Nicole Davis helps small businesses go further, faster
Running Your Firm

Nicole Davis helps small businesses go further, faster

Name: Nicole Davis

Location: Covington, Georgia

Pronouns: She/Her

Business: Butler-Davis Tax & Accounting, LLC

What makes your small business unique from others?

Our differentiator is the client experience. There are thousands of firms that can competently do the work. The client journey is perhaps one of the few differentiators that distinguishes me from other firms. This is why client experience is always top of mind. My firm’s 3E philosophy is to Execute Excellence Every day. This entails all areas of firm management.

Why did you decide to start your own business? How did you get started?

I worked in corporate America for a big chunk of my career. One day, I was sitting at my desk and thought, I could help these corporate giants get bigger… or I could help small businesses, like my dad’s auto repair shop, get better. Thus, I set the wheels in motion to move from employee to employer.

What is the biggest lesson you learned in the first year?

I should have saved more than I projected. I struggled during my first year in business and found a part-time job to make ends meet. My husband’s salary also paid a lot of my firm’s bills for the first few years until I was able to retire him from his full-time gig to come work for me.

What was the most surprising thing about becoming a business owner?

My business was a blank canvas and I could paint it however I wanted. Many times, we get stuck in what others are doing or the way it’s been done and we forget that the path to success has many routes.

Were there any things about running a business you didn’t know when you started? How did you teach yourself?

I’ve always been an entrepreneur. My first paying gig was selling toilet water to my uncle. As such, business concepts came naturally to me. One hard lesson I learned (in my fifth or sixth year) in business was to cover my ass. Written proof beats verbal proof every day.

How does running your own business make you feel?

Running my business makes me feel unstoppable.

What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs looking to start their own business?

If you’re looking to start your own business, find a mentor or network that you can tap into. I did it alone for a few years but could have gone further faster if I had curtailed the failures I experienced from others who had already learned those lessons.

What is your best advice to other small business owners for hiring and retaining staff?

The right team is worth their weight in gold. Treat them well and they will return the favor to you and your clients or customers.

quote image
There's power in allowing yourself to be known and heard, in owning your unique story, in using your authentic voice.
Michelle Obama

What’s your advice to Black business owners trying to make sure they are seen and heard?

I like to quote Michelle Obama. She said, “There's power in allowing yourself to be known and heard, in owning your unique story, in using your authentic voice.” 

What challenges do you feel are unique to Black business owners?

Our biggest challenge is overcoming stereotypes and having access to capital. I am in the position I am today through bootstrapping. Imagine what I could do if I had access to capital to expand my business or bring to life new business ideas.

What has been your proudest moment?

My proudest moment was when my daughter graduated from college with an accounting degree. Can you say EXIT PLAN!

What are the next big plans you have for your business?

I am highly ambitious, but ambition is costly. I plan to aggressively grow, help 526 small businesses, and reach my next million in revenue.

When you’re having a tough day, who or what inspires you to keep going?

I have a lot of tough days. What inspires me is my team and my family. For my team, I am responsible for their livelihoods, so I have to push through. For my family, I am leaving a legacy so that their children children’s are taken care of.

How do you maintain a work/life balance as a small business owner?

I love my ME time. I am thankful that I have a supportive partner that lets me sleep in EVERY DAY. He does all the morning duties with our three younger children. I get massages on a regular basis. I also love to travel which allows me to rest and reset.

What’s your “power song” and why?

My power song is “My Shot” from Hamilton. Every day I get a shot to be excellent and I refuse to squander it. That speaks to me.

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