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By popular demand…

… Or in truth, just the one request for a follow up; but I have been toying with the idea of writing this, my farewell blog, for some time now.

Two years ago I was suffering from a shortage of time and I decided to outsource the work – it didn’t pan out as I’d imagined it would.

Looking back what I needed was a break, a bit of time to step back and sort my thoughts out, but that’s not something that’s ever likely to happen when you’re running your own business – certainly not in the early years. I was hoping that getting someone on board would give me that chance.

Instead I felt like I had twice as much work to do and twice as much worry – will they do it right? will I pick up on any mistakes? how thoroughly should I check?

After about two months of this I made the decision to quit. I wrote to my clients, blamed the economy and bad market conditions and gave them all notice that I was closing the business as of 31 Jan 2014. Enough time to finish up their outstanding books, and enough time for them to make alternative arrangements. I felt better almost immediately after hitting send.

Closing a business you’ve spent months and months building, is a numbing task and not one I enjoyed in the slightest. Telling The IAB and HMRC were top of my list, after that it was just whoever else needs to know. But pulling the whole thing down felt like such a waste.

I put the final task off for so long I almost ran out of time – Yep, you guessed it, my ’13/14 SA returns were filed with on a week to spare! So much for Mr Hyper-Organisation.

This last year has seen a lot of personal change for me and the dust is only just starting to settle. But if I hadn’t closed the business when I did  I wouldn’t have had the space or time to accomplish what I have since. It needed to happen, so I’m glad it did.

I will start another business at some point, maybe not bookkeeping, but doing something. This whole process has taught me a lot, and right or wrong here’s what I’m taking away from the experience:

  1. Done is better than perfect. It’s practice that makes you better.
  2. Delegate everything you can. Spreading the load stops you burning out too quickly
  3. Have a plan and then bin it. Reality won’t ever turn out the way you imagine but you still need to have a strong idea of where you’re going.
  4. Find a backer. Even if you don’t need the money, having someone to be accountable to is a big motivator.
  5. Find a trusted mentor. This should only cost you the price of a coffee but will give you insights and advice you hadn’t even considered.
  6. People don’t tend to follow all the rules and they mostly get away with it. Which sucks if you’re doing your best to be good.
  7. Running a business isn’t a job, it’s a lifestyle. Find a way to align your business with your personal life – and I don’t mean just have your office at home.
  8. Don’t work for friends. They either expect too much or you give too much away.
  9. If the only reward you get from your business is money, you’ve missed out on a major opportunity.
  10. Your first business will probably fail. But that shouldn’t stop you doing it anyway, because the one after that will have the benefit of your experience.

Thanks to you all for reading, and thanks for being there with your advice and comments. I can honestly say I’ve learned the hard way.

The bookkeeper has left town.


The third option.

“When you’re faced with a difficult choice and you’re not sure what to do – find the third option.” – Don’t know (might have been Mary Popins/might have been Riddick).

Good morning bookkeepers everywhere! The end of the summer business season is nearly here and Autumnal weather has definitely arrived.

During this last year (and it’s been almost a year since I last posted to the blog) I’ve had to face and make some difficult choices to do with the business.

Regular readers will remember that in May last year, after months of worry about an imminently ending contract, I secured a new job within the same company. This secured my income for the foreseeable future and took the pressure off my needing to build my bookkeeping business quite as fast as originally planned. I scaled the marketing and promotion right back and concentrated on servicing those clients I already had and learning the new day job.

The new job has worked out very well. It is demanding and challenging and I have a good boss. However, devoting more and more time to the day job saw my business start to slip significantly; with emails being left unread and clients waiting longer than they should (or I ever intended).

I’ve even started to turn down business (four so far this year) because I simply couldn’t commit.

My business reputation was being damaged and I was too tired to really care.

