Focus Your Business Efforts

discovery-planningEvery now and then you must assess your business efforts to ensure that you’re focusing on the right things.  In a recent SmallBizTrends article, the Small Business editor shared “10 Secrets for Better Focusing Your Business,” as suggested by various business blogs and communities.  To help you refocus your efforts midyear, we’re sharing five of those tips here:

1. Assess Your Level of Acceptable Risk (Wilbert Rogers).  Before you set goals and move forward you need to determine how much risk you’re willing to take.  Often it just takes a little time to examine the risk and determine whether or not it’s worth it to your practice.

2. Leverage the Power of Blogging (Occasion).  A blog can be an effective marketing tool, especially when used in conjunction with your business website.  You can share helpful and free information that demonstrates your professional expertise, sharing the links via social media sites.

3. Discover the Importance of Your Niche (Marketing Land).  When you specialize in something, like small-business accounting, you can target a distinct market that will appreciate your services over the competition’s more generalized services.

4. Find a Gap in the Competitor’s Market (Entwine).  If you can determine what your competitors are lacking, you can fill the gap and gain a competitive advantage.  This requires a bit of market research and gumption, but doing so can ensure you become the premier accountant in your area.

5. Master the Power of Social Engagement (Past Master Blogger).  Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Digg, YouTube, etc.  It can be overwhelming to consider all the social networking sites and how you might use them to advance your career.  However, so much effective (and cost-effective) marketing can take place there.

Increase Your Competitive Advantage 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

–.  “10 Secrets for Better Focusing Your Business.”  2 August 2014  SmallBizTrends.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

Christine Petersen, UAC’s Senior Enrollment Director, is Passionate about Helping

christine-petersonChristine Petersen is Universal’s Senior Enrollment Director.  As such, she helps individuals select training programs that will enable them to achieve their career goals.  Roger Knecht, UAC’s President and CEO says, “She has been integral in the success of the company and the students we work with.”

Christine has worked at Universal for more than seven years and enjoys her position as Enrollment Director.  In the past she has also traveled to various Start Today Seminars around the country, selling UAC training programs to attendees.  She also presented at the UAC Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, leading a breakout session entitled “Phenomenal Women in Business.”  In addition, Christine enjoys the highest lifetime average of sales and units per “manday,” longest tenure among enrollment directors, is a member of the $1 million dollar club, and sole member of the $2 million dollar club.

But Christine most enjoys the opportunity to get to know people of diverse backgrounds as she helps inspire them to achieve their business goals.  She says, “Each person I talk with I have the opportunity to make a real and deep connection. It is in making these connections that I am best able to motivate and inspire individuals to get started with the program.  This is what keeps me motivated and satisfied at Universal.”

She finds “the biggest challenge for students is making the commitment to act, stepping outside of their comfort zone and moving toward their true goal, albeit uncomfortable, but nonetheless the goal they profess is truly important to them and the career they say they want to have.”  The greatest obstacle holding most individuals back is fear.  Christine explains, “This fear…can be overcome if they know they are in business for themselves, but not by themselves.  It can be overcome if they learn the proven system for building a business.  It can be overcome by offering them a specific solution so they can visualize this being achievable for them.  Universal offers these solutions.”

Christine finds she has the most success enrolling students in the Accountrepreneur Program which includes everything individuals need to launch a full-service financial practice:

Just last week, Christine was able to enroll Agnes Semey-Akorli, from Regina, Saskatchewan.  Agnes has a degree in accounting from her home country of Ghana and runs her own accounting practice.  She was interested in bolstering her accounting skills with UAC’s training programs.  Christine says, “She and I had a serendipitous connection – the first time we spoke she told me it was like speaking with her sister.  We had a very amazing rapport and it left me feeling so thankful to get the opportunity to work with such wonderful people!”

Of the exchange they enjoyed over the course of three days, Agnes says, “I was really satisfied with Christina for her good interpersonal relationship and encouragements, prompt response to my demands and questions, just to name a few.”

If you would like to talk to an enrollment director yourself to see how Universal’s training programs could change the course of your professional future, call us now at 1-877-833-7908 today!

