How your accountant can be your strongest ally in the quest for business growth
In my previous blog post, I explained that here at Rickard Luckin, we are often not viewed as “normal” accountants; paying our clients a sole annual tax-related visit.
It is because we really get to know and understand our clients that we are able to offer objective advice and support when it comes to making critical business decisions. If you develop trust in your accountant, their ability to understand and interpret the stories told by figures is an asset you shouldn’t ignore in your business.
(If you can’t describe your accountant in this way, then in my humble opinion, you’re selling your business short).
Here at Rickard Luckin, we are of the firm belief that going to see your accountant shouldn’t be likened to going to see your dentist…in other words, something to dread! Our reputation for caring about our clients has grown because that is exactly what we do.
Case study: SoloPress
SoloPress, a Southend-based print business, was co-founded in 1999 by Aron Priest and Andy Smith.
The company soon thrived with plenty of effort and hard work, yet a lack of focus on the figures meant that by 2012, significant issues were starting to arise.
During my first appointment with SoloPress I was fully appraised of these issues. I clearly set out my proposed strategy, warning Aron and Andy that they could lose their company if they didn’t prepare for and focus directly on what they needed their business to achieve.
I’m told by Aron that my honest approach won him over from the beginning!
Checking the figures
We began by rolling up our sleeves, getting straight to work on painting an accurate picture of the business through its figures. As Aron and Andy experienced, it is easy to believe that your business is doing well when simply viewing its surface operations, and some business owners can isolate themselves from what may be happening behind the scenes.
Preparing for success
To properly prepare for success, you have to manage what may not be working – a task that is certainly not for the faint of heart! SoloPress were looking to buy out a business partner and we didn’t delay, working together on terms and then cleanly managing the process.
Budgeting for success
If you have an end goal in mind, it will be far easier to work towards success and growth because you will know what they look like. From the beginning, we clearly defined exactly what SoloPress wanted to achieve with their business.
Initially, this meant cutting back and living on less – which in Aron’s words was a shock at first! – but the benefits were soon seen and felt throughout the business.
This was the first time the company had planned a budget, and they found it a challenging process to begin with. However, an appetite soon developed for frequently checking the figures, and the positive story they were starting to tell.
Trust and relationships matter
Developing trust in your accountant is important in business, and this is an ethos we take seriously at Rickard Luckin. I spent valuable time immersing myself in SoloPress, listening to Aron and Andy’s concerns and getting to know them through regular contact. This meant that my advice came from a genuine understanding of the company, and was therefore relevant and effective.
As accountants, we at Rickard Luckin are often used to picking up the pieces after bad decisions. However, the team at SoloPress spoke to me before making any major purchases, and I even assisted in the recruitment of a finance director.
Caring about your clients’ business, and celebrating their success alongside them, is a key part of building trust and strengthening relationships. Alongside SoloPress, our clients have spoken positively about the regular networking events held by Rickard Luckin, such as budget briefings, where they are able to get to know us on a personal as well as a professional level.
Clients can be an inspiration!
There is nothing better than working with clients who have obvious drive and passion for their business, and this is what ultimately led to vastly increased turnover at SoloPress before the successful sale of the company to Onlineprinters, one of Europe’s largest online print firms.
In Aron’s words, “you have to like who you’re dealing with on such a personal and professional level, and with Rickard Luckin we’ve definitely enjoyed working with the human side of accountancy”.
To find out more about our passionate, personal and professional approach, why not get in contact?