One day, years ago, a friend of English writer G. K. Chesterton found him packing his bags. Curious about the unannounced trip, he asked where Chesterton was going.
“To see Chamberwell,” was the reply.
“Aren’t you getting a little absent-minded?” asked the surprised friend. “You are in Chamberwell now. This is where you live.”
“Yes,” said Chesterton, “and that’s why I’m going away. I’m too close to Chamberwell to see it properly. Things have become too familiar for me to notice them.”
Like Chessterton, in the story above, owners of small businesses often times are too close to the business to see new and better ways to run their business. In fact, after a while they’re not much different than the employees, and the business is running them.
This is where you as the accountant can be so helpful to them. Your perspective is different, and often you will have ideas that can make the business run more smoothly and even more profitably. To get fresh ideas, break the business down into pieces. Examine each account in the general ledger with an eye for improvement. Study each account from different angles; what could the business do to make each account even more beneficial?
Here’s just a sample of questions you might start with in examining these accounts:
- Is the business collecting accounts receivable effectively?
- Are all the businesses assets being put to use?
- Could we improve the terms with the client’s vendors?
- Are there new ways to make revenues?
- Are there expenses that are too high and could be shaved?
- Is all the advertising accomplishing it’s purposes?
- Could any jobs be done faster, simpler, cheaper–without sacrificing quality or safety?
Take a trip to through your client’s business–in other words, step back and look at it as if you’ve never been there before. That way, you can help your client see a fresh perspective. You’ll become as enthusiastic as a tourist in pursuing new ways to help your client grow, and your client will become a fan.
Click HERE to Learn Other Ways to Take Care of Your Clients
Other sections from this week’s newsletter:
- Success Begets Success
- What is Your Network Worth?
- Start a Part-Time Bookkeeping Service