Donna Thrasher is no stranger to entrepreneurship. She has successfully started and operated a business before.
She became inspired to start her second business when her mother became ill. She remembered, “My dad was trying to help my mom but wasn't prepared. I saw the need to help him but, I also knew this must be a situation others faced too. People aren't trained for this and with an aging population the need for assistance would only increase.” She added, "I thought I should create a business to meet this need, so that’s exactly what I did.”
Donna was able to combine her sales and marketing background with her experiences in real estate and accounting to create Serenity Incorporated, where she offers personal business manager services. She explains, “I primarily work with seniors in their homes. My role with people evolves over time. It might start out as answering questions about bookkeeping, credit cards, or medical bills, but I usually become much more involved and central to their finances.”
She adds, “I often help clients to find in home health care providers, a place to live, even make the transition to assisted living and hospice, helping them to sell off tangible assets along the way. I’ve been the liaison between tenants and property managers and the owner. My experiences are so varied to match the clients' unique situations.”
While Donna had been running a successful practice, helping manage the affairs of her clients, her husband accepted a new position at a biomedical and imaging company in Coppell, Texas. Donna eventually had a decision to make, “Do I start over, do I commute, or do I start something new?” She recalls this being a difficult decision since she had clients and was traveling back and forth between two states.
Donna said, “I had a successful business with clients in another state. But, I needed to understand how to make the business work in Dallas. I had practical questions about business formation - I was an S corporation but, did I need to change my formation to operate in Texas? Also, I wanted to gain insights about my prospective customers so I needed to connect to people familiar with the community. SCORE was very helpful with that."
When asked what advice she’d give another entrepreneur, Donna said, “I think anyone who is starting a business should definitely use SCORE as a resource. It can save you a lot of time, headache and frustration; it is a resource you don't have to use only once or twice. As you start to perform, become profitable, and have new issues and questions, you will find yourself using them over and over. They care about your success and it is always nice to have a sounding board to run ideas by.”
She added, “It is remarkable that successful retired business people are dedicated to volunteering their time toward helping you succeed.” Much like the SCORE volunteers that help her, Donna is a connector and a resource to her clients. This is what she loves to do. It is inspiring that she built a business doing what she loves!