Startup Story: Helping Clients Feel Comfortable In Their Own Skin

For two decades, entrepreneur Kim Weiler struggled with the common skin condition known as psoriasis. She finally found a solution that helps her manage it very well. So, she decided to take the leap of faith into setting up a small business to share her knowledge with others.

Healing My Skin, LLC was officially born in July 2015 in New York City. She started e-mailing with people internationally a few years ago, but now with a growing demand, she is available for consultations via phone and Skype. This saves on travel time and gets her knowledge out worldwide.

The entrepreneur describes her role in the venture and what her aspirations are as she continues to grow.

“I am an integrative nutrition health coach,” she says. “I specialize in helping people with skin diseases. I’ve combined nutrition and self-love to heal my own psoriasis, so I am teaching others how to use those strategies to improve their own lives.”

She meets with clients one-on-one to give personalized advice, but will be holding workshops soon. Her goal is to reach as many people as quickly as possible. She is writing a book to share her personal journey and to give advice on how to help people heal more quickly.

“My goal is to create an organization for people struggling with skin disorders. I want to help them learn the best ways to reduce their conditions without always choosing potentially toxic pharmaceuticals first. I want to educate them, provide choices and alternatives, and help them lead healthier and happier lives.”

Nutrition and self-love are the cornerstones of the coaching services Weiler offers through Healing My Skin, LLC.

“It amazes me how food is our medicine, and so many people still don’t realize this,” she explains. “I’m all about bio-individuality with regard to nutrition. Overall, I recommend eating whole foods such as fruits and vegetables and staying away from processed foods. You just have to be conscious of what you’re putting in your shopping cart. Caffeine, alcohol, sugar, gluten, dairy, and red meat have been shown to affect the skin, so I’d suggest avoiding them.

The other part of her coaching involves helping others believe in themselves to make positive changes in their day-to-day lives.

“Self-love is also a huge part of my program. You have to have healthy relationships with loved ones, a career that you find rewarding, and hobbies that bring you joy. Also, implementing a regular exercise and spiritual routine will not only help you heal more quickly, but it will force you to lead a balanced life.

How Self-Employment Leads to Greater Enjoyment

Weiler explains what the true reward is that she receives from running her startup venture.

“I love helping people so much. Watching them slowly heal and gain the confidence they need is incredibly rewarding.”

She is part of a large online community of psoriasis sufferers and is now in touch with people from various countries around the world.

In addition to her new business, she’s had a long career working in all facets of the TV and film industries. She has worked behind the scenes for legendary filmmaker Martin Scorsese, along with a host of other big name producers and directors. A quick glimpse of her production and acting credits can be viewed here.

She looks forward to helping others who struggle with skin conditions. In her words, whether you are in front of one person or thousands, feeling good about yourself and all human imperfections is key to living a fulfilling life.

Tackling Small Business Competition

From Weiler’s vantage point, her industry is anything but exempt from competition with so many nutritionists and health coaches flooding the market. Fortunately, she knows how to separate her small business from others.

“I really speak from the heart,” she says. “I think I am so relatable because I have dealt with a skin condition myself and understand the pain and suffering it can cause. The self-love aspect is also different from other companies because I really stress this – and teach clients about it – so they can improve their lives in all possible ways.”

As for the demographics of her clients, she is willing to lend a helping hand to men and women of all ages.

“I will help anyone,” she confides.

How to Promote a Small Business

Weiler has relied on the “information superhighway” to spread the word about Healing My Skin, LLC. Her company’s website is www.healingmyskin.com. She has company pages on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and a blog.

Like fellow first-time entrepreneurs, Weiler admits she has encountered a few challenges in the initial stages of her business.

“I have had two big challenges. The first has been finding the right people to help me with the technical side of things. I’m so much more of a creative thinker. It has also been tough finding time to do everything I want to do with this business. I want to do it all, but I just can’t. I could read Entrepreneurship for Dummies, but until you actually start doing this, you have no idea how much work is involved.”

Tips for Startup Success

She offers some advice for anyone looking into starting a business.

“You have to find the right balance with your time. My new motto is, ‘Time is on my side.’ I say it’s okay to be a little selfish when setting up a business because you have to do what you love. You also have to learn to say ‘no’ to people at times.”

1-800Accountant Client Review

Weiler is a client of 1-800Accountant and says she has received fantastic small business accounting services from the nationwide firm.

“I am so thrilled to be working with 1-800Accountant,” she enthuses. “My accountant is amazing and has been such a big help. I would never attempt to do my own taxes. You should leave it to a professional accountant who knows the drill.”

Helping Clients with the Biggest Investments of their Lives

1-800Accountant and Behalf client Marvin Pryor shares his startup success story of launching Pryor Realty, Inc.

