My Week: Shrinking Practice

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Hello folks. As a small practice owner, I have no doubt, you understand, one of our key objectives is to at least maintain the client base to meet our costs and generate a profit that meets our income needs. 

More recently, like any business, FT Practice is going through a difficult time in terms of a lower client base compared to this time last year. As I have mentioned in my previous blogs, last year, for a few months I took my eye of the practice.

So far, even with a lower level client base, I am okay. At the same time, it is concerning.


I started FT Practice Ltd, with zero practice experience and zero clients. What I am trying to point out is I have grown the practice once, in time, I can do it again.

I would not be honest with you dear reader if I pretended everything is hunky dory. It is not. My week was spent on thinking (and worrying) about ways forward to recover from recent client losses. 

I will need to go back and think about how I managed to grow the practice, and I need to do the same work again. Mind you; the practice world landscape has changed significantly in the last few years.  I am not sure whether the previous approach would be relevant today. One aspect is very clear; it is far more competitive now, then it was a few years back. I will find a way. I just need a little time. 


At the risk of sounding rude, I am not looking for advice. I know what to do. Growth will take time. It will happen. Also, I would just like to be clear; I will not provide further information on the matter. Let's face it, folks, we are in competition with each other, and I do not want to give everything away. 

At the same time, I wanted to blog about the bad of my small practice and introduce the reality of a small practice. It has its ups and some real downers. 

Replies (4)

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By mumpin
04th Mar 2019 13:28

Hey FT. How do you measure how busy you are? I use a rolling total of the last 12 months bank receipts. Same as you would do if you were trying to work out when to register for Vat.
I find it helpful because it smooths out blips and lets you see the overall trend. Also it motivates me to work on credit control because if it hasnt come into the bank then it doesnt get counted.
My 12 months' bank receipts to the end of February 2019 is 6% higher than the 12 months to Feb 2018 which cheers me up.
Sales are vanity, cash is reality!

Thanks (1)
Replying to mumpin:
By FirstTab
05th Mar 2019 09:00

Hello mumpin

I measure the recurring fee level by looking at the client base and fees each client generates.

I will use both measures now, including your way.

Thanks (0)
Replying to FirstTab:
By Glenn Martin
06th Mar 2019 15:32

Cash received and recurring fees? Do you not just do your own accounts and look at MOM and YOY figures.

After a busy January it became obvious that the level hassle/work achieved to get through the tax season did not match the level of fees it generated.

I am going through all clients now and repricing them from 1st April as need to move fees up for some and also there has been some scope creep on a few others that needs to be rectified. Happy enough with the overall uplift in income though but could do with stripping back a few costs.

Thanks (2)
09th Mar 2019 18:53

Hi FT,

You are of course presented with an excellent opportunity to do things differently this time. With your hard won experience in hand are you able to expand on the interesting question of how you will like to change things or what FT 0.2 might look like.

Thanks (1)

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