I quickly realised I was avoiding a decision. My rent was secure and there was food on the table, so why do I even need a bookkeeping business anymore? Should I continue on simply because I’d started; it would be a waste to fold my hard won business so early on. But who wants to be included in the statement, “Most new business fail in the first two years.”?
Then again, why not concentrate on the day job and free up all that time at weekends and evenings? Why not scrap the business and call it a day? Why not quit?

I decided to do just that several times: Quit. But I kept on, not quite telling anyone about it. Dealing with queries at the last possible moment and only punching in numbers when I absolutely couldn’t avoid it any more. Even a very small business like mine demands a minimum level of care and attention that’s difficult to maintain long term unless you’re completely committed – and there was no way I was as committed as I should have been. My business was dying through lack of care and attention.

Then I was reminded (by my partner) that I had already planned for this.
“What do you mean? When?”, said I.
Right at the beginning, before I had clients, while I was doing nothing but thinking and learning and moulding my idea of what I wanted the business to look like, I’d already come up with the solution; hire another bookkeeper.

So that’s what I’ve done. Over the summer I have found and trained a newly qualified bookkeeper who will, bit by bit, take over the day to day looking after of my clients needs, leaving me to run my business.

The next few months will see if I’ve genuinely started to expand my business or if I’ve just slapped a plaster over a bigger problem.

Until next time…

One year on and very useful.

One year on and it’s time to reset the numbers. No, I’m not getting confused – I know it isn’t April yet!

There’s a fixed page at the top of this blog called This might be useful, which asks a series of questions that every bookkeeper starting out needs to know – at least that is what all of the reading I did at the beginning suggested to me.

The results have been gathered in and  I’ve reset the polls. I’d like to thank everybody that took part during the first year; your responses have been a massive help to me personally, and I know other new bookkeepers have found the results very useful too.

It’s nothing more than a summary of opinions from a small group of people, and should not be considered as anything more. Is not very scientific, but as a straw-poll it has been invaluable.

Below are the results for October 2011 to October 2012.

Where do your clients come from? (22 replies)
68.18%/15 replies – Word of mouth
13.64%/3 replies – Advertising
13.64%/3 replies – Website / Web searches
04.55%/1 reply – Direct marketing

Telesales and Networking events – 0 replies

Who/what gives you most of your work? (27 replies)
59.26%/16 replies – Sole traders
22.22%/6 replies – Limited Companies
14.81%/4 replies – Accountant referrals
03.7%/1 reply – Payroll

Partnerships – 0 replies

How long have you been a practising bookkeeper? (27 replies)
51.85%/14 replies – Less that 12 months
25.93%/7 replies – 1-5 years
11.11%/3 replies – More than 20 years
07.41%/2 replies – 10-15 years
03.7%/1 reply – 15 – 20 years

5-10 years – 0 replies

Who supervises you for MLR? (23 replies)
34.78%/8 relies – ICB
21.74%/5 replies – IAB
21.74%/5 replies – AAT
21.74%/5 replies – HMRC

How much do you charge an hour? (29 replies)
37.93%/11 replies – £10 to £15
37.93%/11 replies – £15 to £20
13.79%/4 replies – more than £25
06.9%/2 replies – £20 to £25
03.45%/1 reply – Less than £10

Which software do you prefer? (29 replies)
48.28%/14 replies – Sage
20.69%/6 replies – Spreadsheet (I assume this also includes VT)
17.24%/5 replies – Online alternative
13.79%/4 replies – Quickbooks

Now you’ve read the results, please take a few minutes to kick off this years This might be useful.

Like blood from a stone.

Been a while hasn’t it?

Obviously I’ve been a bit busy and haven’t got around to blogging. Mostly weekends have either been spent doing those summer things that need to be done; like weddings, bbq’s, festivals and so on. But crammed in between those diarised events, there has been a fair amount of bookkeeping to boot.

At this stage I’m starting to get a much better handle on my business and how it’s run. By that I mean the routine tasks and jobs that need to happen and by when. Although all of my clients give me paperwork (in varying states of order) different clients require different things. The tasks are essentially the same but the method can vary wildly.

