Top 5 Reasons to Migrate Accounting to the Cloud

It has taken several years for me to convince myself to go to from desktop to the cloud. It has been a process of slowly making the change. The driving force is that is what many of my new clients are looking for; also advances in technology allow me to do a lot more seamlessly.

1. Feel like I am being left in the dust. Large companies like Intuit are making a very big push to move clients to the cloud. These large companies have had to invest in technology; encourage clients, proadvisors and resellers that that is the direction the company is going. Oh they will still support the desktop version but the direction of business technology is definitely changing.

2. You never have to upgrade again! For some on desktop this is not a plus. They are happy to keep the same version for many years and only upgrade when forced to.

But what I am finding, you no longer have to wait for releases or upgrades to get the latest and greatest technology. According to Intuit, changes are being made typically every 4-6 weeks. What I like is when they can make improvements and make the programs more user friendly.

3. Integration: I have clients using QuickBooks POS powered by Revel for their retail needs; all sales, cost of goods, etc. are automatically sent to QuickBooks Online; they also are integrated with their online store. As their accountant the online version works with Intuit Tax Online!

4. Every day new applications are being created to work with the cloud; while applications for the desktop are flourishing, these same programs working with the desktop now have sister applications for the cloud. All of Intuit’s cloud programs have mobile versions as well. One thing to remember is that the mobile versions are never quite like the full version.

5. You can work anywhere in the world as long as there is an internet connection. For the accountants, for many years, I had to use remote desktop software to access my clients information; now, a client can invite me as external accountant and I can do client review, reclasses, reconciliations, etc. (with the accountant’s version)remotely. And all my clients are all in one place; one signon allows me to access those clients that have given me permission to review their books.

The cloud has opened another niche of business for my bookkeeping/consulting/tax preparation business. It is nice not to have to drive everywhere. Every day, more and more applications will enable us to get off the roads!

What Does the New Online Network Marketing Business Owner Look Like? Top Ten Traits

  1. They have positioned themselves as a solutions provider.
  2. They have automatic systems in place for lead generation.
  3. They own their leads list.
  4. They do business ‘at home’ not ‘from home’.
  5. They are on a team.
  6. They have multiple streams of income.
  7. They have an abundance mentality.
  8. They are flexible.
  9. They brand themselves not their company.
  10. They are independent business owners in every sense of the word.

They have positioned themselves as a solutions provider. They have more than one solution; so if the prospect isn’t interested in their opportunity their investment of time isn’t wasted. As compared to mall crawling for hours to find someone only to have them reject you out of hand or worse lead you on indefinitely.Read either The New Conceptual Selling, written by Robert Miller and Stephen Heiman and/or How to sell Network Marketing without fear, anxiety or losing your friends by Michael Oliver to learn the consultative approach. You need to learn how to interact with potential business partners. This method will teach you how to discover the needs of your prospect and solve their problem, thus providing a true win-win for you both. The prospect gets their answer to their needs or desires and you get the sale.

They have automatic systems in place for lead generation. Their prospects come to them not the other way around. They haveautomatic systems that filter their prospects for them. Automated marketing systems are crucial for success. Having an auto-responder is just one of the key tools for leveraging your business…remote control selling.

They own their leads list. Without leads you don’t have a business. Your most valuable asset is your prospects contact information.

They do business ‘at home’ not ‘from home’. I didn’t initially get the difference between ‘at’ and ‘from’. It was only when I was showing my opportunity to a single mom and I was telling her that I had this great online business and then proceeded to tell her that she needed to go to this hotel meeting and that conference that it dawned on me that I didn’t really have a home based business. I was forever jumping in my car to drive to a coffee 1 on 1 or to a hotel meeting. Then I ventured online. Tell me which option appeals to you? 1. Be a home school mom who drives her kids to soccer and then proceeds to flip down the seat in her van, set up her laptop, and Skype and give an online consultation. or 2. Leaving your kids with your husband and going out to give a presentation or go sell at a party? This is a dinosaur method which entails a lot of work for a very limited number of people. On the other hand you could write your articles once and they are in cyberspace forever. Think of it as real estate on the web. Imagine going to the grocery store and simply buying groceries without feeling compelled to start up a conversation, or watching your kids soccer game in peace, and have your friends stop avoiding you.

