Sunday, June 12, 2011

Paula Cathcart > www.listotax.com

What do you need to be an entrepreneur?
Being an entrepreneur is not for everyone.  Many want to be an entrepreneur, but to really be one is difficult.  You have to be willing to work without pay for an extended time in order to develop your business.  You also must be willing to invest a significant amount of your time and money to get a venture started.  You must be willing to look at yourself objectively to make changes when needed and also have the strength to stay on course without wavering for something you believe.

What did inspire you to start your business? 
While working for a competitor, I saw how underserved the Hispanic market was.  I wanted to do more to help them but our pricing and structure prevented me from doing so.  I then was presented the opportunity to open a Listo Tax Solutions franchise and that is what really sparked my interest to own my own business.  I was nervous about being a first time entrepreneur, but I found the support a franchise provided help get me over the problems many face when starting a business. 

How did you finance it? 
I did not have cash capital myself, but I had the time and energy.  I found a relative to help me with the initial cash investment and to help sustain operations.  I also acquired a line of credit to finance the equipment.

Being Hispanic…Does it have any influence on your business? 
Yes. Definitely, being Hispanic and being able to identify and understand the challenges that we as Hispanics face has a huge influence not only on my business but also on the people we serve.

In the face of adversity, how do you decide to keep going? 
I see the help the Hispanic community needs and that my services are critical to helping families and individuals with their tax returns.  Also, opening a business can be tough, but I have the benefit of the support of a franchise.  I can see how they did when they started and where they are now.  This helps me remember the potential I have with this business and that gets me through the tough times.

What is the biggest challenge your business has faced? 
Community trust and awareness.  We are a service based business that works with peoples personal finances.  Building that trust and awareness to the local community is the toughest part of what we do.  It takes time and patience is needed.

If you could change one thing about your business, what would it be?
That’s a tough one, but if I could change one thing I think it would be to reduce the amount of study time needed to provide accurate tax preparation.  Tax law changes every year and we must stay updated in order to provide accurate information.

What was your childhood ambition?
My childhood ambition has always been to own my own businesses.

Tell us about three entrepreneurs that you admire?
Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Suzie Orman

For business meetings: breakfast, lunch, or dinner?
Dinner

What sacrifices on your personal life did you have to make in order to become a business success?
Being a successful business owner always means sacrifice not only for yourself but for the whole family. The most costly sacrifice for me is not being able to spend as much time with my family as I would like.

What is your favorite quote?  
In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.  Albert Einstein

Is it difficult to be unconventional? 
Yes, in order to be successful you look at what others have done and try to copy that.  But being successful also means doing something different than the competition and that requires risk. 

Biggest mistake made?  
Prior to our opening I was slow on getting our marketing material out to the community, this caused us to miss an important initial rush. 

Do you consider yourself an innovator? Why?
Yes. I believe that every person that decides to start a business is considered an innovator.

About Listo Tax Solution
Listo Tax Solutions is the premiere national tax, accounting, payroll and translation franchise focused exclusively on Hispanic business owners. While our primary focus is to assist and educate the underserved Latino community, we also strive to ensure that our offices are welcoming to all nationalities. Unfortunately there are other offices that have not represented individuals and businesses well in the tax preparation and accounting field; we feel it is our mission to provide the maximum refund or the lowest tax possible while staying within the confines of the law.  This will protect our client’s future and make for a stronger community in the long term. Privacy matters at Listo Tax.  For more information, 760 233 1600  or visit http://listotax.com.  
For media inquiries, contact Mariana Gonzalez of DIÁLOGO at mariana at dialogo dot us

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