Today I’ve spend several hours on one particular client. I’ve recently taken over this work from another bookkeeper, and have learnt a few important lessons along the way. Mostly about not trusting my own assumptions!

When I first started the work it was agreed to move the client from Quickbooks to Accounts Portal. It’s my preferred accounting software and the client agreed to move across as the previous bookkeeper provided Quickbooks and he’s never had direct access. This solution allows him access whenever he wants it – although to date he’s never had time to do so (or I suspect the inclination).
It theory switching from one package to another is simple. Get the most recent trial balance, a list of outstanding debtors and creditors, and Bob’s your uncle. Bish bash bosh, done!
But in reality, this is not how it worked out. Some nominal accounts were easy to decipher from the name. The usual, standard, “everybody has them” ones. Others were a little harder to decipher; some almost impossible.
I decided to write a list of items that I needed to clarify and paperwork I wanted to see; this list turned out to be nearly two pages long. I didn’t really want to go back to my client with so many questions, but I consoled myself that although it might look like a lot, there was no way I could be accused of not being thorough!

About a week later my client popped round with a stack of paperwork and my list in hand. The paperwork turned out to be new day to day items – and the list had the following remarks against two items: “Yes” and “Not sure, I think so”.
My client explained that he hadn’t a clue what I was talking about as his previous bookkeeper had dealt with everything and he’d not got that involved. He did bring a USB stick with a backup of his Quickbooks files, “… if that’s of any use?”. It wasn’t much – I don’t have Quickbooks.

This was 9 weeks into the businesses second VAT period of the year, 3 weeks before I’m supposed to file the first VAT return (my first VAT return ever). I started to get a little worried that I might not be able to get this lot nailed down in time.

Queue a saving grace: the previous bookkeeper had agreed to meet with me to examine the accounts using her laptop, software and files, and answer all of my questions!

The meeting went well and many of the answers provided were as I suspected they would be. But the one I was sure would be a problem, was simply my mistake. I had assumed that the previous bookkeeper had simply stopped working on the accounts and the TB I was working from was inaccurate. I assumed this because the balance in the bank was out by £500 or so from the bank statement I had at that date.
This discrepancy turned out to be a couple of cheques that had been entered prior to handover, and hadn’t cleared until after handover – as soon as this was pointed out it all made sense.

Top tip: Don’t assume it’s them straight off – double check its not your mistake first!

What do you do when a client doesn’t pay?
Difficult one for a new starter. You need the clients, and you need the money. You don’t want to upset your new found client by continually asking for your money, but you do actually want your money.

Two of my clients so far have been less than fourth coming. The first was an oversight on their part; after I’d sent two monthly statements and still hadn’t got anywhere a phone call and a quick chat cleared everything up, payment made to my account that day.

The second is still ongoing. A sole trader and standard end of year “Here’s a bag of paper, how much tax do I owe?” scenario – I quoted for the work, did the work – and at the end realised they probably wouldn’t have the money to pay me. Hmmm.
Invoice sent by email, I suggested a meeting to hand over the paperwork. At the meeting we agreed a payment plan. It was over more months than I’d have preferred but it would be something. There was zero chance of me getting the full amount in one go.
Two months on and still no payments.

What to do? I’d done the work, completed the SA online and handed back their paperwork already – I had nothing to bargain with. It was obviously going to be difficult to get them to stick to the agreement we had struck.

After another week of unanswered emails, I called and after three rings was diverted to answer phone. It wasn’t looking good, so I started to research how to make a small claim via the courts. Then my phone rang – it was the client.
“Sorry, been manic! Terribly busy, I know I’m late paying, what are your bank details, I’ll sort it today.”
Which thankfully he did.

I’ve been lucky. I now know that what I should have done in the first case is to call straight away, and now hope my client would “pick up” he owed me money from another piece of paper (I now know) he never reads.
In the second case, I should have got half the money upfront. Not a big ask when I have no idea if they’re good for the money or not, and pretty cheep bookkeeping from their poi t of view if they do decide to not pay.