They are on a team. On p.191of Thomas Friedman’s best seller, The World Is Flat he says: “What’s happening now is just the tip of the iceberg – – what is really necessary is for everybody to wake up to the fact that there is a fundamental shift that is happening in the way people are going to do business – – It’s not about ruling anybody – – its about how you can create a great opportunity for yourself – – its about being a player – – the world is a football field now and you’ve got to be – – on the team which plays on that field.”Everything has been reduced to the smallest…. p.10 around the year 2000 we entered a whole new era: Globalization 3.0 [which] is shrinking the world from a size small to a size tiny…The dynamic force in Globalization 3.0-the thing that gives it its unique character-is the new found power for individuals to collaborate and compete globally. globalization can be an incredible force-multiplier for individuals… Individuals can increasingly act on the world stage directly… No more flying solo.

They have multiple streams of income. They have merged internet marketing, network marketing, and affiliate marketing and internet marketing. (INA for short) They make money regardless of whether they sponsor the person into their opportunity or not.

They have an abundance mentality. Unlimited leads puts you in a position of the interviewer and allows you to choose who joins you and who doesn’t make the cut. They choose their prospects not the other way around. When you are no longer desperate to sponsor people you are much more effective. You become attractive to people.

They are flexible and can change direction with the times. They are like a speed boat compared a cruise ship. So if the winds blow a certain way they don’t start from scratch anymore.

They brand themselves not their company. They are independent business owners in every sense of the word. They won’t live in fear of their company suspending them and scooping a business they sweat blood to build. No one savvy in the 21st century will want to do business with a company that won’t let them do something. As soon as a company tells you ,’you can’t’; that should be a red flag. This migration online is only going to grow. Today when you show your business to someone offline the first thing they are going to do is Google it and they are going to find the online entrepreneurs that were dissatisfied with old school methods and are offering a helping hand. Your prospect will be pre-sold thanks to your efforts. However they will join someone online for the simple reason that they cringe at the thought of making a list and calling family and friends. You see your presentation sounds fabulous; who wouldn’t want financial freedom? It’s just the vehicle you are offering only has 3 wheels.Time and time again I went to a conference and got all pumped up and said I’m going to do it this time; I believe… only to be slapped in the face yet again with the reality that I would show people my opportunity if I only had someone to show it too!

People will no longer jump into something with their friends. Everyone Googles what they are going to purchase before making their buying decision. They do their homework. They are much more sophisticated. Compare the old way: mall crawl; phone several times; set up appointment; drive car; have coffee for an hour; they say no or worse lead you on with their indecision; drive home. That would cost you at least two hours of your precious time; cost you the price of coffee and cost you gas; for what? A slight chance they may do business with you. This time is gone forever; this is NOT an investment of your time! In that same amount of time I could have done 2 complimentary consultations on the phone or 8 interviews to get to know someone and see how I can help them calls.

When you set up your system to filter people that are already looking, they land in your inbox and they are already pre-sold. They are looking for you. They read an article you have written, they go to your blog or web-site, they click on your lead capture page and voila you have contact info for your new lead! They are automatically plugged into a series of emails. Now honestly, tell me what would you rather do??? Why would anyone limit themselves to one company? to one stream of income when you can have multiple streams of income? Answer: You don’t know what you don’t know. We believe our uplines have our best interests at heart and they do but they don’t know what they don’t know either! The old school methods worked well for them, that is what they know so that is what they teach. Do your really want to drive down a gravel road when you can drive the information highway? The choice is yours. Please feel free to email me your comments and add any other characteristics you think are of high value.

How to Use Your Online Knowledge to Help Offline Businesses

The Internet has become extremely important to every operating business, whether the marketplace is the local neighborhood or an entire continent. Businesses of all sizes are coming to heavily depend on the power of the Internet to get their products seen and their services delivered to their customers in more efficient and cost-effective ways. One of the most pressing needs these days is the growing trend to transition between the offline “bricks and mortar” storefront in a very localized area to an online presence. Most enterprises want to keep the local flavor of their businesses and need to have a professional help with that transition.

As the Internet has grown in popularity and influence, many traditional storefronts have been passed by. Understanding this new technology is a daunting task for many shop owners. Understanding the power and exploiting it well has never been easy, even in the early days. With the speed of change that is now occurring, the delivery of an online presence is even more of a challenge to develop and employ.

The number of local establishments migrating online grows with every passing day as the Internet becomes more deeply embedded into the daily lives of the consumer and retailer alike. To be successful, a business must be highly visible to the local market through local and regional Internet directories, Web portals, specialized websites such as blogs, and activity on various social media websites. Without these increasingly standard ways to stay in contact with the consumer, it becomes more and more difficult for even local businesses to compete.

