As a creative I’ve learned that the business behind a project is just as important as the artistry. No matter how amazing the idea, if the strategy isn’t right, the concept will struggle. Proper handling of funding, accounting, and budgeting are all essential to the final product.
Now I’ll be the first to admit, the former are not my favorite parts of planning. But that is why I’ve worked hard to learn more through research, and meaningful conversations with industry professionals. One of those professionals is Folasade Ayegubsi, an Enrolled Agent, Accountant, Speaker and Small Business Growth strategist based in the Washington DC area. In our recent chat we discussed her entrepreneurial journey, opportunities available during the Pandemic, and financial tips for small business owners.
“I always knew I wanted to be self-sufficient. I just didn’t plan on doing it by myself,” says Folasade when I inquired about her journey to entrepreneurship. As founder of Suncrest Financials, she knew since a teen she wanted to benefit her community through accounting, but her journey was unexpected.
Growing up in Northeast DC, Folasade recalls her family and others taking an annual walk to H&R block to get their tax refunds. Although she was young and didn’t understand the excitement around it, she knew it was a big deal and her curiosity was sparked. This led to her learning more about the business, interning under her father, and making the choice to study accounting in college. The more she understood, the more she was inspired to educate others on their financials. Years later after learning the business she began working with her father and their accounting company was born.
Folasade’s plan was to build a large base of clientele and dominate the DMV area. However, things took an abrupt halt when she fell in love. Her Dad was not very approving of the relationship, and Folasade and her husband made the decision to elope. As you may imagine, this created a strain in their business relationship and she was forced to continue alone.
The period after this was filled with prayers, mistakes, and lessons. But through it all, she kept pushing forward. As of August 2020, Folasade will be self-employed for nine years and today her direct competition is her father. She is walking in her purpose and has helped entrepreneurs and small business owners save over $25 million in lost revenue, tax assessments, penalties, and interest.
Even in this difficult time, she continues to help others and advises budding entrepreneurs to use the time effectively. “Everybody is scared right now, God has leveled the playing field. If anyone is on the fence of starting your business, this is the time to go out and do it. You may be nervous but if you have at least $500, I say try it!”
In her reasoning, she explained that the pandemic programs available can be very beneficial. The PPP loans (can be forgiven), EIDL Loans (not forgiven), IED Grant ($1000 per employee, forgiven) are all tools that can be useful. “If your business was making money before February 15, I recommend at least going for the grant. As a young African-american woman, I used to always get denied credit. This is our opportunity to get some much needed funding so we can grow and scale our businesses. Also, this is the lowest interest rate that we will ever get in our lifetime.”
Folasade is currently in the process of launching a new initiative called She Knows Her Money. It was created to encourage women to know their numbers to become financially secure and to create generational wealth. For more helpful tips or to work with Folasade, check out the links below!
Written by: Kirby Carroll Wright