24 June 2019 – it’s 15 years since I set up Camrose Consulting. During that time, my focus has been on helping clients meet their commercial goals. Without the pressures of compliance work I developed new skills and a different perspective to my time in conventional accountancy firms. It’s been hugely satisfying, if not without its own occasional challenges and I thought I’d look back and share a few lessons:
Coping with feast or famine
Working independently on a project basis has its pros and cons. It has allowed me to deliver the sort of in depth support to businesses that my charge out rate as a partner in a conventional firm would never have allowed.
However without the regular accounts and tax services, there can be feast or famine. This did require an adjustment and I’ve learnt to stay grounded during both busy periods and lulls.
Cash is king
Yes I knew this before I started Camrose Consulting – but I guess I’ve since taken it to a different level!
I’ve developed the view that the cash balance is a key barometer to monitor and improve a business. To truly know how well a business is working involves a thorough understanding its cash and the underlying dynamics.
More risk awareness and less risk aversion
Accountants have a reputation for being risk averse – for auditors I guess it’s almost part of the DNA! On the other hand risk taking is part and parcel of business! Many smaller businesses take an instinctive approach to risk and often experience avoidable problems.
Taking a more analytical approach to understanding and managing risk is a great tool to aid decision making and to maximise opportunities. It’s less about saying ‘no’ and more about asking ‘what’s the best approach?’. It’s also about much more than hard financial matters.
Take time to step back and get a fresh perspective
It’s so easy to become absorbed in the day to day.
Take the time to stand back and work on the business. As well as taking a strategic standpoint, it’s also about working methods which often evolve over time without that much thought.
Getting help from someone with a different mindset can provide a completely fresh perspective. I’ve seen this both in the help I’ve received from other professionals and in my own work for clients.
I’ve recently taken one of those steps back to look forward. I’m delighted to announce that I’m now offering support to accountancy firms to help them identify and deliver advisory services for their larger clients. This will be at a practical client orientated level as opposed to strategic/marketing advice for the firm itself.
It might sound a little evangelical, but I’m really hoping that some of the lessons I’ve learnt can be passed on, to help firms to help their clients. If you are looking at ways to develop and deliver your firm’s advisory offering, I’d be delighted to have a chat!