Member Since: 20th Jun 2011
26th Aug 2020
I agree with Ian too. Although I sometimes suffer from pangs of regret as to what might have been had I pursued the high flying career. Other times I think it might have been more money, more problems.
It was a difficult few weeks in supporting clients, so many updates to keep track of, so many stories of businesses going under. But I didn't have to work weekends or work late into the night, thankfully, because the practice is of a manageable size. That's not to say I didn't wake up in a cold sweat some nights or suffered anxiety about what is going to happen to my loved ones and the world at large due to the pandemic.
3rd Jun 2020
"We will have to learn to manage our feelings of guilt when we knock off at 3pm because we started at 6am." <=This is me.
"We will have to withhold judgement when we call a colleague and find they are out, who knows where, all afternoon." <= Also me
Thanks for putting into words, the feelings I have been trying to make sense of.
11th Feb 2020
We have had the occasional prospect not turn up. I think it is mainly just a case of they found someone else in the meantime. We use an automatic reminder service and sometimes, if I get a feeling someone will cancel, my PA will call or text them to confirm the time. A text works better as it allows the prospect to save face if they have gone somewhere else.
We have never had a client not show up as far as I recall. We send the automatic reminders to them too. Sometimes if a client can't show up in person because of a last minute issue (sick child etc), we offer a phone call instead at the same time.
The main thing is, we give clients no excuse to forget that the appointment was today.
10th Feb 2020
You could be reading something into the situation that is not there. I am always reading people's minds and guessing what they are thinking. And I am wrong almost 100% of the time. Anxiety and stress can make this kind of thinking even worse.
I was in the opposite side of things to you. I was the one who had a trainee who didn't work out. Several times. When the potential new employer called, I didn't tell any lies but I didn't run down the trainee either. I said things like it wasn't a good fit or we needed someone with more experience but they were great with clients and had a good attitude etc.
Learning on the job can be difficult. I was a trainee and also helped to train others. It was a good six months before I had a significant understanding of what was going on. And most of the people I trained were the same. There were a good few months when I followed last year, worked through procedures without 100% understanding them and then miraculously there was a day when I went aha, I get it! Work hard but be patient with yourself.
There is some good advice above about joining agencies and searching for adverts rather than cold-calling.
Best of luck!
8th Aug 2017
Great article, Bobby.
We have a Trello-type system too. Putting it on a screen where everyone can see it (rather than checking it on your own PC) is a great idea. We have an old monitor which could do the job!
10th Nov 2015
Cost increase v cheaper accountant
I have a question.
There seems to be a subtle difference between the 25% who leave because of cost increases v 6% who leave because it is cheaper elsewhere. Is the research saying that a client would be less likely to leave for a cheaper competitor if you keep the fees the same? But as soon as you RAISE your prices, they may look elsewhere?
4th Nov 2015
The yellow card idea is great, Mr Mischief. It gives the client a chance to improve. It also means that you have done your best to keep the hard-won client.
3rd Nov 2015
Rule Number One
We have one simple rule. If clients don't respect us or the work we do, they are no longer clients.
While we have clients who keep us on our toes, who are demanding and some who are a bit challenging to deal with, I believe that they all respect us and our work.
Before we made our rule, we had one large client who treated us abysmally. I can't give the exact details here but the treatment by them was appalling, including shouting questions at us and constantly complaining about minor (less than £5) differences in accounts. The stress they put us under affected our other work (including losing another good client.) In the end the client left just before I was about to "sack" them.
Being able to do the work I like and for clients I like was the reason I went out on my own in the first place. I forgot about this while the dollar signs were in my eyes.
We put up with them for too long because they paid well. Never again!
4th Aug 2015
This was just what I needed to see this morning!
Thanks for the very practical advice.
19th Sep 2014
Love Sage 50 Forecasting
I was disappointed to read this as I love Sage 50 Forecasting. I have created many forecasts on this and its predecessor Winforecast, from simple sole trader forecasts to complex projections linked to even more complicated Excel spreadsheets.