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YOU’RE UP ON YOUR NUMBERS, BUT ARE YOU AHEAD OF THE GAME?

In accountancy, as with any business, the skill level of your team is not always reflected in their productivity. You may have the brightest accountants and bookkeepers, but they’ll still be rushing at year end, pulling their hair out with frustration over your clients – why do some of your clients routinely ignore all of your requests for information? Or perhaps they make silly mistakes because of the time pressure which can be costly for your clients and catastrophic for your reputation.

So how can you help this? How can you harness the power of your team and become a well oiled accounting machine?

Does your team know what’s expected of them?

Your people systems and the way you manage your team is just as important as your ability to complete a set of accounts. We’ve worked with excellent accountants, helping them to improve their productivity and systemise their business. The problems are rarely around the skill set of their team, but around the culture of the business, the way the team are managed both by the Business Owner and the Managers within the firm, and the consistency with which they operate.

Do you have targets set within your business and are these enforced? As an example, do you have targets in place for the completion of X amount of tax returns each month, so that December and January aren’t the absolute worst months? How do you measure this?

How motivated are your team? Do you have regular performance reviews with them and listen to their thoughts and ideas for improvement?

Do your clients know what you expect when working with them? (Yes, it is ok to tell them!)

When you take on new clients, and meet with your current clients do you make it crystal clear when you need their information by? Do you explain to them in plain words how important to is and how much more organised and less stressful it will be to operate in advance? Do you have reminder emails, automations to run this?

Perhaps you could build into your teams’ targets – follow up on X amount of clients a week. You can create email templates that are ready to go which serve as reminders, and you can impose rewards for the clients who submit their information to you ahead of the deadline.

Imagine if you received all the information you needed 9, 10, 11 months ahead of the submission date, and that each of your team had a target of X amount of returns each month, with a view to finishing a month, or two months before  the crazy hits?

Do you have plans in place for achieving your deadlines and goals?

Say you wanted to increase your client base by 50% in 5 years. Ask yourself what would need to be in position in three years for this to be on track. Then in 12 months. And finally in 90 days. We call this 3-1-90 planning and it really works to drive and motivate towards achieving your goals.

So let’s get planning, here’s why:

1. Helps you to spot opportunities 
A consistent planning system, and planning calendar, forces you to step off the hamster wheel once in a while and get your head up. It gets you to review your progress to date – what’s worked well, what hasn’t, what lessons can be learned. It provides space and time to think – about what you want to happen, what might get in the way, how you can get round any obstacles. It opens you up to opportunities, that you might otherwise miss.

2. Brings individuals and teams together and breaks down silos 
All too often, specialist teams, or individuals within a business can get lost in their own little world, and not be able to see the value that others bring to the business, or the challenges others face to get things done. Regular planning creates the opportunity to bring people together from different areas of the business to review the way work is done from the customer’s perspective and make plans based on what is best for the whole business.

3. Creates a safe environment for new and creative ideas 
Meet ‘that’s not the way we do things round here’ – first cousin to, ‘we tried that before, and it didn’t work’ It’s this type of statement that will prevent the flow of ideas in your business, and even your best people will not put their creative heads above the parapet if they know they’ll be shot down in flames. Your planning system offers a structured way to talk openly about the challenges facing your business, and ask for new and creative solutions to overcome them.

4. Gives everyone the chance to contribute 
How motivating and exciting to be part of something that is growing and achieving success, thanks in part, to your contribution. Involve your team in your planning, and you involve them in your Vision for the future – you give them the opportunity to create it. How much more engaged do you think they will be? How much more ownership do you think they will take?

5. Exposes your blind spots 
We all have them. We can all be blind to our own strengths and weaknesses, to our innate prejudices, to other people’s talents and the value they add; and often we need others to shine a light on our blind spots. It’s the same in business – we all see things from our own view point, and benefit enormously from understanding how others see things. Planning gives us a framework for this.

