Common Reasons for Failure

quit3Failure is a fact of life, and it’s an obstacle from which many lessons can be learned.  But, if possible, wouldn’t you rather avoid failure altogether? 

In a recent SmallBizTrends.com article, author Deborah Shane shares “7 Reasons Why People Don’t Succeed,” arguing that all successful individuals encounter failure, but they are successful because they persevere.  Here are four of seven most common obstacles to success:

1. They Become Irrelevant.  Technology advances at the speed of light these days, and with it social media trends and consumer interests.  And while as a financial professional you may feel immune to these advances (accounting is still accounting, regardless of what people are tweeting), not staying current on these developments will cost you a competitive advantage.

2. They Lack Discipline, Focus and Balance.  You cannot be a successful entrepreneur without these three things.  Shane encourages entrepreneurs to approach their businesses with “Olympian discipline,” explaining that Olympic athletes “set their goals, surround themselves with a team of coaches and commit to a grinding, daily regimen of practice to achieve.”  This same mindset can be applied to managing a new business.

3. They Lack a Deep Sense of Belief in Themselves.  If you believe you’ll fail, than you might as well surrender your shingle now.  However, if you are convinced you’ll succeed, your chances of success are much greater.  If you find yourself lacking the necessary confidence to more forward, don’t despair.  You can change your thought patterns by practicing positive thinking.  Sometimes it just takes a little concentration to eliminate the negative self-talk we all engage in.

4. They Have Skills Gaps.  As Shane explains, “Make sure all your skills, certifications and qualifications are up to date and current for today’s standards.  No matter what career you are in, make sure you are adapting to and using the best practices today.”

The Professional Bookkeeper Program

If you need to hone your accounting skills, or if you’re looking to acquire a new skillset in accounting, UAC’s Professional Bookkeeper (PB) Program is not only reputable, but it’s self-paced, enabling a busy professional like you to take your time or complete the program quickly, in less than 60 hours.

And when you take this program you are trained to act as your clients’ Profit Expert.  What is a Profit Expert?  A proactive accountant who realizes that the information he/she generates provides crucial data that can make or break a business.  It’s the accountant’s job to share this data with business owners, explaining it in such a way that they both understand what the information indicates and can use it to make informed business decisions.  The PB Program will train you how to do that.

You will gain the confidence and skill necessary to start and manage nearly every client’s books, and when you have a question, our follow-up program enables you to call and ask one of our seasoned professionals.

Let Universal help you avoid all the pitfalls in becoming a contact accountant! Act now and enroll in the Professional Bookkeeper Program day.  Call Universal at 1-877-833-7908.

 

Resource

Shane, Deborah.  “Fail Much?  7 Reasons Why People Don’t Succeed.”   16 November 2014 SmallBizTrends.com

Money ≠ Success

turnaroundIn a recent Entrepreneur.com article, author and entrepreneur Jan Verleur shares “4 Reasons Not to Confuse Early-Stage Money for Success.”  He begins by explaining, “Don’t get me wrong—capital is great.  It facilitates growth.  And in some ways, it validates your business.  But the way we position it today, as the definition of success, has created an environment where startups are chasing money too early.  They want it before they’ve even launched.” 

While securing funding for your business does have some pros, there are also a number of cons.  He goes on to explain how that can prove dangerous for entrepreneurs.  Here we share three of his four reasons why:

1. You lose control.  When you have investors contribute to your startup, they generally like to contribute to business decisions as well.  And often what you believe to be best for your business is not the same thing investors believe to be best.

2. You scale too soon.  When you have a lot of cash on hand, you may be tempted to grow your business before your business is actually ready for that growth.  Renting a big office space, filling it with expensive equipment and hiring additional employees just because you have the capital to do so doesn’t mean your clientele will expand likewise.  A business often benefits from going through traditional growing pains that ensure a practice’s ultimate health and longevity.

3. Your culture suffers.  Akin to appreciating something more when you’ve paid for it by yourself, building your company from the ground up will become an endeavor that you’re much more invested in because it’s all your own. Verleur explains, “The best way for a startup to evolve is to be challenged by a lack of resources.  It forces you to think outside of the box and seek out solutions in the unexpected.  This is why bootstrapping is the ultimate approach toward developing the ideal company culture.  It makes a team smarter and more capable.”

In conclusion, Verleur is not against obtaining outside capital for a startup, but he does find value in businesses that have been launched by entrepreneurs who are not “chasing money out of the gate as a point of validation.”  Investors, he claims, will eventually come to you once they’ve seen the successful venture you have built with your own two hands.

Professional Tax Preparer (PTP)

One way to ensure your success as a financial professional is to add tax preparation services to your offerings.  Many tax preparers make more money in the months leading up to the April 15 tax deadline than others make all year long! Since all individuals and businesses, small or large, are required to file taxes, tax preparation is a respected skill that will always be in demand.  Also, more and more are becoming weary of tax preparers without any credentials.  The Tax Preparer Designation will put many of those individuals at ease, assuring them that you have been properly trained in tax preparation.

