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Post Info TOPIC: What's everyone's plans for their businesses in the New Year


Expert

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What's everyone's plans for their businesses in the New Year


HI Everyone,

Well with 2020 nearly over, what are people's business plans for the new year? Like me I expect a lot of you are really hacked off with the furlough being extended, when on earth is it really going to end, I am expecting it to get extended yet again!

Anyone feel like giving up at all? I have felt like it many a times with all the rubbish I have had to deal with this year!

Wishing you all a Happy New Year and lets hope it is going to be a better one than the one we've just had! Surely it can't get any worse...

Well onwards and upwards and good riddance to 2020!

Take care and stay safe.



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Amanda



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Happy new year to everyone

Hi Amanda

Earlier this year, after receiving the business rates grant, I took on some main road premises. I was expecting the business to develop rapidly but although I still have all my existing customers bar one, I've only gained 3 new customers as a direct result of being where I am, (although they have all come in the last 2 months)

I've now reached the point where the money had dried up, so I have to make the decision to either put another 5k in to see me through the next 6 months, or downscale back to where I was again.



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John

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Sorry to hear your issues John and Amanda,

Sounds as though you are having the same decision to make that I did when I had premises in that no work was being won from the premises themselves even though independant bricks and mortar always helps to give the business added credibility. When you have made the leap its difficult to give up but sometimes it is the sensible option.

My advice... Don't take anyone's advce but spend a day on your own just thinking it through. the decision you make may be right, it may be wrong, but you made it yourself taking into account everything including factors that difficult to quantify such as gut feel for the way that the market is going to go.

I wish you the very best.

For myself. I have a practice certificate that I only now use for a couple of clients that barely pays the cost of maintaining the certificate (PII, certificate and professional membership). I need all of the software anyway for my own accounts.

If I find a company that I am really happy at and after looking under the bonnet I think that they can stay afloat and independant then I can quite honestly say that with the way the Government has messed around with the tax system/Payroll/Pensions for years always putting the emphasis on us to enact their wishes and either charging us to do it, requiring more expensive software that we have to pay for to imlement it, or threatening penalties if we don't play ball. Then I may walk away from the practice side of the business completely.

Thats not Brexit, it's not Covid-19. It's just tired of unneccessary change for the sake of it.

Sorry about the negative vibe in the above but really wishing you all a better 2021 than most had in 2020.

Good luck and take care,

Shaun.



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Shaun

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Hi all and a Happy New Year

Hi Amanda, I am lucky with the furlough in that most of my clients have very few employees and at the moment I only have 2 Directors claiming it so it hasn't been so bad for me but I understand your frustration as it seems to be going on for an age and in my opinion the Government has been too generous not just with furlough but also with SEISS, yes some do need it desperately but others do not and that is where I believe it is falling short, in distinguishing between the two.

Hi John, sorry to here the new premises has not worked out but as Shaun said I think you need to just have a good think about it and weigh up the pros and cons, the shop will always look more professional and may bring higher end clients, but it also goes the other way in that some smaller businesses will not even consider you because they will believe you to be to expensive.

So plans for next year, I have had a very busy year taking on a few new sole traders but mainly people setting up Ltd Companies because of losing their jobs through Covid, hopefully for the people that have taken the plunge they all turn out to be profitable but i still think that we are all going to be in for a tough year, my plans are just to stick with the clients I have and not take on many more in case it starts to get in the way of my alcohol consumption.

Cheers



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Doug

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Hi All,

I know exactly where you are coming from John, I did think about taking on premises and expanding but decided to hold fire at the beginning of last year and to be honest I am glad I did. I don't have many on furlough but it is still extra work and also having to keeping reading up on it and making sure I am doing it right!

I could possibly go employed with one of my clients, the work is there which is good and will continue to be there, the problem is I will need to cull half of my business to fit it in. Am very tempted to do so! Like you Shaun, I am not sure I want to be in practice anymore! I have quite a bit to think about over the next few weeks...........

John - with the 3 new clients will it be worth keeping the premises, will they grow so you can earn more from them?

Anyway we are now in 2021, god I do so hope it is better than last year! So Happy New Year to everyone! xx



-- Edited by Amanda on Friday 1st of January 2021 03:17:19 PM

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Amanda



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Hi everyone,

I can't say happy new year because personally I see new year as 1 Feb. Hard to celebrate the start of the worst month of the year, especially this year when I'm so far behind thanks to various covid related things.

I think all accountants are just tired at the moment, I think that all the extra pressures of the financial impact (ie the associated endless advice/work/calculations) of this virus on top of brexit, IR35, the loan charge, MTD, the upcoming reverse charge vat for construction, HMRC and it's barely concealed dislike for working with accountants, and the endless MLR red tape, have driven many of us to breaking point. I know that I could personally walk away right now. Like Shaun, if I felt that there was a particularly stable business (and I do have my eye on one to be fair) where I could make a nice role for myself, then I would be sorely tempted into industry instead of practice, after 20+ years of doing my own thing.

John, I've had several shopfronts over the years and each time I found that people came through the door faster than I could deal with them. Sorry to hear that it's not worked out that way for you. Maybe I had lucky timing or location or something. What do you have as a window display? I think that certainly plays a part in it. It is somewhere with a good footfall and easy parking?

