From the July 2001 issue of Startups

For Sharla Stanberry, being a full-time accountant wasn't exactly the best way to spend time with her 3-year-old son. After two years of searching for an opportunity that would give her the time and financial security she needed to leave her job, Stanberry decided medical billing was the way to go. "I like the freedom it allows," says Stanberry, a licensee of Pacific Medical, which offers both business opportunity and franchise packages. Stanberry operates her company as Accumed Billing Solutions in Dallas.

Accumed handles electronic claims processing, collection and practice management for physicians. "We allow them to spend more time with their patients by letting them know where the stronger points and weaker points are in their business," Stanberry says.

The company is also a family affair: Stanberry's mother, Jan Marsh, is her partner, and husband Robert will be joining Accumed full time in August."That was basically our major goal for the first two years," says Stanberry, "to get my husband home full time, and we're accomplishing that."

Stanberry's other goal is to grow the business to a level where it can support her family for years to come. "This is our retirement plan," she says.