Carol A. Robinson, the president and CEO of Fastax Financial Services Co., has marked her 25th business anniversary.
Robinson launched her company in 1992 after leaving her corporate career at Sun Co., where she worked as a tax accountant and financial systems manager. Before leaving the energy company, she built a client base that she tapped into in launching her accounting and tax practice.
For Robinson leaving the corporate world for entrepreneurship was somewhat daunting.
“It was frightening because I received a paycheck every two weeks. I was financially sound and to all of a sudden to step out on our your own – that’s a monumental thing,“ she acknowledged.
“The thing that I have always tried to share with people is that if you have a business plan – if you have goals that you want to achieve — you can do it, but you have to have your road map and that is what I had, to be able to see where I could go,“ said Robinson, a Philadelphia native.
Throughout the years, Fastax expanded to offer tax, accounting, insurance and mortgage services to individuals and small business clients from the Delaware Valley to North Carolina. The company has offices in Bala Cynwyd and Owens Mills, Md.
These days, Robinson focuses on providing retirement planning and conducting financial seminars and workshops. She is striving to help people achieve their financial goals and be adequately prepared for retirement.
“If I can deliver information that can help somebody sustain a better financial life than everything that I have done over the last 25 years has not been in vain,“ Robinson said as she reflected on her business milestone. “That is what I feel I have been led to do.“
She acknowledges that it hasn’t been easy to run her own firm.
“There have been days when you want to fold up and say is this really worth it – should I go get a job and then something happens to turn the corner to make it continue to go on,“ said Robinson.
She learned key lessons along her entrepreneurial journey.
“One of the things that I learned as an entrepreneur is that you must understand how to develop multiple streams of income,“ Robinson explained.
She says that some of her small business clients are often broadsided because they only focused on one revenue stream.
In addition to running her financial services company, Robinson formerly owned and operated other businesses including Nails Plus Salon and Boutique and Jasmines, a gift and women’s accessories store that was located at River Park House Condominiums.
For Robinson, the seeds of entrepreneurship were planted early on. While growing up, she became inspired by her grandfather, Junior Collins, who owned real estate and several businesses on Ridge Avenue in North Philadelphia during the 1940s and 1950s.
“If there is a seed in you, somehow it will continue to sprout out if you continue to water it,“ Robinson reflected.
Robinson’s professional affiliations have included The Pennsylvania and Maryland Society of Public Accountants and the Pennsylvania Association of Mortgage Brokers.
Robinson has been recognized by the Women’s Entrepreneur Network, Inc., The National Association of Black Accountants and she received the 2009 Professional Achievement Award from the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Club, Inc.
She earned her accounting degree from Temple University and her MBA from Philadelphia University.