6. Puts the customer first
Life planning puts you first. Business planning puts the customer first, and ensures that the focus is on what’s best for the customer, building trust and ensuring that everyone is focused on what really matters.

7. Keeps your products & services relevant 
It’s your customers who decide whether your products are relevant to them or not, and it’s your planning system that will ensure that you check in with them – that you look for more innovative and effective ways to meet their needs and satisfy their wants.

8. Builds a stronger management team 
Regular planning, focused on the business as a whole, brings the management team closer, and helps them to see the value – skills, experience and expertise – that they each bring. It’s also a great way of developing them, teaching them to focus on the end goal, and the strategies and tactics that will get you there.

9. Determines priorities 
Your planning system is a key element in your continuous improvement cycle: plan – implement – review – plan. You start the exercise looking at what’s possible, and by the end it’s all about results. You understand your long term goal and you’ve plotted your course to get there. Together you’ve agreed your priorities, you’ve decided on your 90 day goals, you have your action plan, you know your first step. It’s simple and it’s logical, and it’s all about getting the right things done.

10. Builds ownership and accountability 
Any effective plan assigns the who as well as the what, where, how and when. It gives everyone ownership for their own little piece of the business – their role, their goal, their action plan. Ownership and accountability are the key differentiators between a regular team, and a high performing team. Your plan will drive this.

Take time out to look in in your business and you’ll be amazed at what you’ll discover.

Marianne Page, For more information, please visit https://www.mariannepage.co.uk/

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Business

THE REASON WHY YOU NEED A LAWYER FOR YOUR BUSINESS

– Peter

Before we get into deeper into the law of business, let’s find out who the lawyer is or what the lawyer is. So, who or what is a lawyer? This is the truth that depends upon skills and specialties there are several types of lawyers. Some fight for civil rights, some lawyers sue for or against criminals, and many other lawyers can continue their careers throughout their careers without having to go to court!

 

Duties of a business lawyer

By keeping it simple, business lawyers help business owners to solve any business-related problem. To put it more clearly, business lawyers usually take steps to protect and secure the business to understand the issues that businesses are facing and what problems they may face in the future.

 

What kind of issues do traders or business owners can face?

  • Starting a new business – LLC, S Corps, or any other type of business, having trouble choosing which type of business to start? Correcting a mistake when making a decision can be costly incredibly and the issues may not be obvious even after many years of starting a business!
  • Writing Contract – What form do a business owner need when hiring employees or bringing in new clients? Do they have to sign any kind of waiver? Which points should be mentioned in the forms? Business attorneys help you draft contracts to meet your business’s unique needs.
  • Violations of Agreements & Controversial Agreements – What should you do if an agreement is in dispute? What happens in the case of a controversial contract? Your client is not paying? Is any of your employees leaking confidential information to the opponent? The business lawyer will speak on behalf of the business owner on all of these and similar issues, and will even if necessary they will file a lawsuit.
  • Attachments and Acquisitions – Thinking of buying a competitor? Has your business been captured by a large company? Are you having forces with other businesses? Make no mistake about having a qualified business lawyer to guide and advise you in all these processes.
  • Resolving Business Problems and Demands – Even well-established and successful business owners may face a variety of disabilities such as sexual harassment, discrimination, sick leave, workplace safety issues, and all. A skilled and experienced business lawyer represents clients in case of any such problem and keeps them informed of best practices with giving training in applicable law.
  • Risk Management & Compliance – Even established businesses can get benefits from any good and experienced business lawyers who can develop systems that are compliant and risk-averse.
  • Real Estate and Disputed Property – Whether your business has its property or leased property, lawyers will be needed to help protect it. Business attorneys discuss leases and sales, navigating confusing and complex tenancy and real estate laws.

 

Why Do You Need a Business Lawyers?

