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Reputation is key to Kansas City entrepreneur's success

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Marquita Miller, left, has a degree in accounting and owns her own firm in Kansas City called Five Star Tax. Marquita Miller, left, has a degree in accounting and owns her own firm in Kansas City called Five Star Tax.
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

Marquita Miller grew up working in her family's barbeque restaurant where she learned the value of customer service.

She has a degree in accounting and owns her own firm in Kansas City called Five Star Tax.

"I love accounting because it is the road map to see how your business is really doing, and probably more importantly, it is a tool that can be used to help you reach your goal," she said.

Miller is an entrepreneur who has been earning money since she was a teen.

She has worked her way up from a pizza clerk, to a mutual funds manager, a staff accountant, to president and CEO of the company she founded in 2005.

"One thing that people don't argue with is when you have knowledge, and they can see it," she said.

But getting that knowledge in front of those potential clients took some grit and determination.

She remembers the early days of cold calls and beating the streets.

"I started going to business owners, because my target client was business owners. So I can recall going to restaurants, getting the list of Kansas City businesses that just got a business license. I would go out there and cold call," Miller said. "Now, I had never done sales before, but I knew, if this was going to work I was going to have to go to the customer."

Miller surrounds herself with like-minded staff. She is both mentor and boss and takes pleasure in seeing them become the next entrepreneur.

"Because I'm an entrepreneur at heart, I want staff, I want the people who work for me, I want them to become entrepreneurs. And that is how we grow. Another office, that staff person who is dedicated, who loves the customers with the same magnitude, as well as has the skill set, they are the perfect person for the next location," she said.

After 14 years, Miller is looking at expanding. She has also authored three books and two CDs.

She is a featured speaker and has been recognized as one of the up-and-comers among small business owners in Kansas City.

Miller said the secret to getting on top is the same as staying there - it is all about reputation.

"To move forward, you don't want to move forward at the expense of someone else. So you need to do business properly. You only have one reputation, so how you do business means everything," she said.

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