How You Can De-stress for Success

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Owning a small business or leading a busy professional life can be stressful even if you’re organized and have a solid plan. There are so many details to consider every day and so many responsibilities to handle to ensure that your business is a success. Part of running any business is setting new goals and figuring out how best to achieve them, and that can be difficult when you’re already feeling stressed.

The key is to look at your business objectively to see where improvements can be made, which can be difficult at first. You may feel overwhelmed with the amount of possibilities, or you may not know how to go about funding or implementing them. With a good plan and some tips on how to de-stress to maximize your performance, you can make your business a success.

Read on for some great tips on getting started.

Manage scheduling conflicts

Even if you feel you’re doing a good job at keeping things together, there’s almost always room for improvement. By taking a look at the way your scheduling is done and looking for ways to make it work better for you and your business, you can ensure your clients have a favorable impression of you and reduce the number of no-shows. By having a plan for how to deal with issues related to employee availability, double-booking, or shift distribution, you can run your business better and provide the goods or services your customers expect. There are many appointment reminder apps available, so do your research and look for one that offers all the qualities you’re looking for.

Consider a professional business coach

A professional business coach can ease your burden and help you focus your marketing objectives, teach you how to promote effectively, and give you tips on how to successfully handle a merger. There are many different types of business coaches who focus on various areas, so choosing the right one is important. Before making your selection, make sure to ask them some relevant questions to make sure they are a good fit.

Create some time for yourself

De-stressing is all about creating time for yourself inside a busy schedule. Whether you own your own business or are running one, it’s imperative to carve some “me” time” out of each day. When you’ve spent many hours worrying about your business, you need to find ways to relax and do something you enjoy. Set aside time every day—whether it’s half an hour or just 10 minutes—to take a deep breath and focus on yourself.

Acknowledge your limits

It’s important for anyone with a career to realize that they can only do so much in a given day. With so many jobs and responsibilities on your plate, you have to learn how to prioritize and tell yourself that it’s okay to take care of the rest tomorrow. Learning how to do this will help you focus on the most important items and will ease stress and anxiety as well.

Learn to say “no”

Running a business is usually a full-time job, which means you simply can’t take on everything that comes your way. Whether it’s a new project or a request from an employee, it’s important to learn how to say “no” when your schedule—or your stress level—has hit its limit.

“Entrepreneurs tend to think that they have to be superhuman sometimes,” says founder of iCustom Label Nick Chachula. “It’s just not true. Entrepreneurs, just like everyone else, have strengths and weaknesses. You will be happiest when you’re focusing on the areas where you’re strong, not where you’re weak.”

Learning how to de-stress can help you run your business more effectively, but more importantly, it can also help you stay focused and on-task with your day-to-day responsibilities. Practicing self-care, such as eating right and getting daily exercise, will also help lower your stress and give you a better outlook on your career.

By Julie Morris

Julie Morris is a life and career coach. She thrives on helping others live their best lives. It’s easy for her to relate to clients who feel run over by life because she’s been there. After years in a successful (but unfulfilling) career in finance, Julie busted out of the corner office that had become her prison. Today, she is fulfilled by helping busy professionals like her past self get the clarity they need in order to live inspired lives that fill more than just their bank accounts. When Julie isn’t working with clients, she enjoys writing and is currently working on her first book. She also loves spending time outdoors and getting lost in a good book.

Becoming the Idea Person

“I can’t understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I’m frightened of the old ones.”  –John Cage

Whether you’re a full-time employee or a contractor, being the idea person can garner you a lot more time and attention—whether it be with a boss or client. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that an individual who can truly capture someone’s attention with valuable ideas is respected. And while most people have ideas, some more outlandish than others, that’s not all it takes to become an idea person.

Here are five tips for coming up with good ideas and presenting them in just the right way to get someone’s attention.