Act now to solidify your business success by increasing your service offerings.  Call Universal at 1 -877-833-7908 to enroll in this amazing program now!

Resource

Verleur, Jan.  “4 Reasons Not to Confuse Early-Stage Money for Success.”  12 November 2014  Entrepreneur.com

Lisa Bybee Enjoys Lasting Success

Lisa BybeeAbout ten years ago, Lisa Bybee was working as a Union carpenter who later went on to specialize in custom millwork.  In 2006, when the recession hit, she was the foreman of a Boston-based carpentry company.  It was then that she decided to ensure her financial future by pursuing additional training.  And because she had always been interested in accounting, it was only natural that she gravitate to Universal Accounting Center (UAC).

In 2007 Lisa enrolled in the Professional Bookkeeper’s Guide to QuickBooks.  The hands-on training really appealed to Lisa, who quickly realized that the exercises she was completing for imaginary companies in her training manual were preparing her for real-life scenarios with prospective clients.  Her Universal coach suggested she continue her training with the Professional Bookkeeper Program which enables students to master small-business accounting.  By the end of the year, she had completed both courses and had earned the Professional Bookkeeper designation (PB).

Less than one year later, Lisa started her own practice, Parkers Accounting, which she named after her late grandmother (Edra Mae Parker) and father (James Parker Bybee) who had both spent decades working in the accounting industry.  When we first talked to Lisa, she was still working full-time, running her accounting practice on the side.  She was serving 7 regular clients with the hopes of turning her part-time practice into a fulltime venture.

Just this week we caught up with Lisa to see how she’s doing.  Since we last spoke just a few years ago she’s become a CFE (Certified Fraud Examiner) and has a graduate degree in both accounting and forensic accounting.  She still manages an accounting practice for which an employee performs most of the day-to-day accounting tasks.  She works as a controller for three companies on a contract basis and dedicates three days a week to forensic accounting.  Lisa explains, “I have a wide range of clients now and close to $200,000 in annual revenue.”

Lisa enjoys many benefits as a contractor.  She explains, “In a job, you are hired for a certain position and that is what you do, all day, every day.  Only if someone retires or leaves is there the [opportunity] … for advancement.  But with my practice, only I determine where I will stop.  There is no limit to the upside I can achieve.  The only limit is myself and my mind.”

Universal’s training enabled Lisa to interact with real small-business owners, convincing them of the value her service provide.  Lisa says, “I understand much better what they need and what I need to do to provide the best service to them.  This is something never taught in two or four-year colleges but is essential…in order to do accounting for small business.  The program gave me a much more rounded education in accounting, not just a corporate view of accounting.”

To those who are thinking about training with Universal, Lisa says, “Just start!  Just enroll and start the programs, and it will happen—everything else will fall into place.  Just know that what you learn here is real-world bookkeeping for small business.  And that no matter what questions are thrown at you, there is always someone at UAC to help.”

Lisa attributes her own success to her undying commitment; she never gave up.  She also explains that “…without my knowledge of QuickBooks, I wouldn’t even be close to those accomplishments.  I owe a lot to Universal Accounting for teaching me not only the skills of QuickBooks, but also that the dream really can be reality.”  To sample the training she received for free online, visit Universal Accounting.

What Small-Business Clients Want

client-centered-servicesIn a recent survey conducted by The Sleeter Group, small to mid-sized businesses were asked what they want from their accountants.   Over 1000 prospects were screened and narrowed down to 188 participants who were then questioned about the services they desired as well as what they believed their accountants could provide verses what they wanted to provide.

The results proved interesting.  Here is a quick summary of what they discovered:

  • Expertise and responsiveness were rated the most persuasive characteristics in selecting an accountant.  The article goes on to explain, “What may come as a surprise is that ‘proactive strategic advice’ was the third-highest-rated factor with an average score of 8.7, coming in ahead of ‘reputation’ and ‘low fees.’  The fact that proactive strategic advice rates so high shows SMBs want a CPA who is a partner in their success and often thinking about their business.” 
  • 47.8% of small businesses would prefer an accountant specializing in their industry while 37.8% don’t care either way and 14.4% require a specialist. 
  • 59% are ”highly satisfied” with their current accountant while 21% are “satisfied” and 20% are “dissatisfied.” 
  • The top five services SMBs are currently receiving include tax return preparation, tax planning, compilation/reviewing/auditing of records, representation at government audit, and bookkeeping. 
  • The top five services SMBs wish their accountants offered include business planning, business strategy, the creation of a business dashboard, business analytics, and tax planning. 
  • The top three preferred methods of communication with accountants are by (in order of preference) email, phone and in person. 
  • The top two reasons SMBs leave their accountants are 1. a lack of proactive advice as opposed to reactive advice, and 2. accountants exhibited poor responsiveness. 
  • SMBs want help in strategic planning and technology but don’t believe their accountants want to provide those services.  The article explains, “When it comes to technology planning, almost two-thirds of respondents said they ‘never’ seek out advice from their CPA, showing SMBs don’t believe accountants have the expertise in technology to provide such advice.”

