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Weekends are for wimps!

So we here we are Friday evening, the weekend has started...for some.

I've got a few hour hours to do tonight, full day tomorrow and probably some more on Sunday too.

It's good to be busy, but not too busy, I'm starting to delegate and outsource more in order to reduce the number of hours I work, which on average are around 60 a week.

Interested to hear from others and if they've been in my position, busy growing their practice and how they managed the delegation/reducing hours process, whilst still maintaining sufficient profit levels.

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11th May 2012 20:12

Arh, the eternal question!
When I was building my practice I had a golden 8 months at the start when I did 20 or so hrs a week... and then the nightmare started. For 7 years I averaged 90 hrs a week. Every time I took on someone to lighten the load, my profits fell, so I would grow more, and then need to take on someone, etc, etc, etc. In the end I had a very large practice, hated it and sold up. Today I am not in mainstream accountancy, but I am doing very nice fees with 3 staff working with 2 clients on long terms contracts who I very much enjoy working with.

There is a very good book about this problem by Julian Hamilton FCA of Jobtel Accountancy Practice Brokers avaliable through his website (I have no connection with him other than having used his services in the past)

Steve

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11th May 2012 22:19

work hard for 2 years

... was my plan.  i'm coming up to 2 years (june 10th), and bang on target for 250k in signed up clients at average around £800-850.  but now starting to weed out some of those that i dont get on very well with, those that the fee is too low (earlier ones!), and just tweak what we have and be firm on prices and client selection.  

 

i've worked 6 days a week .... always had saturdays off, and friday / saturday nights.  8am to 6pm mon-fri is core hours, then evenings were for writing marketing material, credit control. etc (non-tech work).  now i have staff and a more established brand in my niche, the marketing effort is much less, i have a good idea about what i'm looking for, dont waste time with prospects (good filtering) ... means i am starting to trail off.  

 

i'm hoping to get to 300k GRF by xmas 2012 ... and that will be enough. happy to grow at a slow pace, but maybe releasing 5% of clients each year if necessary to keep my fees and client type spot-on.  

 

Steve - thats a useful post for me ... i'm very wary about getting bigger & busier & while i have grafted to get from £0 to £250k in 2 years, i'm starting to feel like my £130-140k net income target is within sight & that will do for me.  i need my life back ... but then when i'm not working in some way, and my kids are asleep, i feel guilty!  LOL  i must say though that if my 4 staff & me can handle 300k a year, i'll pay them a good bonus & wage, and am inclined to hover around that level.  500k to a million ... hmmmm. i've got a feeling that would be harder work than i am willing to commit to ...there is a lazy bugger behind my currently workaholic exterior!

 

 

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11th May 2012 21:56

@ kentaccountant

A familiar tale which I am encountering too. You are not the only one.

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Great comments

@Steve - I've seen that happen with a local sole practitioner who grew his practice to £750k, got bored and sold it.

@Lancsboy2 - wow, going great guns, well done.

I've got a good idea where I'm heading now. My fee level is good (do quite a bit of consultancy type work which really helps) and client base is growing steadily - just checked 19 new clients this year £25k GRF.

 

Looking to maintain the same rate of growth over the next year and gradually pass more work to part time staff (one in place already on a very adhoc basis).

Optimum size for me? Not sure, thinking at the moment is £180 - £200k with three part time staff. 

I think the key is making sure that I have systems and procedures in place which can minimise my involvement on the low level work so I can focus on the high level stuff.

I've got a wide range of clients but my focus is heavily on the construction sector where I've got 10 years+ experience in FD positions. Contacts I made here have been great for referring work.

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