 1.   Take Risks

“Risk-taking is the essence of innovation.” –Herman Kahn

To become the idea person you must take risks.  Sharing your brilliant ideas with those that can do something about them is sometimes an intimidating and even frightening task.  But if you’ve done your homework, and believe your idea can positively impact your client, colleague or organization, the risk is minimal compared to the potential reward.

 2.   Educate yourself

Once you’ve decided to become an idea person, you’ll be surprised at how quickly you’ll begin coming up with ideas.  But just wanting to come up with ideas isn’t always enough.  You’ve got to educate yourself.

Read widely.  Everything from academic journals to pop-culture magazines can expose you to fresh ideas that can positively impact your organization.

Attend conferences.  This will expose you to hot topics and new trends.  You may find that your greatest inspiration is in listening to others share their great ideas.

 3.   Listen and Observe

We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.” –Epictetus

We’ve all been in meetings with the self-proclaimed “idea person” who does all the talking and none of the listening.  Inspiration often comes with the exchange of ideas, and that requires one to listen and observe.  What are some issues that need special attention?  Is there a current problem that needs a solution?  What division needs the most help?  You can’t come up with any answers until you’ve heard the questions.  You can’t provide any solutions until you’ve seen the problems.  And don’t be afraid of other idea people – they can be your greatest source of insight.

4.   Identify idea-shapers, those who can help you tailor an idea for your organization

You may have an award-winning idea in your back pocket, but it does no good if not catered to your organization’s needs.  In order to fine-tune even the best idea, you should look to idea-shapers within your network.  Senior employees or strategic partners can often help you tailor your idea and your presentation of that idea to your client or boss.

 5.   Determine the best approach for “idea delivery”

Is your idea best in an email or memo, as a presentation in a lunch meeting or possibly a private meeting with your boss?  The more you listen and observe, the better prepared you’ll be to give your idea the packaging it deserves.

Don’t be afraid to share your ideas.  Even if one idea of every ten that you share produces positive results, you’re finding success.  And that alone makes you a valuable asset.

Some of the Best Ideas Are Found in Books!

What if some of your best ideas included those that would make businesses profitable?  We have 9 such ideas, and they can all be found in Allen Bostrom’s book, In the Black: Nine Principles to Make Your Business Profitable.

This book demonstrates how to increase a business’s profitability using improved accounting and business metrics – a must-have for organizations of any size. Written by president and CEO of Universal Accounting Center Allen Bostrom, this book also discusses the importance of increasing communication among the three major business functions: marketing, production and accounting.  This book can help any small-business owner, especially those who specialize in financial services, bring greater success to their own businesses as well as those of their clients. This book will make an idea person out of you.  Order now and you can begin applying tried and true principles of business profitability.

Prepare for Next Tax Season

Expanding Your Business

While you may be anticipating extensions, the toughest part of tax season will soon over, and it’s time for you to plan your celebration!  We highly recommend that you book a serious vacation or just spend a few days lounging around your home.  After that, you should consider investing in your business by adding a complementary service to your offerings.

If you intend to continue your business, be it full-time or on the side, you limit yourself by only offering tax preparation services.  It’s possible to build your business by landing more tax clients, but you’ll have more luck if you enhance your service offerings.  By adding complementary services like accounting, QuickBooks consulting, loan application services, and business turnaround help, your current clients are likely to request some of those services as well.  Without sending out fliers, postcards, or doing one radio commercial, you could increase your billable hours simply by informing current clients of your expanded offerings.   Consider the following:

Accounting

Chances are many of your current clients manage their own small businesses.  Accounting services are in high demand because every small business is required by law to perform various accounting functions—these business owners are more likely to trust an accountant who already manages their financials every tax season.

QuickBooks Consulting

QuickBooks is, by far, the most popular accounting software on the market.  More than 80% of small businesses use it to manage their accounting.  However, these same businesses often need help setting up their companies and managing various tasks.  A QuickBooks Specialist can provide the assistance they need in optimizing this accounting software and all its features. When you consider that Intuit, the makers of QuicksBooks, charges $75 an incident and $349-$600 per year for support, you can see how easy it would be to offer your services for a more reasonable fee in order to serve clients in need of QuickBooks help.

