Introducing Lorra Brown of LBE Consulting. Lorra started her business because she was not fulfilled with job that she had and was spending too much time away from her children. She also had a strong passion for working with and educating small business owners. In this interview Lorra talks about pursuing her passion, her challenges and success and shares some really important advice on pricing, competition and brand identity. Enjoy!
"The most important element of running a successful business is asking for help and knowing who is the right person to help you get where you need to go."
Please introduce yourself and tell us about your business. What is it called and what
services / products do you offer?
Hello my name is Lorra Brown. I am the CEO of LBE Consulting, LLC we provide accounting services specifically designed for small businesses such as bookkeeping and taxes. We make sure that business owners have a solid understanding of their company’s income (Profit & Loss), cash flow, and expenses in order to make better decisions.
We believe small businesses need more help with their financial tracking, and the support
should be consistent, professional, and affordable. Our small business accounting services are performed in-house by a dedicated accounting team, and each team is led by licensed CPA’s. Our clients receive the same care and dedication as a professionally licensed accounting firm, but without the traditional fees. And our accounting team is always available for questions and advice as part of the monthly service.
Can you share a bit about how you choose this line of business? What transition did you
make to owning your own business?
I recently was the CFO for the National Ministry of Dr. Tony Evans in 2009, thinking there was
more for my future. I wasn't completely satisfied in what I was doing missing my children
growing up. I knew that I always wanted to run my own business.
I left a very lucrative job and decided that I was going to help other business owners become successful. I had a passion for working with and educating small business owners. I also had a proven track record that I could grow businesses. I decided to focus on small business bookkeeping and tax preparation because I could provide a much needed service.
Do you have any special training?
I hold a degree in Business Administration with a minor in Accounting, MBA in Business
Administration and a nonprofit degree from LSU, with various certifications in tax training and
leadership programs. I also hold 6 sigma training and a CPA. I continue to do training in
accounting, tax, and various programs each year.
What are some of your biggest accomplishments as a business owner?
I consider there to be a lot of milestones in my business to date. Having the opportunity to lead
and grow a great firm has been my biggest accomplishment. In practice I get some insight into
what the person considers successful when working with a diverse group of clients.
How soon after you started did you start seeing profits? Or when do you project to begin earning a profit?
The 1st year that I started my business I begin to see a profit. My 1st year in business I grossed 6 figures.
How did you decide how to price your services? How did you determine what your services were worth?
I was able to use an industry standard from several associations along with my credentials and experience..
What mistake(s), if any, have you made with your business? What have some of your biggest challenges been? What did you learn from the experience and how did you bounce back?
I've made several mistakes in business. My first year I thought that I had to be lower than my competition and join every chamber in my area. I learned that you really need to hone in on your target market and charge what you are worth. Giving away your services only makes you start to regret what you do.
I didn't understand market saturation. There were already so many similar service providers, why would mine stand out. I thought because I was passionate and had so much experience, others would flock to do business. I didn't take the time to build a strong identity for myself. I wanted to be recognizable on social media but I could have worked much harder at creating a strong brand identity. I thought that all the people who I worked with and the tons of word of mouth would help.
What do you consider the most important elements of running a successful business?
The most important element of running a successful business is asking for help and knowing who is the right person to help you get where you need to go. Lots of time we seek out others to help us in our business who don't have the right skill set we need.
Any start-up advice you can share with women reading this who would like to launch their own business? Do you haves?
I would suggest that they invest in their business by building the right team and that should include the right person for accounting and taxes. Make sure they have the experience that your business needs.
Do you have any advice on managing your small business finances?
You need to know where you stand in your business. By being able to receive clean and accurate monthly Income Statement (P&L), Ledger, and Balance Sheet. Managing your books all year round helps you to make sound business decisions and your year-end taxes process becomes less painful.
How do you balance work and life owning a small business?
I make sure that I take time off throughout the year to rejuvenate. It also means maintaining and finding a mix of work and life that works for me and allows me to feel good. That means me traveling, spending time with family, and partaking in my hobbies.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
To be a leader when it comes to consultative services for small business owners. Our team is currently working on creating a program for small business owners which will allow them to have access to the small business consulting and teaching them to effectively run and manage their business like the bigger companies. We focus on 3 things:
1. Making more money
2. Changing the owner/staff behavior and
3. Changing their lives.
The program allows you to learn more about important and often overlooked segments of business. We will coach business owners on several subjects and focus on 3 main components: sales, operations, and finances.
Please share a fun fact about yourself
I love reading: I have a goal to read at least 24 books a year… right now I'm on number 16 and I wear cowgirl boots.
How can readers find you?
Readers can find me on every social media outlet (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube) @LorraBrown. They can also visit my website www.lbeconsulting.com.
Thank you for sharing your wonderful insights with us Lorra!