Professional Bookkeeper

Get a Free Video to Learn More

Name:   E-mail:

Zip Code:   Phone:

Newsletters:   Accounting & Bookkeeping   QuickBooks Tips   Tax Tips

We value your privacy lock


The IRS Releases Educational Media

Annette officeIn attempts to better educate tax payers, the IRS has recently released a new video series on the IRS YouTube channel, featuring Commissioner John Koskinen discussing Affordable Care Act provisions that will impact 2014 tax returns: the premium tax credit and the individual shared responsibility provisions.

In one of the videos, Koskinen details how the premium tax credit can make health care more affordable for taxpayers with moderate incomes through the Health Insurance Marketplace. He explains, “You can get advance payments of the premium tax credit paid directly to the insurance company to lower your monthly premium, or you can apply for the premium tax credit when you file your tax return for 2014.”

Regarding the individual shared responsibility provision, Koskinen focuses on coverage requirements and exemptions as well as the shared responsibility payment.  He says, “For most people, filing their returns in the spring of 2015 is going to be fairly simple—with regard to this issue, and that is they’ll simply check a box indicating that they have qualifying insurance or they’ll indicate that they’re eligible for an exemption.  Otherwise, they’ll calculate their shared responsibility payment and add it to their tax return.”

In addition to these videos, the IRS plans to release even more about the Affordable Care Act, all of which can be accessed through the IRS Health Care video playlist.

Small Business Webinars for Tax Professionals

In efforts to increase education among small business owners, including the tax professionals who file their taxes, the IRS is also releasing webinars designed to help them prepare for the upcoming tax season.

The newest webinar entitled Business Use of Your Home, can be viewed today at 2pm eastern time; it focuses on how to determine whether one qualifies for the home office deduction.  Better Business through Better Records can be viewed on September 11th and 2014 Affordable Care Act Provisions for Individuals, Families and Small Businesses can be viewed on September 17th.

For more information, visit the official IRS website.

Universal Accounting Helps Tax Preparers Succeed

At Universal, we believe it’s important to prepare for the future, and we’re interested in seeing your future success as a tax preparer.  Our Professional Tax Preparer Program is designed to help professionals like you master tax preparation, becoming efficient in the completion of individual and business returns.  If you would like to learn more, visit Universal for a free video today!

 

Resources

IRS YouTube channel

–.  “New YouTube Videos Provide Tips on Health Care, Tax Returns.” 8 September 2014 IRSgov.com

–.  “Webinar Spotlights Home Office Deduction.” 8 September 2014  IRSgov.com

–.  “Webinars for Small Businesses.”

Marketing on a Shoestring

Marketing StrategyThree BIG and Inexpensive Marketing Tools

Steuart Henderson Britt, noted author in the psychology of marketing, once said, “Doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark.  You know what you are doing, but nobody else does.”

Marketing is an important business function.  Without it, you can’t build a clientele; you’re winking in the dark.  That being said, most burgeoning tax professionals can’t afford to allot much money to a marketing budget.  So they must look for inexpensive yet successful techniques in promoting their practices.

The following three marketing tools have helped many tax preparers grow their clientele without, excuse the pun, taxing their budget.

1. Annual Letters to Friends, Family and Previous Clients. With income tax preparation, nearly everyone you know has an obligation to file a return.  This makes for a wide prospective client base. Because of this, you can send annual letters to family and friends, reminding them of your tax preparation expertise, with great success.  Bill Brough, Universal Accounting’s Tax Curriculum Specialist explains, “That April 15 deadline is a great motivator, and most people either expend a lot of effort to do it themselves or a lot of money in retaining someone else to do it for them. There is no reason why you shouldn’t offer your services to family and friends with the reasonable expectation that some of them, perhaps many of them, will become clients.”

In the letter be sure to state your qualifications, experience and any professional designations you have; this will enhance your credibility and make people more likely to request your services.  And by including past clients on your mailing list, you’ll be more likely to retain the clients you already have.  In the end, the only cost to you is in printing, postage and time.

