The reasons for starting a small business are as diverse as their founders. And whether it’s setting your own hours, pursuing your passion, or increasing your earning potential, more choose to work for themselves.
This is especially true for women. Female-owned businesses have skyrocketed over the past decade, and women now own 39% of all privately held firms. There’s some good news: A 2020 survey showed that 71% of these businesses are currently profitable, and the majority reported being thrilled with their choice to become their own boss.
However, despite these positive trends, daunting challenges remain. For both women and men, businesses that are started out of necessity tend to struggle more on their path to success. For example, if someone is looking to supplement their income or start a business due to a lack of job options, it will likely be a tougher road.
Still, success is possible – and we’re here to support and inspire you as you make your journey. Meet Liliana D Pinto, founder of LDP Bookkeeping. With a head for numbers and an eye to detail, she built her success by helping other small companies increase their profitability.
Read the article to learn how she started LDP Bookkeeping while balancing school, work, and the birth of her first child. See how she transformed a challenge into an opportunity and harnessed her organizational skills and discipline to achieve the flexibility and financial security she needed.
Transforming life’s challenges into small business opportunities
“Is this even possible?”
Doubts loomed in the back of Liliana’s mind as she mulled over increasingly frequent thoughts of starting her own business. The words, “Is this even possible?” whirled and repeated inside her head.
Liliana was already stretched thin. Working diligently as a CPA by day and taking classes by night, she had little room for free time. Weekday and weekend, she felt maxed out by her seemingly endless to-do list. Could she fit a project of this size into her already jam-packed schedule?
But a major life development was also motivating her: she was pregnant with her first child.
The company where Liliana worked had no maternity leave, and she needed more income to help support her growing family. A smaller paycheck wasn’t an option. Additional cash and a flexible schedule would be essential to her life as a new mother.
This drive to be there for her newborn and provide for her family ultimately sparked the courage Liliana needed to start her business. Even though she knew it wouldn’t be easy, she felt this was the only way.
As Liliana welcomed her baby girl into the world, she also embraced the opening of LDP Bookkeeping.
A growing family and a thriving small business
“There are two things you need when you decide to start your own business: discipline and a business plan.”
Liliana’s transition to motherhood and business owner changed everything overnight. Although she felt swamped before, now there were even more sleepless nights and days jam-packed with the challenges of starting a new business while caring for her new baby.
While it was unbelievably stressful at times, Liliana also experienced more joy and gratitude than ever before in her life. She was able to share more tender moments with her baby and was thankful that her family’s needs had given her the push to chase her dream.
In reflecting on her choice to finally start LDP Bookkeeping while having so many other things on her plate, Liliana shared, “When we’re in our comfort zone. there are decisions we think about, but don’t act on because things aren’t perfect.” She went on, “But when we face challenges, these decisions seem more urgent and necessary.”
Liliana doesn’t believe there is a perfect time to start a business. Life will always present obstacles. She encourages others to let go of waiting for the ideal opportunity and embrace challenges during times of uncertainty.
The importance of a business plan and keeping yourself accountable
“When my college professor first told me that I needed a business plan, I thought ‘I have it all in my head! I got this!'”
Liliana shared that there are two main things that contributed to her success in starting a company as a new mother: a plan and accountability. She encourages all small business owners to take full advantage of both.
A small business plan is extremely useful for structuring and helping your company grow. In fact, those with a plan tend to grow 30% faster. It can also help motivate you to reach milestones and secure funding if you’re ever in need of a loan. Also, it’s not as challenging to write up this document as many people initially think.
Liliana reflected, “When my college professor first told me that I needed a business plan, I thought ‘I have it all in my head! I got this!'” she laughed. “But you really do have to see it on paper. You have to show it to somebody else. You can always change it, but you need a place to start.”
Note: For information on how to get started with your small business plan, check out this post from the Small Business Association.
For accountability, Liliana credits her organization skills for keeping her on track. Especially after she returned to her full-time job and continued to manage LDP Bookkeeping in the evenings.
“When I first started, I was like ‘Where am I going to find the hours?'” Liliana remembered. “But I keep a schedule. From morning to the time I go to sleep, I know what needs to be done. I schedule in time to take breaks of course, but being organized and staying on schedule is so important to get work done.”
Liliana’s key to staying so organized is journaling. She not only tracks what happened today and what needs to happen tomorrow but also why something might not have been accomplished and why it needs to move to tomorrow.
True to her bookkeeping profession, Liliana enjoys keeping track of where she’s been to see exactly how she can do better in the future. She’s not alone. Many productivity experts share that journaling is a fantastic way to organize your thoughts, plan the day more effectively, and ultimately achieve your goals more quickly.
Reflecting on her success
“I’m proud that I started.”
After launching her business two years ago, Liliana has surpassed the level of success she had initially imagined. Beyond providing her family with necessary means, she also built lasting relationships with her clients and got immense satisfaction made an impact through her bookkeeping services.
When asked what she’s most proud of regarding her journey as a small business owner, Liliana doesn’t hesitate.
“I’m proud that I started.”
For us at Invoice2go, a Bill.com company, we’re proud to support Liliana and to do what we can to simplify her life as a small business owner, so she has more time for her family and business. We’ll continue doing our part to empower all small businesses with our straightforward app and plenty of useful content.
We’d love to have you join the conversation in our Facebook communities. Join us to share tips and tricks with other like-minded business owners and to get new helpful content for your business each week.