Preparing for the New Year

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new Year Planning7    Tips in Getting Your Business off to a Fresh Start

We know it’s cliché, but true:  If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.  The New Year is a great time to revisit your business plan and assess your current standing.  Current economic turmoil should be reason enough to revamp your business strategies and begin 2009 with a solid list of goals.  As you anticipate difficulty and plan for success, you’ll find your business in better shape than ever.Consider the following tips:

1. Revisit your business objectives.

Remember that fire within that motivated you to start your business in the first place?  Generally it’s the passion for what you do that helps you move forward, through the good times and the bad.  You should revisit your business objectives regularly, reminding yourself of the vision with which you started your practice.  How close are you to accomplishing those objectives?  What would it take to exceed them?  Is it time to revise them, and consider how to see your business become, as the Olympic motto suggests, faster, higher, stronger?

2.    Contact all previous clients.

Now may be a good time to contact previous clients who no longer retain your services.  Send them a quick note or email asking how they’re doing.  Depending on your relationship, you may also ask if there’s a reason why they no longer come to you for their accounting.  You may receive valuable feedback or regain their business.

3. Take advantage of the recession.

Warren Buffet once said, “Be scared when everyone else is greedy, be greedy when everyone else is scared. ”  Right now, everyone else is scared, and you can take advantage of their recession fears in ways you may not have realized.  Last month we ran an article that highlighted action steps you can take to increase your profitability in the midst of a recession.

4. Do first for yourself.

It’s your job to manage your clients’ finances.  If you’re a truly valuable and proactive accountant, you watch key indicators that will tell you whether or not their businesses are profitable and suggest ways to increase their bottom line.  It’s important that you do that for your own business as well.  Become your own profit expert and, using last year’s numbers, project this year’s earnings, looking for ways to increase your own profitability.

5. Set new goals.

Would you like to increase your client base this year, or perhaps, increase your service offerings?  Maybe you’d like to move your business out of your home and into a professional office space.  Whatever it is you’d like to accomplish, it’s important that you set and record these goals.  Then break them down into smaller, more manageable steps that you can take throughout the year.

6.    Schedule the month of January.

Now that you’ve set some new goals you can begin to schedule action items within the first month of the year.  What steps can you take to make your business faster, higher and stronger?

7. Educate yourself.

It’s a good practice to participate in some type of training at least once a year in order to hone your skills and maintain your competitive edge.  The New Year is a good time to consider what you would like to focus on this year.  We suggest Universal’s Professional Bookkeeper’s Guide (PBG) to QuickBooks.

The PBG 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 menu.  With hands-on training you can earn a professional designation as a QuickBooks Specialist that will give you the creditability you need to convince prospective clients that you are an outstanding bookkeeper!With one simple click you can enhance your offerings and increase your bottom line. What a great way to start the New Year.  Order now!

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