Give Service All Day Long

Squeeze the most out of every moment to find time for what’s really important!

No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave. Calvin Coolidge 1872-1933 I must admit, I am very lucky. I really like what I do. I get to sit down at my little computer, think good thoughts, and talk to you. Fortunately, it doesn’t stop at thinking good thoughts. I actually have to put words on the page that help you, or we don’t get to talk to each other today.

Every morning starts with a plan.

One of the first things I do when I sit down at my desk in the morning, is look at the day, what I need to accomplish, and map out a plan for what I’d like to get done that day. I know this sounds pretty basic. Not much to it. And, I have to admit, there isn’t much to it. It’s pretty simple, but the time I save more than makes up for the time I spend organizing my day. It gives me the mandate to focus on what’s really important.If I don’t go through this ritual every day, I find that before the day is over, I lose steam. Have you ever noticed that most people start the morning all fired up and ready to take on the day, however, as the day wears on and they start to get tired; sometimes, their get-up-and-go, does just exactly that. Stephen Covey said, “The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”Oliver Wendell Holmes said, “Many people die with their music still in them. Why is this so? Too often it is because they are always getting ready to live. Before they know it, time runs out.”In other words, we can’t afford to wait for opportunity to come to us, we need to create our own opportunities. Today, more than ever, it’s important to look ahead with an easy-to-follow plan; follow the plan and discover how truly simple it really is to find the success we’re looking for.

I’m glad I don’t have to wear the Speedo anymore.

When I was in High School I was on the swim team. Swim work-outs started every morning at 5:30am. I used to dream about my first length in the pool swinging an ice pick and chopping up the ice that was in my way so I could swim my workout. It was tough, but when I look back, I kind of miss those workouts.I know this will kind of date me, but in 1976, Olympic backstroker, John Naber was one of my heroes. In the Montreal Olympics he set two world records, won two gold medals and was the first man in history to swim the 200 meter backstroke in under two minutes.Like most hero worshipers, I was really excited to hear him speak in person the following year. He talked about how he knew how fast he would have to go to beat the East Germans. He put down a definitive, concise, and quantifiable, time in seconds and tenths of seconds, as his goal.With only two years to get ready, John knew how much faster he had to be every year. He also knew how that would effect every month, every week, and every day. He went so far as to determine how much faster he had to be on every set within every workout. I think it was something like 1/100 th of a second and he said, “I can do that.”

The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. -Lao Tzu

Let’s take a minute and look at the big picture. What do you want to accomplish with your life? Believe it or not, working 30 hours per week at $30.00 per hour, you’ll be earning over $40,000.00 per year! (By the way, $30 per hour is a very reasonable goal. Many of our graduates us the billing techniques taught in the Professional Bookkeeper Program to bill as much as double that!)Ask yourself, what can I do this month, this week, today, even this morning, to make my dream a reality?Focus on your “big picture” goals. Put them into smaller, easier-to-accomplish pieces, just like John and you’ll be able to say, “I can do that.” Best of all, you’ll be able to end the day the same way you started it. Excited about what you do. Excited about where you’re going. And excited about your future.At Universal Accounting, we’re excited about your future. Today, more than ever, owning your own Accounting and Tax Preparation business may be just the ticket to help you accomplish your financial goals. With the finest course material anywhere and a terrific value, the Professional Bookkeeper and Accounting Program will be the perfect, “first step” to your journey of a thousand miles. Make this moment count… order your Bookkeeping and Accounting program now!

Get Started By Learning the Accounting and Bookkeeping Portion of a Financial Services Business

Having a solid understanding of the Accounting and Bookkeeping methods and procedures is a great first step in learning the concepts behind Financial Business Analysis. You will learn to do books for small to mid-sized companies and how to analyze the books to prepare reports. You will learn to interpret reports so that you can advise your clients how to reduce costs and to better understand their financial standing and profitability. Your clients will look to you as an invaluable source of information about the financial health of their organization.

If you are considering adding Tax Preparation/ Planning services to your Financial Services business at some point, you get a great price by purchasing both programs as a bundle.

Go Solo and Still Keep Your Job

How to Go Solo and Still Keep Your Job

Full-time or part-time? Many graduates of our course have started incredibly successful businesses. But for many of our graduates, a bookkeeping and accounting business makes the perfect part-time job. How much extra income do you want to make? You can do it with a part-time bookkeeping and accounting practice.If you want to leave your present career, but don’t feel quite ready yet, you can do that too. Ellen McGirt, Janet Pasking and Donna Rosato on CNN.money.com offer 7 steps to going solo and still keeping your current job. Let’s look at their list.

