LaTosha Stanfield is a certified tax preparer. Among the services, she provides include managing organizations’ books of accounts, business valuations, planning, domestic and international taxes, among other accounting services that involve individual and corporate accounting issues. Her company recently won a $10k grant from the NAACP and the famous R&B artist Beyoncé. LaTosha credits her success in this field to her passion for the same and her rich academic background. She has studied accounting in various renowned educational institutions, including Willey College in Marshall, Texas, El Centro College in Dallas, Texas, and Central Texas College, Texas State Technical College in Marshall, Texas. Additionally, she has also had short stints where she acquired vital knowledge in Colorado Technical University, Vista College in Longview, and Kaplan University. Her determination, passion, and hard work have propelled her to get to the level she is at the moment.
Like most other successful entrepreneurs, she began her venture at home and then grew the business slowly to a rented space where she established her office. LaTosha finds joy in assisting individuals and companies with their tax issues and concerns. The current COVID-19 pandemic has seen many people lose track of their lives. She has been working hard to help them keep their lives together through access to EIDL (Economic Injury Disaster Loan), even with bad credit. She prides herself in enabling hardworking individuals to save their businesses and continues advancing in lives and taking care of their families. Additionally, she has been assisting people in getting the Paycheck Protection Program that has helped many from the pandemic shock. Thanks to her strength, humility and determination, she has ensured that most start-ups and small businesses remain afloat. Besides her successful tax consultancy and accounting venture, she also runs a hair and beauty clinic. In this clinic, she helps retouch and maintain clients’ dreadlocks and other beauty and grooming services. Other than running her businesses successfully, LaTosha is also a proud mother of three children. One among the three is a successful rapper, and the other two are minors still under her care.
How did you get started in this business?
I started this business after completing my college education. My early stages in the business were quite rough. I didn’t have a lot of money to work with, so I had to work from home for the most part. Nonetheless, I pushed hard to grow my clientele, and it didn’t take long before I got to a point where I needed to move out of home and open an office. While it was a bit tough in the early stages of the business, I believe that is what gave me the impetus to get to where I am today. I can handle most of the challenges that come with business quite easily and grow.
How do you make money?
I make money by charging a consultancy fee for my services. For context, if someone needs to have their tax issues taken care of, they can come to me for help. I will take care of it, and charge them a fee after the job is done. My fees are usually depended on the size of the business and the scope of work. It’s pretty much how all service businesses work. If a multinational looking to set up a business in Texas comes to me, I will charge them a much higher fee than what I would to a small business looking to have their tax issues straightened out.
How long did it take for you to become profitable?
It took me about a year to turn profitable. It took that long because people need to trust you enough to let you in on their finances. Ever wondered why only four companies dominate the global accounting industry? Trust is the reason. In my case, I had all the qualifications, but most businesses I approached with my service offering were a little apprehensive. My situation was made worse by the fact that I am a person of color. However, by a stroke of luck, one business accepted my services, and I gave my all on it. They were so impressed with my work that they started referring other businesses to me. By the end of the first year, I had served many clients and recouped all the money I had spent marketing the business.
When you were starting out, was there ever a time you doubted it would work? If so, how did you handle that?
Yes, there were many times when I doubted that I was in the right business. The worst was when a potential client told me outright that they didn’t trust me enough to work with me. It was so heartbreaking, and I felt like quitting and try something else. To overcome this feeling of rejection, I would remind myself every night of why I started in the first place. I told myself that I didn’t study so hard for something I love, only to quit. I had gone so deep to turn back. My children, too, my 25-year son and my 12-year old have been such a pillar in my life. They believe in me, and there was no way I could quit and kill their morale to keep pushing in their endeavours. This made me to work harder, and by God’s grace, clients started streaming in, and here we are today.
How did you get your first customer?
As mentioned earlier, my first customer was a company that simply chose to believe in me. This came after I had hustled for a while trying to win a client. From then on, more clients started streaming in through referrals, and here I am, running a successful and fast-growing tax enterprise.
What is one marketing strategy (other than referrals) that you’re using that works really well to generate new business?
Aside from referrals, I use YouTube advertising a lot. Besides the paid ads, I have a YouTube Channel. One thing I love about YouTube is that I can communicate well with potential clients. I can do live videos where I can explain complex concepts while giving potential clients a chance to ask questions. Recently, I found it very useful in helping clients get government assistance after COVID-19 hit their businesses hard. No other medium would have been as effective as YouTube in passing this information.
What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the last few months?
I am happy that there is none. Since COVID-19 hit, I have seen lots of friends struggle with the idea of laying off employees. I am lucky that my business was not affected to the extent of taking such drastic decisions.
What do you think it is that makes you successful?
Multiple factors make me successful. However, the biggest among them is my persistence. Once I set my eyes on a goal, I don’t give up until I achieve it. Persistence is the reason I am still in this business. To be frank with you, if I hadn’t persisted in the early stages of this business, I would have given up long ago. Going for months without landing a single client is not easy and takes many guts to keep going.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
The most satisfying was a long while ago when I landed my first client. It was such a huge validation that I celebrated that moment with family and a few close friends. I will forever treasure that moment because it is the one that gave me the morale to work even more complex and get to where I am today. I am sure most people would find the day they landed their first client quite extraordinary.
What does the future hold for your business? What are you most excited about?
The future is bright. I have huge plans, including expanding the business and hopefully scaling it into a national tax consultancy business. The most exciting thing at the moment is the vaccine. With millions of Americans getting the jab every day, I foresee a full reopening of the economy soon and massive growth for businesses in the near term.
What business books have inspired you?
I find many books interesting, but the one that I found to be most inspiring is Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. It inspires me to look for solutions where everyone else sees problems. To a large extent, it is a book that has made me a better entrepreneur.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
I would advise my younger self to find something they are good at and pursue it hard. You are likely to fail many times when taking this approach, but once you gain traction, you will be unstoppable.
Are you willing to be a mentor? If so, how should someone contact you?
I am very willing to mentor anyone who wants to get into the tax consultancy business. As long as you are eager to learn, I can help them gain their footing in the industry. Those who want me to mentor them can get my details on my website https://stanfieldsmaxtaxrefund.ptinpro.com/.