Frequently asked questions

What inspired you to start your own business?

{7 year old Sadie runs into room and gives Cara a hug} This. I wanted to be more available for my family. Why this business? I really, truly find fulfillment when I help someone feel empowered to leave a corporate job they don’t enjoy and start their own business. It’s a great lifestyle and I like helping people get to that place.

What prepared you most for running your own company?

I grew up in a small town and was incredibly close to all of my grandparents. Both of my grandfathers owned small businesses and I helped out with both businesses from a very early age. My entire life I have been surrounded by small business owners – my father, my uncle, my brother-in-law, my husband – and the women in their lives who gave them support, strength and encouragement along the way. These women made such an impact on the businesses, all behind the scenes. As I got older, I witnessed many of the women in my life start businesses of their own and I knew that my experience could help them to feel empowered and organized, which would help their businesses to thrive.

How do you & Lydia work well together?

We have opposite and complimentary skills. I look more at the big picture and I’m good at the planning and communicating with clients. Lydia is thoughtful and dives deep into the details and won't stop until she finds an answer.

How do you best serve your clients.

I have a very comfortable, friendly relationship with everybody. I usually show up in jeans and just make it a point to listen first. To me, its about connecting, putting out a good feeling and establishing trust.

Share a moment when you felt all the feels helping a client.

I helped one of my clients from the very early stages when she knew she had the talent and skill to start her own business. But of course, it’s a leap of faith to start your own business. So we started at the beginning and worked step by step through the process of starting a business in GA. At the end of her first year which was very successful, we looked back on how far we’d come and she started crying and I started crying and we were saying “Wow! Look at this! Look at what we did!”

What have you learned about starting a company?

Knowing your motivation is important. For several clients, and for me personally, our motivation to start a business was that we wanted to be more available to our families and at the same time, not have to give up anything. It’s hard; sometimes you work more, but at the same time, it’s yours. Knowing what drives you to have your own business helps you through the hard times.

What's a common obstacle you see businesses face?

Getting caught up in details. Business owners need to be able to focus on their expertise and not have worry about all the little details but when you start your own business, you have to think about all these things you didn’t have to think about before: IT, bookkeeping, health insurance, stationary etc. People who are trying to do all that on their own, trying to manage it all, they get completely overwhelmed. Lydia and I experienced it first-hand with LYRA, trying to do too much ourselves, and we needed to let somebody help us, too.

What advice would you give about starting a business?

You have to take some risks and you’ve got to have a system in place so that you can look at your business and know how you’re doing.

There are many parts to LYRA... what's your favorite?

Being part of a collective of people who help small businesses. None of our partners are employed by us, they all own their own business too, and we are all just in this together.