2.   The Distribution of Flyers. With a thick stack of flyers and some manpower, you could connect with countless prospective clients in one fell swoop.  Be certain that your flyer is succinct yet informative, providing all the key information a prospective client would like to read (for example, what taxpayer wouldn’t like to hear that you may be able to legally lower their tax liability to more than cover your fees?).

While it is important that you design an eye-catching flier, avoid too much flash—you’re a tax preparer not a car dealership.  Consider your audience and their expectations; the flier should be simple, reflect your professionalism and include the same qualifications noted in your letter.

As important as the flyer itself is the location where they are distributed.  Where are you most likely to connect with a large population that fits within your target market?  Christi Hall, graduate of Universal Accounting Center’s Professional Tax Preparer Program recommends targeting new developments, explaining, “Many people are moving into the area, some from different states, and I have found these communities to be very successful with lots of people looking for a local tax accountant.”

3. Request for Referrals. Jim Rohn said, “One customer, well taken care of, could be more valuable than $10,000 worth of advertising.”  If your current clients can refer more clients your way, imagine all that you’re saving in advertising costs.  These valuable referrals are worth far more than the discount or complimentary services you can offer in return.  Consider providing a free service or giving them a significant discount on future services.  This not only provides incentive to refer friends and family your way, but it gives these clients just another good reason to stay with you.

Universal’s Bill Brough says, “When I talk about asking for referrals as the third leg of my [marketing] stool, I’m talking primarily about what I say to my clients after I complete their return, and also a more general attitude of fishing for referrals in all my interactions with people during tax season, even perfect strangers. I keep a stack of business cards in my pocket and I try to be liberal in dispensing them at every opportunity.”

If you’re like most financial professional, marketing doesn’t come easily.  Your talents reside in providing tax preparation and other financial services, and trying to figure out how to better promote your practice can cause anxiety, especially if you’re concerned about cost.  However, using these three proven techniques, you will get the greatest return for both the time and money you invest so you can spend more time doing what you really do best: tax preparation.

Learn about more proven marketing techniques by watching our free video, The Art and Science of Getting Clients.  In just a short amount of time you’ll learn how to increase your annualized billings by tens of thousands of dollars!  Visit Universal now to change your professional future.

Building Your Business with OPM

increase-profitsSome people go into extreme debt trying to launch and/or grow their businesses. But there are other ways to finance your ventures that are not as risky: using other people’s money (OPM).

In an article on TaxMama.com, syndicated New York Times columnist and best-selling author Matthew Lesko explains, “When you use other people’s money, especially within the parameters of a corporation, your debt is assigned to your business, and your debtors can make no claims against your personal finances.”  It’s a business secret utilized by the richest people in the world.

Lesko goes on to explain that while regardless of the abundance of lending institutions and venture capitalists, it can still be difficult to secure OPM.  There’s a lot of competition, and investors are looking for entrepreneurs with a potentially lucrative idea and a solid business plan.

Lesko’s first suggestion for OPM is a bit unusual.  He suggests going to the federal government: “The federal government has millions of dollars of taxpayer’s money allocated to funding businesses like yours and mine.”

Other sources of OPM that Lesko recommends include the Small Business Association at  www.sba.gov, the Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) at www.sba.gov/INV, and the Procurement Assistance Offices at www.dla.mil.

But before you decide to secure other people’s money, you should be aware of the pros and cons.  Alyssa Gregory details those in a SmallBusinessBonfire.com article entitled “The Pros and Cons of Using Other People’s Money to Finance Your Small Business.”  Here’s a brief list of each:

Pros

  1. Less financial risk
  2. Guidance and advice from a potential mentor
  3. Opportunity to launch and/or grow your business
  4. ‘More options, increased reach, and the ability to make a bigger impact much quicker’

Cons

  1. Surrendering some control of your business to investors
  2. A lifetime of commitment (of your business) to those who have given you the money
  3. Intense competition for OPM

In the words of P.T. Barnum, “Money is a terrible master but an excellent servant.”  We suggest your do a bit of research before going to secure other people’s money.  But, we hope that you, after taking the time to research your options, decide to take advantage of OPM to generate more money for your business and its success.

