Well here we are another new year kicking off with the annual excitement of tax return deadline.
This year also marks a change in the focus of my practice. Up until the middle of last year I’d been very happy as a sole practitioner with very occasional bookkeeping support but in reality just me. This was great for the first few years, stressful at times when there was too much work needing to be done at the same time.
I was also starting to lose my mojo.
As time went on I did start to question this approach. Should I look to grow, take on staff, etc? Last year I asked the question, what had others done in a similar position.
Reading back through that thread it does strike me that as some of the posters commented I was trying to think of all the reasons why I shouldn’t change.
Between October and December I had a sudden surge of new clients all referrals. This increased fee income by around £17k and it immediately dawned on me that I needed more help and if this type of growth occurred again I’d be swamped – completely.
So I decided to plan for growth, not the lumpy type of growth which usually comes with referrals but something more structured.
So I’m using two part time bookkeepers/accounts assistants for 1-2 days a week – consistently. I’m standardising systems and processes within the business. I’ve also engaged a local marketing firm to assist with social media, website optimisation and design of some marketing materials.
The idea is to continue with this model and develop it so that bookkeepers/assistants to do the lower level work – all bookkeeping, vat return prep, some (most hopefully) accounts to TB, admin work, request and chase information from clients. I then prepare, review final accounts and CT returns and SATRs.
On top of this, I’ve decided Xero is the accounting software of choice; all new clients will use it or they won’t be clients. Existing clients will be moved over to Xero gradually over the next 12 -18 months.
18 months from now I’m aiming to be a 90% Xero practice.
Early days at the moment but I’m excited and daunted by the prospect and my mojo is well and truly back.