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Gut feeling - is it right to go on this?

1st Jul 2013
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I spoke to a potential client today who contacted us through the website. 

Within just a minute or so of speaking to him, my gut feeling shouted saying no, no, no! Don't take him on. At the same time logic said to me take him on, you can always get rid of him, fees are hard enough to get as it is. 

As I continued my discussion with him my gut feeling was getting stronger. It is was not what he was saying but the way he was saying. 

I then asked him if he was ever investigated by HMRC. His response was yes. HMRC were demanding £75k from him, he went into liquidation and opened up another company. He claimed he has not been chased for the £75k. 

I ended our conversation politely and said I will get back to him. No thanks. 

Here my gut feeling was right. Is it always right to go on your gut feeling? 

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Replies (9)

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By Mouse house
01st Jul 2013 21:07

Gut Instinct
I have to agree, I think gut feeling is there for a reason and is usually right. It's your business and if you're not comfortable in dealing with a particular client you don't have to take them on. Plenty more fish in the sea!

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By girlofwight
01st Jul 2013 21:35

Nobody laid on the death bed and said "I wish I'd billed a few thousand pound more".

Life is too short, you were right to go on gut instinct.

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By mrme89
01st Jul 2013 21:45

Unless you are desperate for the fees, stick with your gut.

 

Or ... do you feel like this is something your sister could get her teeth into?

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By Mano Manoharan
02nd Jul 2013 10:14

Congrats your gut is well trained ...

Your due diligence 'lite' questions confirmed your gut feel.

It's probably saved you time and reputation - as well as money (given his 'previous' who knows if you would have been paid for your advice?)

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By Sheepy306
02nd Jul 2013 22:19

Wrong?

On what basis are you suggesting that your gut feeling was right on this? I've had dealings with a number of clients who have gone into liquidation, for a variety of reasons, creditors have lost out, but has the client necessarily done anything wrong? No. I've also had a number of clients who have HMRC investigations, have they necessarily done anything wrong? No. I would say that if any 1 of my clients went into liquidation, for any reason, there is pretty much a 100% likelihood that they would start up a new company/business. Would that be classed as a phoenix company whose intention was to solely rip off creditors? Very unlikely, because owner-managers generally pick themselves up and get back to what they're good at. I get all my new clients from referrals, some of my best referrers are actually quite slow at paying my fees, or I charge them a heavily discounted amount, or they make the informed choice to fly a little close to the wind with respect to HMRC, that doesn't make them bad clients. So.......were you right to say no to the potential new client? Who knows. If you didn't feel comfortable with the client, then you probably made the right decision for you. Have you potentially lost out on a fantastic client who could have referred you loads of work? Possibly, in which case in the whole scheme of things you may have made the wrong decision. That's the excitement of running your own business, you make a decision and you never quite know what could have been.

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By FirstTab
02nd Jul 2013 22:25

Sheepy306

Thanks for bringing a different perspective to this thread. 

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Replying to David Heaton:
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By Sheepy306
04th Jul 2013 10:12

Chips & shoulders ?

George, not sure if your comments are generally intended to be personal but that's how they often read, I'll try not to rise to it. On a general note, I thought that the recession may have had something to do with businesses failing, but you seem more of the view that it's all part of a masterplan by fraudsters intent on ripping people off and then liquidating their own Limited Companies for personal gain. That may well be your experience, it's not mine. Perhaps you could point out in my reply exactly where I said that FirstTab had made a big mistake and that I would have taken the job. I viewed the blog as an opportunity to discuss views amongst similar professionals, rather than simply applying a closed mind. For clarity, based on the very limited information given, I would have had concerns about taking on the client, but as you allude to slightly in your reply, it does rather depend upon the attitude of the potential client and even more so the actuals FACTS, I do prefer to find out the facts before jumping to conclusions or stereotyping a director whose previous business may have failed for any reason.

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By MissAccounting
03rd Jul 2013 11:48

Its good to go with your gut but what will you do when your gut is not more?

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By FirstTab
03rd Jul 2013 11:53

Lol
Looking fwd to the day my gut is no more.

It will be a smaller gut feeling.

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