Tips for Entrepreneurial Success

follow-upLaunching your own business can be tricky, and sometimes it may feel like you’re stumbling through the dark.  That’s where free advice can be helpful, especially when it can help ensure your fledging business is a success.

In a recent Entrepreneur.com article, author and entrepreneur Timothy Sykes shares “6 Timeless Strategies to Drive Entrepreneurship Success.”  Here we share three of his tips:

  1. Study the Competition.  How many accountants are currently in your area?  Can the market sustain another independent contract accountant?  Who would your target market even be?  What services are currently being offered and how can you capture the market by enhancing yours to beat out the competition?  Is there a niche that’s currently being neglected that you could take advantage of?  You can improve on your research by actually talking with other accountants, potential customers, and professionals you respect and admire, providing you with valuable feedback that can inform the way you manage your practice.
  2. Conserve Cash.  As Sykes explains, “Entrepreneurs should be as conservative with their money as possible to be able to deal with any rough patch that arises. Conserving several months’ worth of operating expenses in the bank will help you survive most unforeseen circumstances.”
  3. Listen to Customer feedback and adapt. You must take the time to gather feedback regarding your customer service and your service offerings, both before you launch your practice and after you’ve been in business for a while.  They can best inform you on how to improve your approach so that your business can become the premier accounting service in the area!

The Universal Practice Builder (UPB) Program 

Increasing your clientele is one key to a thriving practice.  And if you’re looking to attract more clients, we have the perfect program for you!

The Universal Practice Builder Program is designed to train you how to promote your practice in order to experience significant growth and profitability.  This program offers the following:

  • $30,000 in new annualized billings in only 12 months
  • Tactical goal planning and setting
  • The generation of 15 to 25 qualified leads per month
  • Phone marketing instruction and training
  • Training in the benefits of newsletters and websites
  • 12 proven marketing strategies
  • Financing options

Build a stellar practice by enrolling in this program today!  Call 1-877-833-7908 to begin experiencing true entrepreneurial success!

Resource

Sykes, Timothy.  “6 Timeless Strategies to Drive Entrepreneurship Success.”  4 February 2015  Entrepreneur.com

6 Cost-Effective Marketing Tips

 marketing-budgetIf you’re like most small business owners, marketing doesn’t come easily.  Your talents reside in providing bookkeeping and other financial services, and trying to figure out how to better promote your practice may be giving you’re a headache.

It doesn’t have to be that difficult or that expensive.  Here are 6 quick, inexpensive, and effective marketing strategies that will help you increase your clientele while still getting a good-night’s rest:

1. Network. Anyone can be a potential client; anyone can refer your services to friends and family.  Anywhere you go, including the grocery store and the local daycare, can provide a networking opportunity. And don’t forget your local chamber of commerce and small-business associations. The more you reach out, the greater your prospective client pool becomes.

2. Cross Promote. Perhaps you’ve networked with someone who offers services that complement but don’t compete with yours (for example loan officers, insurance providers and financial planners).  You could partner with such individuals to cross promote one another’s services.  Agree to display their business cards and flyers if they do the same for you.  For no cost, you’re exposing your services to a solid pool of prospective clients.

3. Hold free seminars. You could acquire as many as 10 qualified clients each month in only a few hours of your time.  When you hold quality educational seminars providing free QuickBooks advice or accounting tips, you use a leveraged marketing strategy that enables you to promote your business more with less time.  With an average attendance of 20 to 25 people, you accomplish more in two hours than you would spending 8 hours on other less effective marketing techniques.

4. Become the main event. Consider presenting at conferences, creating a booth for local events, or teaching community classes in bookkeeping.  All will give you great exposure, circulate your business card, and build your reputation as a qualified financial professional.  Be sure to have a pamphlet or brochure on hand that describes your services and provides free and useful business tips.

5. Donate your services to charity auctions and raffles. Chances are those who can afford to bid on such items could also provide you with good referrals, not to mention participating in such events is a great way to promote your practice and display your contact information.

6. Offer current clients incentive for providing referrals. Jim Rohn said, “One customer, well taken care of, could be more valuable than $10,000 worth of advertising.”  If your current clients can refer more clients your way, imagine all that you’re saving in advertising costs.  These valuable referrals are worth far more than the discount or complimentary services you can offer in return.  Consider providing a free service or giving them a significant discount on future services.  This not only provides incentive to refer friends and family your way, but it gives these clients just another good reason to stay with you.