  1. Scour Your Finances: As you consider going out on your own; while you still have your present job, pay down your credit cards. Set-up a line of credit that you can use before you are completely self-employed. Your first year or two in business it’s often harder to establish credit.
  2. Make the Most Out of Your Current Employer: Take advantage of every opportunity to attend workshops, training, networking forums and receive tuition reimbursement. Not only will these opportunities help you prepare for your own business, but you may find yourself advancing enough in your present job that you will not need to go out on your own.
  3. Hitch Your Wagon to Another Star: For many, finding a mentor helps as you prepare to start your own business. You may find that a great mentor won’t just appear and offer his/her services to you, most of the time you’ll need to ask.You may also find more than one mentor. I haven’t found a rule saying that you can only have one mentor. Surrounding yourself with a number of people who are motivated to help you advance your career is a good thing. You can often find a mentor by participating in the local chamber of commerce, other community groups or professional organizations. You can also visit web sites like score.org. (Service Corps of Retired Executives.)
  4. Go Out With Style: Stay committed to your present job until you leave. Don’t short-change the employer that pays your bills now. As long as you stay, be true to the company you work for.You may also find that some of your first customers will come from within the contacts that you already have and burning bridges isn’t a very good idea. We’ve had more than one graduate who has ended up doing contract work for their former employers. Treat your soon-to-be former employer the same way you would like to be treated if you were them.
  5. Line Up a Support Team: Starting your own business is often a one-man-show. This often proves a little overwhelming for the owner of a start-up. By lining up the people to offer help and advice before you’re on your own, you’ll find the stresses of starting your new business easier to take.
  6. Give Yourself Away: Offering freebies, discounts and barter to pad your portfolio is often a great way to start, just remember that you can’t do it for long or you run the risk of going out of business before you start. Although it might appear tempting to try to undercut your competition, don’t. (See #7)
  7. Get Paid What Your Worth: Learn to value your place in the market. If you don’t charge what you’re worth, you will eventually find yourself looking for another job. The cheapest competitor in the market is not always the best place to be. I know of many industries who automatically label the lowest bid as the unqualified bid. Get paid what your worth.

Much of this isn’t new. Some of this advice my mother gave me as a kid. Starting your own business doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing proposition. With a little planning and consideration for your present employer, you can make a smooth transition from employee to business owner.

Bookkeeping and Tax Preparation Supply an Easy Transition to Self Employment

There may be others, but I consider a bookkeeping and accounting practice the perfect opportunity to transition from employment to business ownership. The nature of this business allows thousands of people to operate a part-time business out of their home while maintaining their full-time job. You can do it too.To learn more about how you can start a rewarding and profitable bookkeeping and accounting practice simply click on the link below. Full-time or part-time, a bookkeeping and accounting practice is the perfect transition to business ownership.Click Here to Learn More About the Perfect Business

Growing Your Client’s Profits

One day, years ago, a friend of English writer G. K. Chesterton found him packing his bags. Curious about the unannounced trip, he asked where Chesterton was going.

“To see Chamberwell,” was the reply.

“Aren’t you getting a little absent-minded?” asked the surprised friend. “You are in Chamberwell now. This is where you live.”

“Yes,” said Chesterton, “and that’s why I’m going away. I’m too close to Chamberwell to see it properly. Things have become too familiar for me to notice them.”

Like Chessterton, in the story above, owners of small businesses often times are too close to the business to see new and better ways to run their business. In fact, after a while they’re not much different than the employees, and the business is running them.

This is where you as the accountant can be so helpful to them. Your perspective is different, and often you will have ideas that can make the business run more smoothly and even more profitably. To get fresh ideas, break the business down into pieces. Examine each account in the general ledger with an eye for improvement. Study each account from different angles; what could the business do to make each account even more beneficial?

Here’s just a sample of questions you might start with in examining these accounts:

  • Is the business collecting accounts receivable effectively?
  • Are all the businesses assets being put to use?
  • Could we improve the terms with the client’s vendors?
  • Are there new ways to make revenues?
  • Are there expenses that are too high and could be shaved?
  • Is all the advertising accomplishing it’s purposes?
  • Could any jobs be done faster, simpler, cheaper–without sacrificing quality or safety?

Take a trip to through your client’s business–in other words, step back and look at it as if you’ve never been there before. That way, you can help your client see a fresh perspective. You’ll become as enthusiastic as a tourist in pursuing new ways to help your client grow, and your client will become a fan.