So what does this survey suggest? Focus your efforts on providing those additional services SMBs desire, like strategic business and tax planning.  Also, consider the importance of becoming a Growth and Profit Expert, helping clients tackle problems proactively while making more strategic and lucrative business decisions.  And gaining expertise in technology will also help you respond to one of their most pressing needs.

UAC’s Training Programs Can Help

Our convenient and practical online training programs can respond to all these demands, helping you become a Profit and Growth Expert, provide tax planning services, and master QuickBooks, the leading software used by small-business owners.

The Professional Bookkeeper (PB) Program enables you to do what most accountants can’t: specialize in small-business accounting services.  After just 60 hours, you can become a Profit and Growth Expert, a financial advisor who enhances and/or turns around promising small businesses by providing direction in controlling cash effectively, reducing and minimizing expenses and increasing revenue.

Tax Preparation is just the first part of the Professional Tax Preparer (PTP) Program; you will also learn how to advise businesses to structure their organization to reduce their tax burden. You will assist them to strategically place themselves in a position today that will reap tax rewards next year. While tax preparation peaks around the tax return deadline, there is great money to be made all year long optimizing organizations to take advantage of tax benefits and exemptions.

The Professional Bookkeeper’s Guide (PBG) to QuickBooks will enable you to master this software program that over 80% of small businesses use to manage their accounting.  Once you do, you will be able to work more efficiently as you use all the features, functions, and shortcuts QuickBooks offers.  Not only will the PBG enable you to manage your own books more efficiently, but it can increase your bottom line as you add QuickBooks consultation, help and setup services to your offerings.  With hands-on training you can earn a professional designation as a QuickBooks Specialist that will give you the credibility you need to convince prospective clients that you are an outstanding bookkeeper and trusted technology advisor!

Respond to small business accounting wants and needs by enrolling in these three outstanding programs today.  Call Universal now at 1-877-833-7908 to become a full-service financial provider.

 

Resource

Sleeter, Doug.  “What SMBs Want from Their Accountant – 2014 Update.” 9 April 2014  www.sleeter.com

Getting the Most of Trade Show Connections

UPB-promo2Trade shows are a great way to acquire industry-specific knowledge and tips.  They’re also a fantastic place to network.  Unfortunately, according to a recent SmallBizTrends article, 80% of trade-show connections receive no follow-up.  What an incredible waste of valuable leads!

But it doesn’t have to be that way!  With a little planning, you can ensure that you take advantage of all those connections you make at trade shows.  Here we share 3 of Timothy Carter’s tips as found in his SmallBizTrends article entitled “5 Trade Show Follow Up Strategies to Boost You to the Next Level.

1. Start follow up preparation before the trade show.  Be sure you have easy-access to all the materials you’ll use to record contacts: notepad, pen, lead forms, business-card holder.  In addition, be sure to have plenty of business cards to distribute yourself!  It also helps to have a code for classifying contacts.  Carter recommends “A” for very important, “B” for moderately important, and “C” for less important.

2. Keep leads organized throughout the trade show.  Carter suggests a simple way to organize your contacts.  Staple their business cards into a notebook or onto a lead form and then describe your interactions with them on that same page.  It’s important that you be able to remember these people, including specific details from your exchanges, later when following up.

3. Add leads to existing contact lists.  Once you return from the trade show, be sure to add your new leads into current contact lists, prioritizing your next interaction.  If you have a newsletter or an email list, be sure to add these contacts to those communications as well.

When attending a trade show, you want to ensure that you get as much from the experience as possible.  Following up on all the leads generated there is a great first step!

Improve Your Efficiency by Mastering QuickBooks

The Professional Bookkeeper’s Guide (PBG) to QuickBooks will enable you to master this software program that over 80% of small businesses use to manage their accounting.  Once you do, you will be able to work more efficiently as you use all the features, functions, and shortcuts QuickBooks offers.  Not only will the PBG enable you to manage your own books more efficiently, but it can increase your bottom line as you add QuickBooks consultation, help and setup services to your offerings.  With hands-on training you can earn a professional designation as a QuickBooks Specialist that will give you the credibility you need to convince prospective clients that you are an outstanding bookkeeper!

With just one small initial investment, you can increase your income and your clientele.  Don’t wait to thank us.  Call Universal at 1-877-833-7908 to order now!

Resource

Carter, Timothy.  “5 Trade Show Follow Up Strategies to Boost You to the Next Level.” 21 May 2014 SmallBizTrends.com

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