Friday, 23 August 2013

Networking and Referrals

Your bookkeeper in Reading

‘People buy from people’ is a mantra you will hear at many a networking event.  We want to work with people we like and trust.  It’s the reason we are happy to refer the plumber or builder who did work in the house. 

Networking and referrals are the mainstay of many a small business.  Which is why I cannot understand why at several recent networking events there is nearly always someone who either comes up to me while I’m in mid conversation with someone, butts in and says ‘can’t stop but I’m  Joe X, I do this, here’s my card, gotta go’. Alternatively we’ll be in a group listening to a conversation and you can see one of the ‘listeners’ has switched off and eyes have glazed over.  OK I can understand it’s because they’re not interested in X’s product but either excuse yourself or feign interest.   I know both these types of people are not going to get my referral if I get asked to recommend someone in their profession. 
I always say that it’s not likely to be the contact I meet at networking that’s likely to be my client but a contact of theirs, current or future.  In the same way I may not have need of their skills but may know / meet someone who does.

There are some people I see regularly at various networking or trade shows and we always ask how the others getting on, what they’ve been up to etc, and these are the ones that I’m more likely to  remember when someone asks ‘can you recommend’ or ‘the type of contact I’m after is’…….
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Thursday, 15 August 2013

Bookkeeping for hairdressers and beauticians ..... guest blog for another website.       Your local independent Bookkeeper covering Berkshire and the surrounding areas.

I was asked to do a guest blog for bookkeeping for a mobile hairdressers and beauticians website.  Read it at      

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Credit control - you either love it or you hate it.             Your Reading based bookkeeper

At a bookkeeping meeting yesterday I heard about a client that hates to chase her clients for outstanding invoices because ‘they’ don’t like it.  Now that company is struggling to stay afloat. 

Although this business deals with high end clients they are afraid to chase their clients too much in case they lose the regular business. 

While it is great having your own business if you are afraid to ask for monies that are owed to you your business will not last. Once you have decided on your credit terms and agreed them with your client you should stick to them. The best way to do this is to ensure that the invoice is sent to the client as soon as the work is done or on a specific date of the month, depending on the type of service you have provided.  If they start to delay payments then ring them up a few days before the payment is due to check it is on their system and confirm the date the payment is going to be made. 

Requesting them to pay by bank transfer means payment can be made quicker. Sending a monthly statement showing everything due means there is no excuse if they say they have not received the invoice.
If it is a product you provide then ensure a credit limit is set, this way if they are near their limit then request payment before the next order is completed. If the client is unhappy about this then consider whether you really need this client.  At the end of the day you are a business not a charity.  Providing credit is the bank’s job not yours.  Late payment by your client’s will also affect your cash flow and your ability to pay your creditor’s which affects future purchasing power.

If you do not like asking for payment then outsource this to someone who can do it.  There are credit companies that specialise in this or ask your bookkeeper to include it within their remit.
I personally have it in my engagement letter that if payment is not received by me by the required date I have the right to stop working until payment is made. As yet I have not had to do this but I would rather spend my time on clients that are going to pay than on those that are not.