Petra K. Earns the Flexibility to Have a Career on Her Terms

uacIn 2010, Petra Kirkland found herself unemployed.  Even with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and experience as a manager at Verizon, she was unable to secure a job.  Then she saw an advertisement for Universal’s free Start Today Seminar and decided to attend.

Following the Start Today Seminar, Petra enrolled in UAC’s training programs.  She soon completed the following:

In 2011 she started her own practice and enjoyed considerable success.  She explained that the “…key to my success is determination and hard work.  I kept at it even when I didn’t have any clients.”

Fortunately, that didn’t last long.  Her practice grew to serve 8 regular clients, which she secured through principles taught in the UPB program.  She found they appreciated the one-on-one attention they received and enjoyed working with someone who kept them informed about their finances and business status.  Petra went on to explain, “Having freedom to set my own hours and work from home was great.”

Sadly, Petra’s husband died in 2013, and she no longer wanted to work from home.  Luckily, her newfound skills and consequent experience enabled her to get a permanent position as a bookkeeper for a property management company.

Petra’s situation demonstrates the importance of securing marketable skills.  Some may use these to launch their own businesses while others still may find it helps them receive promotions and advancement in current positions.  Regardless, it offers peace of mind and the flexibility to build a career on your own terms.

Petra advises Universal graduations to “have confidence, stay focused and don’t give up.”  Having followed that advice herself, Petra is enjoying a career of her own making, regardless of the struggles life has thrown her way.

Call Universal now at 877-833-7908 to enroll in one or more of our stellar training programs, and change the course of your professional future!

5 Reasons Why Your Business May Be Stuck

Smart young executive working on a laptop with colleagues in the backgroundMany find that while their business is making enough to get by, it isn’t growing; it’s stuck.  If you find your practice in a rut, it may be time to assess the situation and determine what might get you out of it! 

In a recent Entrepreneur.com article, author and business owner, Chad Cox shares “7 Reasons Your Business Isn’t Growing.”  Here we share 5 of those potential holdups:

1. Tracking down overdue payments.  Your time could definitely be spent on more lucrative tasks.  Consider making this duty easier by sending automated reminders and enabling payment through online technologies.

2. Not asking for referrals. Building your client base through referrals is one of the most cost-effective ways to secure quality customers who are credible and trustworthy.  Often we are uncomfortable asking our friends, family, and current clients to refer others our way, but there’s no reason to be when you offer the valuable services you do.  

3. Chasing Whales.  As Cox explains, If we learned anything from Captain Ahab and Moby Dick, it was don’t let the pursuit of the whale drag you under. While on paper a big contract looks very appealing, the energy and resources required to attract, win and keep those once-in-a-blue-moon opportunities could put your entire company at risk.”

4. Reluctance to outsource or partner with complementary businesses. Small-business owners must track the daily tasks that eat up their workday, because while there are core-functions to any business, entrepreneurs often become distracted, and sometimes consumed by, necessary tasks that could be done just as easily, and probably more economically, through outsourcing.

5. There’s no obvious reason to choose you over the competition.  There needs to be something that sets you apart and makes your service offerings more appealing than the competition’s.  Maybe it’s the fact that you’re a full-service financial provider or that you offer business assessments or act as a QuickBooks Specialist.  Whatever the case, you need to ensure that you stand out as a premier financial professional.

Making these necessary, yet relatively small changes to your practice could be all it takes to launch your business to the next level.

UAC’s Training Programs Will Catapult You Ahead of the Competition

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that by expanding your service offerings you can quickly expand your client base and, consequently, your bottom line.  As an accountant, adding tax and QuickBooks services to your menu will not only attract more clients, but it will enable you to strengthen your competitive advantage.

If you’re interested in strengthening your business, visit Universal Accounting Center to sample our online training for FREE.  Or see what our graduates have said about their experiences!

Resource

Cox, Chad. “What’s Holding You Back? 7 Reasons Your Business Isn’t Growing.” 7 March 2014  Entrepreneur.com

 

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