DualVision, Inc.

by Tonya Dixon | January 6th, 2012
Melissa and Cyril NeSmith of DualVision, Inc

Melissa and Cyril NeSmith (Photo by Howard Gaither)

A self-proclaimed country boy, Cyril NeSmith knows what it is like to skimp, and scratch and save and still come up short at the end of the day. The South Carolina native wasn’t raised with a silver spoon in his mouth. All he knows is hard work, dedication, a lot of passion and more hard work. All he knows and has is a direct application of what he was taught as a child.

Raised by his entrepreneuring grandparents, NeSmith was subconsciously taught to always have something on the side. Whether that “something” on the side included money saved for rainy days or owning a personal business, it was an example in fiscal responsibility that would later enable and empower him to own and operate a successful business.

In partnership with his equally successful wife, Melissa, the couple own and operate the successful accounting firm, DualVision, Inc. The company specializes in tax preparation, financial management, small business start-up, insurance, Medicare, estates, payroll, bookkeeping and various other services. The corporation is set-up to be an all-inclusive, one-stop shop for business as well as individual financial management.

“We cater to the business as well as the business owner,” says Cyril NeSmith, DualVision president and CEO. “It gets complicated going to different businesses for taxes, payroll and insurance. We can do it all.” DualVision takes the seemingly complicated business world and makes it accessible and relevant to even the smallest business owner. The company’s use of technology is comparable to even the largest accounting companies across the country. Clients even have 24 hour secure access to their information.

The NeSmith’s are extremely grateful and proud of the success of their business, but they are more concerned with propelling others to the same point. “Our main goal is to help our community get in order and get legal,” says Melissa NeSmith. Helping others and their corresponding business, “get in order and legal” is one of the major and daily services the DualVision offers. While the company works with various-sized businesses and clients they overwhelmingly are sought out by small business owners; owners who have extremely profitable businesses, but lack financial structure and responsibility. It’s to those clients that DualVision is able to educate which will in turn increase profit margins. “Our main goal is to help people, especially black people get their affairs in order,” says Melissa. In general, we are not generationally business owners. We may not know how to develop ourselves and how to properly run a business. Sometimes people just do whatever.”

Often times when clients come solicit DualVision services they come with shoeboxes filled with receipts, loose pages of bank statement, which indicate significant income, but total disorganization. Melissa admits she regularly encounters clients who obviously have very lucrative businesses but are failing to pay their taxes or don’t have separate personal and business bank accounts or want to make major purchases but can’t because they lack proof of consistent income.

It is during this first encounter with a client that Cyril and Melissa begin not only working on behalf of the client, but if necessary they educate. It’s not instruction regarding the client’s specific business because, as Melissa puts it, “they want to focus on doing hair, mowing lawns; they don’t want to do bookkeeping or paying taxes. They don’t want to focus on those aspects because that’s not what they do on a daily basis; that’s not what puts money in their pockets. But the back end or SOPs-Stand Office Procedures- have to be taken care of. Mowing lawns and doing hair won’t profit anyone if they are out of business because they didn’t handle the other aspects properly.”

Clients are taught to maintain receipts, expenses and income. They are taught to organize everything through spreadsheets. They develop ledgers. They accurately and consistently pay taxes. This information can then be easily and thoroughly computed and tracked by DualVision. Accordingly, the NeSmiths also encourage their clients to set and maintain high standards for their physical place of business.
Each client requires different needs and services and DualVision is more than capable and willing to do whatever it takes to propel clients to the next level. The company is equipped to help large clients who have been in business for decades as well as the small business owner who was recently laid off from a job and decided to take the plunge into business ownership. They endeavor to teach business procedures and services that will hopefully prevent future heartache.

Nevertheless, Cyril NeSmith says he had to endure that very heartache he tries to prevent in others. He graduated from college armed with an engineering degree ready to take on the world. He secured a position working for General Electric. He had the nice car, the pager, the cell phone, and purchased a home at the age of 21, but something was not adding up. “I saw my income was going up, but my quality of life didn’t mirror my income,” he says. “I would get a nice raise¸ but I wouldn’t see it. I couldn’t tell where my money was going. I would get in more debt; get another credit card. Where was my money going?”

Ultimately Cyril made the decision to get his “stuff” together. He took several financial management classes and learned more about money. He took control of his finances. Eventually he began sharing his knowledge to others. His passion grew. Before long, Cyril was working just as hard at learning the financial management business as he was on his full time job. After the catastrophic events of September 11, 2001, he was without a job but not without hope. He found himself working harder in the financial industry. The passion he had was undeniable, but unfortunately it wasn’t enough to pay the bills. He garnered another job but he remained focused on his business and building it.
“I started in my bedroom in the corner,” Cyril divulges. “Then I started having meetings at my kitchen table; then at others’ kitchen table. My problem was, like so many others, my business was becoming profitable; I was doing everything but I didn’t have my paperwork in order.” In essence, he says, even if a business owner has set up an office yet he doesn’t have the necessary things in order to be legitimate it’s as if he is still working from the kitchen table.

When consulting with individual clients and business owners, Cyril says he often hears people say, “you don’t know what it’s like out here, it’s tough.” On the contrary, he says he knows all too well the issues business owners endure; especially start-up businesses. “There were times when my home phone was off but I kept the business phone on. I have come home and the water was off but the power was on at the office,” says Cyril. Not always as willing to be transparent, he continues, “there were very dark times when I was near bankruptcy, in pre-foreclosure, using food stamps and on Medicaid. I’ve looked out the blinds in the morning expecting my car to be gone. I’ve been in the grocery store line, swipe my card and it’s declined. So when people tell me I don’t know what it’s like to bounce checks and have to go to Check into Cash, I tell them yes I do. There’s not much I haven’t experienced.”
Both Cyril and Melissa are very transparent in regard to their past financial struggles because they both agree it is what fuels their fire and passion for the business. DualVision is not just another job or business to Cyril and Melissa. It’s their passion that drives them and convinces them to go the extra mile for clients. After spending several years in the military, Melissa, who is a sergeant, tried her hand at everything from political science to medicine, but found contentment as an accountant. Both NeSmiths have honed their skills and obtained business degrees and certifications.

The next step is for the company to develop into a full service CPA firm, which by the way is not very far on the horizon. DualVision will be introduced to prospective clients in other areas as well as the company expands to Greensboro, High Point and Winston-Salem. The vision is clear for the NeSmiths, “we just want to see people, as well as their businesses, grow and flourish for generations to come,” says Cyril. “Despite it all if you have fight, courage, faith and intelligence, you can make it.” h

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