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Paul Siderovski, Building beyond one person

Paul Siderovski, Building beyond one person

Paul Siderovski is a man with a big heart and the Midas touch. The Novocastrian entrepreneur and millionaire fronts two successful businesses. Not only is he the founder and managing director of SiDCOR Chartered Accountants - one of Australia’s leading accounting firms - Paul also bought Yogurtland to Australia and he now has 21 stores with over 700 staff.

Paul says, “I’m an accountant, and I started my own business about 12 years ago, and absolutely love what I do. I’ve got 35 beautiful staff, love them, so the more I love them, the more they love the clients. And our clients are all over Australia. We service them through one office and through technology. And it’s not your typical accounting firm, we don’t just do your tax. We do look at tax, asset protection, growing your business, making more profit, cash flow, exit strategies, and wealth creation as well - so very different to your stereotype accounting firm.”

Two years ago, when Paul was in Hawaii with the family, his wife insisted that he try some yoghurt from Yogurtland. Paul remembers, “I said, ‘Yoghurt! I hate yoghurt’. I wouldn’t go in. Tina went with the four kids; I waited outside. She said, ‘You’ve got to try this yoghurt’, and she brought out this Dutch chocolate, shoved it down my mouth and I fell in love with it. I loved it! I went in and saw these sixteen flavours.” Then his accounting brain switched into gear - he could see that it was a quality product, that customers put it together themselves and that there weren’t large labour costs.

Inspired, Paul got on the phone. “I spoke to America; they wouldn’t even speak to me actually. They were going, ‘Mate, you’re an accountant. What do you know about retail?’. But I was tenacious, I kept going, kept going, and bought the rights to Australia and New Zealand. And then they gave me the rights to Hawaii six months later.”

Paul’s experience with SiDCOR gave him the blueprint to set up a new business. All the lessons he had learned with SiDCOR he applied to Yogurtland. He says, “Being able to define the vision, get a core set of values from day one for Yogurtland just made it much easier.”

Building a real business

Paul’s ability to take on another business was in part possible because four years ago, Paul made a life changing decision to stop working 100 hours a week and build SiDCOR into a business beyond himself. He says, “A real business is one that doesn’t rely on one person - it’s sustainable. So you want to make yourself not redundant, because you always want to have a role in the business, but it will just be a specific role in the business - not you are the business.”

To make the transition, Paul sought out external help to define SiDCOR’s goals, vision, career paths for all staff and values in his language. The values instantly characterise the business. Paul says, “I got so super clear on what I wanted to build. So I got a vision that was so articulate, like: here’s our three-year goals. I got a core set of values of how we live and breathe. And then I gave a career path for every staff member and how they fitted in, where and how they contributed. And it changed the game; I employ on the values.”

Paul continues, “The values are crucial in our whole business - we reward on them. So everyone gets to reward the staff each month. They spin the wheel, they have prizes, and no matter how technical or how good you are, you have to live and breathe those values.”

Paul is adamant that everyone has to be on board, including the boss. He says, “If I came up with these values and say, ‘Oh, here’s what everyone’s got to do’ and I’m not doing it, they will not follow, they will not care, you will lose them. It’s the game changer, it’s throughout our office. Everything that we do is linked to those values.”

It is also imperative Paul believes that all staff be allowed to step up and then reap the benefits of combined hard work. He says, “In our business, administration or professional people who make the revenue - they are identical. So with the values, everyone gets the same rewards. With the profit sharing and the bonuses, well we have administration who are part of a team, so they get to share in it from there. They’ve got to be equal - you can’t have an ‘us and them’. And I’ve seen it in so many businesses that the admin is like, ‘Oh, don’t worry about the admin, we’ll just replace them’. It costs a lot of money to replace admin or a professional team, and I don’t care what business you’re in, you must have the right administration.”

Of course with two successful businesses, Paul is in no hurry to slow down. “If you are just working to retire, you are working then to no purpose, and if you’re not growing you’re dying.”

SiDcor core values

RAW & REAL Tell it as it is, tell your truth and do what’s right and fair.

HEART & SOUL Love the client, love what you do, and treat it like your own.

PUSH THE BOUNDARIES Innovate, step up, do whatever it takes in constant, never-ending improvement.

BACK YOURSELF & EACH OTHER Play as a team and don’t leave someone behind, bring them with you.

DO WHAT YOU SAY YOU’RE GOING TO DO Keep your promises, no excuses.

When it came to Yogurtland, Paul developed core values that took into consideration the youth of the people working in the business. For example, he adapted the value of raw and real into

TOTALLY HONEST, TOTALLY KIND Be totally honest, but do it with kindness.

Yoghurtland launched in California in 2006, and has more than 200 locations across the US, Guam, Mexico and Venezuela and Australia. It reports that last year it served more than 49 million cups of yoghurt around the world.  

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