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  • 19 September 2014
  • Lisa Hanly

Mailbox Confessions: Cultivating a Strong Small Business Requires Great Clients and Great Counsel

This week, The UPS Store is launching a new advertising campaign called “Mailbox Confessions,” featuring real franchise owners and real customers. We’d like you to meet the real people of The UPS Store, so we are sharing their stories all week long!

This spotlight shines on two very different small business owners, who actually require similar solutions. Learn how Lisa Thompson uses The UPS Store to power her beauty business, while Ron Stiles uses his local The UPS Store for important printing and shipping needs, when he isn’t crunching numbers. From cosmetics to bean counting, The UPS Store has the solutions small business owners seek to help them thrive.

From cosmetics to bean counting, The UPS Store has the solutions small business owners seek to help them thrive.

Meet Lisa Thompson, Real Small Business Owner

Tell me about your business.
I’m a direct seller of cosmetics and other personal care items. After a few years of owning my own business and rising sales, I decided to also manage a team of representatives. I help guide and train them to sell their own products.

How did you get started?
I have a background in advertising and teaching. After I had my first child, I became a stay-at-home mother, but wanted something to supplement our income. I wanted flexibility, and also the ability to work from home. About five years ago, I saw a sign about an opportunity to become a cosmetics representative, and it jumped out at me. I’ve been a rep ever since.

It started as a way to make money, but then it became something I love and am very passionate about.

What inspired you to become a small business owner? What is the most rewarding part?
I was looking for more flexibility, and this fit the bill. But just as important to me – I actually trust the products I sell. These products help boost people’s confidence; they can help a woman who is struggling feel beautiful.

I also love helping people – it’s the teacher in me. By selling cosmetics, I can help my customers, but I can also help my team. I love hearing about what they’ve accomplished.

Tell me about your relationship with your local The UPS Store.

I first started using my local The UPS Store when I needed to return items. Right away, the store was supportive and ready to help me out in any way they could. It was very family-oriented. They know how my business runs, and they can take care of whatever I need. They’re dedicated to customer service and that’s a big plus for me.

What products and services do you use to help your small business?
I rely on The UPS Store for shipping, mailing supplies and I’m planning to do some printing.

How long have you been a The UPS Store customer?
Five years.

How do you feel about being featured as a “real person” of The UPS Store?
I was surprised. They asked to interview me, and I honestly just wanted to help out. It happened by chance, but it was a great opportunity and I really enjoyed myself.

Meet Ronald Stiles, Real Small Business Owner

Tell me about your business.
I own and operate Ronald L. Stiles, CPA, Inc., an accounting practice that specializes in small business accounting and individual tax returns.

What inspired you to become a small business owner?

To be honest, my previous employer bored me. I had experience in a couple of departments and I was not excited about my work in either of them. I wanted to become an independent businessman, with an emphasis on independent.

How did you get started?

I was actually auditing one of the clients of this practice and discovered that the owner at the time was seeking a new accountant. I made the decision to leave my previous employer to go to work for the practice before I eventually bought it. Now, I continue to own and operate it with the help of two wonderful employees.

I’ve been with this firm for 43 out of my 47 years in accounting, but the history goes deeper than that. The practice was established in 1934, so I have quite a few long-term clients. I have had the opportunity to work with several generations of families throughout the years. One of my clients, who celebrated his 102nd birthday this year, has done business with the firm since the 1940s.

What is the most rewarding part of being a small business owner?
The greatest reward, for me, is building and maintaining relationships with my clients. When you deal with other people’s taxes and money, it’s more personal than you can believe. I truly enjoy the work I do and the clients I work with, so I have no plans to retire!

Tell me about your relationship with your local The UPS Store.
Just recently, I used The UPS Store’s fingerprinting service as part of my CPA license renewal process. I also use The UPS Store mailing and printing services. Each time I do visit, the Huntington Beach staff is efficient and pleasant—that’s what keeps me coming back.

How long have you been a The UPS Store customer?
My The UPS Store location is in a shopping center within walking distance from my home. I’ve lived in the house 43 years, so I couldn’t tell you when I started visiting that store, but after I discovered them, I became a patron.

How do you feel about being featured as “real person” of The UPS Store?

It’s certainly interesting!

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