Small business ownership crept up on Pamela Johnson of Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina through a series of unfortunate circumstances. In 2004, she was forced to start her life over due to monumental events in her personal life, which resulted in her house being foreclosed on. Once Johnson pulled her and her children out of the hole they were in, she vowed to pay it forward and invest in properties to help people who were in a bind, temporary or otherwise. From there, Exact Solutions Realty, LLC was born. The small business was formally established in November of 2014 and is based out of a home office.
“My mission and objective is to try to decrease homelessness. This is not just for the lower-class, but for working-class individuals whose credit may not be great and receive government funds. There are a lot of people who will not accept help because there is a stigma attached to Section 8 people, when in all actuality there are a lot of good tenants out here, they just didn’t have a chance,” Johnson explains.
Johnson feels that Exact Solutions Realty will be successful because no family or individual in need will be turned away from the properties she obtains.
“No one will be exempt,” she says.
Despite the stress that comes in the startup stages of small business ownership, Johnson knows her future of helping others is just around the corner. She hopes to eliminate stereotypes of those receiving assistance along the way.
“I’ve spoken to quite a few families who are just dying for someone to give them a chance to move into an area where they won’t feel unsafe. There’s that stereotype of people in need being forced to live in places that are unsafe. I just want to set a different standard for the public. We need to stop judging,” she urges.
Challenges in the Startup Stages
As with most other small business owners, the biggest challenge for Johnson was simply figuring out where to begin and acquiring the knowledge needed to run a successful business. In addition to the usual hurdles, Johnson also faced some discouragement from other realtors.
“When I talked to other realtors — and I don’t know if it’s unintentional – they’d ask me, ‘Are you sure that’s what you want to do?’ I try to ask questions so I can learn, and they’re giving me feedback to turn me off. That and the initial startup funds have been challenging. You have to build credit in order to move forward, so I’m learning how to navigate through that as well,” Johnson confides. “The downside is not having a lot of free time during the day to scout properties because I have a full-time job.”
Tips for Aspiring Business Owners
For up-and-coming entrepreneurs looking to oversee small businesses of their own, Johnson offers up the most priceless piece of advice she has received on her journey.
“Research, research, research! I Googled. I did online research. I reached out to other people who are in the same boat. I tell everybody to read and do their research and don’t just jump in on their blind faith. Know your direction. You don’t want to get slapped down and get discouraged and then say, ‘Never mind,’” she advises. “The advantage is that it’s just myself that I have to fight with. I don’t have to solicit others for ideas and receive positive or negative feedback from anyone. I need to rely on just myself to understand the verbiage and the definitions, and then when I do start to network and bring others on board, we will understand each other.”
Experience as a 1-800Accountant Client
Pamela Johnson of Exact Solutions Realty is a satisfied client of 1-800Accountant.
“The accountants have been very wonderful and have guided me toward where I need to go. My accountant is so professional! The one thing I like about 1-800Accountant is everyone I’ve spoken to is on the person’s level. No one makes me feel dumb or talks to me like I’m in kindergarten, so I appreciate the level of professionalism and meeting me where I am in terms of knowledge,” she says of the nationwide corporate accounting firm.