Self-Improvement

Practice Management

Teams at Work - Tips to Revive Tired Teams

Suzanne Willis Zoglio, author of Teams At Work: 7 Keys to Success, sheds some light on how to help build and foster team spirit and uncovers ways to rejuvenate once productive teams. Encourage innovation from the team. There's a little bit of entrepreneur in each of us, and being given the opportunity to take reasonable risk can renew member interest in the project. Identifying and improving on the work process may be just what a team needs for new energy.

The Ten Commandments of Goal Setting

Reprinted With Permission. All Rights Reserved. (C) The Goals Guy. Thou Shall Be Decisive - Success is a choice. You must decide what you want, why you want it, and how you plan to achieve it. No one else can, will, or should do that for you. Thou Shall Stay Focused - A close relative to being decisive, but your ability to sustain your focus from beginning to end determines the timing and condition of your outcomes. Thou Shall Welcome Failure - The fundamental question is not whether you should accept failure.
Practice Management

Ten Goals Worth Pursuing

Reprinted with Permission from "The Goals Guy". Personal Development The single best investment any of us can ever make is in our own personal growth and development. The accumulation of knowledge means everything to your future. Excellent Physical Health Your body impacts everything you do. Take good care of it through proper nourishment, exercise and rest. Rest, Relaxation and Renewal We must take good care of ourselves without feeling guilty. Building a Loving Family Family is the emotional core of our lives.
A&A

Tips on Conducting a Successful Firm Summit

by L. Gary Boomer, CPA, Boomer Consulting, Inc.I am sure your first question is "why a firm summit and not a retreat?" Retreat gives the connotation of looking to the past and moving backwards. Summit sounds "grander" and should involve a broader base of participants. It also is the beginning of the process that will differentiate your firm from the competition. The purpose of a firm summit is to bring leaders and members of a firm together along with outside expertise and facilitation in order to create strategies for improving the firm.
Education & Careers

Ten Preconditions To Personal Development

Reprinted with Permission from "The Goals Guy". Intellectual Curiosity - A passion to understand the changing forces swirling around you, an eagerness to learn them faster, and a recognition that learning is an unending journey. Humility - A pervasive acknowledgement that no one can have all the answers. You must have a willingness to learn from others. Self-Criticism - A logical extension of humility. A constant questioning of conventional wisdom and a keen awareness that success invariably sows the seeds of failure.
Practice

Organizations Must Innovate or Fade Away

By Bruce L. Katcher, Ph.D. President of The Discovery GroupAccording to Benjamin Franklin, "Insanity is doing things over and over again and expecting different results." Many organizations offer the same types of products and services to the same types of customers in the same way year after year. And, then they wonder why: The competition can offer the same products and services at a lower price; Their once high value products and services are now viewed by customers as commodities;  

Procrastination: Putting off today what you can do tomorrow

Reprinted with Permission By Kerry L. Johnson, Ph.D. Have you ever before procrastinated? Have you put off returning phone calls only to find that you are too embarrassed to return a call when you receive the third attempt from a caller. Have you ever put off doing an assignment for someone and then when it came due, you made an excuse in an effort to gain more time? Most of us procrastinate from time to time. Most of us also feel very guilty due to our perceived lack of personal self-control. But procrastination is not only undesirable, it is losing business for you.
Practice

How To Get Better Client-Centered Referrals

To get the best referrals, you need more than naturally occurring word-of-mouth. You need to have a program to actively elicit referrals from a number of services.You may think that clients will just give you referrals because they like you or your service. However, it doesn’t always happen this way. To have a top practice, you must do more than produce good work and wait for referrals to follow. Some clients are more likely to give referrals than are others. When you identify someone who is liberal with their referrals, cultivate them.

Keys to Successful Customer Service

Customer service skills are for retailers, not accountants, right? Wrong. Whether you sell shoes, surfboards or your skills or your firm's skills, your business depends on paying customers ... and the only way to keep customers is to provide them with friendly, helpful and professional service.If you remember only one customer service rule, make it the Golden Rule: treat your clients the way you would want to be treated yourself.
Practice Management

Ten Personal Board of Directors Insights

Reprinted with Permission from "The Goals Guy". A personal board provides both wisdom and support for the attainment of a specific purpose. Their objective is to help you cross the chasm from the known to the unknown. Consider the roles each person on your board will play. Consider having an entrepreneur along with a clarifier who asks clear questions, a connector who leads you to other people, a challenger who helps you act boldly, and a wise elder or sage.
Practice Management

