Monica Vasquez, owner of E9 Construction in Fort Worth, Texas, and Jonas Project Veteran Owned Business, has been hustling this past year to get established in her region. And she’s had some huge successes along the way! We had a chance to catch up with her recently to talk about what’s been going on.
In late 2015, Monica scored her first six-figure contract, and was recently able to hire her first full time construction workers, who had previously been contractors. That’s a HUGE step in any entrepreneur’s business, actually having employees!
Monica has been working with her Jonas Project mentor, Lisa, for over a year. They seem to have become fast friends through their long conversations about operations, business, and sometimes just tackling the work-life balance.
“Lisa is amazing,” says Monica. “She has helped me through so much, I can’t even begin to describe what it’s been like having someone who always has my back and my best interests at heart.”
But even with all the wins that Monica has wracked up this year, the life of an entrepreneur isn’t always easy. Monica has been working to close out the books for 2015, and that’s when the headache really began.
“We were using QuickBooks Online since we started as our accounting software. We did not realize until December that it wouldn’t allow us to code our payroll to specific jobs. Therefore our P&L for each job was way off,” says Monica.
In an effort to fix the situation, they switched to QuickBooks Desktop version which opened up a whole new set of challenges. “After at least five different three-hour sessions of “please hold while I transfer you to the right department” ordeals with customer service, they came to the conclusion that there was an issue with our export of our online data to the desktop. This caused us to have to reconcile the books at least three times because it kept wiping out our reconciliations,” says Monica.
“I didn’t know that we could purchase additional licenses for QuickBooks at the store we bought the desktop version from, therefore, I ended up spending twice the amount for an additional license for my office staff, only to realize that the server needed to be set up on my laptop, which also means that unless my laptop is present, my staff can’t work on QuickBooks. With me being so mobile to and from jobsites, I pretty much need to have my laptop with me, but now I find myself needing to leave it at the office so my assistant can actually get work done.”
This is definitely a great of example ‘live and learn’, and it’s not uncommon to struggle with the most mundane tasks when you want to focus on growing your business instead. In fact, it’s one of the biggest challenges for entrepreneurs – managing the day-to-day operations when you should be focusing on growth. It took almost two weeks of constant attention to get this one issue resolved.
Monica also recently changed her entity from a Sole Proprietorship to an LLC. Doing so required that she request a new EIN, update the System for Award Mangement and change her QuickBooks file…again.
“These are just a few of my frustrations,” says Monica. “I could go on and on.” Even with all the frustration of being the boss, Monica was recently featured in the Disabled Veteran Business Alliance as a success story! Monica is a great example of the tenacity and determination the Veterans that work with The Jonas Project display every single day.