UAC Can Help You Better Market Your Services

Building and growing your own practice requires exceptional marketing skills. Most financial professionals find that promoting their businesses doesn’t come naturally.  However, when you enroll in the Universal Practice Builder program, you will learn 12 proven marketing strategies, create a customized marketing plan and be taught a system that will generate 15 to 25 qualified leads per month.  Not only that, but we guarantee that after learning and applying the principles taught in the UPB, you will earn at least $30,000 more in annualized billings in just 12 months—that’s 17 times the cost of this course!  Talk about a significant return on your investment.  Call 1-877-833-7908 to enroll now!

 

Accessing QuickBooks Help: A Tutorial

 quickbooks-popularUAC’s Professional Bookkeeper’s Guide to QuickBooks is a tutorial-based course enabling students to master this popular accounting software.  In this article, we share a tutorial on QuickBooks Help System, taken directly from the course. 

Sometimes in QuickBooks you need help determining what forms to use or what to enter into those forms once you find them.  QuickBooks has a pretty good help system.  Some people are disappointed when they receive the QuickBooks software and realize that it didn’t come with a 1300 page user’s manual like they used to distribute in the good old days.  But to be honest with you, the help that’s available in the QuickBooks program itself is better and more complete than the assistance or help that we used to get in those 1300 page user manuals.

One thing that’s different in newer versions of the software is the position of the Help display.  If you click on Help and then select “QuickBooks Help” or press F1, help displays on the right-hand side of the screen.  To get help on something, click on this search topic and then type in a search phrase. In this example, we’re going to search for “job costing.”

Once you type in “job costing” and press enter, QuickBooks displays 15 different topics related to job costing.  You can view those different topics to see if any of them are helpful.  Let’s imagine you want “unbilled costs by job report.” You click on that link and QuickBooks tells you exactly how to get that report and what information should be on it.

The next Help feature that we want to talk about is the Learning Center Tutorials. To access these, go into Help and Learning Center Tutorials.  These are small videos that Intuit has created to help you understand how to use the program.  They’re very brief, but they provide an excellent overview.  Some of you might have your clients use them to get a general idea of how to use QuickBooks.

Let’s talk just a little bit about Support.  If you click on the support option, QuickBooks connects to the Internet and details the different support options available.  You have 30 days of free technical support when you first register your software, and that’s available immediately after you purchase it.  You can purchase support from Intuit as well.  You also might want to contact Universal Accounting Center to check on the support that we offer for QuickBooks and the Professional Guide to QuickBooks training program.

There are a few other Help features we wish to discuss. First of all, let’s talk about “About QuickBooks Pro XXXX.”  This is the information the software gives you about your specific program.  It provides your license number, the product number and the user licenses.  You want to hold onto these numbers because you will need them if you ever install this software onto another computer (for example, if your system crashes, you’ll need these numbers to install it on a new machine).

Under Help there are two other options that we should talk about:  New Business Checklist and Year‑End Guide.  You use the New Business Checklist when you first start a company; QuickBooks poses questions to ensure that you have done the right things in setting up your business.  There are explanations on each one of those checkpoints, and after you’ve completed them you can check them off.  So if you want information on, for example, choosing a name, you click on “Choose a name,” and QuickBooks displays Help to the right; you can look at that information and click on any of those different topics and then click through the checklists as you complete them.

The same sort of thing is available under Help and “Year‑End Guide.”  This is something you use at the end of the year, and frankly you might want to go through everything to ensure that you have covered all your bases.  You don’t necessarily have to do all these things at the end of the year, but they’re things that you should at least consider doing.

You can also access QuickBooks Help in each of the different areas of the program.  For example, if you have a transaction up on the screen, say, for example, Pay Bills, you can click on the Help feature, which displays as a question mark, and QuickBooks will show help topics that are context sensitive.

The Professional Bookkeeper’s Guide (PBG) to QuickBooks

If you found this tutorial useful, you’d probably like Universal’s Professional Bookkeeper’s Guide to QuickBooks program which will teach you all this and more with training targeted for all user types.  To enroll in this program today, call Universal at 1-877-833-7908!

