Christine Faulkner really didn’t plan to start a business of her own—it just fell into her lap. When she obtained her bachelor’s degree in accounting, she had no intention of starting her own business. “I always felt I would work for someone else, probably as an in-house accountant for a local business,” she said. However, opportunity knocked when a business friend asked her to do bookkeeping on a contract basis. As word of her skills spread, she soon found herself with an expanding list of clients.
Faulkner realized that she needed professional guidance on becoming an entrepreneur and turned to Haywood Community College’s Small Business Center for help. The center provides budding entrepreneurs with the knowledge and resources needed to make informed decisions concerning their business ventures. A resource library of print, audio, and video materials is also available for loan. The Center is located on the main campus of HCC in the Learning Resource Center. Counseling services are available by appointment and are free of charge.
“I first met with Sharron Donnahoe, Director of the Small Business Center, and she shared a very informative CD about launching a business. She also took the time to go through a rough draft of a business plan and recommended several of the free Small Business Seminars. No money and free classes! How could I not sign up?” Faulkner said. In her quest for business knowledge, Faulkner took nine small business seminars. “In addition to giving me a wealth of information, the seminars were also great opportunities to network and meet potential clients,” she said.
She says that all of the seminars were very helpful, but it was an added benefit to have Sharron available also to answer questions. “If she doesn’t know the answer, she can tell you where to find it. Sharron is a resource in herself.”
Faulkner incorporated her business, Faulkner Bookkeeping Services, LLC in February 2008. “It is very gratifying to see how far I’ve come in the past year,” she said. “I am looking for more clients and hope to eventually expand the business and hire another employee. One thing that I learned from the business seminars was to measure success through goals.”
Being a mother of three young children, she found that the benefits of being her own boss gave her a flexibility that other full-time jobs did not. “I schedule my own hours and can also be there for my children when they need me,” she said. Currently, Faulkner works mostly from her home office but also travels to many of her clients’ locations.
The business provides customized bookkeeping services and administrative support services. Faulkner is also an Authorized QuickBooks Affiliate and can provide training and consultation for business offices. She offers new clients a free one-hour consultation to assess their business needs including bookkeeping services, QuickBooks capabilities, QuickBooks file set-up, and QuickBooks troubleshooting. Faulkner Bookkeeping Services, LLC also offers remote QuickBooks help services. Clients can either e-mail or call in their questions and will receive same day or next day response.
For more information about Haywood Community College’s Small Business Center and its many services please contact Sharron Donnahoe at 828.627.4512 or visit sbc.haywood.edu.