As a small-business owner, you must understand your industry sector on every level. Staying abreast of developments in your field gives you the capacity to acquire and retain customers, stay competitive, provide excellent service and foster customer loyalty. What’s more, networking with both colleagues and competitors allows you to learn from their successes and failures, and to make sure you’re following best practice guidelines.
The bottom line: The entrepreneur that consistently provides the most up-to-date and reliable information as well as the products and services today’s customers need will be the one they go to and stick with.
The following sections feature five industries that are rapidly evolving to meet the 21st century’s social and economic fluctuations. These pages are packed with resources on their respective professional organizations, networking opportunities, government and regulatory agencies, publications, trade events, advocacy and much more. Use this information as a springboard to a thriving, competitive business.
Here is the portal to hundreds of resources that, from a professional perspective, practicing accountants will find priceless. Regardless of the area of specialization, this site offers links to technical assistance, operational guidelines, industry information, breaking news and a toolbox of strategies to make running an accounting practice just a bit simpler.
So much information finds its way into print and cyberspace, that busy accounting professionals don't have time to get to it all. This section provides the solution. Consider the articles a handbook on key operational topics, among them Software and Hardware, Vendor Relations, Staff and Employment, Sales and Marketing, Customer Service and Purchasing, Insurance, and Communications.
The U.S. Department of Labor anticipates employment in the accounting industry to climb anywhere from 16 percent to 28 percent through the year 2014. With this kind of spike in growth, competition throughout the field will only increase.
Talk about irony. In an industry that rides on proper management of finances, accounting professionals - especially those with smaller, independent businesses - don't always know how to keep the billing and receivable cycles steady and fluid. Even worse, research shows that inconsistent invoicing practices can lead to costly collection procedures, and even lawsuits.