Why a Perfect 10?
Conventional wisdom says that our prospective customers will look for someone they can identify with in our existing client portfolio. And a webinar I attended recently suggested that we should look at our 10 most recent customers to hone our marketing efforts. So if you’re reading this wondering whether we’d be a good fit for you, here is a rundown of the last 10 businesses that have joined us. I hope that you’ll see yourself and contact us to arrange a discovery call.
How do they operate?
8 out of 10 were limited companies and 2 were sole traders. Fewer sole traders tend to use Chartered Accountants because their affairs are generally more straightforward. They might opt to do it themselves or work with a bookkeeper who has passed their Self Assessment exam. Many of our sole trader clients have other sources of income, such as a pension or PAYE work. For those that only have sole trade income, their businesses are more complex – potentially they export, they’re VAT registered, or they have high turnover and profits. Not everyone wants to be a limited company. This is something we work on with them and we don’t just assume that everyone is purely driven by tax savings. Sometimes it’s a case of what works for them personally. We know our clients at a deeper level than their numbers.
How long have they been in business?
There were 3 start-up businesses and 4 that had been trading for less than 3 years. The remaining 3 had been in business for between 5 and 8 years. We offer advice on incorporation (forming a company) which starts with whether it’s a good idea or not. If the business owner decides that this is the best route, we will then take care of setting the company up with Companies House. For all new businesses we can help with HMRC registrations whether that’s registering for VAT, setting up a PAYE scheme or simply activating services on the business’s Government Gateway account. This can be quite overwhelming for new business owners but it’s what we do every day and we’re happy to guide them through the forms and HMRC “lingo”.
The people behind the numbers
Outside of the sole traders, there was an even split between companies with sole vs. multiple directors. Looking at those with 2 or more directors, there was also an 50/50 split between those that were run by a spousal team as opposed to friends. How to structure extracting profits from a limited company is a vital part of our planning service. It is not as simple as being tax efficient and you have to really know the people to help them. Factors like whether the people want to move house or have years missing from their pension contributions need to be considered. Looking at the business rather than the personal positions, you need to think about whether the business is going to need external involvement too – whether that’s debt or equity investment.
Helping spouses is generally less complex because you are looking at what’s best for them as a family unit. But this can be complicated when one person has additional income outside of the business. Advising people who aren’t a couple is more difficult because what works for one may not work for the other. We are really good at helping them to find a solution that works for them both. As we’re independent we can also help to diffuse potential tensions that build up about who earns what and how.
What do our clients want from us
The people who work with us are looking for a relationship rather than a commodity. We have built a model of 4-person pods within the wider team. A pod will take care of the owner and their business from start to finish. We only offer an end-to-end service meaning that the same team will do your bookkeeping, VAT, accounts, business and personal tax returns. The key to our success is that we support each other as well as our clients.
Of the Perfect 10, five had been badly let down by their previous accountants. All of them have told us how much stronger they feel with us on board. We pride ourselves on our customers feeling calm, confident and in control.
We have high ethical standards – you won’t find any shortcuts or dodgy tax claims at Composure.
If you see yourself (or even if you don’t) and you’d like to find out about joining the next Perfect 10, you can contact us using our Contact Form or use this link to book a Discovery Call with Carolyn.