So now, business owners and traders may be facing problems in a variety of legal situations or may need legal help with a variety of legal issues. Business owners, both large and small, hire lawyers for a huge assortment of reasons, such as buying property, setting up a new venture, preparing taxes, and complying with labor laws. It is important to work with a lawyer to make sure your trade or business is compliant and efficient.

You must be aware of all the business strategies when hiring an attorney for the best assistance. A lawyer will inform you about various legal issues and improve your skills in dealing with all kinds of situations. Certain circumstances make it a must for settlement owners to make their lawyers involved. These include legal violations by employees, negotiations for filing discriminatory lawsuits, sale of businesses, and so on.

Business lawyers are required to provide legal guidance aspects related to contracts in all types of business. Only a skilled lawyer can guide you through the various stages of negotiation, document preparation, and review for any type of business transaction.

In most cases, the business owners or traders lack the necessary experience and knowledge to manage the various legal aspects to run a business. Hiring a skilled and experienced lawyer to manage your business can be of great benefit to you in preparing documents, getting legal protection, also protecting your business deals and interests.

 

Business agreement

Discussing and reviewing lawyer-binding contracts is usually one of the issues for which lawyers are hired. There are types of agreements that business owners can enter from partnership to lease agreement.

Creating a business agreement process involves the exchange of information between parties. It is used to oversee the negotiation, negotiation, and finally pre-signing of an agreement and to negotiate agreements.

 

How to hire the best business lawyer?

However, the hiring process of a business lawyer is time-consuming and stressful, especially if your business does not have any confirmation or communicative idea to have a successful start-up.

  • Understand the ideal opportunity to hire a business attorney

This is unique to each business. As a rule, it is sensible not to hold on to this business relationship until it is properly anticipated and the services provided by a lawyer are needed to find it. This way you will have plenty of time to do thorough research by yourself, get some information about their services and rates, and conduct an underlying interview to verify if you agree.

  • The kind of attorney you need is zero

Most business lawyers have the necessary education and skills to handle management needs. It involves forming an LLC or company, drafting a business temporary staff, or an associate at an event. However, if you can only think about assessment law or only you need a trademark then you are good to find a lawyer in your area. If you think you are searching for long run insights for your start-up or established business, you can hire a decent business attorney. Later, they can contact you, masters, in the same way as needed.

  • Find a lawyer who will understand your area of work

You need a business attorney, but you have no clue what is your business up to or how your industry works, you will face the challenge of different correspondence. This is specifically true in circumstances where your business is exceptionally specific and regulated for the reason that you would prefer not to make legitimate errors regardless of the material they have information on, appoint a lawyer who is interested in learning, and prepared to continue trying to recognize your market or specialty.

  • Choose a lawyer who comes up with a variety of resources

Great legal services are not usually modest. Accordingly, there needs to be the most explosive in your chest. It is suggested that you hire or appoint a business lawyer who can take a variety of resources to your table. How is this possible? The business lawyer you are thinking of is an exchange company or a person from different congregations who can be beneficial to you. Do you have any network of professional lawyers or do you know when will you need master services? Is it safe to say that they will get to know potential clients, different clients, and serious collaborators? Look for point-by-point solutions as they can assist you to settle on the right choice.

  • Make sure you are well aware of their fee structure

You should not panic or be intimidated by examining any potential costs with your business lawyer. Whether your business is a small start-up or an established one, you need an estimate of your legal expenses. Traditionally, lawyers charge per hour on their services, yet now some business lawyers have decided to provide a specific cost estimate for one particular service. Still, the most well-known lawyer is a good combo of hourly and stationary charging. You 1st need to check the game plan of your choice with your possible lawyer and then talk openly about your desire to stay away from the problem.

But if you think about these tips for a long time, you will have the option of separating the best business lawyer from a group of lawyers to manage all the legal part of your dream business.

 

Conclusion

Businesses tend to retain levels that can help them with various legal tasks. It is advised for time-consuming and complex issues that are beyond the range of a business owner’s skill who is capable to manage that alone.

