Some entrepreneurs pursue small business ownership because they’d prefer not to interact with people, while others are so people-oriented that they jump at the chance to be more hands-on. Rayleen Pirnie falls into the latter category.
After 20 years of helping various industries reduce payments risk, she identified that there were limited educational resources specifically for businesses in her region. Payment processing is a critical part of a business’ infrastructure, so in April 2015, she formally established RP Payments Risk Consulting Services, LLC to focus on education and services to help businesses strengthen their risk management posture.
Pirnie is the sole employee of her company, but she does outsource certain tasks to a network of consultants she works with because — although she’s based out of her home office in Camden, Missouri — her company’s reach is nationwide.
“In every business, there are payments to consider — whether you’re paying your employees, yourself, your vendors, or taking payments. What I do is offer education and assessments of their processes related to those payments. I help them evaluate risks and make sure they’re following the rules,” Pirnie explains.
Pirnie credits the experience she acquired over the last few decades as the not-so-secret to her success. Her wealth of knowledge makes her trustworthy to her clients — so trustworthy, in fact, that she relies heavily on word-of-mouth referrals to rein in new clients. Her passion for her work is obvious to them.
“I just want to help businesses and consumers protect themselves so they don’t fall victim to fraud or risk losing money. I get a lot of feedback from clients and consumer groups saying, ‘I didn’t fall for this scam,’ or ‘We caught this before it happened.’ Those affirmations fuel me.”
Although Pirnie has some stiff competition in the form of large firms, she more than makes up for what she lacks in size when it comes to giving her clients the more nuanced attention that larger firms can’t offer.
“My clients like my one-on-one approach. I’m not a big business. I get very familiar with my clients and their operations. I’ve also been told that I’m an energetic and engaging speaker, and that helps to draw potential clients in and empower them to move forward. I provide continued support beyond the initial engagement,” she says.
Challenges of Small Business Ownership
Just because Pirnie didn’t have to learn the ropes of her industry before formally establishing her entity doesn’t mean she didn’t face her fair share of hurdles to overcome.
“I didn’t know what I needed to do to become a formal entity, like what type of entity I was supposed to have and what the state rules are,” she admits.
Despite her loyal client base, Pirnie does sometimes feel like a small fish in a big pond.
“When an organization is evaluating me to see if they should hire me or not, I know they’re comparing me to corporations. Sometimes I wonder if I lose business based on some people’s comfort with a large business over a small business.”
Tips for Aspiring Small Business Owners
For those looking to establish an entity, Pirnie insists passion should be at the root of it, as entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart.
“Passion will get you through a lot. It will make the very long days and the odd hours worth it. Find people who can support you, like a family structure or just people externally that you can outsource tasks to. There is a lot involved in owning your own business and a lot of penalties you could face if you don’t do things right,” she elaborates.
Hard work has its perks, though. Having a schedule of her own making leaves her with additional time to pursue her hobbies and spend priceless time with her family.
“That advantage is one of the reasons I stepped out of the corporate world. If I want to, I can take my grandson to the zoo on a Tuesday.”
Experience as a Client of 1-800Accountant
Rayleen Pirnie of RP Payments Risk Consulting Services, LLC is a satisfied client of 1-800Accountant.
“I travel a lot — at least 50% of my business year — so I can’t worry about different state filings. And it’s not simply the state filings that my accountant takes care of, but it’s knowing my numerous questions are a simple call or e-mail away from resolution and that my taxes are done on time and accurately,” she enthuses.
Photo credit: The photograph included in this blog post was provided by RP Payments Risk Consulting Services, LLC and is used with permission.