With all the annual fuss about new year’s resolutions, why does no one suggest checking backwards? It’s all very well making promises about what you want to do differently, but how strong is your resolve?
I’ve never been one for doing the same as everyone else, so I’ve rarely made new year resolutions as such. I do have specific intentions and am clear about which things I will do things differently this year. My plans are clearer than ever and I have scaled back certain activities as, in the past, I have attempted to do too many things at once. Not this year!
I’m especially aware of how often other people admit to having ‘failed’ to maintain the change to which they aspired. What about you? And what about your clients? Asking them and helping them to keep track can be a good way to build up an awareness of their hopes and dreams. Conversations around these resolutions can also then be developed into business planning sessions.
Ask them too about how their resolutions have panned out in previous years. We are told, by random experts, that most people give up on their heath, diet, drinking and exercise resolutions before the end of January. So many of your clients should be admitting this has happened to them too. Perhaps they would like you to help them keep on track this year – as regards their business focused resolutions.
Again, such conversations could evolve into discussions around the setting of congruent business goals, a strategy and the plans that are required in order to make those goals a reality.
If your clients haven’t done this successfully without you in the past – perhaps 2020 is the year they should start relaying more on your expertise and insights.
(Yes, I am encouraging any readers who want my help here to get in touch too. We can have an initial conversation before you decide whether you want to engage me for one or more mentoring and business accelerator sessions).
On a related point here are 10 New Year resolutions that I would encourage you to make this year, if you haven’t already done so.
I have linked back to previous blog posts on related topics in each case.
1. Take steps to ensure no returns are left at the end of the year
I will take responsibility for having allowed so many of my clients to delay sending me all the information I need until January. I have had enough and will start planning now to stop this happening again. (See ‘The January tax return rush is your own fault‘).
2. Move all clients onto a regular billing
I will review those remaining clients who are not yet paying me monthly/quarterly and speak with them about coming in line with all of my newer clients who have agreed to this rather than the traditional annual post-event billing cycle. (See: ‘’10 tips to help you reduce debtor days and lock up’)
3. Applying my credit terms
I will release cash by reducing my lock-up to 30 days through more prompt billing and applying my standard credit terms whenever clients fail to pay on time. (See ‘10 key actions you need to take when starting an accountancy firm’)
4. Adding services
I will be more open-minded and introduce one new service for all of my best clients this year – over and above the recurring compliance services I have always provided. This will enable me to help my clients with their businesses and, at the same time, to become more profitable myself. (See ‘Not all Accountants are business advisers’)
5. Boost my Linkedin profile
I will add a photo and an up-to-date summary of my current experience and abilities to my LinkedIn profile. This could make all the difference whenever someone is checking me out online: e.g. a prospective client, a prospective referrer or advocate, an ex-colleague or ex-client. (See ‘A dozen key tips for your Linkedin profile‘).
6. Stop wasting time on Twitter
I will stop kidding myself that twitter is helping my business. Instead of spending time here I will devote that same time to being more active on Linkedin – where I am more likely to be able to reach and engage with good prospective new clients. (See ‘Debunked: Twitter names and handles for accountants‘)
7. Talking with clients
I will make appointments to speak with at least ten of my best clients within the next three months, just to see how things are going for them. Many of these calls and meetings will lead to those clients asking me to provide additional advice and services – that I can bill them for. (See ‘What do you say when you ‘Keep in touch’?’)
8. Boosting business skills
I will take steps to enhance, practice and embed at least 2 key business skills to help ensure my practice is more likely to thrive beyond the next 12-24 months. (See: ‘They’re not soft skills for accountants, they’re key business skills‘)
9. Tech review
I will consider what new tech I could adopt in my practice to enhance my service to clients, my efficiency and/my profitability – and then I will start to use it and ensure I get full value from such decisions. (See: Challenging 12 poor excuses for not investing in new technology’)
10. Dump the duff clients
I will stop complaining about my three worst clients and will encourage them to find new accountants within the next few months. I will replace them with three new clients as I deserve to work only with people who appreciate what I do for them. (See ‘Ditch the duff clients’)
If you want to see whether I could help, please get in touch. We can have an initial conversation before you decide whether you want to engage me for one or more mentoring and business accelerator sessions. NB: I only have 3 spaces for new mentoring clients this year. You can book an initial no-obligation call here>>>