1-800Accountant and Behalf client Marvin Pryor shares his startup success story of launching Pryor Realty, Inc.

Marvin Pryor loves looking at homes and helping others fulfill their dreams. So he decided to combine these two passions into one small business – Pryor Realty, Inc.

Pryor, a 1-800Accountant client, launched the startup company in March 2014. He is based out of Newport News, Virginia, but he serves clients in several cities around Virginia like Hampton, Yorktown, Williamsburg, Suffolk, Chesapeake, and Virginia Beach.
Through Pryor Realty, the entrepreneur works as a real estate agent. He lists, buys, and sells residential property to clients of all ages and backgrounds. He primarily handles single-family homes.

“I have done real estate for the past 14 years,” Pryor explains. “I got interested in it when my wife and I bought our first home. It kind of just drew me in. I really like going in and out of homes. I figured that if I can do something I enjoy and make money at it, then I should give it a shot.”

Pryor explains what the true satisfaction is in running a startup company in the real estate industry.

“It’s so rewarding selling buyers a home and then seeing the satisfaction on their faces,” he says.

Like other small business owners out there, Pryor believes that the way in which he handles his clients is what will ultimately drive the long-term success of Pryor Realty.

“It’s all about customer service and that personal connection with my clients,” he explains.

Overcoming Competition with a Small Business in Real Estate

No matter where you reside, there are probably a fair share of real estate agents within your market looking for business. According to Pryor, his focus on top-notch customer service is what makes him unique from the rest of the pack in this frequently oversaturated line of work.

“I separate myself because of my loyalty and customer service. My clients are not just another number. Many of them become personal friends of mine, and I try to keep my relationships going with them. They’ll even call me up when they’re having a party and invite me over.”

In terms of the demographics of Pryor’s clients, he says he’s worked with everyone from investors to military veterans to young couples.

“If you want to buy or sell a home, I’m the man,” he says.

Advertising a Real Estate Business

While many entrepreneurs spend lots of money on marketing initiatives through online and more traditional forms, Pryor admits that word-of-mouth referrals have driven most of his business. However, he has tapped into some real estate websites like Realtor.com, Zillow, and Trulia.

Getting Over Hurdles When Starting a Business

Just like fellow entrepreneurs, Pryor has faced a number of hurdles in the startup phase of his enterprise, including the challenge of making a name for himself.

“Real estate is challenging because there are a lot of agents in this area. So the most challenging part has been getting my name out there. But once you close a few deals and people find out who you are and the quality of your services, it gets a little easier.”

Tips for Entrepreneurs

He offers some valuable pieces of advice for entrepreneurs who are seriously thinking about launching their own ventures.

“You have to have a willingness to work hard and go above and beyond the call of duty for your customers,” he says. “Also, don’t get frustrated and give up. Keep trying. If it’s something you really want, you have to strive for it and put in the time and work.”

He admits that there are advantages and disadvantages to self-employment.

“You don’t have to schedule around someone else’s time, so what you put into it is what you get out of it. If you have to take your child to the doctor at 2 p.m., you can schedule your work around this to take them. In real estate, a disadvantage is that it’s all commission-based work. So if you don’t work hard and close deals, you won’t get paid.”

Experience as a Behalf Client

Pryor did not have to pay for his accounting services with 1-800Accountant upfront. Instead, he had the option to finance his payments over time through a company called Behalf.

“Working with Behalf and the financing option takes a lot of stress off of me,” he says. “I don’t have to spend my money on these accounting services right away so I can save it up for the future. It really helps not having to pull money out of the business at this point. I also like the payment plan I received.”

Experience as a 1-800Accountant Client

In Pryor’s words, he has been very satisfied with his small business accounting services as a 1-800Accountant client.

“I opened up this business without knowing the ins-and-outs of business taxes and how to deal with the IRS. I have done my own taxes in the past, but this was totally different. 1-800Accountant has been a great help to me.”

Photo credit: The photograph of Marvin Pryor was provided by Pryor Realty, Inc. and is used with permission.

1800Accountant.com Client Spotlight: Claude Swanson

1800Accountant.com client Claude Swanson

1800Accountant.com client Claude Swanson runs a home-based business that sells Bible-based games and book.

Claude Swanson worked for a church for 30 years. It’s only fitting that he is spreading the word of the Bible through a business he now owns.

The 1800Accountant client is located in Hyattsville, Maryland, he runs Swanson and Sons, LLC out of his house. Although he is the primary business owner, his sons help out with the company as well, hence its name. The company was officially established in 2012.