Of course the next thing will be when a client just refuses outright to pay anything at all. Fingers crossed it wont happen, but odds are it probably will.

Nothing much has changed with my business as far as the usual numbers are concerned. Same amount of clients, no networking or active client hunting has been taking place – which is bad of me, but I’m not going to beat myself up about it.
Softly, softly catchy monkey: I judge myself to be at the “Do good work” stage. As soon as I can do that without worrying all the time that I’m missing some trick nobody’s bothered to mention, then I’ll worry about “Get more clients”.

Good intentions.
I want to write this blog every week, I really do. But the reality at the moment is that it’s unlikely. work is becoming routine and there’s not a lot new to write about at the moment. I’ll keep you all updated whenever I can with news and thoughts – which might end up meaning fewer blogs and far between. If there’s an area of starting-up in bookkeeping I haven’t covered and you’d like my take on how I did, or am doing it – please email me and I’ll happily work an answer in to the next blog.

Till then, Ta-Ta!

Blinded by clients.

Now that things have started to settle down a bit it’s time to take stock, get my bearings and move forward.

As I’ve mentioned countless times before, I’ve been quite busy the last few months. But I’ve only been busy dealing with what has been in front of me. I haven’t gone anywhere near a networking event, a Tweet or CPD – and a lack of regular investment of time into these areas will be fatal to my business unless I come up with a plan to “fit everything in”.

Back to the drawing board… well, not quite.

You may recall that I wrote a business plan many months ago. So this weekend I brought it down from the shelf I placed it on (shortly after I’d put up the shelf, in fact) and had a read through.
Only 8 months down the line it’s amazing how out of date it was. Almost all of the research I’d done is still relatively sound, but a fair proportion of my assumptions and conclusions were, to put it politely, either wildly optimistic or utterly unworkable given my situation. Goodness knows how I’d have coped had my day job really fallen through and I was left fending for myself on (at that point in time) zero clients. I would give some specific examples, but it’s too embarrassing.
There are things that my business plan couldn’t have accounted for, and equally there are things I missed out on completely because I either didn’t think they were relevant, or I didn’t see them as a problem.

So here I am with a “road-map success” that I don’t really trust any more and no plan of what to do or where to go next.

I’m now fully aware of the need to revisit the business plan, work in what I’ve learned, adapt what I know is realistic and what I know isn’t and hopefully come up with something a bit more like a Business PLAN and less like a Business Daydream.

Broadly speaking I’m still on the same path as intended. I have a bookkeeping business with some clients – tick. But of course that’s only the beginning and certainly nowhere close to the Grand Master Plan as I had envisioned/daydreamed about for months.

Also, during this transition period of hobby-to-business, I need to be careful of maintaining my grasp of the big picture. Not the Grand Master Plan per se; but keeping an eye on the day-to-day bigger picture. This was highlighted to me by a follow-up comment about last weeks post, on the Bookkeepers Forum. Running about and busting a gut to get X number of clients on board is all very well, but there’s another side to the coin which includes costs and time (and cost of time), which must be factored in if there’s a snow-ball in hell’s chance of making it to year 3.

Things I am going to remember when writing the new (and improved) business plan:

  • Everything takes longer than I thought it would
  • Costs go up, rarely down
  • Customers want more for less
  • I am not Superman, I need to sleep sometimes
  • No customer has fitted neatly into my “Ideal Customer” profile, yet (now thinking it’s unlikely, but not impossible) – allow for more flexibility
  • Allow for mistakes and double check everything
  • Don’t get too hung up on the detail, because it will follow regardless, and I haven’t been right yet
  • Create milestones that can be worked on in quiet periods (and don’t need too much attention when it’s busy)
  • Include allowances for personal matters that might crop-up
  • Make sure CPD is in there
  • Write a marketing plan – apparently they’re quite different

Note: If anyone has more tips, items, revelations, experience they’d like to offer-up, there’s a comments box below. Thank you.