Be a Coach Who Inspires

It happens to everyone as they move up the ranks in management. Suddenly you find yourself in a position of managing people. Perhaps you have proved yourself to be a great team player as well as a strong individual technically. But did anyone take the time to train you in the world of management? It’s important to make sure you train your staff to help communication remain clear and avoid the possibility of lawsuits due to poor management.When you coach your staff about behavior or management style, be sure to keep compensation out of it.
Practice Management

How to Use Referrals

Reprinted with Permission from By Kerry L. Johnson, Ph.D. It's Carl's sixteenth cold call. He's had fifteen rejections in a row. "There must be a better way," he says to himself. "I might as well be calling right out of the telephone book." As he dials, his secret hope is that he'll get either a busy signal or no answer. He wonders if there's a job that doesn't create so much emotional distress. There has to be a better way!If you're still making cold calls to get business, you undoubtedly don't enjoy it. There is a better way. Learn how to use referrals.
Community News

Better Client Service With Better People

Service is about adding great people to implement "ideas". We experience service at three levels. Unfortunately, the most common level of service is indifferent service. Service providers not looking at you, not listening to you and not caring about you exemplify indifference. In America, this level of service is too often the norm. The lowest form of service is actual rudeness. At the peak level of service, a client feels welcome. What can you do to improve the level of service in your firm? Here are a few tips:Show concern to everyone you encounter.
Practice

Reasons Clients Complain

Below are a few complaints we've heard over the years of why clients are unhappy with the service provided to them by their accountant. Employees lack a "Can-do" attitudeIf many of your employees lack a "can-do" attitude, it may be a symptom of a greater disease. Poor recruiting, training, pay or difficult working conditions can contribute to employees’ attitudes. Once you get beneath the surface of the issue, it can help you to focus on attracting the kind of people who will deliver the "can-do" spirit. Customer service training can be tremendously helpful.
Education & Careers

Regain Your Job Search Optimism With Three Easy Steps

If you’ve been in a job search for more than a few months, you already know that one of the greatest challenges is maintaining a positive attitude. Without it, going through the motions can feel as demotivating as running a race in lead boots. You begin to think "What’s the use?

Frustrations of a Rainmaker - There’s More Than One Way to Make a Splash!

By, Gale Crosley, CPAIf you’re like most rainmakers, you are happiest when the skies open up and opportunities pour down faster than you can reach out and grab them. And you are most frustrated when you see others seemingly unable to do what’s relatively effortless for you. Understanding why this occurs is the first step to eliminating frustration. But you also may wish to consider a paradigm shift that involves changing your perception of "who can make rain," breaking business-building into component parts that can be championed by many.
Practice Management

When Management is Caught in The Middle

By, Kaye Vivian, Marketing Communications ConsultantThere are moments when anyone in middle management of a firm can feel trapped between an order given by a partner and the staff likely to feel the negative impact of that order. When given such an order, who deserves support more--the boss who controls the manager's destiny with the firm or the staff who rely on and trust him/her to protect their interests? It's a difficult call. To refuse a partner's directive will create trouble with the partner. To carry it out, however, there's sure to be trouble from the staff below.

How to Improve Your Business Listening Skills

By Christopher KnightFirst, decide to improve them. Profit is a good reason, no? There is magic, power, and genius when you make a decision. You've heard me say this before, but leave your EGO at the door. You can not be a good listener, when you've got your EGO screaming how important you are, when your prospect/client could care less. No one cares how much you know, until they know how much you care, and they know this by whether you listen or not to them. Practice shutting up. 'nough said?

What Can You do When You Are Feeling Stuck or Unproductive?

Feeling stuck and unproductive is natural and it can be caused by overwork, lack of momentum, a bad mood, a success block, the weather and/or dozens of other factors. And, while it's helpful to understand why you're stuck and unproductive, sometimes it's just better to do one or more of the PRACTICAL things which follow!Play the Check-In game.Call a friend/colleague and say, "I'm stuck/unproductive. Can I check in with you every hour for a couple of hours until I get cranking again?" This really works! And, your friend may want to play along too!
A&A

What to Avoid in Your Business Plan

When writing a business plan here are some things to avoid: Form over substance. If it looks good but doesn't have a solid basis in fact and research, you might as well save your energy. Empty claims. If you say something is so, back it up in the next sentence with a statistic or fact or quote from a knowledgeable source that supports the claim. Rumors about the competition. If you know for sure one is going out of business you can allude to it, but avoid listing their weaknesses or hearsay.

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