Use OPM to Invest in Yourself

You can use OPM to invest in yourself and your business by enrolling in valuable training programs.  It’s a great way to increase your value and potential success as an entrepreneur.  It also looks good on a business plan and shows your dedication to that plan.

Consider especially UAC’s Universal Practice Builder (UPB) program which will enable you to attract and retain more clients, enabling you to launch and/or grow a more stable practice.  Here’s just a sampling of what you will gain from enrolling in this phenomenal program:

  • A guarantee of $30,000 in new annualized billings in only 12 months
  • The skills to become a Profit Expert for each of your clients
  • 12 marketing strategies that you can implement immediately
  • A process which can produce 15 to 25 qualified leads per month
  • 3 months of coaching via telephone and Internet
  • Training to use QuickBooks to attract more clients
  • Access to a plan proven to help retain clients
  • 5 business assessments
  • A customized business website
  • An iron-clad guarantee 

Launch a successful financial practice—allow us to show you how.  Call 1-877-833-7908 now to enroll in the Universal Practice Builder Program.

Resources

Gregory, Alyssa.  “The Pros and Cons of Using Other People’s Money to Finance Your Small Business.”  22 August 2012  SmallBusinessBonfire.com

Lesko, Matthew.  “How to Use Other People’s Money for Your Business.”  TaxMama.com

5 Unexpected Marketing Strategies

lightbulbEveryone is looking for new and effective ways to market their businesses.  If your current approach feels a bit stale and worn, perhaps it’s time to try some unexpected promotional tactics.  Consider the following 5 suggestions:

1. Guest blogging.  Visit blogs frequented by your target market, and offer to write a post in exchange for a byline with a link to your own website.  This will expose you to new prospective clients you may not have met otherwise.

2. Enter a business award competition.  Professional and trade organizations, chambers of commerce, Better Business Bureaus and even universities often offer award competitions for small businesses.  Winning one of these competitions can greatly enhance your reputation as well as offer countless marketing advantages.  You can post the information to your website, include it in a newsletter, mention it in your advertising campaigns, etc.

3. Share your expertise with the media.  Nothing says expert like a media quote.  You can write an article or column for your local paper or issue a press release regarding any new information about your practice.

4. Donate your services to a non-profit organization.  This is another method that will enable you to contribute to the community while generating good PR for your business. Not only that, but the donation is tax deductible. And when this organization promotes an event, you can ask that your store name be displayed somewhere on their booth, products, and promotional materials.

5. Create an event.  May 10th is Accounting Day and April 15th is Tax Day.  But you can create an event for any reason. Sponsoring a free event that people can attend in order to receive promotional materials or, perhaps, enter their names in a raffle, can be a great way to generate interest in your practice.  Remember to publish press releases to let people know about your event.

There are many creative ways you can promote your practice.  By employing just two of the above marketing tips, you can grow your business without spending a lot of money.

Build a Better Practice with BizBench

BizBench is an online business assessment tool that you can use to advance your financial practice.  For example you can use BizBench to accomplish the following:

Attract More New Clients. Give potential clients the incentive to become paying clients.  Offer them a report that benchmarks their business against similar businesses and charts and graphs their strengths and weaknesses and opportunities for growth.  Let them know you’re more than just an historian; but you can help shape their future.

Retain Existing Clients. Imagine the power that a complete and comprehensive benchmarking and profitability report will give you to shape the future of your existing clients.  They will see you as a valued and trusted adviser as you quantify monthly improvements against this benchmark in dollars and cents to further increase the value of your services each month.

