Scott Barhold has been performing magic nearly all of his life. He started with simple tricks in front of family and friends when he was a boy, and even performed on stage after high school. Today, Barhold likes to start his Universal Accounting Client Generator Seminars with a magic trick, turning a balloon into a box of money showing the magic he can deliver to his accounting clients.
“Unlocking profit is no magic trick,” Barhold said. “Most people have not been trained to do it right.”
Barhold found Universal Accounting through an ad on Craigslist and attended a seminar in Daytona Beach, Florida in February of 2008. He was seeking new ideas and proven techniques to help grow his existing accounting business, called Business Resolutions. He left the seminar invigorated and finished the Universal Practice Builder (UPB) program, a self-paced workshop consisting of eight DVDs, in just one weekend. Next he took the UPB Live seminar, an in-person weekend workshop by Universal Accounting, which energized him even more.
“Participating in the UPB Live was like playing in the Super Bowl, versus watching it,” he said. Barhold said before he found out about Universal Accounting, he had been losing clients. Now, after using the information learned at the UPB and UPB Live Workshops, his closing rate is about 28 percent.
“They taught me a different way to close a deal,” he said. He explained that in his urgency to find clients before attending the Universal Accounting Seminar, he was dramatically reducing his rates, accepting payment after the work was done, and practically begging people to have him do the books. “I was in front of the wrong people and was doing a lot of work for nothing. Now I have people calling me, telling me, `I’m a friend of so-and-so and I need you to help me like you’ve helped them.'”
The first customer Barhold was able to help after completing the program was a company that had been very unhappy with their accountant. “They were paying late fees, couldn’t get the information they wanted, or even visits from their accountant,” he said. Barhold explained that with the knowledge he had gained through the Universal Accounting programs, he was able to sign this new client in one meeting.
“Universal Accounting taught me how to relate my knowledge of accounting to the things that are meaningful to small business owners,” he said. “It’s not a pitch; it’s explaining how I can help them.”
In 2008, Barhold set a revenue goal for Business Resolutions of $72,000. “If I didn’t make my revenue goal,” he said, “I was going back to my old job.” Barhold was able to achieve his revenue goal two months early, and ultimately exceeded it by more than $15,000.
Business Resolutions is on track to make $97,000 in revenue in 2009, during an economic slowdown, when many companies have been struggling to stay in business. For 2010, Barhold’s revenue goal is $125,000 and to hire two data entry clerks and bookkeepers. To help him meet these revenue and staffing goals, Barhold plans to host six-to-eight Universal Accounting Client Generator Seminars.
“At this point in my career, it’s not about the money, it’s about the people you help.”