Q: What is Padgett Business Services?
A: Padgett Business Services of DuPage is one of 400 franchises throughout the United States and Canada which has been serving businesses for 50 years. I own and operate the business and work exclusively with small business owners enabling them to focus on growing their business by relieving the burdens of financial reporting and tax compliance and acting as a trusted advisor. Our services include financial reporting, tax preparation, government compliance, complete payroll solutions, and business consulting. We take a customized approach, seeing our clients on a regular basis and taking a vested interest in their businesses. We take the time to understand what they want to achieve and do everything possible to assist them in achieving those goals.
Q: What is your background and what led you to start your own business?
A: My background is in corporate America working for a multi-billion dollar corporation in the telecommunications industry for 26 years, the last 12 of which I was responsible for all aspects of running a $20 million product line business in 3G and 4G software. For many years, I had wanted to start my own business but coming from a company which was heavily focused on process, I wanted to find an accounting and tax franchise because it would provide a solid infrastructure to assist me in developing my own business. I found that in Padgett Business Services. I already had my MBA in Finance and a strong background in all aspects of business including accounting, budgeting and financial analysis. After starting my business, I completed the Enrolled Agent certification, the highest credential awarded by the IRS, which allows unlimited practice rights to represent my clients before the IRS in matters related to tax audits, representation, and negotiation on my client’s behalf. Combining my previous background in all aspects of business with the tax knowledge and expertise enables me to support all my clients’ financial and tax compliance needs.
Q: How do you survive the crush during tax time?
A: Surviving tax season is not always easy. There is pressure with the deadlines and wanting to complete as many tax returns as possible on time. The most important thing is to have a system, a structure if you will, in place to handle all aspects of the tax return preparation process in an orderly, organized manner and keeping on top of the status of each individual and corporate return to ensure they are moving forward to completion.
Q: What would you say are the three top skills are to successfully lead an organization?
A: Owning your own business and being successful requires constant dedication and persistence. You are responsible for all aspects of your business from the smallest detail to the entire big picture. You need to be able to handle both the macro and micro aspects of your business and shift gears to make decisions. You also need to be able to hire good people with the right skills and right customer service ideals that you yourself want to implement in your business. Third you need to have the right knowledge and expertise to run your particular type of business as your clients and your employees need to know you have the ability to support them.
Q: What advice would you give for other women in starting a business?
A: Don’t start a business unless you are absolutely dedicated to doing whatever it takes to succeed. Long hours and thinking outside of the box are a given. Also treat your business as a business. No matter how big or small, treat it as a business, separate and distinct from you. Treat your clients as you would like to be treated. Think about what response you would want, what action you would expect, what follow-up you’d like to see, and do that for your customers. I believe doing the right thing and being responsive and ethical in all your business dealings while building strong, long-term relationships with both your clients and your business partners will, in the long run, establish a strong solid business.
Q: What gets you excited about your work?
A: I enjoy solving mysteries. That’s why I like assisting clients with their tax and accounting needs. Each business or individual has their own unique situation and factors to consider. I utilize my knowledge and expertise to assist them in completing their tax return or running their business while also helping them to understand how to reduce their taxes, find more money within their business, and achieve their goals. I also enjoy being a trusted advisor my clients can rely on.
Q: What is your involvement in the Chamber, WIB and community?
A: I have been a member of Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce and involved with WIB since October, 2013 and am currently a member of the WIB Board supporting the Outreach Committee. I also Chair TEAM Connect, a leads team in the Chamber, which has adopted and is active in the fund-raising and volunteer projects for the A.D.O.P.T Pet Shelter here in Naperville.
Q: Tell us one thing most people don't know about you.
A: I am the aunt of two beautiful nieces, Julianne CaiLing and Diana Liqi, who my sister and brother-in-law adopted from China. They live here in Naperville too, and I just recently attended their high school and junior high graduations!
Q: If you were conducting this interview, what one question would you ask?
A: Why specifically are you involved in WIB? I would say as a woman business owner and fellow entrepreneur, I enjoy working with other women to help them grow their businesses. Being involved with NACC’s WIB affords me the opportunity to connect and get to know many woman business owners/entrepreneurs and develop those long-term relationships that are part and parcel of what women are all about.
Judy Stafford, MBA, EA
Owner, Padgett Business Services of DuPage
1212 S. Naper Blvd., Suite 119-229
Naperville, IL 60540-7349
Photo by: Sabina Cavalli Photography, a boutique studio in south Naperville that specializes in creating photographic art with you or your favorite people in it. Sabina is a Certified Professional Photographer, has her Masters of Photography Degree and has received top accolades including the Top 10 Imager in Illinois by the North Central District of the Professional Photographer of America (PPA) and National Bronze Photographer of the Year by the PPA. She teaches lighting and posing techniques at PPA affiliates in the Midwest. Please visit her website at www.sabinacavalli.com or call 630-699-2072 for a visit to her studio.
By: Faith Behr, Behr Communications
Behr Communications is a marketing PR firm that helps businesses find and build new audiences, raise awareness and connect with their customers. We offer a range of communications marketing capabilities: social media, digital marketing, direct mail, graphic design, public relations, website development and government relations. We know that successful marketing is built on three essential elements: sound strategy, thoughtful execution and genuine relationships.