Save Time. It only takes a few minutes to submit your client’s key income statement and balance sheet data online, and in just a few seconds, you have a comprehensive benchmarking and profitability report to present them.  BizBench does all the heavy lifting for you, and you take all the credit with this report branded for your business.

Change the face of your business today, and become a Profit and Growth Expert using BizBench Software!  Call Universal today at 888-265-5341.

Start a New Habit

upswing2While many like to argue, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, the truth is anyone can choose to start a positive and healthy habit today.  While it may require self-discipline and drive, we can alter the course of our lives simply by making new choices leading to better outcomes.

In a recent Entrepreneur.com article, author and entrepreneur James Clear shares “5 Steps to Building a New Habit.”  Here we share the first three of those steps:

  1. Start with an incredibly small habit.  Willpower is not something that can be activated upon command.  As Clear explains, “Research shows that willpower is like a muscle.  It gets fatigued as you use it throughout the day.  Another way to think of this is that your motivation ebbs and flows.  It rises and falls.”  This stands to reason that if you can exercise your willpower with a small habit, you can build to bigger habits as that willpower gains strength.
  2. Increase your habit in very small ways.  Clear demonstrated this concept well in his article on the power of one percent.  Small, incremental increases (and decreases, should we choose) can have a profound impact.  The aggregation of marginal gains can be seen in both our personal and professional lives.  Jim Rohn said, “Success is a few simple disciplines, practiced every day; while failure is simply a few errors in judgment, repeated every day.”
  3. As you build up, break habits into chunks.  It can be difficult to tackle a bigger habit at one time.  Clear suggests breaking a larger habit into smaller, more manageable habits.  For example, if you want to exercise for 30 minutes a day, perhaps you can begin by excising 15 minutes, twice a day.  Once your willpower and stamina improve, you can perform those two habits back to back, finally making that bigger habit a part of your daily routine.

It’s important that we continually seek to improve our lives, and that can be accomplished by replacing poor habits with good ones.  Deciding that you will make the change is just the first step.  Following that choice with these three steps can ensure that you’re on your way to an improved life based on positive and healthy habits.

Let Universal Inspire Your Entrepreneurial Spirit

If you need a little inspiration to help you change your habits, we suggest you consider working with UAC’s motivation speakers.  Universal Accounting Center has some exceptional speakers on staff that can motivate you and your team to excel.  With a number of individuals experienced in a variety of topics, they can help you better serve your clients, better market your practice, and better grow your wealth.  Learn more about Universal Accounting Center’s speaker and book one for your next event!

Resource

Clear, James.  “5 Steps to Building a New Habit.” 30 July 2014 Entrepreneur.com

Avoid Destructive Communication Barriers

effective-communication2Do you struggle to get your point across with colleagues, employees, clients or associates?   Professionals must be able to communicate effectively in order to succeed—it’s a required soft skill.  Before you can achieve effective communication, however, you must overcome some common barriers. 

The following 5 obstacles may be holding up your ability to communicate effectively in your professional and personal life:

1. Varying perspectives. We all have different points of view and often that can become a significant barrier in effective communication.  Depending on the conversation, understanding where those differences reside may be your first order of business in discussing key issues.  Be open to what other parties have to say, because only in sharing ideas do you happen upon new and innovative concepts that may change the way you do business for the better.

2. Message delivered to the wrong audience. Sometimes we preach to the choir.  Other times we’re selling meat to vegetarians.  In order for communication to be effective, we must ensure that we’re delivering the right messages to the right audiences, using language and terminology that’s familiar to them.

3. Unclear, inarticulate messages. If the audience can’t understand what you’re saying, there’s no use saying it.  Depending on how complicated your message is, you may want to share it with someone else to ensure it’s understandable.  If that can’t be done, try approaching your message like a stranger.  What exactly needs to be added, rearranged and revised in order for it to make more sense?

5. Apathy. Sometimes people just don’t care about your message.  In that case, you have to not only communicate a message but also enthusiasm.  Getting people excited about ideas can be a tough job, but if you understand what motivates them, you’re halfway there.

