Following the great feedback our very own Lauren Monks got for her last Life Hub article, we thought we’d see what other gems she had up her sleeve. In this week’s piece she recalls how My Accountant Friend got its start, how the business grew, and how they can help you to grow yours without having to sacrifice too much of your personal time.
We started My Accountant Friend in 2009 in a garage – just a small business, like so many others, looking to grow. We can therefore proudly say that we have ‘been there, done that.’ We have been in your shoes, so we can talk from experience.
Spreading the word
The majority of our new businesses comes from referrals and recommendations. We pride ourselves on providing a personal service, and ensure we give excellent customer service. This gives our clients confidence when referring us to their friends and colleagues. We also network like crazy, trying to attend a handful of events each month to be seen and heard.
We’re also very into blogging and sharing our knowledge with anyone who needs it. We publish a blog post on The Life Hub every week – you’re reading the latest now. And if you want to know more about how and why we do this, check out this article here.
Ensuring the service you are offering is of an excellent quality will lead you to referrals and more business. It sounds simple, but it’s surprising how few people take a good look at what they’ve done, how they’re doing and what they could be doing better. So, while you’re busy growing, make sure you save yourself time to assess your progress.
Which leads us to…
Most new businesses can spend between 80-90 hours per week building their business and completing admin tasks. If you want to be successful and have a life (the dream!), then you’ll have to find the Holy Grail of the self-employed: The Work/Life Balance.
Start by keeping track of things. How long are you spending or menial tasks? How much of your time are you giving to each project you’re involved with? If you work with multiple clients, are some more demanding of your time than others, and are you aware of how much you might be over-servicing them?
We keep a great little tool called Toggl open on our desktop, on our phones and on our tablets. Once you’ve set it up, you can tap a client’s name whenever you start and stop your work with them, or whenever you begin a specific task for your own business.
At the end of each week, month or even year, you can top up how much time you’ve put into each area of your business, with the results presented in easy-to-read charts. It’s a time-saving godsend!
Once you’ve done this, you’ll be in a better position to work out where adjustments could be made. Maybe you can outsource some of the work you’re doing. Are there perhaps tasks you would be better passing on to another professional?
Which leads us to…
Bookkeeping and accounting are daunting areas for most new businesses. It can certainly feel like ‘the unknown’. Naturally, we would always recommend new business appointed an accountant from day one. This will give you piece of mind that you are complying with HMRC and Companies House, and are avoiding any hefty penalties those guys like to issue.
By appointing an accountant you can use their expertise and knowledge to ensure you are working in the most tax-efficient way. Would you know how much tax to pay on your income? Would you know how much VAT to pay? Would you know what costs the business could incur?
Pass your bookkeeping and accounting affairs to an accountant to free up your time, allowing you to develop your business and spend more time with the family.
Which us leads us to…
OK, so we were always going to end up suggesting this, weren’t we? But we’re proud of what we do, so we don’t mind blowing our own trumpet.
My Accountant Friend offers a personal, pro-active service, which covers all of your tax and accounting needs. You will have your own dedicated accountant, and will definitely not be passed from pillar to post. We like to get to know you and your business goals so we can help and advise you in the best way.
And, in truth, we care about how we work with you as much for your benefit as ours. After all, if you’re impressed with our service you will sing our praises to your friends/colleagues – you can see how this works now!
MAF will be with you to support and guide you on what you should/shouldn’t be doing, and will ensure you are complying with HMRC. We do this day in and day out, and we’ve been working in this way for the best part of the last decade, so we really do know what we are doing.
All businesses are required to maintain bookkeeping records. With this in mind, we have our own online book-keeping portal which allows you to easily record your sales and expenses. The portal even talks to your bank account, and will pull through your banking transactions, saving you precious time. See the video above for more info, and to hear what our customers have to say.
Now you’re making money!
Once you have started making money, we will guide you on how to get your hands on this income in the most tax-efficient way, leaving as much as possible for you (and as much as the taxman deserves, without him taking it too far!)
In all cases, we give you bespoke advice depending on your individual circumstances. Drop us a line if you want to find out more.