Plan ahead to build your start-up client base
In 2012 I highlighted some proven ideas to get your first clients and some preliminary tasks to ensure that you wouldn’t waste time money and energy, explains Mark Lee.
What follows adopts a different approach and focuses on how you might plan ahead to build up your client base BEFORE you start a new practice.
You did what?
I have the utmost admiration for those who choose to start their own practice. The bravest and most ambitious are those who make the decision but have no existing bank of clients on which to rely at the outset.
I have less positive thoughts about those who start out without a plan as to how they will build up their client base. ‘Hope’ alone, even if combined with hard work, will rarely be sufficient. If you are driving in the wrong direction it will take a long time to reach your destination.
They came with me
It is quite common to start out with some of the clients that you used to work on at the firm for whom you used to work. Ideally you would discuss this with your previous boss and secure their agreement to those clients whom you would like to take with you. The clients themselves need to be comfortable with this too.
It is rarely a good idea to ‘take’ clients surreptitiously or to pursue them after you have left. It’s not ethical and thus is in breach of the ethical principles that should govern the behaviour of all professionally qualified accountants.
At best such an approach may just create...