Environmental Rescue: Patricia’s drive earned her a growing business

The Block Advisors’ Small Business Resilience Series celebrates small business owners who have persevered through challenging times to find success. In this spotlight we feature, Patricia Cordova.

ESS founder Patricia Cordova
Patricia Cordova realized she could help others find a better income and keep the environment clean for the next generation.

Meet Patricia: An environmental advocate creating jobs

Patricia Cordova is the founder and CEO of Environmental Staffing Services (ESS) in Memphis, Tennessee. ESS is an agency that specializes in staffing contractors with certified, licensed, and experienced professionals in the environmental and utility sectors. ESS is also licensed and insured to partner with businesses in the Southwest, Midwest and Northeast regions.

She’s worn several hats but started her career doing construction. From there, she decided to specialize in staffing because an environmental company invited her to staff a project in Nashville, Tennessee. Patricia found the work inspiring and realized she was helping keep the environment clean for the next generation. When Patricia realized she could help others find a better income, she decided to change her career path to environmental staffing. Patricia got ESS started in 2007.

Growth and perseverance through hard times

In her words

My business operations have changed dramatically in the last two years. At first, I had a slight downward spiral with sales. The pandemic just really took it down quite a bit because of the unexpected role I had to take on as a caregiver to my dad.

My staff was a great support. Subcontractors and workshops/webinars were also excellent sources of support to help keep me on track and talk out my problems.

Patricia Cordova in her garden

I’m frequently on my own during a typical workday. I have reached out and hired some virtual assistants before. Still, I’m the one running the daily operations, truly hands-on, completing sales and doing my accounts payable and accounts receivable. I am extremely busy just trying to stay afloat and keep the company in certification status. I’m trying to get back to the point where I don’t have to wear all the hats and can hire more support staff since I only have three employees at the moment.

I also have to remind myself that the most important aspect of my job is filling the customer’s order in a timely manner, because if you can’t do that, then you really don’t have a business.

The biggest lesson I learned from navigating a small business during the pandemic was the importance of being prepared for a disaster. Specializing in environmental solutions, you are equipped for catastrophes. Still, you do not ever expect a worldwide pandemic to occur, which was my biggest lesson. You should always have some type of plan in case something happens.

Despite the challenges I’ve endured these past couple of years, I am a person who believes in prayer, which helps me out tremendously to keep moving forward to think about things that are to come and keep the faith.

Blossoming with Block Advisors

Patricia has been a Block Advisors/H&R Block customer for 25 years. What’s kept her coming back since 1997? Her confidence in her small-business-certified tax pro, Kimberley Hill. Even after becoming a full-time caregiver for her father and having minimal free time, Patricia continues to work with Kimberley because she trusts her to get everything done right. Kimberley’s ability to accommodate Patricia’s demanding schedule and make sure everything gets taken care of has helped make filing her tax return quick and painless.

Patricia looks forward to using Block Advisors bookkeeping and payroll services as her business continues to expand while also caring for her father.

“I love the convenience because I take care of my elderly dad, and he doesn’t have to wait or sit in the office for hours while we go over every detail of the return. Also, it is difficult for him to get in and out of a vehicle. Therefore, it allows me to drive up to the office and leave my dad in the car while I quickly go into the office and drop off the necessary documents for Ms. Hill to file,” Patricia says.

Block Advisors by H&R Block has small-business-certified pros available both online and in-person to help with small business tax, payroll, and bookkeeping needs.

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