Click HERE to Learn Other Ways to Take Care of Your Clients

Other sections from this week’s newsletter:

  • Success Begets Success
  • What is Your Network Worth?
  • Start a Part-Time Bookkeeping Service

Guerilla Marketing and the Marketing Mindset

Oxygen… So Does Your Business

The rapture of the deep. That’s what Jacques Cousteau called it. Technically it’s called nitrogen narcosis.Divers breath compressed air. Usually it’s oxygen, but some commercial and technical divers breath other mixtures of compressed gasses. Beginning with the work of a French scientist named T. Junod in 1835, scientists observe altered behavior in divers breathing compressed gasses.”I am personally quite receptive to nitrogen rapture. I like it and fear it like doom… “the rapture of the deep” has one salient advantage over alcohol: no hangover. If one is able to escape from it’s zone, the brain clears instantly and there are no horrors in the morning. I cannot read accounts of a record dive without wanting to ask the champion how drunk he was.”-Jacques Cousteau, in The Silent WorldYour brain has about 100 million brain cells. Did you know that the brain requires 10x the amount of oxygen that the rest of your body does to function properly? There are many cases where divers appear to be all right, just a little altered (similar to being drunk), but when they surface, they have no recollection of what happened during their dive at all.Narcosis slows the communication between cells, and therefore, slows down your thinking and reaction times.

What Does Nitrogen Narcosis Have to Do With My Bookkeeping and Tax Practice?

Your business needs oxygen too. Without a “marketing mind set” your business will falter and eventually fail, just like a diver with nitrogen narcosis.Over 20 years ago, Jay Conrad Levinson, the author of Guerilla Marketing, changed the way that entrepreneurs thought about marketing. Although written 20 years ago, much of what he said still applies today.

How Do I Find Enough Clients to Support My Tax and Accounting Practice?

As you consider starting your new business and make a list of the top two or three things that would make your business a success today, your marketing effort should top the list.Many small business struggle with their marketing efforts because they don’t know where to start. Putting the pieces together so they make sense can be challenging without the right mind-set.

What is the Guerilla Marketing Mind-Set?

A marketing mind-set starts with you… not the company, not the market and not the clients. Your goal – to become “market ready.”In the spirit of guerilla marketing, marketing is everything you do or say that your prospects and customers see and hear from you. This includes everyone you meet, every vendor contact, every sign, every point of contact and every communication. A guerrilla marketing mind-set requires thinking about marketing at times you normally wouldn’t. According to Mr. Levinson, “The marketing mind-set is dedicated to the idea that each person and every activity in a company or organization should be focused daily on the following question: How am I building awareness with my prospects and clients through our marketing?”

But I’m Not a Marketer… I’m Starting a Tax Practice

You don’t have to be. But Allen Bostrom, author of In the Black: Nine Principles to Make Your Business Profitable flatly states, “Nothing happens until you make the sale.”In other words, you need clients to build your practice. But it’s not difficult… with the right mind-set.

Aren’t You Born with this Mind-Set?

Nope. Just like any other skill, a marketing mind-set must be developed. It’s all about your attitude. Think about marketing the same way you think about your bills. You’ve got to pay your bills every month, don’t you?You might be thinking, “How does having a marketing mind-set do anything to help find and keep clients?”With a marketing mind-set, you become realistically aware of the opportunities to market your business that surround you every day. Have you ever noticed that when you purchase a new car, you see other cars that are the same model and year as yours? Why is that?Because you are more aware. When you have a marketing mind-set, you will naturally become more aware of marketing opportunities for your business that are all around you. You’ll find things fall into place more easily and naturally.Words to Live ByKeep this Guerrilla Marketing Creed where you can see it and refer to it often:

  • I am committed to marketing. I will always think of my client’s needs and desires first, and shape my business, products and services around them.
  • I will approach my thinking creatively, using my talents and all available resources to develop the best solutions for clients and customers.
  • I will always strive to improve my marketing knowledge, seeking new and innovative ways to develop products and services and ways to communicate with customers and prospects.
  • I will give all my customers and prospects the proper attention all the time. This will be done in a proactive manner, not a reactive one.
  • I will continue to seek out new business opportunities. These include strategic alliances, fusion marketing, joint ventures, cooperation and other partnerships.
  • I will “think marketing” all the time.

The Professional Tax Preparer Certification Will Teach You How to Market Your Services

A unique feature of the Professional Tax Preparer Certification is thorough training of tried and true marketing techniques and strategies that will help you find and keep clients. You’ll draw upon the expertise of some of the most talented marketing minds in the tax and accounting industry.You’ll learn about powerful marketing methods and enable your guerilla marketing mind-set to amplify your efforts to find and keep more clients.At Universal Accounting, we believe your education isn’t complete unless it enables you to create the lifestyle and income you and your family need and deserve. That’s why our dedicated team of tax and marketing professionals are with you every step of the way. From the finest DVD-based distance learning program available anywhere to skilled and qualified coaches who are waiting to help you with answers to your questions over the phone, we’re there for you.