6. Forgetting that listening is part of communication. There are two key elements of effective communication: listening and speaking.  It’s not surprising that most people don’t realize that listening is the more important of the two.  If you’re not attending to the speaker and his/her message, it doesn’t matter what you say; your exchange will not be successful.  Effective communication requires both parties to listen and speak when appropriate.  That requires you to do your fair share of listening, and that doesn’t mean nodding your head absent-mindedly while replaying the last episode of Survivor in your head.

Whether you’re an accountant, a tax preparer, a motivational speaker or a celebrity chef, you must know how to communicate effectively in order to succeed.  Eliminating these 5 barriers is a great first step to accomplishing clear and concise communication.

Register for Universal’s FREE Start Today Seminar

From DC to Texas and Canada to California—Universal travels the country providing free 3-hour seminars teaching the secrets to establishing a successful accounting and bookkeeping service.  There you’ll learn how to enhance your service offerings while increasing your bottom lime!  Look at our schedule and register for one of our seminars in a city near you.  As attendee Dennis Shumway explained, “I have been involved in financial service for 20 years and have attended seminars all over the country. The quality of this class has been head and shoulders above any class that I have ever taken.”

Take advantage of this FREE opportunity now!  Register today!

How Did You Spend Your Summer Vacation?

reportsRemember the good ole days when you’d return to school from a long and lazy summer vacation only to be slapped with an essay assignment requiring you to detail how you spent your time?  Thank heavens those days are over, right?  Now that you’re all grown up, you’re free to spend your summer however you choose, and no one is going to ask you to be accountable—except, perhaps, your career.

While there’s only one month left of summer, a time typically considered a little slow for financial professionals, you can still do something that will advance your career and increase your income: learn how to better market your practice.

Become Your Own Marketing Guru

We get it.  Marketing just isn’t your thing.  You’re more comfortable running numbers than you are running ad campaigns.  At least that’s how most financial professionals are.  Unfortunately, in order for your business (and your bottom line) to grow you must promote it.  And promote it effectively.

We understand that you can’t afford to waste countless hours a week marketing your business.  If you did then when would you actually work for your clients?  So each and every minute you spend marketing must be effective and practically guarantee a payoff in attracting and securing a better clientele.

You offer necessary and valuable services to a large market.  Every individual and business is required to submit a tax return, and the ever-changing tax law requires many of them to seek professional help.  But just because you offer stellar services doesn’t mean clients will be drawn to your practice like a magnet.  They need to know about your services in order to retain them!

Marketing on Steroids

For over 30 years Universal Accounting Center has trained financial professionals like you how to market their financial services.  In all our years working with accountants, bookkeepers and tax preparers we’ve come to understand that most don’t know how to promote their services to individuals and small businesses.  We do!  And not only do we know how to market those services, but we know which strategies and approaches will grow your business to the point where you will become so busy you may just have to start turning clients away – that or consider increasing your staff in order to increase your capacity (and your bottom line!).

To share this priceless information we developed the Universal Practice Builder Program, otherwise known as Marketing on Steroids.

Don’t waste the remainder of the summer on dollar-store sunscreen when you could be preparing yourself for a lifetime of summers filled with guilt-free 5-star R & R, paid for by your new and improved practice full of quality clients!  Call Universal at 1-877-833-7908 to enroll in this stellar program now!

Rebuild Your Business

makeoverAll businesses occasionally drop in profitability and require rebuilding.  If you find yourself in this same position, realize that you’re not alone—countless entrepreneurs are continually looking for ways to restructure and rebuild their businesses back to thriving ventures.

The following three steps can help:

1.   Focus on your strengths.  Assess your practice and determine what, exactly, you do best.   Are you good at saving failing businesses?  Or perhaps you have a talent for making businesses more profitable?  Or maybe you’re personable, friendly and trustworthy?  The truth is, you could be a combination of these things, but only when you recognize your own strengths can you better promote them.

