Article by exit strategist and business coach for SMEs Sarah-Beth Cleaves
Running an accounting practice is hard work. You have 15 clients with urgent queries at any one time, 12 work files half finished because the client hasn’t sent in all their information, 2 staff that are unhappy and want more money, you are doing all the work, you haven’t had a date night with your partner in 2years and holidays are just something your staff take!
Even though you are feeling like you are managing it at the moment, the sad reality is you could be just one action away from a disaster.
What would happen if a key employee left with client notes in limbo?
What would happen if you took a week off work?
What would happen if a few of your key clients left tomorrow?
In Sarahs experience with helping accountants in the past she has identified 7 warning signs that you are about to burn out
1. Your revenue relies on a small number of clients
The majority of your revenue comes from a minority of your clients. If one or more of these clients suddenly left it would have a devastating impact on your business
2. Your top clients only want to deal with you not your staff.
This results in your mobile being glued to your ear and constant interruptions for questions and conversations that you didn’t necessarily need to get involved in
3. You are working more than 70hours a week
You probably justify this by telling yourself it’s the price of being a business owner and just the way it goes.
4. You are unable to take longer than 1 week off work
When you do take holidays you need to check your emails and do at least 1-2hours of work a day while you are away. You worry about the billings whilst on holidays and are concerned if you are not in the office to drive it then the wheels may start to fall off.
5. Your staff are ok at their jobs.
That’s the problem though isn’t it? Just ok. They take no initiative, they have limited ownership and as soon as a client has a problem they come straight to you to sort it out.
6. You haven’t had a date night with your partner in 2 years
Your wife or husband is constantly complaining about you working too much and when you are at home you are still checking emails as opposed to enjoying switching off.
7. You secretly know you are under-servicing your clients.
The bulk of what you do is reactive. You know you could be helping your clients at a higher level than just straight compliance and tax advice. You are so flat out with being reactive and running the business that this is just one more thing you wish were doing.
It doesn’t have to be like this. Do you want to get out of this reactive space and ramp up profitability in your practice ? One of her clients went from working 60 hour standard weeks to now taking Wednesdays off, doubling net profit and most importantly having a fortnightly date night with his wife!