Owning your own practice - start-up or buy-in?

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If you’ve dreamed of running your own accountancy practice there are a couple of paths you could go down.

Should you set up from scratch, establish your own ‘brand’ and build a fresh business or should you opt for the ‘ready-made’ route and buy out an existing practice?

Starting your own business is cheaper and may certainly feel more rewarding to some but it is also risky in that you are heading into uncharted territory and challenging yourself not only to be an accountant, but also someone who has the entrepreneurial skills to build a business from the bottom up. Developing your client base can be hard work.

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About Chris Marston


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06th Apr 2011 12:09

Yep its not just about the numbers...

but if you are buying a practice (or its fees) you still need those entrepreneurial skills - its not just reserved for those building businesses from scratch.  Its something every successful business owner requires to not only retain clients but move forward and grow the business. 

Of course the cost of buying a practice (and therefore having to manage that debt) is something that is not really touched upon in great detail in the article....the stakes then become a lot bigger....not only risking the usual threat of not paying the mortgage on your home but also being chased by the bank for unpaid loan repayments (in the worst case).



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06th Apr 2011 13:03

I would ditto the previous respondent...

I started from scratch, built up £250k and then bought a £150k practice. The acquistion was by far and away the harder of the two processes and caused me the most pain and long term damage. The biggest worry was the debt that had to be taken on to buy the fees and the impact this had - and continues to have - on me, and is too involved to waffle about here. In my view, don't buy a small practice. Sure, buy into an established practice if you already know it (say you are a manager and are offered a partnership) but a small practice is forged in the image of the owner and you will forever be told that "Fred didn't do it like that, he said..."


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27th Apr 2011 17:44

Practice in Southampton has been taking over by Son Mr CRAIG MAR

Mr James Leslie Marston former semi retired FCA FCCA ATII and Mr James S Clay FFA operate in practoce inSouthampton. Would be interested in association with other  practicioners for mutal benefit and to ensure continuity.


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