As for my plans for this year, initially they are to survive the next month, which with the number of tax returns I have left to do is not so much of a steep hill to climb, but more of a vertical onslaught. After that, in an ideal world there's a website revamp coming, a move to a different PM software to automate more tasks and then maybe a bit of targeted marketing. Or maybe I'll jack it all in and become a alpaca farmer or something!!



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Jenny

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Master Book-keeper

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Thanks for the comments

Amanda, I don't expect any of the 3 clients to grow, but the aim is to add enough clients to cover the additional costs of having the shop.

Jenny, that's interesting, as I genuinely expected to be breaking even by now, so whether the shop growth has been affected by Covid I don't know. The shop is on one of the main routes out of town, so quite busy, with parking available on a nearby side street. A mistake I initially made was concentrating on a separate income stream doing admin work, and initially my window display focused on that. I've now changed it just promoting accountancy work.

Doug, as you know (I think) I aim particularly at small businesses, and never thought for one moment thought a shop was likely to put that sector off, so that's certainly something I need to consider.

and Shaun, absolutely bang on. Will be making a final decision in a weeks time. Can't see this virus going away anytime soon, but on a bright note, I think there will be a significant change by April, as the majority of the over 60's will have been vaccinated by then.



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John

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Expert

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HI Everyone,

Glad I am not a lone in thinking this, I was beginning to think I was going mad!

Like you Jenny I am just generally fed up, I have been going out to premises more and more over the past 2 years and have a good mixture of home office and client's offices, but with everything changing all the time I am really getting tempted, I am going to make a decision this month and I think I will have that conversation with a client and see how it goes. Who knows what this year will bring!

I can't see the virus going away any time soon either John, although it does sound hopeful with the vaccinations taking place.

John - Maybe you should leave it a few weeks before you make that decision and see what January brings, especially with the shop front change. Hope what ever you decide it all goes well.

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Amanda



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Amanda wrote:

John - Maybe you should leave it a few weeks before you make that decision and see what January brings, especially with the shop front change. Hope what ever you decide it all goes well.


Good advice, thank you



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John

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John, it may well just be covid related and will sort itself out given another couple of months. I think that the shop front display, along with the website are very important factors in bringing people in. Lots of people will drive past and then look at the website before making a decision. If you look affordable and friendly though you'll generally get walk ins, in my experience mainly they are tax return only clients, so it may depend on what type of client you want to attract.

Amanda, you mentioned you would have to cull half your clients to take on the new permanent work - would you keep it half and half do you think, or just test the water initially and then bin off the rest? The thing that makes me nervous about only having the one client/employer is having all my eggs in one basket. Back at the start of 2019 I lost a big client, no fault of mine or theirs, but it made a large financial impact. I had still had plenty of other clients and new people have come along since to fill in the hole, but if they had been my only client I would have been really stuck. I think I've been self employed so long the idea of one source of income makes me sweat! haha



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Jenny

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HI Jenny,

Yes it does make me nervous, but they have good history and will be there for many years to come, Covid hasn't affected them at all, which I know is surprising as it has affected the majority of people, but I could easily increase my hours, offices are nice as well. Basically it has everything going for it. But..... to do it I would have to cull half of my clients and just keep a few, by that I mean the little ones, it could be done but I would really need to sit down and work it out on paper how to do it all. I am seriously getting tempted. I won't be full time, so I could just pick the others that are best for me. I would seriously up set a few people though which then stops me in my tracks.

Perhaps we can have a chat about it some time?......... Sometimes to talk to someone else who has a open mind but in similar position is a good thing. I think we met a long time ago?

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Amanda



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I know what you mean, I've often not done things because of worrying about upsetting clients....but actually as much as we get on well with them, when clients want to do something/leave/change their mind they don't give two hoots about us!

Very happy to talk it through, it's hard making a decision by yourself.

Have we?....Are you Quickbooks Amanda??



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Jenny

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Yes Jenny QB's Amanda!

Did you use to be in Shirley?

Shame we can't meet in a coffee shop for a natter! Could always do a zoom instead or phone call.

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Amanda



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Well I did not know that! (or maybe I did and have long since forgotten!!)

Yes it is a shame that coffee is out of bounds, but happy to make my own and meet you on Skype/zoom!

I have thought previously about starting some kind of social group for bookkeepers/accountants, not for networking or any purpose other than having a real good moan about clients/hmrc, because sometimes that's exactly what is needed!

I'll send you a PM now to arrange.....John you would be most welcome to join if you wanted to chat more about the pros and cons of an office.



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Jenny

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Master Book-keeper

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BudgetB wrote:

I'll send you a PM now to arrange.....John you would be most welcome to join if you wanted to chat more about the pros and cons of an office.


Thanks Jenny, unfortunately I wasn't able to get further funding so I have no choice but to downscale.



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John

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Leger wrote:
BudgetB wrote:

I'll send you a PM now to arrange.....John you would be most welcome to join if you wanted to chat more about the pros and cons of an office.


Thanks Jenny, unfortunately I wasn't able to get further funding so I have no choice but to downscale.


That's a shame John, hopefully you can try another time.



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Amanda

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