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.
Focused Information for the Small Business Owner
Volume 3, Issue 3
Portrait by Charles Gupton
In honor of oil-soaked birds, ‘tweets’ are now ‘gurgles.’
Recipient of First
Golden Tweet Award
(1964 – )
In This Issue
Three Years Ago
Three years ago this month, I sent out my first Orange Star Newsletter. Some of you may be wondering what’s with this goofy name Orange Star?
On July 31, 2008, I incorporated my fledgling accounting practice. I had just graduated from business school and was highly ambitious about becoming a successful business owner. Having been in the accounting industry for most of my career, I noticed one thing very similar about many CPA practices. All of the CPA practices were named after the founders of the businesses.
I had a little marketing moxie and wanted to have a memorable name. So I tried to come up with a name that would be memorable. I wanted it to be two syllables at most and simple. I wanted to find a name that had an available URL for my website. Finally I came up with the name Orange Star, Inc.
I wasn’t yet a CPA at the time as I had not yet passed the CPA exam. I spent the fall of 2008 studying and taking the CPA exam. It was a lot of work. When I wasn’t studying, I was out networking, trying to build a client base. In early September, I came to the realization that I was falling behind on my CPA studying so I put marketing the business on a hiatus. This ended up being a very wise decision as the extra time I devoted to studying enabled me to pass the CPA exam.
In December 2008, I finally got my first client who happened to be a Wake Forest business. It was a small $300 engagement. I was thrilled to finally be working. I picked up small jobs here and there.
I still get a bit teary eyed when I think about the time at 4:00 pm on February 25 when I walked to my mailbox and I received the letter from the NC State Board of CPA Examiners. It read:
Dear Successful Candidate:
Congratulations on passing the Uniform CPA Examination!
It is one of my proudest moments.
There was a large application to complete in order to actually receive my certification. In the process, the NC State Board of CPA Examiners informed me that I would have to change the name of my business to something that would include my name. And that is why I changed the name of my business from Orange Star, Inc. to Damon K. Yudichak, CPA, P.C.
Damon’s Big Lesson
Last fall as I was starting to really enjoy running again, I decided to purchase a GPS watch. I had read a number of articles about the benefits of training with a GPS watch and I really wanted to track my running mileage. Last Friday after a three mile run, I came to the realization that were it not for my GPS watch I probably would not still be running.
The watch is really quite amazing. I put it on and just start to run. While running, it tells me how far I’ve run, what my current pace is and how long I have been running. What is really amazing is all the data it collects.
Once I finish the run, it syncs automatically with my computer and uploads the data from the run to the Garmin.com website. There I can look at a map of where I ran and I get loads of information in an easy to read format and graphs to let me know what my performance was. Then with that knowledge, I can adjust my training to help me improve my performance.
Click here to see data from my last half marathon.
I get all of the key data I need to know what is going on with my running. What the most amazing thing about the tool of the GPS watch is I get all the pertinent data I need automatically. All I have to focus on is running. The GPS watch does everything else and while I’m running I glance down at the watch to see if my pace is right. Am I going too fast? Am I going too slow? I get instant feedback and I know how to adjust my run.
Over the last month I’ve taken this concept and started to apply it to my business. Lately, I’ve done quite a bit of research into what the key metrics are for my business. I’ve had such success with my GPS watch and running that I wanted to be able to replicate the experience in my business. I have some pretty sophisticated software that enables me to get the same type of information for my business.
The first step is to determine what information I need to effectively manage my business. Once I have that information, I’m able to get reporting from my software in a dashboard format that informs me instantly with the information I need to make the right decisions for my business. It has been an exciting experience because I can compare my results and performance to other periods in my business and see the progress I’m making. Best of all is that all of the information comes to me automatically.
This month’s book is NO B.S. Direct Marketing: The Ultimate, No Holds Barred, Kick Butt, Take No Prisoners Direct Marketing for Non-direct Marketing Business by Dan Kennedy. In today’s business climate, more and more businesses are seeing really great results from building a relationship with their customer base. Evidence of this can be seen with the success of Twitter and Facebook. More and more, I think people want to do business with companies they trust and like. I will say that this is not new in business. But with so many choices out there and with so many diverse interests, the businesses that can focus on a select niche customer have a distinct competitive advantage.
Dan Kennedy is one of the foremost experts on direct marketing. In this book he details a number of different methods one can take to develop and transmit a message to ones target customers. He gives a number of examples of successful marketing campaigns that companies have used and details how to get results immediately. The one big advantage of direct marketing is that one can directly see the results of their marketing efforts. Direct marketing is different than mass marketing because one targets individually the people that get the marketing message. The beauty of this type of marketing is it’s easy to track the results of the marketing effort.
This book has been one of the most important influences on the way I market my business.
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.
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.