Are you making progress?

Walking an escalator in both direction

The lifeblood of any practice are those moments when new business is secured: when you win new clients or when existing clients buy new services from you.

I have built three practices from a standing start and sold two of them, so I don’t just speak from a text-book appreciation of the joy that these moments afford. Unfortunately, practice development is a remorseless activity. It’s like walking up a down escalator, if you stand still you actually go backwards.

I’d like to make a contribution to your upward journey, winning new business, by concentrating on cross-sales to clients and converting those prospect lists into fee paying clients.

Cross-selling to existing clients

If clients knew the full range of services on offer from your practice, when problems occurred they would be be able to figure out what to ask for. This is an unrealistic expectation. In life, we tend to look for solutions after problems rear their knotty heads, not before.

Cross-selling additional fees has to be the low-hanging fruit of practice fee development. You have acquired the client, won their trust and now have the opportunity to expand the range of services you can offer.

Unfortunately, this requires action on your part.

Winning new clients

This is the harder task. Even when you are referred, this process demands that you “sell” the benefits and features of working with your practice.

And this requires even more action on your part.

Where to start – an invitation

Although every job undertaken for clients requires that you accommodate their unique circumstances there is an underlying pattern to the activities required to achieve the desired result: fee growth.

I don’t profess to have all the answers but I do have enough of the answers to provide you with a framework out of which you could achieve a satisfactory increase in client “foot-fall”, cross-sales, and new client acquisitions.

We all need a plan – a road-map

Knowing that there is mileage in increasing sales to clients or taking on new clients is not enough; you will need to devise a plan of action, and then most importantly, do it.

I have created a Fee Builder process that will enable you to tackle these issues in a structured way and achieve fee growth. In my experience, there is a direct correlation between action and results.

Please take a look.

Best regards,

Bob Edwards – Founder director Landmark

Are you vulnerable to MLR challenges?

David winch, one of the leading voices in the interpretation of the ever expanding Money Laundering Regulations, was recently quoted on the Accounting Web regarding action taken against defaulting firms who may not have appreciated the extent of the 2017 changes. He said:

 “Accountants have been focused, very sensibly, on MTD and other developments, and may have regarded MLR 2017 as simply MLR 2007 with a slight change of name. There’s some truth in that. But one innovation introduced by MLR 2017 was the hierarchy of risk assessments,” Winch told AccountingWEB.

“The idea is that the government (HM Treasury and the Home Office) produces a UK risk assessment for MLR, then the supervisory bodies use that to produce a risk assessment focused on their sector, then each firm produces a risk assessment focused on the type of work, type of clients, business sectors, geography, their methods of dealing with the clients that they deal with and then in relation to each client there is an MLR risk assessment.

“So, for instance, if the firm has a niche of dealing with, say, pubs and retailers, or deals with clients online rather than face-to-face, that will be reflected in the firm-wide risk assessment.

“Some firms have missed out that firm-wide risk assessment – which is now required by Reg 18 MLR 2017. And that was one of the failures highlighted by HMRC.”

Winch also flagged that the £519 penalty recently charged to a defaulting practice, may seem modest, but lurking beneath this would likely be further financial and reputation damage.

“The hassle of dealing with this sort of investigation and disciplinary process from HMRC or the institutes must be considerable,” he added. “This is grief which none of us needs!”

The full A-Web article can be viewed here.

Risk assessment support

David’s support regarding the preparation of practice wide MLR risk assessments is available via his company MLRO Support Ltd. Email bob@mlrosupport.co.uk if you would like to discuss this in more detail.

Staff training

Another area that may not be receiving the attention required by legislation is staff and sub-contractor training.

David has collaborated with Giles Mooney of PTP Training to create an affordable, online training process for all staff, sub-contractors and partners. This is a simple and accessible solution to this area of MLR regulation. Details of features and costs are available here. 

 

Why Invest in An Accountancy Franchise?

This post has been provided by Bracey’s Accountants who are developing an accountancy franchise in the UK.

Firstly, let’s talk numbers, we are accountants after all. Over half of all UK franchises achieve turnover in excess of £250,000. 97% of the franchisees surveyed were profitable. So, we’ve got some solid foundations for success. If you’re ambitious, motivated and keen to run your own accountancy practice, this article will give you the inside scoop.

Primary reasons

You can be up and running quickly. It can take years to set up a successful business with setbacks along the way – you can short cut those – rather painful – lessons and set up with ease. Also, your earning potential isn’t limited by the usual costs and pitfalls associated with starting a firm from scratch. Oh, and a key thing to mention here, you’ve got the appetite, stamina and determination. Irrespective of cost savings, you need the right attitude to run a successful franchise.

Specific pre-launch benefits

Whilst we can’t speak about every accountancy franchise available, we know that at Bracey’s Accountants, you’ll receive

  • Support systems such as website, software, regulation-complaint procedures and manuals
  • Exclusive territory.
  • Branding, logos, merchandise.
  • Email address set up and working with support.
  • Fully optimised website driving leads to your inbox.
  • Xero Gold status immediately.
  • Training and support

On-going benefits

Yes, you’ll be set up for success, but we know that doesn’t mean the challenges are over. You are running your own firm after all. Having worked closely with our franchisees, we know what you need in place to continue to be successful. This includes:

  • Speaking with colleagues who have been through the start-up franchise process.
  • Access to marketing and PR advice from a proven and specialist external agency.
  • The experience and in-house team for pitching to large clients who would be inaccessible to an independent one-man band.
  • Ability to offer specialist services to your clients.
  • Support with meeting client deadlines when you’re busy.
  • Help to keep your business running in an emergency.
  • Constant review of all procedures to keep up with regulatory changes. You don’t have to worry about finding the solution, we do the research, design a system and test it for you.

If you’d like to know more about franchising at Bracey’s, visit www.braceys-franchise.co.uk or contact our Franchise Manager on 01462 413249

Are you interested in increasing cross-sales and prospect conversions?

FEE BUILDER

Download our Fee Builder “Getting started guide” that will outline our low-cost process for achieving these goals.