Woman Owned Small Business Cultivated in Business Incubator and Nurtured with Small Business Development Center Counseling

Woman-Owned Small Business Cultivated in Business Incubator and Nurtured with Small Business Development Center Counseling

 

HR Business Solutions, LLC (HR Biz), was started in 2012 by Lynn Talbott after consulting with her MBA advisor who recommended that she turn her consulting business into an official company.

           

After exploring the INCubator located in the Hamilton County Business Development Center (BDC) in Chattanooga, Tennessee, HR Biz became a tenant. Being surrounded by like-minded individuals who were in early stages of business, HR Biz benefitted significantly. With low-cost rent in the INCubator and business counseling services through the BDC, HR Biz never had to obtain a loan as a start-up.

 

As a solo entrepreneur, the SBA provided accountability and a sounding-board whenever Lynn needed it. The triad partnership of the Tennessee Small Business Development Center in Chattanooga, the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce, and Chattanooga State provides steady, ongoing support for entrepreneurs to help their local communities thrive.  All of these resources are located in the BDC/INCubator.

 

Lynn’s background is in Human Resources (HR) and she initially worked for Fortune 500 companies in Seattle, Washington.  After moving to Chattanooga 20 years ago, she continued doing HR part-time. She discovered that small companies were more in need of help with bookkeeping and finances than HR. Within a short time, she became known as Chattanooga’s “QuickBooks Lady.”  She found that there was a big gap between entrepreneurs and their certified public accountants (CPA).  The business owners were just blindly handing over bank statements and receipts without a real understanding of how to gather the information so it made sense to them.  Lynn wanted to help them get the financial information they needed in order to make sound business decisions.

 

Today, HR Biz provides about 10% HR consulting and 90% QuickBooks consulting. The business has nine employees and two contract workers. Their annual sales have grown from $75,000 to $650,000 over the past five years. Projections put them at $1 million within the next two years.  They have retained positive earnings year after year and are improving their profit margins each year.

 

Within three years, HR Biz doubled in size, added employees, and purchased real estate to house the business with the capacity to accommodate growth and further increase staff.  

 

Lynn took advantage of the opportunity to get herself in front of new start-up businesses.  The SBA and Chattanooga State allowed her to teach a class in basic bookkeeping for free.   Many of those students became her clients. Additionally, Lynn has taken advantage of networking and leadership opportunities in the community through Chattanooga Women’s Leadership Institute (CWLI).\

 

Lynn has been a panelist and/or a facilitator for women’s entrepreneurship events, she has been a featured speaker at Women Mean Business lunches, and is a sustaining member of the CWLI. She has done seminars for the Co. Lab, the Edney, the Center for Non-Profits, and has served as a mentor in University of Tennessee Chattanooga’s Veteran Entrepreneurship Program.

 

In Lynn’s view, “It’s satisfying to watch young companies gain stability and grow as they increase their financial knowledge and skills through working with us.”  Her advice to new business is to “outsource your weaknesses or be willing to invest in yourself to strengthen your skills in that area.  Find a mentor who has been in business longer. Take time to network and do it sincerely. When people are ready to buy your product or service, they’re more likely to contact you if they remember a personal connection and not a sales-pitch.”