Business Mentors: Focus on What Works Best

Business mentors help employees observe, experiment, and evaluate different ways of doing work to find out which strategies work best. Get started with these tips: Explain what works for you and why. Telling a protégé what to do in a specific situation doesn’t really teach them much. You’ll be more effective if you communicate as explicitly as you can what strategies and techniques have worked best for you. After a meeting with a client, for instance, you might tell the protégé why you took the approach you did, and how you would have done something different with another client. Urge
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How to Beat Boredom

In the accounting industry we spend a good portion of each day performing tedious tasks. And though we might not be able to eliminate them, we may be able to make them less dull. Try these tricks on how to beat boredom: Decide how long it should take you to complete a task, then shorten the allotted time by 25-50 percent. Set a timer to push yourself to get it done—and get it done right—in less time than you’d normally take. Think about how you usually perform the task, and then take an entirely different approach. Write out your daily
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Positive Attitude: Keeping and Maintaining One

Do you ever struggle with maintaining a positive outlook on a day to day basis? This struggle can stretch into other aspects we have to deal with on a daily basis such as work, school, and family, just to name a few; but it is vital not to let these things alter your thinking and attitude ultimately.  It may not be the easiest to keep a positive frame of mind with all the negativity going on in the world but in whatever way is most efficient for you, you have to try. Some simple ways to keep this mindset include: 
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How to Build Client Retention

Research and experience show that client retention is vital since it is vastly more expensive to obtain new clients than to retain old ones. The first thing to remember is that when a new client makes a productive and trouble-free purchase from you, a bond between your organization and your new client is automatically forged. This is especially true if the client is going to need to make repeated purchases. Unless something goes wrong, the likelihood favors a client remaining with you. Most clients develop a sense of membership or kinship with their accountant/trusted advisor. It is almost like the
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3 Ways to Help an Employee Facing Hardship

Part of being a good business owner is remembering that your employees—even if they are upbeat and efficient in the workplace—are only human. Each employee is living an entirely separate life from the work they do in the office. Because of this, the day may come when an employee suffers a great loss in their personal life, whether it be divorce, home loss, sickness, or death of a loved one. Below are three ways you can demonstrate caring leadership in those tough situations: Offer Aid Evaluate the situation your employee is going through and ask yourself, “how can I help?”
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Test Your Commitment to Goals

Now that tax season is over, it is time to revisit your goals. You may have big goals, but do you have the passion to bring them to life? Success usually requires a road map and a strategy, but it also calls for an overwhelming drive. Try testing yourself with these questions:  Do you feel strongly about the importance of your goal—why it’s necessary to achieve it?  Does your idea match your values and beliefs?  Is this something you’ve dreamed about for a long time?  Is your goal vital to the future of people you care about?  Does your goal
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Succeed with Your Powers of Persuasion

Persuasion is a skill you need every day, whether you’re negotiating a big business deal or telling your children to eat their vegetables. Try these techniques for influencing people of any age in any situation:  Speak their language. Listen to how people express themselves, particularly when it comes to sensory words. Some people will see things (“I don’t see what you mean”), others will hear (“That doesn’t sound like fun”), and others will feel (“I don’t feel good about that.”) Use their preferred mode of expression back to them (“I see your point … I hear what you’re saying …
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Out Of This World Customer Service When Managing Stressed Customers

Smart executives who look forward to a long and happy life for their companies know two things about customer service: 100% of your customers won’t be 100% happy with you all the time.  Interactions with stressed customers are critical to the strength of a business. A company’s reputation for poor customer service spreads quickly, especially in a time when social media has such a powerful effect on shaping public opinion. Even before the days of social media, the rule of 10 applied. A bad night’s sleep and a cranky morning that results in a negative interaction with a customer spreads to the next 10
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Nuanced Tips for the Best Office Etiquette

Office etiquette is a subject that has been discussed and debated in depth for some time. The recommendations are typically the same: be punctual, avoid gossip, keep your devices silenced, and be aware of your lunch mess. However, there are some subtler aspects of practicing office etiquette that you may not be aware of. Make an effort to include excluded coworkers Cliques are the bane of any workplace.  Making an effort to include excluded coworkers in conversation inside the workplace, at workplace functions, and even at office happy hours will create a more positive environment for all employees. In order
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Keep Your Focus on What You Do Best

Practice management is one of the hardest parts of running a small business. All of the infrastructural elements that large corporations have to manage, such as data security, finance, customer service, and legal documentation, are still on your to-do list. But managing all of those elements without the large employment force that big businesses can bring to the table is a challenge that seems unending. If you started an accounting practice because you wanted to focus on certain types of accounting services, you can still do precisely that. Here’s how:  Make a list of what requires licensed expertise and what
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