What happens when your start-up gets stuck?

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Most of the articles in the start-up in practice section of AccountingWEB focus on the lead-up to starting up your practice and how to get going. This time I am considering what happens down the line, when you have a fair number of clients but are not yet as successful as you hoped to be, explains Mark Lee.

It's evident from many of the requests for help posted in the Any Answers section of the site that this is a common situation. Perhaps you too feel stuck and that your start-up practice has kind of plateaued a little too early. 

Usually what’s happened is that your first few clients came in relatively easily in the early days. Perhaps ex-colleagues and ex-clients from wherever you trained or worked previously heard you were now on your own and sent work your way. Or maybe you bought a small client bank from a retiring sole- practitioner.

Anyway, you did a good job and got a few referrals. Your early networking efforts also paid off but you have struggled to keep up with your new found business contacts. 

You are working hard but you are feeling a little despondent. It's all turning out to be...

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About Mark Lee

Mark Lee works almost exclusively with savvy sole practitioners who want more out of their practice.  More clients, more money, more time, more satisfaction - or everything!

An accountant by profession, Mark moved away from the provision of professional advice in 2006.   He is now a professional speaker, mentor, facilitator, author and debunker.

Mark Lee is a realist and regularly debunks myths and hype related to his areas of interest and expertise.  His keynote talk for audiences of accountants is How to STAND OUT and be more than 'just another accountant'.

Mark is passionate about helping accountants generally so is a keen blogger and commentator in the accounting and tax press. He is consultant practice editor of AccountingWEB and has written hudnreds of articles here that have been viewed over a million times.

Check out how he could help you here: www.BookMarkLee.co.uk/savvy

Mark stopped giving tax advice himself despite being a past Chairman of the Chartered Accountants’ Tax Faculty. He is however Chairman of the Tax Advice Network - the UK's highest ranked lead generation website for tax advisers and accountants. The network also publishes a weekly practical tax update for accountants in general practice and full tax support, on demand too.  You can also use it as a lead generation resource for local people seeking tax advice from an accountant.

Mark has extensive network reach through his blogs, talks, social media activity, articles and his regular newsletters that go to thousands of accountants every week.


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13th Jan 2014 21:52

Phase 1

I suppose what's described above is phase 1 - you've started and got to a reasonable stage, so what next?

Some decide to stay as sole practitioners with no staff, others get part time help and use subbies, others go for growth, take staff on and continue to grow.

Which option you choose will determine what happens in phase 2 and is where you may decide to look at more marketing techniques - as covered in the article.

I probably fit the description of those who are happy to grow relying on referrals. I do have a big network though, so this works fairly well for me.

Its possible in a few years that I may decide to kick on and grow, but at the moment I'm happy having part time help from Mrs KA and using subbies as and when needed.

I think there are plenty of sole practitioners who get to a size where they have sufficient income to suit their lifestyle and decide there's no need to look for further growth.

It really depends what you want.

Thanks (1)