Now, to back-track slightly…

My business plan may well be hopelessly out of date, retrospectively unrealistic and a bit of a joke when I look at it now – but it was my plan. I wrote it at the beginning to help me on this journey and so far (broadly speaking) I’m still on track. Regardless as to whether each and every nuance of it was on the money or not, it was an important process to go through because it coalesced my thoughts and ideas into something physical and something tangible. I certainly didn’t refer to it every day; I haven’t even looked at it since I wrote it.  But, I wrote it and that gave me a sound working knowledge of what was in it; including which paths to take and which direction to head in.

You don’t go to the shops without a list, do you?

My Business in numbers
Nothings really changed from last week – which means in 6 months time I’ll be facing some tough times. Another reason to get my plans up to date, and get on with some business!

Undervalued myself, again!

I was starting to beat myself up about not writing this yesterday, but I realised the reason I was putting it off was because I had work to do. Real paying work. Now there’s a thing! So, sorry to be a bit flaky, but it’s more likely that the blog will be published Sundays from now on, possibly even Monday.

Dear Diary,
Early last week I got a call which went something like:

Him: How do you feel about doing my books for last year? It’s a rush job.
Me: How long would it normally take you?
Him: Well, hmmm.
Me: Is it something you would usually do yourself in one evening?
Him: Yeah, kinda.
(I did some quick sums in my head) Me: Ok, £60 all in.

Do you see what I did there? That’s right. Without even looking at the job I guessed at how long it would take (I assumed about 4 hours) and multiplied that by mates-rates to arrive at £60.

That evening I got an email with spreadsheets, bank statements and more, attached (last years too, for comparison).  The parcel crammed with paper arrived in the post on Wednesday afternoon and I started straight away; and I timed myself.

In total, over the course of Wednesday evening, Thursday evening and Saturday morning, it took me 9hrs 10min. That’s bloomin’ accurate too – I paused the stop-watch (who owns a stop-watch any more? Obviously it was a smart phone app.) every time I made a cup of tea or rolled a cigarette (yes, I started smoking again) or, well, anything not directly related to the job in front of me.

The thing I will not do is go back to my friend and say, “Hey, listen – I made a mistake, it’s not £60 it’s closer to £140.” But what I am going to do is stop grasping at straws and saying the first price that comes into my head.

I’m not worried about it. I guess that this is one of the bits most people struggle with when they’re starting out. One in a long line of “bits” you have to eventually get comfortable with and get a feel for. Next year I’m quoting something a little more appropriate.

Learning curves – you gotta love ’em!

Thirty-nine pounds and ten pence.
The end of June was also the end of first trading quarter for client No. 1. That being the case it was time to issue my first invoice and receive my first official, bona fide, sole trader, self employed payment for services rendered. My fee arrived in the form of a cheque.

It’s a nice feeling to finally be getting some money in, rather than seeing it disappear out the door in dribs’n’drabs. The amount isn’t huge, but I think it is fair. They haven’t actually sent me any bookkeeping yet, the two hours I charged was simply for time spent on their affairs (general administration, preparing sales invoices etc.) over the last few months with some recharged items (postage, etc.) No doubt I spent almost double that actually staring at my PC figuring out “processes” that will work for them/me/us in every eventuality, so it’s easier for me (and them) in the coming season.

From tomorrow onwards, they’re both on a non-stop tour, putting up / taking down marquees at music festivals up and down the UK – for two months solid. Very best of luck to my No.1 clients – I hope the weather is kind!

The day job.
Apparently I was a little short on details last week, but in my defence, I wrote and published the entire blog from my phone. To assuage any fears that I might be sinking or may have made too bold a move, trust me, I haven’t.

It’s fun, it’s busy, it’s exacting: I’m a personal assistant, and according to my peers, a highly organised one. Who’da thought?

