Kick-Start the Year

Kick-Start the Year with 6 Practical Goals:

2008 New Year’s Resolutions

Always bear in mind that your own resolution to success is more importantthan any other one thing. –Abraham Lincoln

About this time most of us feel obligated to make a few New Year’s resolutions. And while you may have your own resolution to loose a few pounds, cut credit card debt, or spend more quality time with your family, your business could probably use a few resolutions of its own. It’s difficult to increase your success if you don’t have a target to shoot for. Here are a few things that can help you create a list of realistic business goals for the New Year:

Organize all contact informationIf you’re like most small business owners you have business cards, scraps of paper with contact information, and maybe even a notation or two in your planner of potential clients. They’re doing you no good scattered around; you need to gather them all together and organize them into a rolodex or electronic file that makes it easy to look up individuals and actually contact them!

Contact potential clients regularlyNow that you’ve organized all your contact information, it’s time to devise a plan for actually contacting these people. For some reason or other you thought they qualified as potential clients; now it’s time to give them the chance to request your services. Determine the method of contact you feel most comfortable with: phone calls, mailings, lunch appointments, gift calendars. You need to remind these people, without being pesky, that your services will enhance their lives. Once you’ve contacted them two or three times you can rotate them off your contact list. But the good news is that you should be able to find a few new clients this way, increasing your client base and your bottom line.

Backup your hard driveWhile this is a boring resolution, it’s definitely something that you can check off in one day. Hopefully this is a task most of you perform regularly, but if you don’t, today is the day to start; don’t wait until your computer crashes to regret not performing this resolution. You have lots of crucial, financial information that clients expect you to manage. If you loose it, you also loose your credibility, and that can cost you more than you can imagine.

Increase your staffWhen you think of this resolution, all you might see in your mind are dollar signs. But if you hire right, you can train an employee to perform monotonous accounting tasks for less than you charge your clients. This means that if you pay your employee $15/hour and you charge $40/hour to do those tedious jobs, you make a $30 profit each hour this employee works; now you can spend your time doing the more significant accounting tasks. And if you use a son or daughter to do this work, part of their salary is tax-deductible! The point is, if you can hire a reliable, efficient employee to help manage some of the easier tasks, you have more time to take on more clients. This enables you to grow your business.

Cut costsWe’re guessing you advise your clients on ways they can cut costs. It’s time you take a look at your own books to see if there are ways you can cut costs and save yourself some money. Regardless of how frugal and efficient you think you are, chances are there are ways you can cut some of your costs and channel that money into more productive channels.

Better manage client informationWhether it’s your filing system or the electronic method you use, you may want to find something that helps you better manage client information. Can you easily run reports that give you a birds-eye view of your clients’ finances? Do you have a quick method of accessing client information from multiple views? There are numerous software packages that attempt to make your job as an accountant easier. You may consider purchasing one that could help you. And because 80% of small businesses use Intuit’s QuickBooks Pro, that’s the software package we suggest.

UAC’s Guide to Quickbooks Pro Universal Accounting Center (UAC) has a training program that will teach you QuickBooks quickly, and painlessly. UAC’s Guide to Quickbooks Pro is a self-paced program that enables you to complete the parts that interest you and skip over the parts that don’t. Even if you have used the program for years, the program teaches you shortcuts and methods you may not have known. You will be impressed by the simple flow and completeness of this program.So why wait?In just a number of hours you could be ready to better manage your own finances, and add new services to your own practice, increasing your bottom line.

The retail cost of UAC training coupled with the QuickBooks Pro software is $485, but for a limited time you can get that for just $385. And if you already have the software, or are just interested in a trail version, it’ll just cost you $285. Don’t wait; order today!

Regardless of what resolutions you choose, it’s important to set goals for your business. If you don’t make plans to increase your success, you’ll be lucky to get by. Don’t wait until the end of January to take steps to improve your business. Regardless of how small, take steps to move your business forward today!