Wednesday, August 31st, 2011
Attorneys, accountants, and physicians study for years to offer wise counsel and quality service to clients and patients. But adding a course in entrepreneurship might have prepared us better for 2011! The ongoing economic downturn, increase in competition, and ever-shifting technology landscape are just a few of the factors that professionals must contend with, particularly when managing small practices.
3 key competencies
You can’t afford to ignore these three areas.
- Financial Controls.
Do you work hard for your revenue? Then make sure it’s protected. According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, the typical organization loses 5% of annual revenue to fraud, and small organizations are disproportionately affected. People you’ve trusted for years who are facing harsh economic realities may find themselves tempted. If you aren’t sure you understand how your accounting system works, or whether your electronic transactions are secure, invest in an expert review of your procedures and controls.
- Strategic marketing.
Would you benefit from more business? Don’t just wait for it to walk through the door. Don’t think that what worked 20 years ago will work for you today. And absolutely don’t think that using online media is unprofessional! More and more business decisions are made based on non-traditional marketing, including social media. According to a new report from the Pew Research Center, 50% of adults use social networking sites. People trust personal recommendations (including from their Facebook Friends) and increasingly distrust paid advertising. If you haven’t figured out how social media fits into your marketing strategy – or you don’t even have a strategy, seek professional help.
- Intelligent Technology
You don’t neglect your ongoing professional training, and you don’t let yourself fall behind as your field advances. But most professionals only think about their computer systems when they need tech support. It’s like the furniture in the waiting room - if there are no holes in the upholstery, all is well. If that’s your attitude, you may be exposing yourself to risk: information security risk, compliance risk, and the ever-so-real risk of missed opportunities. Choosing the right systems, implementing them properly, and training your staff is one investment you won’t regret.
These are just a few of the many entrepreneurial skills that today’s professionals can’t ignore. What new skills are you learning?
Janet Kyle Altman is a principal with the entrepreneurial accounting firm Kaufman, Rossin & Co. She provides marketing consulting, facilitates planning meetings, and offers training and coaching in leadership. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.