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What did you learn from *your* experience at QuickBooks Connect? Meet Laura Ugokwe

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Laura Ugokwe is a registered dietitian with her own nutrition consulting business. She started her virtual coaching practice four years ago and ever since then has been steadily growing her client roster.

 

Laura first attended QuickBooks Connect in 2014 after learning about it through a local women's networking alliance group. We asked Laura to share more about why the experience was so valuable for her and what she's hoping to take away from this year's event.

 

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Name: Laura Ugokwe

 

Business: Results Professional Food Coaching

 

Started: 2012

 

 

What originally inspired you to start your own business?

 

My background is in nutrition and I worked in a gym setting for a long time as a coach. 

 

Due to a variety of circumstances, I ended up having to move away from the area. I wanted to maintain my amazing client base, so I decided to start a virtual practice

 

Today, I work with individuals, couples and companies who understand the importance of proper nutrition. Most of our sessions take place virtually using video or over the phone once we have an established relationship. 

 

When you first attended QuickBooks Connect in 2014, what were you hoping to learn from the other attendees there?

 

At the time, I was hoping to learn more about how I could better automate several parts of my business, including scheduling. One of the sessions was incredibly helpful in this area, and I learned how to utilize existing tech to take my business to the next level. That was a game changer for my business.

 

I also met several really inspiring accountants at the event. Up until then, I was doing all of my bookkeeping myself. At QuickBooks Connect, I learned how to use QuickBooks Online and I eventually got established with my own bookkeeper, which has been great. 

 

What was the #1 highlight for you?

 

Both years that I've attended, the speakers were fantastic and inspiring. But where I really got the most out of the experience was at the speed mentoring event.

 

The speed mentoring session is a lot like speed dating. Ahead of time, you submit three questions that you're hoping to get answered in your business. Then, during the 45-minute session, they match you up with three different experts so you get 15-minutes with each mentor. If you have a question about social media, for example, you'll be paired with a marketing expert.

 

One of the people I was paired up with at speed mentoring was Leslie Barber, who I now consider a wonderful friend. What's funny is that she didn't even realize that she had originally referred me to the conference through a local networking group that we both happened to be part of!

 

Another person I chatted with during the speed mentoring session ended up becoming a client of mine. And someone else I met there ended up helping me with business card designs.

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This year, what questions in your business are you hoping to get answered at QuickBooks Connect? 

 

My business is constantly changing and I know that come October I'll have very different questions on my mind than I have now!

 

Right now I'm really focused on scale. I'm working on getting new customers *and* figuring out how to scale my team.

 

We currently get most of our clients through relationships with gyms and fitness centers. The challenge is around growing our referral program through these relationships, where sometimes we offer profit sharing and other times we just help each other out. I'm working on scaling that process so that we can bring in a steady new stream of clients.

 

If you could ask other QuickBooks Connect attendees and QB Community members one question, what would you want to know?

 

This is a very specific need, but it's something that's top of mind for me right now. 

 

I will be going on maternity leave soon, and I'm wondering if other folks here can share their own experiences with how to continue running your own business when you're on maternity leave?

 

I'm planning to take off about six weeks and then work part-time before I make it back to full-time slowly but surely. 

 

If you have experience with this, I'd love to hear your story!


Can *you* help Laura out?

 

If you have experience taking time away from your business, either due to maternity leave or for other personal reasons, we want to hear from you!

 

Share your own story in the comments below. :-)

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Level 2

What did you learn from *your* experience at QuickBooks Connect? Meet Laura Ugokwe

It's inspiring to hear how great QuickBooks Connect was for so many small businesses last year.  I wanted to share that if anyone wants to go this year, there is an early discount which ends Thursday so you might want to consider it.  Register here for the special discount to QuickBooks Connect 2017 -- just for self-employed business owners! 

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