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BUSINESS SUCCESS STORIES

Simply Checking In

Tamara FanjoyTamara Fanjoy spent years in corporate America, but always had the call to do something more. Finally she decided to answer that calling by starting Simply Checking In, a small business dedicated to helping the elderly, disabled or those who need the additional help balancing their checkbook and paying bills on time.

"I spent so many years being a busy body, earning a paycheck and going through the motions to make some money, yet never felt fulfilled," Fanjoy said. "By starting my own small business that helps others, I know I'm called to something more where I can make a direct impact on somebody's life."

However, the call was not quite enough to make Fanjoy jump from employee to self-employed. She sought out timely advice from the Western Dairyland Women's Business Center, where she worked with Center Director Karman Briggs.

"Karman was able to help me envision turning my idea into a business reality. She was always there to listen and guide me through the process of seeing how my dream could turn into a full-fledged business, especially since there is no model out there for what I want to do. I created an original business idea from scratch," Fanjoy said.

Briggs assisted in the development of a business plan, financial projections and how to structure the business from a legality standpoint. Once this roadmap was developed, Fanjoy was able to learn how to grow a business without a lot of startup capital, and eventually went from working for someone else five to six days a week down to two to three days a week.

"I was never on my own. I had a brainstorming team, thanks to Western Dairyland, who helped me work through the process of developing my business. Helping me believe I can do it. I can run this business and be successful, and I gained some solid advice along the way," she said.

Simply Checking In's primary service of basic personal bookkeeping needs provides a service toward a population that needs the companionship and financial assistance.

"My clients do not really need long term financial advice; they simply need someone to help pay bills and balance their checkbook. Other companies do not offer this service as a stand-alone offering," Fanjoy said.

Fanjoy elaborated, "So many people need help. Everybody knows somebody who could use Simply Checking In's service. It's just a matter of building that client base, one referral at a time."

Lastly, Fanjoy wanted everyone to know, "Dare to do it--start your own business. What do you really have to lose? Simply know that you are not on your own, the Western Dairyland Staff is here to guide you and walk you through the start up. I was scared and overwhelmed, also, but I believe one day I will reach my goal of expansion. Don't waste another minute!"

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