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Can I pick your brains please?

  • Member PM.Dip
  • Practice Licence
  • 28 posts
  • # 117146

I am a member in practice and have 3 long standing clients.  These clients only take around a day a week of my time and I have always worked in employment for the other days.

I have recently changed my employment (bookkeeper in practice) to assistant accountant in practice.  I am not enjoying the new job for various reasons, the main one being the long commute and am wondering if instead I should think about expanding my own practice with some more local clients.

I am nervous of completely going it alone because although I have years of bookkeeping experience, I am not very extroverted and wonder how well I will do at selling myself and my practice.

 

So, can I pick your brains please;

How did you obtain your clients?

What marketing techniques worked and what didn't?

What mistakes have you learnt from?

Do you work from home or at the clients address?

On average how much time does each client take per week?

How good is ICB at giving technical advice?

How easy is it to set up an agent acount with HMRC?

Anything else you think I should know?

 

Thanks in advance!

  • Member PM.Dip
  • Practice Licence
  • 92 posts
  • # 117174

Jet said:

I am a member in practice and have 3 long standing clients.  These clients only take around a day a week of my time and I have always worked in employment for the other days.

I have recently changed my employment (bookkeeper in practice) to assistant accountant in practice.  I am not enjoying the new job for various reasons, the main one being the long commute and am wondering if instead I should think about expanding my own practice with some more local clients.

I am nervous of completely going it alone because although I have years of bookkeeping experience, I am not very extroverted and wonder how well I will do at selling myself and my practice.

 

So, can I pick your brains please;

How did you obtain your clients? - Some through accountants who had dealt with me in previous employments, others thrugh word of mouth

What marketing techniques worked and what didn't? Contacting acountants direct, spread word of mouth and website worked, adverts in local papers didn't

What mistakes have you learnt from? Don't underprice hourly rate, if you don't feel comfortable with a client, don't take them on.

Do you work from home or at the clients address?, Both, now have an office as have employees but still a combination

On average how much time does each client take per week? How long is a piece of string?  Some of mine want everything done from job costing, sales invoicing, payroll etc. others only want management accounts.

How good is ICB at giving technical advice? Slightly better than AAT but still not brilliant, can sometimes take a long while to return to yu.

How easy is it to set up an agent acount with HMRC? Easy, just use Government Gateway.

Anything else you think I should know? Be prepared to work some crazy hours, sometimes very long days, othertimes you can twiddle your thumbs.  Don't let cleint's billing balances build up for too long.

 

Thanks in advance!


 

  • Member
  • Practice Licence
  • 6 posts
  • # 117186

Jet said:

I am nervous of completely going it alone because although I have years of bookkeeping experience, I am not very extroverted and wonder how well I will do at selling myself and my practice.

How did you obtain your clients? All word of mouth

What marketing techniques worked and what didn't?  I've never had to advertise - if I did need to advertise, I think I would contact accountancy firms first.

What mistakes have you learnt from?  Having clients who are based a fair journey from me

Do you work from home or at the clients address? Both, but mainly on site

On average how much time does each client take per week?  i have two clients who have expanded, so I have increased hours with them, others are only a few hours a month

How good is ICB at giving technical advice? They have been great at times, but I have also had to chase a reply.

How easy is it to set up an agent acount with HMRC? Easy

Anything else you think I should know?  I left a part time job (as well as being self employed) after 12 years, to go fully self employed.  I was nervous about not picking up new clients immediately, but I'm so glad I made the move.  Good luck!

 

Thanks in advance!


 

  • Member PM.Dip
  • Practice Licence
  • 28 posts
  • # 117196

Thanks for both the replies.

 

Very helpful, thank you.

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