Loan Application Services

Business owners are often intimidated by the process of completing a loan application package.  There are a lot of required components and many would feel more comfortable if they could enlist the help of a financial professional before submitting their application.  You could add loan application services to your offerings as yet another complementary service that would appeal to your target market.

Business Turnaround Services

The survival rate of small businesses is low even in an ideal market.  Many small businesses are struggling and owners often need help in moving those businesses from the red into the black.  Offering turnaround services will enable you to become a valuable resource to many current and prospective clients.

Universal Accounting Center offers training in all these areas.  If you’re interested in expanding your business and your bottom line, call us at 1-877-833-7909 today to see how we can help make your financial practice even more profitable!  Now’s the perfect time!

What You’ve Always Wanted to Know about Prospective Buyers

client-centered-servicesWhat information would you most like to know about prospective buyers?  Most small-business owners would like to understand what makes them take the plunge into retaining financial services.  Understanding this would help many ensure that their marketing approaches, and the services they’re promoting, are more successful.

Recently Hinge Research Institute did a study with 1300 companies about what makes individuals retain professional services.  They discovered the following:

  • 21% of buyers felt that having a bottom-line impact was most important to them while only 2% of CPAs anticipated that as a prospective client’s most pressing concern.
  • 79% of buyers would like more services from their current provider.  Unfortunately, 48% of buyers admit they do not know which services sellers provide.
  • 69% of buyers are willing to recommend their service providers. If they don’t make a referral, 72% of the time it is because no one asked them to.
  • 47% of buyers felt that the best marketing approach was to have a reputation for producing results.
  • Only 8% of buyers felt cost was the most important criteria for selecting a provider.  

These are interesting statistics.  But what do they teach us?

  •  Buyers value specialized skill and expertise that positively impacts their bottom line.
  • Sellers do a poor job informing buyers about the services they offer.
  • Sellers don’t ask buyers to refer their services.
  • Buyers respond to marketing efforts that highlight a reputation for producing results.
  • And interestingly, when deciding between providers, cost is a minor consideration.  

So what’s the takeaway from this survey? Focus your efforts on ensuring that you promote services in a manner to which prospective clients will best respond.  Also, consider adding services to your offerings that current and prospective clients will value.  Because statistically speaking, clients are more likely to retain additional services, refer your practice, and respond to marketing efforts that highlight proven reputations for impacting a business’s bottom line, regardless of what it might cost them.

Add Small-Business Accounting Services to Your Menu!

Most of your competitors don’t offer specialized small-business accounting services.  But after completing the Professional Bookkeeper (PB) program, you can!  Consider a training program that is catered to your needs and busy schedule—one that will enable you to earn a professional designation after just 60 hours of your valuable time.

When you enroll in the Professional Bookkeeper Program you receive to the following:

  • Flexible training you complete on your own schedule
  • Rich and engaging training DVDs you can view again and again
  • Hands-on instruction and practice sets through which you gain much-needed experience
  • Training in building and marketing your new practice
  • 6 months of valuable follow-up support
  • The opportunity to earn professional certification
  • Our iron-clad risk-free guarantee

 Expand your service offerings by enrolling in UAC’s valuable Professional Bookkeeper Program call 1-877-833-7908 to enroll today!

Resource 

Taylor, Aaron.  “New Study Highlights: How Buyers Buy Professional Services.” HingeMarketing.com

A Quick Tutorial on QuickBooks Help Features

word-interfaceUAC’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.

You can access QuickBooks Help in other areas of the program as well.  Our training includes complete details on how to take advantage of them all.

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.  Enhance your service offerings, streamline client information, and manage your own business finances even better!  Call Universal at 1 -877-833-7909 to enroll today!

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