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Following Shoaib Aslam’s webinar we’ve put together his top tips to improve productivity in challenging times.
COVID-19 is challenging for business
COVID-19 has had a major impact on businesses resulting in redundancies and reduced income.
When the immediate threat of COVID-19 passes, the firms that are able to adapt quickly will be the ones least affected by the changing conditions.
How to improve team productivity immediately
There are many tools available to help you work and collaborate remotely. The vital elements that your chosen team collaboration tool must have are:
screen sharing – to train staff members or share information
a calling feature
video conferencing features
How to manage prospects while working remotely
Here are some tips to smooth out the process of gaining and managing leads.
Use cutting-edge Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools to manage leads. A simple search will lead you to many CRM options. An online CRM makes sense right now because it is accessible by you and your staff remotely from any location.
Chasing up leads. Set up an automated email campaign management tool for prospects and leads to avoid endless admin tasks. Many tools generate a set pattern of emails to your leads, depending on the actions they take.
Once a client signs up, your CRM should automatically trigger actions to get the lead properly set up and working with you.
How to manage existing clients
Get your clients to do some work for you, such as completing forms electronically. Once the form is submitted it can be automatically entered into your practice’s management solution.
Automate the collection of fees and recording of invoices in your accounting solution. You can also automate the collection of recurring fees.
Use auto-chasers for everything. Tools which automatically chase things up via email, SMS, etc. can save a lot of time.
Introduce e-signing for documents so clients don’t have to come to your office.
Set reminders and alerts to stay on top of tasks to be done.
No one wants to lose an existing client. It can mean a dent in both your reputation and your budget. The largest profitability from a client begins a year after they’ve signed up with your firm. By this stage, most of the basic accounting setup has been done, as well as preliminary meetings.
Happy clients lead to referrals. And referrals have the highest conversion rates compared to other leads.
Keeping existing clients is vital. Keep them updated with recent changes on tax and government relief. Not doing so might lead them to question your expertise.
Make sure you are reachable. Have tools like a call answering service that allow you to take messages if you’re busy. Offer a support line for clients having difficulties.
Offer assistance with various government incentives.
80% furlough payments for employees
Grants for business rates - £10k to £25k
Deferral of tax payments for VAT, PAYE, self-assessment, etc.
Government loan interruption schemes up to £5M
Remember, by protecting your clients business you are protecting your own firm too.
Cash flow solutions. Can you ease your clients’ cash flow problems? Some ways to do this might be to:
allow accountancy fee payments to be deferred
agree to a payment plan with a minimum monthly payment for the first 6 months.
If you have been unable to work for a period of time, make it a priority to get back to work. By that I mean you and your team working from home as if you were at the office. Use all the tools at your disposal to their maximum potential as soon as possible.
Once your accountancy practice is up and running again, you’ll be in a much better place to deal with the challenges of working remotely.
Feel you’re better informed about improving productivity? The QuickBooks blog covers a wide range of topics for working more successfully – it’s all part of our mission to support small businesses and accountants.
Shoaib Aslam is the co-founder of Pearl Chartered Accountants, a UK-based chartered accountancy firm that has multiple locations across London. They are experts in helping start-ups and established businesses with all aspects of growth, strategy, scaling up, accounting and tax planning.