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SUCCESSFUL BUSINESSWOMAN — Nancy Benet, seen at her work desk, has overcome long odds to become the owner of a successful business and office complex.

A decade ago, Nancy Benet was a newly divorced mother of four, unemployed and on welfare with a string of failed businesses in her past.

Today, Benet not only leads a successful accounting firm based in DeLand, but she also owns the business plaza in which her firm is located.

Getting from then to today took a lot of grit and determination, she told The Beacon recently.

“I was on food stamps and Medicaid, and I was determined to get off,” said Benet, owner of Fix-It Accounting Inc. “I want people to know they can do better.”

Benet’s turnaround started when she helped the owner of a small accounting firm get through the 2010 income-tax season. That gentleman offered to sell her the business, but then decided to give it to his daughter.

His decision devastated Benet.

“I crawled under my desk and cried,” she said. “It was so upsetting.”

But with the economy in a recession, she realized she didn’t have many options. So she started Fix-It Accounting, which will mark its 10th anniversary in June.

Benet had one client who stayed with her after she left the other firm, and she started recruiting others. But she didn’t want to steal clients from other local accountants, so she decided to specialize in her work.

“It made me work outside the box,” Benet said. “So I started offering help with tax liens.”

Her first clients were in Volusia County, but she soon expanded throughout the state. Most of her work now is done for clients in the Miami area.

“I became a really good problem-solver for tax problems,” Benet said. “I wish I had had someone like me [as a mentor] when I was starting the business. That’s why I work so closely with my clients.”

Fix-It Accounting has flourished over the years, despite occasional qualms by Benet.

“I wanted to quit many times, but there was nothing else to get into, so I stayed,” she said. “The business has grown by at least 40 percent every year.”

In addition to Benet, Fix-It Accounting has one other enrolled agent also able to work with the IRS and two other accountants, along with support staff.

Last year, she got the opportunity to buy the complex of offices at 121 and 125 W. Plymouth Ave. Through a newly created limited liability company — PPC Community LLC — she closed on what is now called PPC Executive Suites in October. She moved in her accounting firm two months later, after some renovations were completed.

With friends, co-workers and members of the DeLand Area Chamber of Commerce & Orange City Alliance, on Jan. 9 Benet and Chamber President-elect Lalita Kapuscinski cut a ribbon to officially open Fix-It Accounting in its new home.

All of which is proof that enough grit and determination can overcome what may seem to be insurmountable odds.

— In addition to helping clients having IRS tax issues, Fix-It Accounting also provides bookkeeping and tax preparation services. For more information, call 386-320-5347 or visit www.FixItAccounting.com.