The business focuses on marketing and selling two items. One is a board game called “Road to the Kingdom.” The other is a book titled Tell Me About the Bible. For the game, players must identify certain aspects about the Bible and the life of Jesus Christ. His book covers each book in the holy text in an easy-to-follow format. In his words, it provides a “brief overview of its key points.”

Sharing the Word Online

Mr. Swanson shares his products and his faith online, and through religous bookstores. The game costs $25, while the book is priced at $10. Churches are his primary target market for them.

Swanson said knowing the holy text associated with any specific religion is vital to understanding it, which is why he wrote the book.

“I wanted to teach people about the Bible,” he said. “If you don’t know anything about the Bible, you probably don’t know enough about your faith.”

Swanson, 75, is a retired pastor and also worked for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. At his age, he thoroughly enjoys his current line of work.

“I enjoy the people that I meet and talk to about the Bible, explaining what it’s about,” he said. “People will call me and ask questions, I enjoy talking to them.”

His biggest obstacle with the company has been “identifying the people and areas where they would buy these items.” He believes most people over the age of 15 can understand and appreciate both the game and the book.

The Pros & Cons of Entrepreneurship

Swanson said there are both pros and cons to being a self-employed small business owner.

“You’re your own boss. You don’t have to answer to anybody but yourself,” he said. “The disadvantage is that if you’re not successful, you won’t make any money.”

His best piece of advice for entrepreneurs is to ensure they are confident in their business plan and can offer something useful.

“Make sure you have something to market or to sell before you go into business,” he said.

Swanson, a 1800Accountant.com client, said he has been quite satisfied with the company’s services.

“I’ve been very happy with it.”

To find out more about Swanson and Sons, LLC, check out www.thekingdomroad.com. If you run a small or home based business, and want to focus on sharing your passion instead of worrying about bookkeeping and tax issues, visit 1800Accountant.com to see how we can help you.

Photo credit: The photograph of Mr. Swanson was provided by Mr. Swanson; used with permission.

Client Spotlight: Beth Beckler – Rustic Charm, LLC

Beth Beckler craftsBeth Beckler loves to make things. She also loves to help others. By combining these two passions, she and her husband, Don, were able to start up their own small business.

The Becklers operate Rustic Charm, a retail store based in Apple Creek, Ohio. Established in November of 2012, Beth describes the business as “an eclectic shop that sells unique, one-of-a-kind, hard-to-find specialty items.”

Many of the items have been created by using recycled items. They include wood crafts, handmade jewelry, hand-painted art, walking canes, and a small selection of furniture. The store also offers a consignment service that allows individuals to sell their items in the store for a small commission fee.

The Becklers have attended arts and crafts shows for years. They’d sell some items at these shows, but they would have lots of leftover items that kept piling up. That’s why they thought opening a store would be a great way to make these items available year-round rather than just a few times a year at these shows.

“It had always been my dream to have a little store like this,” Beth said. “Customers say it’s so unique.”

Not only are the items in the 3,200-square-foot facility handcrafted, but also many of the displays are handmade from antique doors. This is a big reason she feels her store is different. She believes the variety and prices of the items will make the business prosper.

“There’s something for everyone,” she said. “The prices are very reasonable. It’s all gently used, so the items are very affordable. I love making things for people that will bring them the satisfaction of knowing they are quality, unique, and affordable.”

She said she wants to change the way people think of old things lying around their homes.

“I’m not trying to make a whole bunch of money. I’m trying to help people repurpose things in their lives instead of throwing things away.”

She knows there are other local outlets that offer consignment services, but in most cases, people have to pay to rent a small space in these locations to display and sell their goods. Rustic Charm does not charge this rental fee.

To spread the word about the business, the Becklers have placed ads in local newspapers. They’ve also put up brochures in the town’s visitor center. Since they’ve both lived in the Apple Creek area of Ohio for most of their lives, they feel good about their reputations and the relationships they’ve made to help bring in customers through word-of-mouth.

One of the main challenges the Becklers faced initially was that they had to use their personal finances to fund the store.

“We had to buy all the displays, fix the store up, get a cash register, invoices, bags – things that make the store operate,” she said.

The Becklers experienced a devastating flood in their home a few years ago. Their drive to rebuild their home and lives also gave them the motivation to establish their business.

“If you want to build your dream, you should do it the way you want to do it,” she said.

Beth Beckler is a 1-800-Accountant client and said she has thoroughly enjoyed the services she has received.

“I’ve been very satisfied. The online portal is very helpful. The people are super nice and are willing to give us everything. I have definitely recommended the company to others.”

Learn more about Rustic Charm at www.applecreekrusticcharm.com.

1800Accountant Client Spotlight: Teressa Poe-Culton – M’PRESS’D Marketing, LLC

Teressa Poe-CultonSince Teressa Poe-Culton has been a designer for years, she thought it made perfect sense to establish a business where she designs marketing applications and campaigns for small businesses.

