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Inspiring Conversations with Franchesca Ross-Jones of Common Cents Solutions

Today we’d like to introduce you to Franchesca Ross-Jones.

Hi Franchesca, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I realized the importance of credit and financial security when I became a single parent at 16 years old. After graduating from Troy University with a Bachelor of Science (BS), focused in business and psychology, I worked in the consumer and financial service industry for 15 years. During this time, I worked for a diverse range of organizations, including small business start-ups, large corporations, private sector, non-profits and government agencies. During this time, financial services grew from being just a job into a career and then blossomed into a passion. A credentialed tax professional (AFSP), board certified credit consultant and a member of the Credit Consultants Association (CCA), I formed Common Cents Solutions in 2015 where I manage and mentor a team of tax professionals, credit specialists and business consultants, providing all aspects of financial literacy. I know the importance of continuous learning in order to remain relevant in the industry and to master my craft. I attend various workshops, classes seminars, etc. to complete my yearly continuing education credentials as well as obtain additional credentials and increase my knowledge base in order to empower her clients, colleagues and mentees. I am also the CFO of Tau Rho Mu Christian Sorority whose mission is to equip women to become S.H.E. (Saved, Healed, and Empowered) through education, empowerment and mentorship. A big believer in altruism, I embrace philanthropy.

In the winter of 2018, I launched Common Cents Outreach; a charitable organization focused on promoting positive financial health and stability by improving the quality of life for men, women and children in our community. I am also the creator of Common Cents Academy, a financial education platform for consumers and training platform for aspiring and current tax, credit and business professionals. It is my vision and mission to embrace, empower and elevate men and women to become financially independent, to overcome shame issues and other personal obstacles by leveraging their key resources and promoting positive community and economic growth in our neighborhoods. Family is everything to me. When I am not busy innovating and elevating, I love to spend time with my family, read, write and vacation. My first book, “Making Common Cents of Credit” debuted in the summer of 2018. It is a no-nonsense self-help book for consumers seeking to understand, manage, build and restore their credit. It was a must that I undertake this project and see it to fruition and publishing. Financial literacy doesn’t happen by magic.

As adults, we are expected to make intelligent decisions about budgets, saving for retirement, and credit, but we don’t teach these things in school. I am on a mission to change that. Making Common Cents of Credit is the education on credit and credit scores that you wish you had in high school. It explains what your credit score is, how it’s calculated, how to get a copy of your credit report, how to read it, and how to challenge any errors you might find. It teaches how to build good credit, how to restore damaged credit, and how to fight back against a credit system that often feels like it’s designed to confuse. Most importantly, it provides an affordable solution to assist consumers in their financial literacy journey. I am available for bookings as well as private consultations.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I am philanthropist at heart and my passion is what has led to my long career and thriving business in empowering men and women alike to regain financial stability and reclaim their independence. I am driven still after having been in the consumer and financial services industries for over 20 years. I have been an entrepreneur for almost a decade. I have been a full-time entrepreneur for almost five years. Has it been easy? No. Have I considered changing careers? Yes. Do I have days where I feel overwhelmed? Yes. Have I ever felt like calling it quits? Yes. I believe my biggest fears were wondering if I was capable and if I could truly be successful. I didn’t plan for finances to be my focus but as I started working in the industry became my passion. My life experiences taught me early on that finances are not COMMON CENTS. Life happens to us all. Back then, I found myself thinking, everyday I go to work helping others manage their budgets, become financially responsible and change their relationships and mindsets about money and finances. I was literally assisting others in embracing a healthy financial lifestyle and had not applied those principles to my very own life. I remember back then having days where I was literally feeling like I was wearing a mask…what I was teaching, I wasn’t living…so to speak. COMMON CENTS is defined as your natural ability to make good financial judgments and to behave in a practical, disciplined and sensible manner.

