How’s business? – Don’t fall into the easy trap when you reply

By |2023-07-31T10:36:03+01:00August 1st, 2023|Accountants, Business messaging and branding, Networking, Referrals, Reputation, Sole practitioners|

If you’re either a busy accountant and/or a regular at networking events, you probably get asked this question (How's business?") all of the time. You may also be asked by friends and family, ex-colleagues and prospective clients as well as by suppliers, associates and potential advocates. How carefully have you thought about the way

First impressions count but here’s proof that they’re not enough and what to do to fix things

By |2023-07-24T18:44:45+01:00July 25th, 2023|Accountants, Networking, Referrals, Sole practitioners|

Some years ago I enjoyed a very long private business networking lunch. The whole group seemed to enjoy the event - perhaps because many of us had known each other for a while . One of the attendees I had not met previously was a chartered surveyor. After we’d spent a few hours together the

How to deliver advisory services for maximum success

By |2023-07-18T09:26:25+01:00July 18th, 2023|Accountants, Business Strategy, Client servikce, Key Business skills, Sole practitioners|

'How to deliver advisory services for maximum success' is the sub-title of a superb new book for accountants that I read recently. I'll share the author and title later in this post. Let's just say that I wish I had written this book, as I am already recommending it to accountants, without reservation. In

Confidence is key but not if it’s based on naivety or, worse, deceit

By |2023-07-11T10:45:05+01:00July 11th, 2023|Accountants, Client servikce, Dependability and trust, Sole practitioners|

This true story helps to emphasise a key point - that may be relevant to your attitude with clients, colleagues and/or how you relate to staff with more specialised knowledge than you have yourself. Years ago, shortly after I had joined a new firm I remember an audit partner telling me about two tax

The Barista’s wisdom: Insights for Accountants, Bookkeepers, and Tax Advisers

By |2023-07-03T18:25:00+01:00July 4th, 2023|Accountants, Experience and expertise, Sole practitioners|

Some years ago, while on holiday with my wife, we stopped at a distinct and unique coffee shop where my experience prompted this blog post with lessons for accountants, bookkeepers and tax advisers.  Espressolab was a fantastic little place where a range of bespoke coffees were also being roasted in a laboratory style environment.

Silencing the inner critic: How to conquer imposter syndrome and bring on more new clients for your practice

By |2023-06-20T09:12:07+01:00June 20th, 2023|Accountants, Key Business skills, Referrals, Sole practitioners|

I hope this post will be of general interest even though it is intended primarily for those accountants in practice who have a degree of imposter syndrome or who struggle with low self-worth or low self-esteem. Such struggles invariably impact self confidence and this can have a negative impact on the prospect of receiving

What is the key to accountants’ survival in the AI era?

By |2023-06-13T10:09:07+01:00June 13th, 2023|Accountants, Client servikce, Dependability and trust, Experience and expertise, Key Business skills, Networking, Referrals, Reputation, Sole practitioners, STANDING OUT|

One of the biggest changes to be heralded by the introduction of AI so far as accountants are concerned, links to one of my long-term messages for accountants. How can you stand out from the competition? And, as a result, win more of the business you really want? Even before the launch

What can you do if you’re working too hard? Here are ten practical tips

By |2023-06-05T11:08:51+01:00June 6th, 2023|Accountants, Client servikce, Productivity, Sole practitioners|

These days many accountants feel as if they are working harder than ever just to stand still. And that feeling seems worse if they are looking to actively grow their practice. The pressures and stresses of modern life are partly a function of newer forms of communication. Thirty years ago clients either wrote letters

Why you should always know your BATASFI when negotiating fees with clients

By |2023-05-22T19:09:14+01:00May 23rd, 2023|Accountants, Pricing, Sole practitioners|

This is probably one of the most valuable tips I share during 1-2-1 mentoring sessions. It’s not just relevant to sole practitioners though. Every client facing partner needs to know their BATASFI when negotiating fees with clients. Indeed it’s equally relevant to service providers way beyond the accountancy profession. I even know some accountants

