The following statement poses a question many or most of your clients and business prospects will be asking themselves, in short:
How on earth are we going to recover from the present coronavirus disruption?
You could probably divide your client list three ways, those that have:
- Fared better or marked time during the lock-down period.
- Managed to reduce the scale of their activity and maintain solvency.
- Had to mothball or close down their businesses or struggle-on.
Many in all groups may have received government grants or availed themselves of cheap loan opportunities. Grants are income, but the loans need to be paid back. Add to this the economic damage the lock-down process has created and its not difficult to see that the road back to pre-March trading conditions will be difficult to navigate.
Accountants are in a unique position
Accountants are in a unique position to help their clients plan and monitor this transition back to pre-COVID activity levels. If this is not possible in the short-term, then strategies will need to be implemented to maintain solvency, avoid losses and nurse cash resources. If this is not possible clients may need to be supported while their businesses are sold or liquidated.
There is an urgent need to reach out to clients and offer to help, to assist in creating an appropriate road map to recovery or closure. Sign up for our Fee Builder program for complimentary resources to do this.
Resources you may need
You will already have a pretty good idea which clients will need your help and these should be contacted asap. If you are unsure, survey your client base. We suggest:
- Client survey – send a short questionnaire and covering email/letter to gauge the level of support clients need, and
- Client survey follow up – based on the replies to your questionnaire, a comprehensive response document that suggests how you can be of help and what clients need to do to set the ball rolling.
- Kick Start Fee Guarantee – a strategy you may like to consider, if you are concerned with losing clients, is to have a strategy in place to minimise those losses. For example, you could offer a no price increase for two years and monthly billing – set at a negotiated rate to cover all the issues you have identified – and use this process to lock-in client engagement.
- Update your website – the survey and response material could be adapted to work from your website. This would simplify the administration.
Concerned that you won’t have time to do this?
Homeworking, disrupted communications, keeping an eye on staff and filing deadlines, all of these and many more issues will be taking up your time. With this in mind we have created the documents and briefs to make the changes to your website and/or make appropriate approaches to clients.
Take up a 30-day free trial to our Fee Builder program and we will send you complimentary copies of everything you will need to:
- Identify clients’ needs.
- Collaborate with clients to create a support program.
- And as a result, lock-in client engagement.
A classic win-win outcome.
Bob Edwards and the team at LandmarkPD. 10 June 2020.