It is a beast of a job. There’s a lot to it and it demands my constant attention when I’m there. I have to think ahead, plot, plan and scheme my way through the week. I have to manage my director and (slightly less so) the six managers who report to my director. The best thing about this role is that with all of the responsibility I seemingly have, there is actually none that I have direct accountability for.

It’s exactly the kind of job I’ve been looking for for a while. I report to just one person (who is probably the nicest person I’ve ever met at his professional level), my opinion on a variety matters are sought and valued. I’m flexible enough to work late when I need to, which in turn means I can claw that lieu time back when I’m busy as a bookkeeper (this week for instance).

Meetings and targets go round in cycles, and at this point I’m half-way through the second cycle since joining the department, so I’ve got a reasonable handle on what happens when, where and who’s allowed to know about it (discretion is a big part of the job). I’m given lots of mini-projects that nobody else has time to do and thoroughly enjoy doing them.

However… my director seems to be under the impression I’d eventually like to join the department as something more than a senior admin. To be honest, that’s not something I’ve really considered seriously. My sights are set somewhere else, I am after all a bookkeeper, with my own growing business. I don’t really have the disposition to be a manager for an organisation again. I’ve done that and have come to the conclusion that there are easier ways to earn a living than having lots of accountability without necessarily having the right corporate tools at your disposal to do the job right fist time. Other peoples politics – bah! – no thank you.

Client update.
Client No. 2 still needs to get back to me with some missing information, so I can finalise his 2011/12 books.Then it’s getting him to sign off on them and doing the SA online. Fingers crossed there’s a rebate (I won’t know until I get the info back from him) – because that’s probably where my fee is being paid from – if not, having looked at his numbers, it’s probably going to end up being a payment plan of some sort. Still, a regular something is better than a one-off nothing, I guess??

Client No.3 still needs to sign and return his engagement letter – then I can sit down and start building his books on the new system. He’s transferring from Quickbooks to AccountsPortal. One of his gripes with the old bookkeeping was that he’d never really knew what was going on. He’d get a monthly P&L and Balance Sheet, with a (fairly meaningless) pie chart stapled to the back. If he had ageing creditors or debtors he wouldn’t be alerted to the fact until the monthly management reports turned up – and even then, he’d have to look hard to see if there was a problem. I’ve shown him AccountsPortal and the front page Dashboard had him sold straight away. I’ll be inputting weekly and encouraging him to check the AP dashboard at least once a week.

Client No.4: See Dear Diary, above.

Client No.5 – no, not yet. I suppose this should really be called the “Current Prime Prospect”. Haven’t heard anything since he called me out of the blue two weeks ago. I’ve sent a follow-up email since, but no reply as yet. However if clients No.2 and No.3 are anything to go by, this is how I see it happening: We’ve had a chat, he’s spoken to me and (I assume) liked what I have to offer over his current providers – now he’s thinking about it. I’ve never really thought about it like this before, but changing your bookkeeper must be like swapping banks for some people? Yes the bank you currently have are a pain in the arse and you really don’t feel you’re getting the value you pay for, but they are the devil you know.

It takes time to finally act on what has probably already decided by the time they picked up the phone and called. Luckily, I’m in no rush and have no plans to harass anyone into doing business with me.

And finally; I seem to be getting a lot of enquiries by email asking me to apply for bookkeeping jobs (three in the last month – is that a lot?). “Working one day a week for a company in blagh, specialising in blagh, with a monthly turnover of blagh and blagh members of staff. Please apply if you’re interested.” Now, I’d love to apply to one of these to see what goes on, but really don’t want to waste anybodys time – and I’d have to say no if I did (somehow) manage to get the work.

My business in numbers:
New business cards this week: 0, Handshakes this week: 0, Inquiries this week: 0, Meetings this week: 0, Total Clients: 4
Total LinkedIn connections: 90, Klout score: 15
Twitter Following: 238, Twitter Followers: 163

And then it all went, BANG!

After a nine week hiatus from blogging, I’m back. With shorter, worser written and less meaningful diatribes about hardly anything to do with bookkeeping.

Well, almost.

