beach and working as a marine biologist.