When Annette Laroche lost her job, she decided to start a business so she could have more control over her future. She had more than 20 years of experience in commercial insurance, which gave her a broad understanding of business needs and processes. Before her insurance career, Laroche worked as a bookkeeper for 10 years, specializing in small businesses.
“Today I can see how all of my past business experience has helped to prepare me for business ownership,” she recalls. Her company, Balance It Out Bookkeeping, provides bookkeeping services to small business owners on a monthly, quarterly, annual, or project basis.
“I have successfully grown the business from zero clients to a current base of 10 monthly clients as well as temporary project work and training people how to use QuickBooks,” Laroche reports. After attending a Google workshop, she hired a marketing specialist to boost her online presence so she could focus on other areas of her business.
Laroche first connected with SCORE through a networking event that, a few weeks later, helped her land her first client. “The workshops have been helpful and the guidance and support of an enthusiastic and knowledgeable mentor have been priceless,” Laroche says. She attended a three-evening business plan workshop and met with volunteer mentor Bharat Dasai, who advised with pricing her services and growing her business.