Texas Member Profile: Wanda Rohm of Chandler Consulting, San Antonio

Date: May 30, 2016 Last Edit: May 31, 2016

'The government has so many tax laws and things that require inspection—things that don’t need to be done. All it does is take up time that you don’t have.'

The former small NFIB business champion for 10 states and White House Conference on Small Business delegate talks what it takes to be a female entrepreneur in a man’s world.

How did you become a small business owner?

I was working here in San Antonio for a ranch, then I got married and pregnant and couldn’t really do that. I stayed home for a couple years, and then decided to open my own business. One of the most difficult things was being a woman—the bank didn’t want to give me a loan.

My uncle had invented a printing press that printed four colors at a time. I rented a 1500 square-foot. building, had two employees, and we started out selling business cards.

Three years later I had eight employees. Ten years later I had 15 employees. We grew and did really good and I expanded into other things besides business cards and got some really nice accounts like AT&T, Nationwide and a lot of banks and title consulting companies.

All of that was really done networking. I felt like a politician. But it was a great adventure and I loved it, and if printing was still the same and I was younger I would start over again.

Why did you become an NFIB member?

Bill Clinton was in office and he had a White House conference on small business and I was a delegate for that. When I was in DC I met a lot of people from NFIB and I just fell in love. I was asked to be the NFIB state chair for Texas, and I was the longest existing state chair they’ve ever had—by six or seven years.

In what ways has NFIB helped your small business?

Small businesses are just kind of floating out there, they don’t have time to go and defend their business, because every bit of energy is going into their company, so they really need someone like NFIB out fighting for them.

Being a small business owner is more than being a bookkeeper. It’s more than being a CPA. Except you have to be all of those things. You work harder and make less than ever. But it’s also the most rewarding.

There are many laws the legislators pass that are very much pro-big business, and very few bills that they pass that are good for small business.

What’s the biggest challenge that faces Texas small business owners like you?

Keeping government out of my business—that was a big challenge, and that’s what NFIB works well at stopping. The government has so many tax laws and things that require inspection—things that don’t need to be done. All it does is take up time that you don’t have.

NFIB is the only one that really improves the world of small business.

What advice would you give new NFIB members to make the most of their membership?

To participate in their local action council, to get to know the staff so that if they have a complaint about a law, they can report it to NFIB. For NFIB to get to know them so that when they need somebody to represent small business, they have it.

Who has been a small business hero or mentor that has helped to shape your entrepreneurialism?

My uncle—the one that invented that printing press. He was amazed that I was able to take it as high as I did, he said I never dreamed that it would grow this big.

Related Content: Small Business News | Economy | Texas

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