2.   Diversify product offerings. If you intend to continue your business only offering tax preparation services, then you must draw more clients who need those services in order to grow your business.  That’s doable, but there are other, more effective ways to build your business.  Consider this; if you were to add complementary services, like small-business accounting, QuickBooks consulting, financial consulting, 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.

3.   Reintroduce yourself.  Once you’ve redefined and redirected your efforts, you can reintroduce your business to the area through marketing.  With the attention on your strengths and new product offerings, you may be surprised how quickly your business grows.

Partner with Universal to Rebuild Your Practice

Universal Accounting Center may not be an official partner in your business, but we are in the business of helping build stronger, more profitable practices.  Regardless of your current strengths, the Universal Practice Builder (UPB) program will enable you to attract and retain more clients, enabling you to rebuild a more stable practice.  Here’s just a sampling of what you will gain from enrolling in this phenomenal program:

  • A guarantee of $30,000 in new annualized billings in only 12 months
  • The skills to become a Profit Expert for each of your clients
  • 12 marketing strategies that you can implement immediately
  • A process which can produce 15 to 25 qualified leads per month
  • 3 months of coaching via telephone and Internet
  • Training to use QuickBooks to attract more clients
  • Access to a plan proven to help retain clients
  • 5 business assessments
  • A customized business website
  • An iron-clad guarantee

Rebuild your practice—allow us to show you how.  Call 1-877-833-7908 now to enroll in the Universal Practice Builder Program.

NTA Submits Midyear Report to Congress

tax-updateEvery year the National Taxpayer Advocate submits a report to Congress identifying priority issues the TAS plans to focus on the upcoming fiscal year.  On July 16th, Nina E. Olson (current National Taxpayer Advocate) released the mid-year report which notes four key issues: “taking concerted steps to give meaning to the recently adopted Taxpayer Bill of Rights, issuing refunds to victims of return preparer fraud, continuing to make improvements in the Exempt Organizations area and expanding recently announced voluntary return preparer certification program to include competency testing.”

Taxpayer Bill of Rights

On June 10th, the IRS announced the adoption of a Taxpayers Bill of Rights intended to provide US taxpayers with a better understanding of their taxpayer rights.

The Taxpayer Bill of Rights, as Olson explains, “has the potential to be an important milestone in tax administration.”  And while some may questions their significance, Olson claims, “TAS will be very active in FY 2015 and years to come in advocating for and working with Congress and the IRS to fill those gaps, and educating taxpayers about those rights.  This activity is central to our mission.”

IRS Treatment of Victims of Return Preparer Fraud

Because countless taxpayers have become victims of tax-related identity theft and/or unethical tax preparers, the IRS has been working to quickly issue these individuals their rightful tax refunds.  Olson explains, “As I discuss in the Area of Focus, Return Preparer Fraud: A Sad Story, the IRS has consistently dragged its heels, making one excuse after another, because providing relief to those victims just is not a high enough priority, or more disturbingly, because the IRS simply does not want to provide relief.”   Olson asks that this issue be remedied, and swiftly.

Exempt Organization Issues

The report states, “The National Taxpayer Advocate believes organizations requesting the right to receive contributions exempt from tax should be evaluated on how they expend those contributions. Under this analysis, as with the 501(h) election, volunteer time and activity, which do not generate taxable income for which tax exemption would be available in the first instance, are irrelevant to this determination.” The NTA wants to revise the proposal include a legislative recommendation in her year-end report to Congress.  The report also expresses concern over the IRS’s plan to adopt a new EO application which does not include a place for organizations to describe their mission and activities or require them to submit documentation for review.

Minimum Standards for Tax-Return Preparers

Since 2002, the NTA has been recommending that Congress approve the instatement of standard requirements for tax preparers.  When no action was taken, the IRS attempted to implement its own standardization for tax preparers in 2010.  However, in 2011, after repeated attempts by the IRS to instate mandatory testing and CE for paid tax preparers, the Court of Appeals for the D.C. circuit found the mandates invalid.

