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Hi. My name is Terry, and I'm the President of Quicksilver Accounting & Consulting,  Wilmington NC.

I created this blog to offer little hints, ideas, strategies and sometimes just silly excerpts from life to help other entrepreneurs gain insight.

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Written in Wilmington, NC

Thursday
Apr252019

What Does Prosperity Mean to You?

This question, asked at the 2019 Milken Institute Global Conference, was answered by David Hunt, and shared on Linked in.  I found it very well written and thoughtful and would like to share it with you.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/prosperity-so-much-more-than-wealth-david-hunt/

I would also like to ask the same question to each of you, because it can also mean the humblest of things to each person and a little soul searching is always in order.

For me, prosperity has to do with my everyday life.  I am prosperous in family.  Along with the companionship of my husband,I have sisters I speak with every day that I enjoy sharing time with, and my children are happy with homes and families of their own.  Many people who have not experienced a decent family life are alone and afraid.  Couldn't we do better as a socieity to extend our hand?

Knowing each day that I have enough food on the table, a good job and respect of my business colleagues and community makes me very prosperous in mind and body.

My most significant prosperity has always come from having had an attitude that my glass is half full. That guides me through circumstances and always me to recoup any mishaps.  That is not to say I haven't lived through heartache, limited resources and challenges.  I've experienced that like so many people, but no matter whee I am in life, my hope that I would work hard and improve my experience and the lives of the people around me always is the most significant factor in my life.  Hope can bridge so much, and this is where I truly agree with David's thoughts in this respect.

I think greed has taken over our country, and that is the area I wish we could all improve.  If only people more people at the top would look behind them and pull people up with them.  Offer them education and give them life skills they can use to do what they did-  create a business with an idea and become self-sufficient.  Supply the resources people need to improve themselves so we can all be wealthy in mind, body and finances as well.   Share- don't hoard wealth and knowledge. 

The 360-Degree Leader by John Maxwell is a wonderful book about how leaders must look ahead to learn all they can from their boss, but also share all they learn with the employees behind them to help them succeed as well.  If we could only bring this idea into our personal lives as well, we could help everyone succeed and we could become a prosperous nation.

What do you think prosperity means for you?  

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Mar072019

Lunch anyone? It only takes an hour to show your appreciation.

I like to take our team out for lunch a few times a year.  We all have to eat, and spending time together instead of grabbing something at our desk is so much better.   There is no agenda, just good food and time away from the office.   Catching up on how each employee's family is doing, what kind of vacation plans they are making this year, and what they have been doing for fun are some of the topice we covered on our last lunch.

Showing a little appreciation for their hard work goes a long way, and it gives me time to renew our relationship and celebrate how our group interacts.   I highly recommend spending this time together.  Everyone comes away with a refreshed view of what is important to each of you outside the office.

Sunday
Feb172019

Sometimes smaller is just better

Plans for my firm have changed dramatically this past year.  Instead of constantly growing which means increasing staff in tandem, I’ve come to the realization (unfortunately not of my own doing)  that I like the lower level of staff needed to run my practice today and I don’t want to grow in both directions any more.  For someone who loves the skill sets used to accomplish larger growth, that is quite a discovery.

Recently a few clients have moved on as their circumstances changed, and I haven’t rushed to fill their spots.  They were high transaction clients with ever changing payrolls.   I’ve taken a step back and decided that I want to have more control of the kind of clients we work with and ultimately I want to keep my boutique firm agile, more efficient and simple.  There are certainly other benefits, like lower overhead, no office politics, tighter control of office procedures, and more time for each client.

I’m limiting our growth to clients who are only in the niches I want to pursue where we have the most knowledge.     We all have better life/work balance because I’m choosing not to take clients that don’t fit this model.   Taking in the best clients in our niches gives us the revenue to be successful. And by limiting the quantity of new clients outside those areas there will be no stress if something changes internally. We can adjust, be highly efficient and we can give better client service as well.

In business, there are many times that a change forces you to re-think your direction. Will you let that help or hinder you?   Are you directing your own outcome or are you falling into place with what others are demanding? These are hard questions that need answers when you are pondering your future grow pattern.

Sometimes smaller is just better for you and your clients, and that takes lots of determination to keep your business within the parameters chosen.

 

Saturday
Nov032018

How to pursue a profitable niche for your service business


In the last few years, our firm has been cultivating several niches.  It didn’t happen because we set out to look for a particular field, but as we got more experienced in those fields, people found us.  We decided each person in our firm would become knowledgable in a particular field so we could cover several specific areas.

When it came time to create a new website for Quicksilver Accounting & Consulting recently,  we knew we needed to bring these niches to the forefront and let our potential clients know we had expert knowledge in these areas.

Accounting is generally the same for most businesses, but as you start to work with certain areas like dental groups, lawyers, designers, etc.  you learn their ‘language”. You become familiar with their vendors, their client base, their marketing and their way of running a business.  Who wouldn’t want to work with a firm that already knows how their practice works?

Working in niche areas is a powerful and very profitable knowledge base for your firm and can apply to other business models outside of accounting as well.

So I’d like to give a few words of wisdom that I learned along the way-

 

  1. Set yourself apart by letting potential clients know you service this area.
  2. Make sure your website is equipped to bring in searches for these niches.
  3. Confirm your knowledge and experience. Show you know the language of their business.
  4. Seek niches your firm has high interest in and that you feel drawn to work within.
  5. Pick profitable niche categories.
  6. Charge a premium for your expertise.
  7. Ask for referrals from your clients. Let them know you would like to work with their peers as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday
May052018

Personal finances can be just as organized as business..

For as many years as I can remember I have used either Quicken, QuickBooks or now QuickBooks Online for our personal finances.   The idea of being able to see all our investment numbers, banking and credit card balances,etc all in one spot was always my goal.  

To that end,  I needed software that would bring everything in automatically, and make it fast and easy, so it didn't become a chore.  I have looked at other programs, but for me, QuickBooks Online made a lot of sense since I knew the program well.    It doesn't do investments, but the companies we have those at have very capable software- no need to bring in more than the ending numbers each month. 

Creating a personalized chart of accounts gives me very detailed information on each home, and all our personal assets and expenses.  Every six months I run a P&L and Balance Sheet (yes, I just said that!).  I've done this for years- and know exactly what our net worth is at any time.  

This might sound like overkill, but should anything happen to me, my family has the full picture at their finger tips. Every account is listed, balances, etc.  And being this organized helps us reach some personal goals I set every five years.  

Run your household like a mini business. Let the software do most of the work.  It doesn't take more than an hour each week to keep up with everything. Automate as much as possible. Set recurring items in your software, and enjoy the process of being super organized.   Intuit's Mint is a good choice if you have never done this and want to see what it might be like if you have simpler needs.

For many of my clients, their personal side of life is very complicated.  Being able to have all this information when needed, for mortgages or loans would be a big time saver in the long run.   Do you know what your personal net worth is today?  Could your family find one piece of paper with all your assets and expenses on it right now?  Come on- try it! In the end you will wonder why you didn't run your personal finances just as organized as your business.