Bring your future into focus: What I learned at Quickbooks connect London event 2017

Marine Klein
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 If you didn't know, the Quickbooks Connect event is one of the biggest shows in accounting for Small and medium businnesses and accountants. The event goal is to "Celebrate the spirit of Quickbooks Connect, enabling you to learn from inspiring keynotes, panels and workshops".

The 2-day event (+ two days Hackathon), where the first day was only for accountants, was sold out with more than 1,000 attendees. On Tuesday, 7th March, I joined QBConnect with "fellow small businesses, accountants, and developers".


The Quickbooks team was already there welcoming other attendees and us in the mythic Tobacco Dock venue, giving us welcome goodies.


We started the day with two inspiring keynotes speakers from Quickbooks and here is what we learnt:

There are four trends that you should take in consideration if you are a small business owner, according to Dominic Allon (Europe VP and managing director, Intuit Quickbooks):

#1  In 5 years you will serve radically different customers

Technology surrounds the millennial generation. Think about your kids or friends' kids; a five-year-old can learn how to code on code academy, he knows how to put a movie in streaming on the computer and more recently he knows how to swipe on your iPad, and use your Alexa device with the voice command.

All of this new technology will completely change the way your future customers look to find a plumber or an electrician.


#2  You will face a new age of competition

You will compete in a digital global landscape and to be successful; you will have to expand your toolbox and build new types of assets.

It will be the same when it comes to finding the best talents. We can already see some changes in the industry with websites like upwork.co.uk or Alipay.


#3  Your business will be smarter


Sasan Goodarzi - EVP and GM small business at Intuit was speaking about his vision of accounting and new features for Quickbooks. 


#4  Accounting will be disrupted

With all the new technologies, accounting will ultimately change. You will have to adopt a new way of learning, of recruiting, of working and of communicating.

Related article: Accounting and digital; all you need to know as a small business owner


If you are an entrepreneur*...

Now that you have a better idea about all the trends, how are you going to be successful and make the difference from your competitor/s?

*Just for the record and thanks to Alison Edgar (The Entrepreneur God mother) who asked Lord Sugar and he answered: "There is no difference between a small business owner and an entrepreneur!"

Here are 16 basic tips from several inspirational speakers:

1. Setting targets and checking them for consistency

2. Focus on your costs - "How much does your product cost you?"

3. Measure, adjust and re-think: you need to A/B test the way you're selling, communicating, and creating.

4. Don't burn out: "I never worked on the weekend" - Lord Sugar. He was always available 24 hours of the day during the week, but he never worked during the weekend.

5. "Keep your feet on the ground" - Lord Sugar. When your company grows up, it's easy to lose the main reason for the success: focus and work on your product/ service.

6. "Have you ever sent a letter?" "A what?" - Ben Towers, Award-winning Tech entrepreneur, started his business eight years ago at the age of 11! Choose a different method to communicate with your employee. Don't waste time with the form and get directly to the point! A 5-minute call is worth more than ten emails.

7. "Sleep well! Sleep is critical when you run your own business, take time for your health." - Melissa Hemsley, Real food entrepreneur

8. "Focus on your product" - Will Butler-Adams - CEO.Brompton bikes

9. "Clear your desk" - Lord Sugar. Never leave an email in your inbox or a task unfinished, be pro-active!

10. "Stay honest and real on social media. The more I tried to be professional online, the more difficult it was to get shares" - Melissa Hemsley

11. Keep your staff motivated

 

...Which leads to Bruce Dickinson - Business man, pilot and rock musician. Here's what to take away when you start a new business:

12. "Keep in mind that as an entrepreneur you will have manage risks, take responsability and rewards." As a business owner it is your responsability to ensure the vialibilty of your company. It's important to take responsibilities if something goes wrong, in most cases your employees will only be employees. On the another hand, don't be ashamed to take the reward for the good work your business does. 

13. "When you start a new business, you have to prove your ability beforehand to get respect." When you decide to go on a new market with a new business you will need to prove your abilities as a business owner to your peers but also build a trust relationship with your customers. 

14. Be sure to have enough money for catastophy, never stop trying, but be sure to have a plan B and a plan C.  

15."The only reason you should do anything in business, is to make people's lives better" Always remember why you started your business, you are helping your customers everyday!

16. "Integrity and passion are the keys of success." Don't start a business without being passionate about it. You're going to face so many difficulties on the way, where only your passion will keep you motivated. 

I will conclude this article with The Portas manifestos from Mary Portas who was the last amazing speaker of the day!

More and more business owners take the work life balance in consideration, and it became something vital for the milenial generation. How can you love your business but give time to your family and make your employees happy?

Mary Portas had a really powerful speech where she explained her Portas Manifestos (in other words - the rules inside her company).

Firstly, according to Mary Portas a business owner should focus on progress, not activity! You are in the same ship than your employees, you should trust them and give them the freedom to organise themselves. But you need to choose them well.

 

Hire employees who are better than you. The goal is to have a successful business, not to prove your individual knowledge

"We employ radiators, not drains
Hire slowly, fire fast
Say goodbye kindly"


Don't be afraid to fire someone who is not happy in your business, we all have situation that doesn't fit us, that doesn't mean we can't be good in another job. 

Her last advice before she finished her speech was: "follow your intuition" 

We hope you found some inspiration by reading this article. Let us know what you think...

About the Commusoft and Quickbooks integration:

Quickbooks has reached 100,000 online subscribers online. Growth in the UK is running at 117% year over year, leading the growth of Quickbooks outside the U.S.

Commusoft is an online all-in-one workforce management software for field service with a keen focus on plumbers, gas and heating engineers, electricians and oil technicians.

Commusoft integrates Quickbooks online and Quickbooks desktop to give you the ability to transfer your invoices and payments automatically from Commusoft to Quickbooks. 

You can raise a job, create an invoice, and take a payment with Commusoft and have all the data sync in your Quickbooks accounting package. 

quickbooks and commusoft 

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