Dear Diary,
Have you ever heard the saying, “May you live in interesting times”? I call it a saying, in some cultures it’s more like a curse.

About ten weeks ago I applied for and got a new job (within the same organisation), a promotion.
To tell the truth I was a bit worried about it at the time, and because I had 4 weeks notice to give to my old department before starting in the new role, I ditched bookkeeping for a short time and spent most of May revising for my new job. A necessary evil – and one I haven’t objected too.

The first day in the new job went well – although it was a bit or a trial by fire affair. The first week went ok, but I sensed that there was still more than I was being told.
The second week saw me gripping the tip of an iceberg and about to drift aimlessly into a shipping lane – but I was sort of learning how to steer this beast of a job.

It’s now the end of June and around the time I promised myself that I would pick up bookkeeping again and get back to blogging and study and so fourth.

But bookkeeping, it seems, wont be put aside so easily and once you’ve done a certain amount of ground work, it takes on a life of its own.

Quite out of the blue, about two weeks ago I signed up a new client. About a week ago I signed up another client; again, utterly unexpected.
This week – I’m on a promise from a third client, if I can make it to the appointment on time.

As an additional bonus, the very new and very demanding day job is going extremely well too.

Client update:
You all know about my first client. Their business is going very well, although there have been several set-up issues which have been frustrating. Nothing to do with the individual’s involved, but more centring around the distances involved between the three of us (two directors and me) and how best to communicate and get things done.
The business bank account set up has been a nightmare. Forms the length of which I was gobsmacked by, compounded by the requirement for me to complete the obvious bits, then post to Wales for one set of signatures, then posted on to London for the second set and finally posted to the bank for processing. Slow, onerous and irritating beyond belief.
It seems we might be finally there with the bank account – well done to all involved for keeping their cool!

Several months ago I met an entertainer in Brighton whilst on a BusinessLink workshop. If you think you remember who I’m talking about – yes, that’s the one.
Well, earlier this month his paper tax return forms arrived at his home and he panicked. I’ve never seen a paper return and I must admit that it does look like an impressive wad of paper (hardly anything compared to opening a business bank account though) – guess who he called? Amazingly my prediction of getting a call from a fellow BusinessLink workshop delegate came true. He signed my paperwork last week and I’m halfway through his receipts and invoices (he’s not done too bad at all, so far).
Quite apart from the fact he actually a nice guy, the great thing from my point of view is that he’s perfect referrer material. If I do a good job, he’ll definitely talk to others about me. Note to self: do a good job.

My third client is, again, someone I’ve spoken to before. It was a huge surprise to receive another call from this business as I thought I’d screwed this up months ago. But call again he did.
On Thursday afternoon I rocked up to his office and we started talking about his business; some background, the product, his life, my experience, recession, hard times, bookkeeping and then onto my fees.
All I’m going to say at this point is: I have a client, but he got me cheep. Too cheep really, but it’s a mistake I knew I was going to make, and I’m glad it was with this business, which has only a very few high value transactions per month + VAT returns each quarter.

Networking update:
Haven’t done any. To busy and too tired. However, I do bump into people I know from networking semi-regularly, and there’s always a polite hello and an email follow up if I have a good reason for it.
Going on the above timescales, I wouldn’t expect any business from any networking activity I’ve already done for another four months or so. Of course that means that if I’m not doing business promotion now, I won’t be picking up any work in eight months time.

Blog fail:
Without anything bookkeeperish to write about and knowing I needed to concentrate on other things for a time the blog took a back seat. Now with things settling down a bit (by settling down I mean furiously busy but starting to resemble something like a routine) I feel more able to pick up the reigns again. Who knows, next week I might be able to tell you I’ve started studying again.

See you next week.

My business in numbers:
New business cards this week: 0, Handshakes this week: 1, Inquiries this week: 1, Meetings this week: 1, Total Clients: 3
Total LinkedIn connections: 90, Klout score: 15
Twitter Following: 238, Twitter Followers: 163