April 2010

Link Newsletter

Our monthly newsletter, Link Newsletter, is full of tips, reminders, and timely advice to help you stay well informed when it comes to your business and personal finances. If you have questions about any of the articles, feel free to email Damon Yudichak at Damon@yudichakcpa.com.

April 2010

Orange Star NewsletterFocused Information for the Small Business Owner
Volume 2, Issue 4

Damon Yudichak

Damon Yudichak

Portrait by Charles Gupton


Some national parks have long waiting lists for camping reservations. When you have to wait a year to sleep next to a tree, something is wrong.

George Carlin
US Comedian and Actor
(1937 – 2008)



In This Issue

40 Under 40

I am pleased to announce that this year the Triangle Business Journal named me as one of the 40 under 40. This is a very competitive award and I’m thrilled to have been chosen. At this point in my career, it is the most significant award I could receive. To be eligible, the individual must have:

  • attained significant leadership roles in their organizations
  • achieved a significant career milestone in 2009
  • had substantial involvement in community service

I was nominated for the award in February 2010 and I have thought a lot about what it would mean to me to win the award. There have been a number of emotions I experienced as I thought about it. I was even a little superstitious. I made a promise to myself that I would tell nobody, not even my wife, about the nomination until the winners were announced. I simply did not want to jinx it. I lived up to that promise.

As a business person, it’s important to be actively involved in the community I live in. The community allows me to make a living doing what I love to do. They give to me and I am happy to give back. One person does have the power to make a difference and improve the community. Communities are valuable because of the people that are in them. When we help one person in the community, the whole community benefits from it.

Receiving this award is meaningful to me because I strive to make a difference in my community. I want people to have a better life because they have worked with me. It is nice to be recognized for the work I do.

To learn more go to http://triangle.bizjournals.com/triangle/event/14611

Damon’s Big Lesson

There is a lot of power in consistency. By being consistent, one becomes dependable. There is no doubt in my mind that the sun will rise tomorrow? Why not? Because it rose this morning and yesterday morning and the morning before that. In fact as long as I have lived, I do not remember a day when the sun did not rise. Now I am no fortune teller, but I would be willing to bet my life savings that tomorrow the sun will rise. I’d be willing to make that wager because the sun is consistent. Without fail, the sun rises.

This may be a simple or small thing, but I know the sun is going to rise. I trust the sun to rise.

Think about the power one could have in their own life if people had this same kind of trust in them.

I think about some of the products that I am a big fan of. Part of the reason why I continue to buy the products is because I know what I am getting. The product is consistent. Every time I buy it, it is the same.

Then I think of the times when I the products is not consistent. That is when I get dissapointed or sometimes even mad. I’m paying good money for the product. Why did I not get what I bough? I have an expectation that isn’t met. As long as the product is consistent, usually I continue to stay satisfied. Being consistent leads to being dependable. People are looking for dependability. Being dependable is a great way to build trust among my customers. If people called me dependable, I would consider it a great compliment.

Reader’s Corner

This month’s book is When Fish Fly: Lessons for Creating a Vital and Energized Workplace From the World Famous Pike Place Fish Market by John Yokoyama. John is the owner of the World Famous Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle Washington. This book is the account of how John took his small fish stand in The Pike Place Fish Market and made it into a World Famous Organization that is now a must see for people who visit Seattle.

It is a heartwarming and inspiring story. John’s business had job conditions including handling smelly raw fish, physically challenging work and long hours. I personally would not want to work with fish twelve hours a day. He changed the way he did business and had tremendous results. His company has even been on The Late Show with David Letterman.

In 1986, John was faced with a crisis. His company was on the brink of financial ruin. Through mismanagement the company had debt of $50,000 that needed to be repaid quickly. John realized that some things needed to change with the company. John hired a consultant that helped redirect the company’s focus.

During an employee meeting one of the employee’s suggested that the company become world famous. John was in favor of the idea as long as it didn’t cost any money. They mulled the idea over more and more and finally determined what world famous meant for their company. World Famous finally ended up meaning that they would have a positive impact on every person they encountered.

Out of this work, John came up with his three pledges as the owner.

  • Make a world famous difference in the lives of everyone who comes into my business.
  • Empower the creative people I work with so that they can make a world famous difference for each other, the customers, the community, and beyond.
  • Demonstrate what is possible when you empower your employees.

In addition to running his fish market, John is now paid by large corporations on how to improve employee engagement and morale. It’s quite an amazing story.

The Marketer’s Mind

Last week, while on vacation, I had the opportunity to watch a show on the History Channel about Coca-Cola. I’ve always been a big fan of Coca-Cola and found the show quite fascinating. In this show, the History Channel interviewed a number of the marketing individuals at the company. They talked about some of the advertising campaigns of the company.

The thing that I found most interesting was the philosophy of Coca-Cola’s advertising. In all of their advertising, Coca-Cola wants to be associated with a pleasant memory. One of their first big advertising campaigns was advertising Santa Claus with a bottle of Coca-Cola in his hand. Santa Claus was spending all night traveling the world delivering presents to all the good boys and girls.

Certainly, at some point in the night, Santa would need some refreshment. Coca-Cola in their advertising showed that he would turn to his trusty Coca-Cola for a refreshing beverage. There is even a myth out there that Coca-Cola invented Santa Claus or at least the modern visualization of Santa Claus can be traced back to Coca-Cola advertising.