The IRS has since announced its plan to release a voluntary training program for tax preparers in time for the 2015 filing season.  The Annual Filing Season Program will offer basic tax training on filing issues, updates, ethics and other federal tax laws.  Voluntary participants will receive a record of completion when they fulfill the required amount of continuing education (CE) credits; they will also be included in the IRS.gov database enabling taxpayers to select qualified tax preparers.

In this mid-year report, Olson again emphasizes the importance of protecting taxpayers from incompetent preparers with a standards program designed to regulate paid tax preparers which would include the following:

    1. Registration to promote accountability
    2. A one-time “entrance” examination to ensure basic competency in return preparation
    3. Continuing education courses to ensure preparers keep up to date with the many frequent tax-law changes; and
    4. A taxpayer education campaign to help guide taxpayers to credentialed practitioners

The National Taxpayer Advocate submits two annual reports to the House Committee on Ways and Means and the Senate Committee on Finance.  The first report is due midyear and must detail the TAS’s objectives for the upcoming fiscal year.  The second report is due on December 31st, and, in addition to other requirements, must identify 20 of the most serious problems encountered by taxpayers.

A detailed summary of this midyear report can be found on the official IRS website.

Universal Accounting Helps Tax Preparers Succeed

At Universal, we believe it’s important to prepare for the future, and we’re interested in seeing your future success as a tax preparer.  Our Professional Tax Preparer Program is designed to help professionals like you master tax preparation, becoming efficient in the completion of individual and business returns.  If you would like to learn more, visit Universal for a free video today!

Resource

–.  “National Taxpayer Advocate Identifies Priority Issues and Challenges in Mid-Year Report to Congress.”  16 July 2014  IRS.gov

Developing Profitable Business Alliances

Closeup of a businesspeople shaking hands togetherThe old adage claims you’ll find strength in numbers.  Regardless of your business’s standing, it helps to have solid business alliances with which you can grow your business and solidify its sucess.  When you partner with other businesses, you have access to a professional support group that helps you garner more referrals, access experts in other fields, and take your business to the next level.

But before you align yourself with anyone, you should attend to the following three things:

1. Select organizations with compatible business objectives.  Like any relationship, you should choose a business that is compatible with yours.  If you were the CEO of a large firm then you would try to connect with leaders of organizations that complement your business’s size and prestige.  If you are a contract worker with a handful of clients, then you would look to other small business owners or employees of like organizations.

It’s also important to ensure that your business objectives are similar.  For example, when you partner with an organization that values customer service, chances are you’ll receive referrals from individuals who expect to be treated well.

 2.   Ensure the partnership is well balanced. Participating businesses should equally contribute to the alliance.  All should be willing to commit to regular meetings and efforts that benefit all involved.  Before agreeing to join an alliance, you must ensure that all parties are ready for the commitment and involvement required.

3.   Determine your alliance goals. Once you’ve selected the participating businesses and verified the commitment of all parties, you can determine your alliance goals.  What are you bringing to the table?  Consider introductory services you could provide their clients at no cost.  Consider those products and/or services that would benefit their clients while exposing them to your professional expertise.

You should also know, specifically, what you are looking for in return.  Do you just want a list of referrals or would you prefer a glowing, personal endorsement from the potential partner?  Unless you are specific in the terms of your alliance, one or more parties are likely to be disappointed with the relationship.

Universal’s Training Programs Have Something for Everyone

Additional training could be just what you need to acquire the skills and confidence necessary to expand your practice and make yourself a more appealing strategic partner. Visit Universal Accounting Center to sample our online training for FREE.  Or see what our graduates have said about their experiences!

    Next »
Professional Bookkeeper

Get a Free Video to Learn More

Name:   E-mail:

Zip Code:   Phone:

Newsletters:   Accounting & Bookkeeping   QuickBooks Tips   Tax Tips

We value your privacy lock