The Heading of this Blog is hurtful, isn’t it? No one enjoys a loss, especially when you are in business and having clients is the driving force behind success.
We have heard and know that the role of entrepreneurship is to provide valuable solutions to individuals or organisations. This is same with me when I started my practice. I have only worked for big companies’ i.e. Recognised retailers and saw fit to use my knowledge, experience and education to serve the SME’s so they can build their businesses with direction. I don’t believe anyone can start a business that they don’t want to be successful.
Among our business clients are also professionals such as lawyers, doctors, etc. some of which have full-time jobs and locums, which is where we as the accounting firm come in. We always advise them to allocate their locum income to business as it similar to a part time job, the exercise will also help to lower their Personal Income Tax and further motivate them to start and build their own practice(s). They love this concept!!
Earlier this year we signed a new client who is an Audiologist, just relocated to here in Johannesburg. (She was originally based in Durban) She was referred to us by another client of ours who is a Speech Therapist because she is “happy with us”.
As usual after her first call we arranged a meeting to understand her work and to iron out the details of our working relationship/contract.
The new client has just started her practice working full time for only a few months now. She is always on the road attending meetings, seeing clients, etc.
As she did not have an accountant or a bookkeeper we had to back date her books which includes closing off the previous tax season (12 months’ work), update & begin with the new one.
The first months’ work and reports clearly show the actual sales, expenses, costs of consumables and the practice assets. Immediately after submitting for this first month the client requested a meeting to clarify some pointers and transactions. We arranged a meeting and added on some advice, little did we know – this was opening our client‘s eyes to our loss.
In the fifth month, when we request the monthly paperwork she decided to give me a call. The call was to let me know she would be stopping work at the practice and going back to the field – working full-time for the government because the practice thing was not working. This was sad for both of us. For me I thought: “We helped you see the light and now you just drop us like that?” (Inside voices) but I realised I must also be reasonable and put myself in her shoes, and further remind myself that the reason I started my practice was to solve people’s problems – so this was one of them!
The client said, “I know it is sad for you Dikeledi, you’ve been so good to me and my practice but I am not making money out of this and the practice consumes so much of my time with no satisfactory returns because I end up relying on my husband for fuel and stuff, I mean you have seen that”. And truly I had, under normal circumstances I would advise the client to start working harder on getting new clients but she had already made up her mind and was ready to start her full-time work in a month’s time.
She further said “I would still like you to do my personal filing” (this means once a year) “Plus I have a new client for you in Pretoria she is a GP – here are her details. I have already spoken to her about you ” (then there was the positive) I will refer them to you don’t worry.
My message about all this is – In your pursuit of purpose you are going to see that by providing solutions to people you will, at the same time, be the reason for them to leave to their benefit but because you have done your work so well and you were honest they will feel they are indebted to you and do some marketing on your behalf.
Whatever you do, serve…
A Special Quote from me: “Without bookkeeping, it’s impossible to measure the true success or failure of your business dealings. You won’t know that your R – per month magazine ad campaign isn’t worth the investment. You’ll have no idea why you barely have enough money to operate your business and you won’t know where the money went. A smart business owner realizes bookkeeping has several undeniable benefits”.
Compiled by Dikeledi Seoloane – On behalf of Matsobanemetja Business Consulting Pty Ltd. (Coaching Division)