10 reasons accountants struggle to prioritise what really matters

By |2023-05-14T19:08:32+01:00May 16th, 2023|Accountants, Productivity, Sole practitioners, Strategy|

One of the topics that often comes up is the challenge of prioritising anything (non-billable) you might think you want to do when there is client work that could be done. Certainly, some of the accountants I work with tell me that they struggle to make time to prioritise developing, building and promoting  their

6 ways to show you’re not just another accountant

By |2023-04-22T18:09:37+01:00April 25th, 2023|Accountants, Business messaging and branding, Marketing and promotion, Networking, Sole practitioners|

Imagine you are at an accountancy conference along with dozens, maybe hundreds of accountants from other practices or who run their own firms. Now imagine I have asked you to look around the room at those other accountants and to indicate whether you feel that you are in any way special and different from

Some accountants undermine their credibility. Do you?

By |2023-04-03T18:03:32+01:00April 4th, 2023|Accountants, Business messaging and branding, Experience and expertise, Networking, Referrals, Reputation, Sole practitioners|

One of the accountants I mentor has long been proud of how efficiently they look after their own business affairs. Others though are embarrassed at their inefficiencies. And there are some who do not appear to give any thought as to how they are perceived. Some of the accountants in this category may, unintentionally,

Why so many clients are indifferent and don’t recommend you

By |2023-03-27T10:13:29+01:00March 28th, 2023|Accountants, Client servikce, Dependability and trust, Referrals, Sole practitioners|

Many accountants claim that they secure much of their new work through word of mouth referrals. This suggests that clients are making positive comments about their accountants. They may do that if they're particularly happy but in the same way any unhappy clients will be quick to complain about their accountants. I've heard a

Avoid this mistake if you want more referrals

By |2023-03-20T15:44:29+00:00March 21st, 2023|Accountants, Experience and expertise, Marketing and promotion, Networking, Referrals, Sole practitioners|

I wonder if you make an all too common mistake. We all hope that clients will want us to provide a range of services to them. And we hope that clients will recommend and refer us to other prospective clients too… But, as I frequently point out, ‘hope’ is not a strategy. What do

Why you should stop trying to build brand awareness for your firm

By |2023-02-28T11:56:48+00:00February 28th, 2023|Accountants, Business messaging and branding, Marketing and promotion, Recruitment, Reputation, Sole practitioners, Websites|

My advice here re building and promoting your firm's brand is controversial. And of course there will be some exceptions. But I would urge you to read this post with an open mind before deciding whether or not YOUR firm really is one of those exceptions. Let's start with ten top accountancy brands. As

Is your complacency costing you peace of mind?

By |2023-02-13T18:06:37+00:00February 14th, 2023|Sole practitioners, Strategy|

Over the years, my conversations with sole practitioner accountants reveal that many are "happy enough" once their practice is generating sufficient income for them. They have reached the stage where they feel comfortable, some might say, complacent. ‘Happy enough’ is hardly an enthusiastic summation of how things are going as it can imply a

Stop talking about your USP – it’s the same as other accountants

By |2023-01-31T08:53:15+00:00January 31st, 2023|Accountants, Marketing and promotion, Sole practitioners, STANDING OUT|

I’m often struck by the difficulty many accountants have when trying to identify what’s special about their firm or practice. Many assume that they do nothing different to any other accountant. Others have been persuaded they need to claim to have a USP. But, when asked, most accountants make the same hackneyed claims as

Using social media and Linkedin for business and not just fun

By |2023-01-24T16:48:14+00:00January 24th, 2023|Accountants, Linkedin, Marketing and promotion, Social Media, Sole practitioners, Strategy|

Have you ever thought you 'should' be doing more on social media and on Linkedin, but are not sure how or what to do? Or maybe you are very active online but are not getting the business benefits you really want? Are you envious or skeptical about the the results others appear to be

Go to Top