Need help?

All of us need help to identify our strengths and weaknesses and use this information to grow and prosper in today’s challenging business environment.

If you are just setting up a new practice or have reached a glass ceiling in the development of an existing practice I may be able to help.

Why objectivity is critical

A professional practice is a reflection of the skills and ambition of its owners. Unfortunately, what we lack as individuals is the ability to be objective, to see ourselves and our practice as others see us. This is the barrier that most practitioners never consider and it can have dire consequences.

For example, in the constant rush to deal with clients’ affairs we rarely give much thought to the development of new income streams for our practice beyond the need to meet the compliance demands of the businesses and individuals we act for, and yet the seeds of many of those additional income streams are already sown.

Unravelling and releasing potential is mostly a matter of identifying opportunities, and these opportunities need to be relevant and readily communicable to clients and business prospects. You can’t sell processes, you can sell benefits.

Like an objective assessment of your practice?

If you would like to work on your practice can I suggest that you call me to discuss how I may be able to help you develop a grounded development plan for your business.

Initially, we just need to discuss options to see if a collaboration would be appropriate. Email bob@landmarkpd.co.uk or call me anytime 07879 896073.

How much would this cost?

If we decide that there are realistic opportunities to explore, benefits for your practice, I will book a day’s appointment with you. I will charge an initial booking fee of £500 plus travel costs which is payable in advance and is non-refundable. The balance of my fee, £1,500 plus VAT would be payable at the conclusion of our consultation and is subject to the following guarantee.

I do offer a guarantee.

I will give you an opportunity to assess the ideas and benefits we have discussed mid-day and if you consider there is no value for your practice then no further fees will be payable and I will leave. Thus far, no practitioner I have worked with in this way has called in this guarantee.

 

Are you interested in referrals?

From time to time I have received requests for advice from business owners and private tax clients as a direct result of my existing internet activity. Thus far I have been content to pass on the majority of these enquiries to firms that I know and respect; I no longer have an interest in expanding my remaining small-scale practice.

I suspect that this process will increase in frequency during 2019-20 as I am launching a weekly news-feed targeted at building an opted-in mailing list of business and property owners and high value private client individuals in the UK.

A sprat to catch a mackerel

The news-feed (the sprat) will be in the form of a weekly tax or business development tip that aims to intrigue readers rather than offer advice. As a footnote I will encourage the posting of comments or requests for more information.

These requests will then be made available to firms who are interested in converting the request into a new client appointment.

Would you be interested in accessing the referrals I create?

So that the process does not become a lottery, I intend to build a list of firms that would like to be given access to these requests for advice. Each comment from a potential new client will be directed to a firm where I believe there is a good fit. I will consider location, specialist services offered and other relevant matters.

What sort of new clients are you targeting?

This is probably one of the key questions I need to know, so that I only direct appropriate requests in your direction. No point in offering you a building contractor enquiry if you have no interest in the CIS or the building sector generally.

Send me an email if you are interested

Email bob@landmarkpd.co.uk if this sounds like a project you would like to join. I am prepared to create the enquiries, filter these and direct them to the firm I feel is best placed to offer advice. In the first instance I will simply send you the enquiry without any personal contact information included.

I will be charging a small introducer’s fee when I subsequently release the prospect’s contact details. No other fees are chargeable by Landmark.

I will shortly be building a new page on the Landmark site with full details of how the scheme will work in practice. If you want to get your foot in the door, and at the top of my referrer’s list, email with your initial answers to the following questions:

  1. What sort of clients (client sectors) do you not want to acquire for your practice?
  2. What sort of clients (client sectors) are you targeting at present?
  3. What is your location.
  4. Are you only interested in local approaches or UK wide?

Reply direct to my email address: bob@landmarkpd.co.uk.

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t miss out on the Brexit opportunity

I have just read Philip Fisher’s post on the Accounting Web entitled “The accountants guide to Brexit”. It’s a good read. In his intro Philip says:

Like almost everybody else in the country, the vast majority of accountants have been sticking their heads into the sand on the basis that leaving Europe was a long way off.

Well, it’s no longer a long way off and if the politicians on both sides of the Channel continue making progress at their present rate, we seem to be heading for a no-deal Brexit. Even if we succeed in achieving an agreed withdrawal process the exact details of our future trading relationship with the EU may not be thrashed out for years.

And in the meantime your clients will be uncertain about their supply lines and changing export processes to the EU.

In my opinion, this apparently “glum” outlook is a significant opportunity for UK businesses and their advisers. Philip continues:

While smaller practices with little or no international spread and work-forces who are British born and bred may feel that for them this is only a storm in a teacup that is unlikely to be the case in the longer term.

But if nothing else, there will inevitably be changes in legislation as a direct result of the decision made in June 2016. In addition, the economy will take an initial hit and that is likely to lead to indirect consequences including attentional tax hikes, difficulties in retaining and recruiting members of staff and the risk of client losses.

As there is now significant opinion that the UK economy is heading for a dip, however temporary, shouldn’t we be contacting business clients and suggesting that they consider two planning options before Brexit starts to bite:

  1. Undertake a formal impact assessment if a business currently buys goods from EU suppliers or exports to the EU, and
  2. Undertake a business fitness review.

There are no downsides to either of these activities. What they will do is place your clients in the best possible position to weather any Brexit discomforts and hit the ground running.

I’ll leave the last word to Philip:

As this series is likely to repeat on a constant basis, going into times of change with your eyes open is a major part of operating successfully. If your competitors are taking no action, while you can be seen as a leader at the time of great insecurity, then this could be a chance to succeed while others are struggling if not actually going bust.

Therefore, to reiterate, please make sure that you are ahead of the game so you can make the most of what need not be a threat and could be a fantastic opportunity.

Take a look at the Landmark Brexit Resource page

Help your clients and create a new income stream for your practice

Like to design your own Xero app?

Last year I created an app for Xero partner firms – Scoop – that allows practitioners to gather all of their clients’ Xero data and present it in a summarised format on one screen.

This year I’d like to develop the idea and to make it relevant to practitioners that use Xero with clients. Here’s what I propose:

Be party to the development process

Most of my clients use Xero and I have ideas for the information I would like to see on a regular basis to help me manage their businesses. But I don’t claim to have exclusive insights to what is useful in this regard so I’d like to open up the debate.

I’ve set up a questionnaire that lists a number of my development ideas. It will only take a couple of minutes to complete. It ends with a comment box so if you have ideas to share you can do so.

Development partners’ bonus

Every practitioner that completes the questionnaire will be offered a chance to beta test the new version of Scoop on a complimentary basis. As an additional thank you for you help in the development process we will extend this offer for three months free use of the finished product once the development changes are completed and Scoop plus is launched.

Tax and Xero

One of the issues I have with Xero, especially with corporate clients, is that it’s difficult to judge solvency – especially, if dividends are being taken without regard for the balance on reserves and corporation tax for the current year.

Accordingly, one of my ideas for improving the data provided by Scoop is to calculate a realistic estimate of current period CT liabilities and factor this information into the reports displayed by Scoop.

The existing version of Scoop will advise if a client is not registered for VAT and perhaps should be, based on current turnover. I intend to extend the VAT alerts to include a warning that continued use of a VAT special Scheme is compromised due to a possible breach of turnover exit levels.

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