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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

Saturday
Oct102015

Need cash now? What small business doesn't?

I'm always sitting in on webinars for the various groups I belong to looking for good products to grow my company, and help my clients as well.  A few weeks ago I saw a presentation I thought was kind of outstanding.  Why? Because it was easy to use, stress free, and not expensive.  I've taken my second look at this, and it really is fair and transparent.

I'm talking about FUNDBOX.  This isn't factoring.  FUNDBOX is an App you tie to your QuickBooks file.  I brings your open invoices in, and once you are approved, all you have to do is click the invoice, and the next day the money is in your bank account.  The fees are  lower than other types of funding and are dependent on your background which I would think is mostly supplied to them from your own QuickBooks file, plus other data they easily obtain.  The range isn't that wide, so don't let that scare you away.  And you pay interest only on the time period you keep the loan open, no penalty for early payment. 

For instance, you need $10,000 now for a project or equipment,  and you only have $3000. You need about $7,000 more to accomplish it. You find an invoice (or two) that would give you the amount- click those, and the next day you have the cash minus the fee. Lets say the invoices are paid by your clients the very next month-  you pay off the loan and have only one month of interest to pay. You never give up control of the invoice, or your client.   Now that is super!The current repayment time is over 12 weeks.   Don't sign up for those companies offering 20% interest and daily debits from your bank account!

Check it out,  do your due diligence and if its seems right for you, you can apply and connect it all online in a short amount of time. 

https.fundbox.com

 

Saturday
Jul182015

Pricing on Purpose, Creating and Capturing Value 

by Ron Baker

I watched  Mr. Baker's interview on the National Advisor Network's live stream from New Orleans at their recent conference. I really thought he had a good premise, that the Art of Pricing was where you could improve your profit, not the cost cutting everyone looks at first and which was probably already factored.

What was the meaning of value?  Could we figure out its price and use strategies to improve our profit by billing at what people perceived it was, rather than a backwards look at cost per hour?

What I saw was a very animated and interactive interview with a person I thought had information I needed.  So to that end, I purchased his book (named above).  I wanted to learn more!

The book is a rather large tome of information unlike his direct approach in the interview. He believes you have to know all the history of where an idea or theory came from to go forward. Wish we could see that in shortened version though, like cliff notes.

To be fair, I'm only 1/3 of the way through.  I have highlighted several comments, like this one: "the company explicitly understands that its price determines its costs, and doesn't let the costs dictate the price", and " Modern firms are knowledge organizations, and it is time for them to begin acting as if they understood this fact".  He has strong opinions;  I like that.   He goes on to say that effectiveness is what we should be paid for, not efficiency and a company only exists to create wealth for its customers and should be judged on this alone.  Do our clients understand how we are doing this for them?

He certainly is not a proponent of the hourly rate- something we agree on totally as every new client inevitably asks us, 'and how much do you charge per hour"...and off we go to explain the value added approach we have used since inception in 2007.

What I'm trying to glean is what strategies can I learn about pricing, to make it easier for our clients to understand our true value and pay accordingly. It goes without saying, everything I learn for our own company, we use to help our clients do the same with their customers.  I know that value, not cost must determine price, but the bad 'hourly monster' still resides in hiding in my mind sometimes. Help me explain value to others in a very succinct way and I will be happy I purchased your book.

I'll get back to you when I'm done reading...I really do think he's on to something I want a piece of.  Just trying to get to that has been a bit hard. The book reads like a college book, and I wanted a simpler version.  Maybe Ron will read this blog and come out with the Pricing on Purpose, Creating and Capturing Value for Dummies book this year. 

Saturday
Jul182015

Knowledge is power

I'm excited to announce  Gina and I have become Certified Live Plan Advisors.

I've always said it was important to crete a budget each year.  Just the excercise of creating this makes the owner review each area for opportunities and set goals for the next year. What better way to judge if you are on the right path by comparing actuals to budget?

The essential forecasting tool in LivePlan is basically the budget you create.  By syncing to your QuickBooks file,  dynamic information is being updated at the pace you set.  Trends, industry benchmarks, milestone, and a wonderful scoreboard of KPI's that can be looked at in numerous ways and you have a great tool to help you make those important decisions.  There is even a pitch area for those of you who need funding.

We are excited to add this Advisory Service .

 

Thursday
May212015

Embracing the cloud- do or die

Many accounting firms really don't want to embrace the cloud.  Its easier to ignore the change, and keep doing what they have always done.  I believe that is the wrong approach, and will cost them clients down the road.

When I started Quicksilver Business Solutions the very first criteria was it had to be virtual. I wanted the option to work anywhere in the world on any giving day (pretty demanding for back in 2007).  Recently, I was in the Oceania Cruises Barista Bar at 6am watching them cruise between two huge mountains on our way to Montenegro, all while sipping an espresso and working on my laptop updating a clients QuickBooks Online file.   I had certainly reached my goal.  And I think many clients feel the same way...

To that end, I recently spent a few months taking the five part test to become an Advanced Certified QuickBooks Online ProAdvisor and just  attained that level.   As an expert in this area, I am with a very small percentage that have attained this level, and even smaller for those who, like me, have received their Advanced Desktop Certification as well.  These certifications are important for me to be at the top of my game and get the best discounts for my clients as well.

I look forward to helping my clients find the software that make sense for their business, and making their life easier by connecting their live QBO file to banking, credit cards, paypal, and all the various apps that might help them become free to move around as I do.  We live in a mobile world, and accounting professionals should be making the best strides to accommodate our entrepreneurs.

 

 

Thursday
Jan082015

"Profit- It's not an event. It's a habit"

This line comes straight from the book Profit First I'm reading and placing in my arsenal of tools, written by Michael Michalowicz.

I have seen companies continually claw for cash to keep the snowball rolling in their company.  No one wants to hear that the model they created isn't working. Then one day- they are out of 'work'. I couldn't maintain that stress level. 

Being an entrepreneur takes a lot of courage.  Not only do you have to start something that your not sure anyone will buy into, and put up the money to do it,  but it takes even more courage to accept the fact that your company isn't working and really change it.   I've heard all the reasons its just going to another month, quarter, year.   I totally agree with Mike,   if you don't have the capacity to pull out even a small amount of profit each month (after owner payroll), you have a problem with the mechanics of the business and its time to cut expenses.

The reverse of that is to know your company is doing well, but not pull out the profit because its not needed anywhere else, just leaving it there 'in case', but that never comes.    I suppose my own circumstances would fall there.    Since reading this book I have done the Instant Accessment (you can find that online at MikeMichalowic.com)  and increased my percentages being pulled to other accounts.   I already had online accounts that were harder to access than your everyday operating account, like he suggests.   I like his premise that these should be totally separate, and never should the money go back to the company once it is out. 

Unfortunately, I don't agree with the many 'buckets' he would have you make (all separate banking accounts). I think that area could use a shave, specially in the advanced version.   What I really like is  some of the suggestions made on how to change your thinking and make Profit the first thing on your mind (the habit);  not the after thought of your efforts (an occasional event).   Its interesting that the expenses have to fit to the profit,  not that the profit is being taken after whatever expenses are paid.   What a great premise!

I look forward to using these ideas all year long.  My travel fund thanks you Mike!