“I was doing a lot of design work, some photography, and video,” she said. “I discovered I could put it all together for a business.”

Ms. Poe-Culton set up M’PRESS’D Marketing, LLC in 2012 and runs the business out of her home in Cape Coral, Florida. She’s the only one with the business right now, but she is looking forward to recruiting some interns and independent contractors.

The company designs, builds, and markets custom mobile applications for small businesses and industry professionals.

“It’s a very powerful tool if used correctly,” she said.

She does all of the design work for the apps and then lets a separate company handle the technical side of the creation process for each app. She’s been doing a sweepstakes giveaway in which she has offered free packages that include a mobile app, a mobile website, and a customized marketing campaign.

The company runs the gamut as far as which industries it can assist. They include arts, entertainment, real estate, retail, and sports.

Ms. Poe-Culton talked about the fact that small business owners are slowly catching on to the mobile app world to market their companies.

“It’s not growing as fast as it could,” she said. “Many people think it’s ridiculously expensive. It doesn’t have to be expensive. It’s all about building a list and a customer base.”

In addition to enjoying her design work, she also likes lending a helping hand through her business.

“I wanted to do something that I enjoy doing that would also help others,” she said. “If I can help someone else, that’s going to help me.”

According to Ms. Poe-Culton, she feels “the creativity I bring to the table and my willingness to work with people” are the two main factors that will make her business a success.

Her clients are nationwide since she can work with anyone remotely.

Most businesses face competitors that offer similar products or services, but Ms. Poe-Culton is confident she has something unique.

“I’m not that concerned about competition,” she said. “If you’re looking to save some money, this company will do that and give you a cutting-edge tool.”

She recommends finding a passion and giving it a shot.

“Find what you love and stick with it. Just go for it, but make sure it’s something you want to be doing for a while.”

Self-motivation and time management skills are key, she said.

“You have to constantly tell yourself to work toward your goals,” she said. “If you don’t manage your time well, it can eat you up, and you can become a slave to the business.”

Ms. Poe-Culton is a 1-800-Accountant client and said she’s been very happy with her experience.

“I was very impressed when I called the first time,” she said. “I would definitely recommend it to others.”

Learn more about her business at www.mpressdmarketing-llc.com.

Client Spotlight: Felix & Summer Gonzalez – Felix G Photography, LLC

Felix Gonzalez admits he only has a ninth-grade education and was once homeless. Today, however, he is a proud small business owner with his wife, Summer, demonstrating that anyone can achieve anything through hard work.

Based in Las Vegas, Nevada, the couple owns Felix G Photography, LLC. Felix works as the photographer, while Summer serves as his assistant. They have a photography studio in their garage.

Although they’ve had the business since the spring of 2012, Felix has done photography work for six years.

“I’m not your typical wedding photographer,” Felix said.

He calls his work “creative photography,” which involves taking pictures in places where most photographers don’t venture and using unique angles and perspectives with his camera. He photographs landscapes, animals, models, babies, and events on occasion.

“I have a unique vision for things,” he said. “I’m a self-starter, self-motivator, and there’s nothing I won’t step up to the task to do.”

The company charges $150 an hour for a photo shoot. Additional fees apply for clients to get the rights to use certain pictures.

Gonzalez, who grew up in Mexico and dropped out of high school, said he has paved his own path to get to where he is now by putting in a ton of work.

“I’m completely self-taught,” he said.

According to Gonzalez, there were two instances when he discovered his love for photography. One time was when his wife graduated from college and needed pictures. The other was when he visited Yellowstone National Park and was mesmerized by the scenery.

“I saw I had an eye for it,” he said. “My passion for photography now is so great. I use very little equipment and pretty much work out of a backpack.”

His most enjoyment comes from getting to work with others.

“I call it ‘photo therapy,’” he said. “People feel down about themselves, but if you give them a beautiful picture, you can see them feel great about themselves.”

In terms of marketing, he has a website and uses Facebook. However, he’s had more success through word-of-mouth and networking. He said his biggest challenge initially was learning the steps to actually running a business.

“I’ve always been a hustler, but not knowing how to run a business involves learning on the fly, so it’s been an adventure.

He admits it takes “lots of guts” to start a company.

“You’re going to be tested,” he said. “You have to think about where you want to be in 5 to 10 years because it might take that long.”

Although he said it’s nice to be able to make his own schedule, he has learned that running a business can be more than a full-time job.

“You never stop working. Every minute of every day can become work,”

Gonzalez is a client of 1-800-Accountant. Find out more about his photography business at www.felixgphotography.com.