Member Since: 3rd Sep 2009
10th Feb 2012
British Beer and Pub Association
Some external stats for you to benchmark against:
It is possible to make money in freehold and tenanted pubs. I see the accommodation income and skew towards food as a good balance.
Its down to location, service and product - and no ability in maths or business plans will tell you the answer.
25th Jan 2012
When I started I perhaps overlooked the possibility of marketing a bookkeeping service. I even quoted high to do a service, against a bigger regional practice, and lost out on price, because I priced at my hourly rate.
In other words, starting again I would go for turnover at a fair market rate, to get some cash, and when too busy, then delegate the bookkeeping work that I had accumulated to a bank of self-employed bookkeepers. (Safety in self-employed numbers.)
As far as marketing goes - yoiu should be able to get a free press release in your local paper. But don't pay for transient advertising - 'todays newspaper, tomorrows chips-paper'.
I pay for telesales. But I also went on a telesales training course for myself, which would be cheaper if you do it (telesales) yourself. Mailshot followed by phone would be my best-value approach.
I have found pubs to be my best market. They are told by their PubCo to produce monthly accounts, but don't have the ability or inclination to do it in house. Thus they are a good size business to cut your teeth on. (Pick the right pubs to target though!)
Every word that Jason writes is sound advice.
18th Nov 2011
Just to clarify - I don't emphasise to prospects that I 'work from home', the cost saving is my competitive advantage - not for sharing. And if the OP can save every penny when starting up, that must be a grand thing.
And although I have been price aggressive on occasions I agree that value is the answer, and those that had the mindset to go with me have not generally been looking for 'cheap'.
18th Nov 2011
Budgeting and Marketing
I guess you already have this covered and its a bit cheeky to raise it, but you need a trading budget, with a realistic sales target. Make sure you are viable on half the sales that you think you may get for the first couple of years.
I work from home, with satellite bookkeepers, making use of Liberty Accounts and the cloud. My competitive advantage is no office overhead.
Make sure also that you have a robust marketing plan. I used telesales as the quickest route to start-up clients, and after two years am only now getting known, so getting clients from other sources.
24th Aug 2011
Prepare for Low Balls!
I started up 2 years ago now. I agree with 99% of what is written above.
I have recently encountered the bigger practices putting in silly quotes against me to keep the client. But as Jon says fortune favours the brave - you just have to decide how keen you are and what resource you have. And Cornwall is always a different market to England!
If you go forward I would be interested to have a chat with you, as I think there could be some synergy between us.
6th Jul 2011
For the replies.
I just thought it was worth checking, so I thank you each for your time taken.
13th Nov 2009
2009 Laptop Review
You imply your AW team will be bringing out an article on laptops soon? Any idea when, as I am interested to hold off on purchase until I have read what is said.