Amber León Guides Businesses to Success as Kabbage Supports Her Growing Business
After starting her career as a bookkeeper for her family’s business, Amber León spent several years at accounting firms helping clients prepare tax returns. What truly made her happy, however, was offering planning advice to keep businesses successful year-round – not just helping them at tax time. “It was really exciting to guide people on the right decisions to help their businesses, instead of just telling them how much tax they owed,” Amber says.
Clients loved Amber’s help so much that she had to add nighttime and weekend hours to keep up. “It was crazy – I was using vacation time just to work on the business plans,” she says. “I could see a lot of potential in doing this as my own business.” In 2016, she left her job and founded PEAR Accounting Solutions in Napa, California, offering strategic planning, payroll and tax services to businesses across the U.S.
Finding funds for payroll and office space
Amber was a single mother when she started PEAR, and money was tight. Business was going well, but when she reached capacity working on her own, she hired an employee. The added payroll expense squeezed PEAR’s cash flow. “I was working a lot, yet I couldn’t pay myself,” she says. “I was pretty much ready to quit.”
She knew from advising other businesses that traditional banks would likely turn her down for a business loan. After learning about Kabbage during an online search, she applied for a line of credit in just a few minutes.
Amber used her first Kabbage loans for payroll so she could add part-time employees while paying herself. She also paid for software subscriptions she needed for accounting services.
Once she got her business on stable footing, Amber put PEAR back on the growth path. Now married and expecting another child, she is moving out of her home office. To do this, Amber used Kabbage funds to pay for office space in Napa and to buy furniture.
Guiding clients through business ups and downs
Now two years after founding PEAR, Amber has increased revenue by 30 percent and now has six part-time employees. She is narrowing her client focus to restaurants and breweries – businesses she worked with early in her accounting career and are plentiful in the wine region north of San Francisco. “We’re planning to market more to these industries and take on more business,” she says.
In the wake of region’s devastating wildfires in fall 2017, Amber is proud of her role helping her clients stay financially sound, even as tourism declined. “My fine-dining restaurant client is in the best cash flow position they’ve ever been in,” she says. “We helped them create a weekly food-spending budget so they can track expenses and increase their bottom line.”
Amber is also proud that she’s created a successful company. “By getting the Kabbage loan, I was able to keep my business going instead of quitting,” she says.