HR Business Solutions began in 2012 with Lynn Talbott’s laptop, helping heart and knack for numbers and efficiencies.
With a background in human resources, Talbott came to Chattanooga from Seattle for her husband’s work as a physician and spent time raising her children until they reached high school, when she “had to do something with all her energy.” She saw many local entrepreneurs thriving in Chattanooga, and soon joined them by turning her HR expertise into her own business.
“But everybody kept saying, ‘Can you help me with my QuickBooks?’” Talbott says. “And I had been keeping books for nonprofits and schools for years and I love accounting. I just kept helping people and helping people and then the phone just didn't stop ringing.”
HRbiz went on to graduate from the INCubator in the Hamilton County Business Development Center operated by the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce, and today is Chattanooga's go-to for QuickBooks help. From basic training to advanced setup or integration with other software, HRbiz supports CPAs, bookkeepers and entrepreneurs.
The primary mission? To bridge the gap between small businesses and their CPAs. They teach bookkeeping and use plain language to help entrepreneurs understand what information they need to make business decisions, developing reports and systems to bring them reliable data on time.
“Our entrepreneurs are often already nervous about their finances and afraid of what I'm going to find or that I'm going to judge them,” Talbott says. “When somebody comes in, we say, ‘Tell me about you. Tell me where you're struggling. What keeps you from being the best entrepreneur you can?’ And it always falls back to lack of finance knowledge, which is where we come in.”
Talbott volunteers at the Tennessee Small Business Development Center and INCubator teaching basic bookkeeping and Quickbooks. She also occasionally offers HR training when a business begins hiring.
Why the passion for entrepreneurs?
While living across the country 20 years ago, Talbott experienced a layoff from a corporate position while eight months pregnant with her first child, and gained a new career perspective.
“I decided that I would never work for anybody else who is in control of my destiny,” Talbott says. “I would run my own business and I wouldn't treat women this way. We’d have a business model that works so that women don't feel bad because they have obligations at home.”
And she’s done exactly that. HRbiz prioritizes flexible and part-time scheduling for their team to balance work and family. Talbott encourages employees to work from home one or two days a week using protected, cloud-based applications that enable them to get the job done at home or on-the-go.
Talbott’s advice for launching a business is twofold.
“Surround yourself with good people. Everybody wants to give you random advice when you start, but you don’t have to take all of it,” she says. “Also, you cannot just write anything off through your business. I will show you the tax code. My job is to keep you focused on your finances and out of trouble.”