Stop Being Your Own Worst Client

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Imagine you had a client who consistently failed to get you the information you needed, or do the tasks needed so that you can do your work.

They couldn’t find the time to get a copy of their bank statements.

They were too busy to chase up supplier invoices.

They were working too hard and completely forgot to sign off their VAT return.

It wouldn’t take long before you sat them down for a serious talk about the future of your relationship - and their business. A client such as that is a frust…

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Is Imitation Flattery?


Oscar Wilde said, "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery that mediocrity can pay to greatness."

Whenever you do something different from others, people will start to take notice of you.  It's inevitable.  They may think that they can do what you do.  They may even try their hand at it.

Should you be worried?

As bookkeepers, we are in a profession that, whether we like it or not, has a really low barrier to entry.  There's not a huge amount of investment involved in setting up a practice…

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Are you REALLY listening


Four in a Bed is probably one of my favourite programmes right now.  Anything with Alex Polizzi and Mary Portas are really great too.  I love shows that show the human side of business, and that anyone can do it.

One thing that really frustrates me, though, is when something simple is suggested and met with the response "No one's ever complained about that before!"  I could scream at the TV.  

Most of us don't really like confrontation.  We generally don't complain when we get poor service.  W…

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Sell With a Story


From a very young age, we’re introduced to storytelling.    We’re told stories by our parents, grandparents, teachers and other adults around us.

Stories are a great way to communicate ideas, to pass on history and traditions and even teach lessons.  Many of these stories have lessons contained in them. 

Whether it’s learning not to tell lies with Aesop’s Fable of ‘the boy who cried Wolf’, or learning about helping others with the bible story of 'the good Samaritan’.

These lessons could be ta…

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Should We Charge for Onboarding?


The process of onboarding new clients is your opportunity to set expectations and boundaries for the future of your relationship.  

The process of onboarding has become more time consuming over the last few years. Money laundering checks are becoming more in-depth, with online checks costing money to carry them out.

The checks can sometimes involve a bit of back and forward to ensure that you have the documents to let you tick all of the boxes required.

It's not just a legal process, but also…

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4 Tips for Making Resolutions That Matter

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Making a resolution is one thing, keeping it another completely. 

In this article, I want to share four tips to help you reach your goals and to reward yourself for a job well done.

Recently, we've all hung up the new calendar and it's a great excuse to make personal and business resolutions for the coming year. 

It is also a way to bring about certain frustration if the goals that you set for yourself are unreachable, unattainable or just something you have no interest in doing. 

Making res…

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Mistakes Can Happen

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Let's just get that header out of the way first.  We can try as hard as possible to minimise them, but mistakes can and do happen.  We're human.  It's inevitable.  

So, what should you do if a mistake happens in your business?  The first thing is not to panic.  Most people will forgive a mistake if you handle the follow-up properly.  In the main, it's not the mistake that is the big headache, it's the lack of proper communication.

When you're growing a business you're taking risks.  Mistakes w…

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An open letter to IAB

For the longest time, I’ve recommended IAB as the professional body of choice for any new bookkeeper starting out.  When people were left in limbo during the new member freeze, I was the first to fight their corner, but now I fear they’ve lost their way.

We are only looking for a few things from our professional bodies, but we want them done well.

Certification.  To know that new entrants to the profession and old hands alike are at the pinnacle of their game.  We want the confidence when we s…

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How to get rid of bad clients

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When you find that you have a client who is making you miserable, or you've ranked your clients and find that a D has appeared, what is the best way to move on?

Firstly, you need to remember that this is your business.  You are perfectly entitled to choose who you work with and who you don’t.  If a client has managed to slip through your net and is now making you miserable you have two choices.  You can train them, or you can bin them. 

The decision is yours to make, but is likely to come down…

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Do You Have a Purpose?


It’s easy to fall into a rut.  You do the same things today that you did yesterday, and tomorrow will be the same (unless it’s one of those rare weekends where you don’t work). 

Every day merges into every other day a bit like that Bill Murray film, Groundhog Day. Maybe you feel that it’s one step forward, two steps back all of the time? The reasons for feeling like this can vary, but from my experience it’s normally one or more of the following:

  • You don’t have enough clients, and worry abou…

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