Why does Coca-Cola spend so much time on reminding people of a pleasant experience? When the typical shopper goes down the soda aisle in the grocery store Coca-Cola has about six seconds to win over the customer. The stakes are high. If the customer chooses another brand at that moment, the customer may find he likes the other brand better and Coca-Cola could lose this customer for life.

Each year Businessweek magazine has on article on the top 100 Brands in the world. In 2009, Coca-Cola was ranked number one. Coca-Cola has been ranked as number one for a number of years now. This lead me to ask the question, what does it cost Coca-Cola to have the number one brand. So I did what any good CPA would do, I read Coca-Cola’s 2009 Annual Report. I know … the geek in me comes out.

For the year ended December 31, 2009, Coca-Cola had $30.990 billion in revenue. Their net income for the year was $6.606 billion. That year, Coca-Cola spent $2.791 billion on advertising. Nine percent of their revenue for 2009 was spent on advertising. That is a lot of money. Most companies would be happy to have top line revenue equal what Coca-Cola spends on its advertising alone.

There are a number of things I learned from this experience. Just like any other successful business, Coca-Cola is striving to have top of mind awareness. When someone makes a buying decision, Coca-Cola wants to be remembered and chosen over all of the other choices out there. In order to have top of mind awareness, they associate themselves with a pleasant memory.

This marketing concept is used by many companies. Just think about all the non-profit fund raisers that have corporate sponsorships. Or the pizza company down the street that sponsors the local little league team so it can have the company logo on the jerseys.

Associate with Pleasant Memories.

100 Days to Abundance in Wake Forest

In partnership with the Wake Forest Area Chamber of Commerce and Team Nimbus, Iwill be starting a new session of 100 Days to Abundance on May 3, 2010. Sessions will start at 8:00 am at the Wake Forest Area Chamber of Commerce at 350 South White Street in Wake Forest, NC.

In 100 Days you learn to create:
An unlimited supply of prospects
Powerful referral partners and referral systems
Strategic partners to help you grow your business

In 100 Days you learn to create:
Turn your prospects into clients!
Increase your business from your existing clients!
Product more results than you thought possible!

In 100 Days you learn to create:
An unlimited supply of prospects
Powerful referral partners and referral systems
Strategic partners to help you grow your business

100 Days to Abundance (for $1.00 a Day) provides Small Business Owners and Sales Professionals tested Team Nimbus techniques and principles for growing their businesses. The 12 sessions scheduled over the 100 day period focus on business development techniques and actually planning execution and action for the comming week.

Each program is limited to 20 Small Business Owners and Sales Professionals, creating a resource of experienced committed business professionals that are available to you during and after the program.

100 Days to Abundance brings the:

  • Focus
  • Accountability
  • Urgency
  • Know how

you’re looking for to grow your business!!!

100 Days to abundance is the best $100.00 that I ever spent on my business. It’s true value that you get out of the class. You focus on your own business, in a small group setting, spending 90 minutes a week on how to improve your own business. You get more out of your business in a short period of time and your learn from other professionals about what works and what not to do. What you should do is spend the time to take this class.

Mike Honkomp
Digikomp, Inc.

To learn more and sign up, please go to http://wfacc1.eventbrite.com/

What’s With the Moon?

I’ve had a couple people ask, What’s with you and the moon? About two years ago, I became fascinated with the Apollo Program. I began to study the program and interview people who helped make the monumental task of landing on the moon a reality.

The moon is a symbol of possibility for me. It is a source of inspiration. I like to be inspired.

About Me

My name is Damon Yudichak and I am a Certified Public Accountant. My father was an Army officer and we moved around a lot. We finally ended up in Fayetteville, NC. I’ve been a resident of Raleigh since 1999 when I moved here to go to North Carolina State University. I am fascinated with the moon and am still amazed that man has walked on the moon. I also am a big standup comedy fan.

The Orange Star Newsletter is prepared by Damon Yudichak. The Orange Star Newsletter carries no official authority, and its contents should not be acted upon without professional advice.

In accordance with IRS Circular 230, this newsletter is not to be considered a “covered opinion” or other written tax advice and should not be relied upon for IRS audit, tax dispute, or any other purpose.

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  • We started our residential real estate business and brought Damon on as our principal adviser for all matters relating to taxes & accounting. We have doubled our business each year and Damon is a critical partner that has allowed us to successfully focus on our business.

    – Dan and Rachel Kendall
    Owners, The Rachel Kendall Team, LLC - Raleigh, NC
  • Damon Yudichak is a diligent and consistent professional. I’ve worked with Damon since 2009 and I’ve felt like a valued customer since the beginning of our relationship. His firm is consistent, courteous, and knowledgeable. He and his firm are a vital link to my business.

    – Al Sullivan, President
    Inspirus Consulting, Inc. – Cary, NC
  • Owning a small business… to me, it’s worth millions! Bringing Damon on for accounting and tax purposes… just a reasonable monthly fee! Keeping our business legal and my business partner sane… PRICELESS!

    – Tonya Baskerville, Owner
    Art on the Fridge, LLC – Raleigh, NC