Basically, it generally implies principles that everyone is aware of. However, it was during those earlier years working in the financial services industry that I realized financial literacy was not COMMON CENTS to everyone and definitely needed to be taught, principles I had to learn and share. I knew I had to get it together. It was no longer about me. I had two sons that I refused to allow to make the same mistakes that I made. If they were going to have COMMON CENTS about anything, it was definitely going to be about their finances and their relationships with money. I no longer has those fears. Everyday I take advantage of any opportunity I have to meet new people, introduce company and myself, learn about them, engage with them, and most of the time I find that the services my company offers may provide viable solutions to their pain points. I treat every client as if they were my very first. I remain humble and I am an active listener. I feel it is essential in devising a plan of action and executing it in such a way that makes the experience seamless and void of any stress for our customers. I say always let your faith overpower your fears. Trust me, you will stagnate your growth and success with doubt and also by thinking that continuous learning is not essential. I am always learning. I am resilient. I understand the importance of continuous learning in order to remain relevant in the industry and to master my craft. I attend various workshops, classes, seminars, etc. to complete my continuing education credentials as well as obtain additional credentials and increase my knowledge base in order to empower my clients, colleagues and mentees. I also speak at various workshops and seminars throughout the year to improve my delivery in helping others.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about Common Cents Solutions LLC?
From implementing new personal and business financial and operational strategies to ultra-efficient work processes, Common Cents Solutions is ready to tackle any challenge and put you on the path to success. Since 2015, we’ve helped our clients by delivering services that transform the way they do “finances”. Common Cents Solutions offers a wide range of consulting and financial services to serve a variety of businesses and consumers. Whether you’re an individual, local business, small business or a multinational corporation, we can help you reach new levels of success. Looking for a common cents approach to understanding, managing and improving your current personal or business financial forecast? Looking to develop your business but not sure where to turn? Need help planning or executing your next personal or professional project? Let us guide you. We offer an array of financial and business services (i.e., accounting, bookkeeping, individual and business tax preparation, notary, business consulting, financial education, credit education and credit consulting). Any individual or organization can move forward with small incremental changes, but building for the future in today’s rapidly evolving environment means taking bold chances and making insightful decisions. Business and Financial literacy are our forte. Let us aid you in realizing your personal and business goals.

I am most proud of the team of tax professionals, credit specialists and business consultants, providing all aspects of financial literacy, including individual and business taxes, consumer and commercial credit and business operations and management, etc. I am highly customer-centric with superlative relationship building skills as evidenced by achievement in building six figure annual sales and more than 600 new customer accounts in the past five years, primarily through referrals. Self-confidence, determination, dedication, organization and motivation paired with tenacious sales and marketing skills have provided a solid foundation for new business and cultivating existing customer relationships. In the days, weeks and months to come as we as a community, state, and nation attempt to move forward in resilience and recover (whether an individual or business) mentally, physically, socially, spiritually and financially during and after COVID-19 and restore our economy collectively, it will be challenging. We believe any individual or organization can move forward with small incremental changes, but building for the future in today’s rapidly evolving environment means taking bold chances and making insightful decisions. We hope that in the days, weeks and months to come, we can continue to help by providing free and affordable services. Many individuals are looking for a common cents approach to understanding, managing and improving their current personal or business financial forecast moving forward. We are happy to be the Common Cents Solutions.

Where we are in life is often partly because of others. Who/what else deserves credit for how your story turned out?
First and foremost, I would like to thank God. He has given me the ability to believe in my passion and pursue my dreams. I would never have began or be able to continue this journey without my faith in him. I am also grateful for my wonderful support system in my family and extended family who have been a source of support and inspiration from day one. My amazing sons, Dontavious and Deric, my “why”, my “purpose”, my number one supporters; the source and support of my creativity, drive and determination over the years. I accredit my calmness, my entrepreneurial spirit, my hustle and flow all to them. My Common Cents Solutions family consisting of staff, affiliate business partners, clients, and students for supporting my brands, products, services, endeavors and assisting in making them a reality. I am forever humbled by your confidence in my potential and trust in my abilities over the years to help you realize your dreams. I would like to express my gratitude to the organizations, mentors and peers who have contributed to my education, techniques, and mastering my craft in order to experience business growth and continuity over the years.

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Image Credits:

Professional Photography-Anderson & Bonnie Creations-A B C Photography Anderson Brown and Bonnie Johnson Brown

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