Celebrating 20 Years!
Celebrating 20 Years In Business
Statistics show that about half of all new businesses survive five years or more and about one-third survive 10 years or more. So making it 20 years is truly something. Paula Paisley, founder of Paisley Solutions, tells the story of how her business began, developed and grew over the last 20 years.
You may not be old enough to remember the old Safeguard® system where cards placed over carbon paper transferred data to a ledger sheet below, but that is where Paula’s story began. Working her way through college as a bookkeeper, she fell in love with the business side of accounting. Paula recognized how the numbers could tell the story of the business, past, present and future. As computers and accounting software became affordable, she had the opportunity to convert a number of businesses from manual to automated accounting systems.
Working closely with local business owners, Paula realized that many struggled with bookkeeping and did not understand accounting or financial statements. Often they lacked good information that could help them make better business decisions. In 1996, looking for a new career path, she rolled up her sleeves and took a contract project to convert a company that owned 4 auto parts stores to QuickBooks®. It was love at the first keystroke. Paula relished working with different businesses and creating a system customized to their needs.
Although many businesses were making the conversion to QuickBooks®, many were not using it correctly. It gave Paula great satisfaction to “fix” the mess, teach clients to use the software and help them develop their unique bookkeeping process. She also realized an opportunity to provide bookkeeping services…either taking over completely, or simply reviewing the client’s work.
By 1999, Paula’s client base was growing by word of mouth and referrals. Those referrals came from networking and marketing, but mostly from accountants of clients she had worked with. With a growing amount of work, Paula rented an office and hired her first employee.
Paula has many moments of the last 20 years that are memorable. Among the milestones were expanding the office; graduating from PCs to a server and network; and embracing technology which enabled Paisley Solutions to work virtually, removing geographic barriers. However, the most important was creating a work environment where family does not take a backseat to the job.
While doing business is important, a business must be a part of the community. Paisley Solutions is a member of several Chambers of Commerce. Paula served as a board member and president in the Women’s Business Connection (formerly WRN) and continues to support the organization. She also volunteers for SCORE (chestercounty.score.org) as a certified speaker and on the executive committee. Paula’s greatest sense of satisfaction is seeing her clients and staff grow and succeed.