Bridging the void between the physical storefront and the online experience has become a very lucrative field for specialized consultants. It is the consultant’s basic goal to suggest the best methods and practices necessary to address the unique needs of each individual business. They must be able to help transition local establishments into healthy and growing online entities. The job has never been more complex.

The consulting business must be able to provide the complete range of products and services required to make this transition. The menu of required services is wide and varied depending on the needs of the client. In the long run, the consulting professional must become the proverbial “Jack of All Trades.” The difference is that in order to deliver the ultimate product or service, the consultant’s business must excel in all areas, rather than be produced by a “master of none.”

The apparent paradox in delivering excellent work in all areas when it is virtually impossible to be an expert in every area is achieved through the magic of outsourcing. The client may only see a single name on the consultant’s business card, but that does not mean that the full use of a team of carefully chosen experts is not available behind the scenes. Each consultant’s team will be different, but there are a number of important positions that must be filled for the success of the enterprise and the ultimate satisfaction of the client.

It is the composition and construction of the team and the expertise each brings to the table that determines the overall success or failure of the consultant’s business. The consultant must be able to orchestrate the symphony of parts into the whole finished product. He is the driver that pushes each task to its appropriate location once the plan has been defined.

The team concept can often start right from the beginning, even before the actual consultant becomes involved. A commissioned sales force can be used to drive traffic using a variety of techniques. These may include, among others, networking, Referrals, cold calling, and word of mouth. In most cases, it is the consultant’s subsequent task to meet with the new client and to determine both their needs and expectations, and then implement those into the client’s journey to the Web.

The consultant must be the team leader of the business. By using a series of carefully crafted information gathering tools to determine the ultimate implementation and ongoing services that are required, an action plan is created. Once the overall plan is put to paper and approved, the consultant needs to become the quarterback of his virtual team and get the actual work done by those best qualified. Web development, hosting, writing, advertising, marketing and promotion all may require outsourcing by the consultant, depending on their skill set. Each detail must be handled.

When everything goes right, and the networking and cold calling pay off in multiple jobs, the team concept allows much greater volumes of work to be done efficiently. Multiple clients can be accommodated in the production funnel as the majority of work is farmed out to other Freelancers on the team. It takes time and effort to develop the network necessary to produce any team that excels in all areas. This outsourcing ingredient is very important for the professional looking to build a business that works fluidly, gains strong testimonials for past achievements, and continually grows over time. The best growth is through positive Referrals from satisfied customers, and that only comes from consistently under-promising and over-delivering superb results.

The final plan, as presented and authorized by the client before work is done, needs to determine the full extent of the consultant agency’s ongoing involvement. In many cases, much of the ongoing development and additions will be the responsibility of the client. If it is a storefront that is only interested in selling physical products, the need for maintenance will be minimal if the product mix rarely changes. In most cases, there would be a training period, and then the store would handle the maintenance of the e-commerce shopping carts as required.

If the new client’s Web presence is that of delivering ongoing, detailed, or proprietary information, attempting to become a recognized expert in the field or a “Web rock star,” a commitment must be obtained. It must be clearly understood that the business must provide the ongoing support of the blogs and other Web entities required. Only they would be able to furnish the fresh content required on a constant basis to keep both their customers and the Search Engines happy.

Even before the original project of producing a Web presence is finished and the client is established on the Internet, the ongoing maintenance schedule and fees for the account must be considered. The consultant often provides a hosting account for the business that in many cases is looking only to continue its accustomed routines. A single bill and peace of mind is all that the client requires. Maintenance of the physical website can be an important part of the residual income provided by the client.

Expansion of services is an important element of the ongoing income streams of the consultant. Increasing the visibility of the local store through inclusion in local advertising directories and Web portals takes time and ongoing effort. Online advertising and promotion strategies, such as e-mail campaigns and social media blitzes, are all offerings that need to be agreed upon and paid for by the customer.

As you can see, there is a vast amount of detail that needs to be dealt with in the journey from offline storefront to established online presence. The consulting professional’s purpose is to make this migration as painless as possible for every client. Each will present a different challenge. In the long run, it is the development of a professional “behind the scenes” outsourced team that will allow a single consultant to provide useful services to a wide variety of businesses in the local area. The stronger the team, the higher the number of clients the consultant can satisfy at one time.

Once the scope of the project has been defined, the resources needed to develop the solutions have to be placed into motion to ensure the satisfaction of the client. Besides the correct selection of the appropriate Web vehicle and supplementary online resources, networking, outsourcing, Web development, and social media all have large roles in defining the successful route onto the information highway that any offline business will need to take.