Ensuring Teamwork in the Work Place

client-generatorRegardless of your current position or job requirements, honing your teamwork skills will increase your appeal and make your career more pleasant and rewarding.  Here are five things that will help you become a better team player:

1. Practice active listening. We offer this tip first for a reason.  Many struggle with teamwork because they falsely believe their ideas are the best which makes listening to others difficult.  However, in order for a team to be effective, a team player listens to what their associates have to share, measuring their ideas as objectively as possible.

2. Freely give praise. Another individual’s success doesn’t diminish your contribution.  Your ability to recognize and acknowledge a colleague’s success is important; it builds morale and generates good feelings.

3. Take responsibility. Never point the finger of blame when something goes wrong; likewise, you should always take responsibility when you’ve made a mistake.  Trying to justify your actions or unfairly shift the responsibility to a colleague never makes you look good.  Your associates will appreciate your willingness to own your actions.

4. Cooperate. Offer your help when you recognize that a colleague is struggling or could use assistance.  The purpose of a team is to combine your skills and expertise to accomplish a common purpose.  This requires a hearty dose of cooperation.

5. Exhibit flexibility. A team must coordinate a large number of schedules, opinions, and ideas.  In order for the team to be successful everyone must be flexible to a certain extent.  Be open-minded and look for ways you can contribute by altering your schedule or changing your perspective.

As a financial professional, you have access to important information that can greatly contribute to a business’s success.  However, in order for that information to be put to good use, you must practice teamwork skills.  Applying the above tips will enable you to develop those soft skills that are crucial in the workplace.

If you found this article helpful, consider taking advantage of our other free resources; join our free accounting and tax forums, follow us on Twitter and like us on FaceBook.  You’ll be surprised at how Universal’s virtual community will enable you to stay in-the-know.

Changing Jobs in the Accounting Field

successful business womanIt’s happened to the best of us.  We launch our careers and then decide that we’re unsatisfied performing the tasks in our current occupations.  Perhaps you began your accounting career with the idea that you would move up or switch to a job more compatible with your interests and goals. 

Whether you’ve been in your current job for ages and need a change, or if you’re just interested in the opportunities available, accounting is a wide field that offers many options.  From controller to tax manager, from senior accountant to senior analyst, from credit manager to bookkeeper, the job possibilities are endless, so there’s no reason to feel gridlocked in your accounting career.  But as you consider a change, remember the following Do’s and Don’ts:

1.   Don’t worry if the thought of changing careers makes you nervous.  Change of any kind, especially in a career, makes most people nervous.  It’s perfectly normal and shouldn’t scare you away from accomplishing what you desire.  Taking it slow and creating a plan will help ward off any fear you might be experiencing.

2.   Don’t get discouraged.  It may take awhile to 1) discover what you really want, and 2) find that perfect job for you.  Recognize that changing jobs will require time and patience.

3.   Don’t rule out staffing agencies.  Sometimes you have to date a few employers and jobs before you commit to just one.  There are staffing agencies that specialize in accounting and by taking a few months to test drive employers and occupations you’ll get a good idea of which might be best for you while simultaneously getting your foot in the door.

4. Do take the time to research and consider all the possibilities.  Take the time to consider your interests, your objectives, and your ultimate career goals.  Do the research necessary to determine which job and employer will be right for you.  While you’re at it, find a mentor in the same position who could give you valuable tips.

5.   Do remember your transferable skills and networking contacts.  Because you’re moving from one accounting job to another, recognize that your transferable skills are extremely valuable.  Update your resume so that it targets your desired occupation while highlighting those transferable skills.  Also refer to your contact list to 1) aid in helping you determine which occupation is for you, 2) discover job opportunities you may not have heard about otherwise and 3) win an advantage on a job you’re interested in.

6.   Do get training that will help you advance. Often you’ll have a better shot at getting a job if you’ve had advanced training.  For example, enrolling in UAC’s Professional Bookkeeper Program could give you the advantage in finding just the job you want.  It will bolster your resume and give you a talking point in those crucial interviews.

Whichever occupation you choose in the accounting field, the important thing is that you find the right one for you.  In following this list of Do’s and Don’ts you will have a better chance of doing just that.

Learn More about the Professional Bookkeeper (PB) Program

If you would like to see how the PB Program could benefit your career, watch our DVD “Introduction to the Professional Bookkeeper Program.” Just visit Universal’s website to watch the video for FREE!  Take this one small step today, and learn how the PB Program could help you solidify your accounting career or launch your own bookkeeping practice.

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