After working for 15 years as a staff accountant and bookkeeper, Lea Rankin realized what had been holding her back from business ownership: Her own insecurity.
In April, Rankin took the plunge, launching her Doylestown-based business, Rankin Bookkeeping Solutions, and has since lost count of how many clients she has onboarded.
“It’s really important to me that people understand that the biggest thing you can do is face your fears and not limit yourself,” said Rankin, who has more than 20 years of experience in the field. “To create a company and be successful in knowing that 22 years of experience does mean something.”
Rankin began mentoring with SCORE Bucks County volunteer Steve Wolfson in January. Together, they worked to establish her company’s EIN, and form an LLC in Pennsylvania.
“He gives you the guidance and the direction,” Rankin said. “I can talk through things with him. I don’t have regularly scheduled brainstorming sessions with him, but if I have a question he’s there. I let him know where I’m at.”
Wolfson added Rankin’s company to the chapter’s resource list and has since referred her to several SCORE clients who needed bookkeeping and related services.
“I worked with her through the whole transition and when the LLC, bank account and office was ready, she started signing up clients faster than was anticipated,” Wolfson said. “She is an expert with QuickBooks and can train clients through all different levels needed. Over the first seven months in business, her customer base has expanded dramatically.”
In addition to Rankin, two W-2 employees, a contractor and an advisor round out her team, offering customized services based on their clients’ individual needs. Beyond bookkeeping, Rankin and her associates provide cash flow projections, payroll, accounts payable and receivable, financial reporting, budgeting, and provide year-end tax preparation and reports for their clients’ CPA, among other services.
“I’ve been called the CFO sidekick,” Rankin said, adding that she partners with the clients’ tax accountant to ensure everything is ready and reported properly.
Rankin prides herself on her company’s commitment to great service.
“I don’t care if it’s one person that makes $20,000 a year or a company with 60 employees that makes $70 million a year,” she said. “They’re both just as important.”
Rankin and her staff are fully remote, allowing the company the ability to work with clients in Bucks County and beyond. To date, they serve clients in Georgia, Massachusetts, New York, and Florida, in addition to local business clients in the greater Philadelphia area.
Looking ahead, Rankin is excited about the prospect of continuing to grow her business.
“Fear and anxiety and self-limitations kept me where I was for so long,” she said. “Now it’s a level up. I don’t need to limit myself anymore.”
Since 1964, SCORE has helped more than 11 million aspiring entrepreneurs. Each year, SCORE provides small business mentoring and workshops to more than 375,000 new and growing small businesses. With more than 70 members across Bucks and Eastern Montgomery counties, SCORE Bucks County provides over 4,300 free mentoring services annually to local small business owners through one-on-one counseling and small business seminars. To stay up to date on news and happenings, join SCORE Bucks County’s email list. Text SCOREBUCKS to 22828.