 

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Business

SOCIAL MEDIA AND THE FINANCIAL INDUSTRY: TOP 5 REASONS TO DEVELOP A LONG-TERM STRATEGY

Social media is not just for people to share stories and opinions anymore, and it has not been just that for a long time. Nearly every platform is a place for businesses, including financial institutions, to build a following, share important information with active or potential clients or customers, and reach out to people in a variety of ways, whether through text, images, or videos. And while we doubt a solely meme-based strategy will work for your business, a social media presence is vital, and you should consider how your company can use it to its fullest.

To do so, you will need a long-term strategy. While developing one might not be easy in a constantly changing online landscape, here are some of the top reasons to start developing your long-term strategy as soon as possible:

 

1) You Can Be Ready for Major Opportunities

The world is constantly changing, especially in these current times, and while there are many things that can happen, there are some key situations you know your business is prepared for. Whether it is a downturn in the economy or circumstances that would lead to a ramping up of investments across the board, you want people to be able to know where to go and who to talk to. With a social media plan, you can respond to these opportunities quickly and effectively, ideally with less confirmation and more action.

And waiting for the right time to start is the only wrong choice that matters now. Your business will need time to build an infrastructure, a social media methodology, and a following. By the time that is done, any new opportunities will have passed, or will certainly not have been seized on to their fullest potential.

 

2) You Can Build Trust in Your Institution

While you likely do not want your clients constantly worrying about their accounts (that is what your institution is there for, to alleviate such concerns), you also should not be completely absent from their minds or exist only as a distant and replaceable entity that provides a very basic service. You want what makes your organization great to shine through, and with a social media plan, that is more likely.

By staying in the public eye through providing important and useful information to them free of charge on social media, among other initiatives, you can improve your company’s brand in a significant way, and likely retain clients and gain new ones in the process (whether by word of mouth or improved natural traffic) through positive reputation and a sense of trust in your people. It is an investment that might take time to pay off, but it will pay off.

 

3) You Can More Easily Promote Your Online Systems and Resources

If you can provide direct links to your pages, sites, and tools, it is much better and quicker than giving someone a pamphlet that they might never read. Social media allows for just that, without the commitment of an email newsletter or similar techniques.

And while you certainly have people already using your institution’s online tools (and it would be hard to imagine your company does not have them in 2020 to at least some degree) you can use social media pages to better direct them, increase usage as opposed to more inefficient methods, and provide information as to their best uses. You want the investments made in technology and design to pay off. Use a social media plan to make that happen.

 

4) You Can Build a Team and Mission

As you are certainly aware from all other parts of your business, a good team and good processes make all the difference, and with a long-term plan, you can create the foundations for those personnel to thrive and give them clear instructions on how you want the company to be seen by active and prospective clients. Once people know what they are working with, they can work better.

A planned team will be able to be more organized and be able to use data of several types more efficiently than a simple unplanned posting schedule. You will be able to track what is working and what does not all the better for the changes.

 

5) You Can Be Proactive Instead of Reactive

Rounding back to the first point, if you have a long-term social media strategy for your financial institution, then you can plan for the future, even if that future is uncertain. You can have a plan that allows your social media and marketing teams to work more easily in conjunction and to target the likely people to use your organization’s services in the near future. As opposed to responding to events, you will be at times anticipating them.

Consider the top websites of recent years. While you probably aren’t operating on the same scale, does a single one of these websites not have a significant social media presence on at least a few platforms, if they are not one of the most trafficked websites in the world? Your financial institution needs to go to where the people are, and ideally be there before people start looking for answers. A long-term social media plan allows for just that.

 

Conclusion

You do not need to start investing all of your marketing budget into social media or create a team that’s as large as some of the top companies in the world. You just need to get started and get your priorities clear when it comes to social media. Even devoting just a few resources towards creating a consistent, long-term strategy can make the difference between stagnation and success over the next decade, and given that every competitor is either already working with a plan or soon will, its best to start working as soon as you can.

 

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