Be prepared to learn from mistakes and help your business prosper

There are many people who have said we should learn from our mistakes, Winston Churchill and Albert Einstein among them.

Of course, they were right and we should learn. Learning is a process. Take the case of a video game, where every time you are caught, you learn what to avoid and so gradually progress until you are successful and are rewarded at the end of it.

In other words, you are learning from failure. So, failure is acceptable so long as you learn from it.

It’s the same in life and business generally, where knowledge is vital and we are always learning. The best advice I could give is to learn from the best.

Mentors can be an inspiration

A mentor should be someone who has years of experience and has a track record of success. Someone who can inspire you to say ‘yes, that is the path I want to follow.’

A mentor can make the difference between success and failure particularly in sales, where you can see how these people use the rewards of their success to build for future advancement.

They can deliver advice in many areas, including problem-solving. Nobody likes bad news, but there is no point in trying to hide from previous errors. You need to get in front and deal with it.

Whether dealing with a work problem, a client problem, or talking to customers about paying their bills, it needs to be tackled head-on. There’s no point waiting three months to deal with a problem that will only get worse.

That’s where time management comes in. Being ruthless with the diary is key to keeping to a schedule and not getting distracted from vital tasks.

Organisation helps a work/life balance

I am always open to helping someone and making myself available. If a friend rang me asking for a favour, I would make time for them.

However, finding time means diluting my diary. The more time spent on that call means less time and a poorer service for other clients.

For instance, I looked at an email well outside normal hours on a Sunday at 3 pm and responded, because that is what I am like.

It was wrong because the sender now has an expectation of me being available off diary and that’s not good organisation.

By being efficient and organised with your diary, your working time is managed and positively affects your work/life balance. Your home time needs to be enjoyed stress-free with friends and family.

Take rock bands at a concert. They make look like they are playing random songs, but in reality, it is all about preparation, being well-drilled and rehearsed, they leave little to chance.

With good diary management that kind of organisation is easily achievable.

Time to head off potential problems

Christmas is a good example of where organisation can pay off. That is a time when the country often shuts down for a couple of weeks to celebrate.

But it is also a good example of where you can head off potential problems.

It’s a time to send out any letters of engagement and any bad news about bills in plenty of time for clients to deal with it. It is no good that communication landing just a few days before Christmas.

There are many headwinds facing clients with rising fuel bills, political uncertainty and global events like the war in Europe. If a client is struggling to sell a product or service, then that is a chance for accountants to offer advice on different ways of marketing or other suggestions to mitigate the problem.

It means a lot to me if someone asks if they can help and I’m sure it would mean the same to clients. Pick up the phone to see how they are doing and what can be done to help. It can be an opportunity to offer a different more advisory service which can be mutually beneficial.

An efficient service working in the background

For instance, by offering the kind of strategic advice that allows the worth of a business to grow from £250,000 to £500,000, then clients will pay for that service. You have helped double their business and should share the reward.

GI can do the grunt work of bookkeeping management accounts, VAT and year-end that can get in the way of providing this advisory service. We work quietly and efficiently in the background.

Facing problems, seeking expert advice, communication and time management are vital to helping build your relationship with clients.

Don’t be the accountant who just sends the invoice and has no other contact. Communicate better or you may not be sending that invoice next year.

Contact our UK-based team of account managers today to find out how we can help your firm.

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Posted in Thought Leadership.