I took on a client about a year ago. Even at the time I felt I cannot see this as a long-term business relationship. My only basis for this instinct was based on a 45 minutes meeting with the client. My instincts told me, today would be my last meeting with the client in question. It was.
My terms of engagement were quarterly meetings and production of final accounts. They have a bookkeeper (ACCA) who does the all the day to day bookkeeping. My experience has been where there is a qualified accountant who does the day-to-day bookkeeping, I lose the client. This is because I am not able to build the same relationship with a client. Further the bookkeeper in question, would try to win over the client.
From day 1 I felt this will not be long term business relationship because:
1) Beyond the quarterly meetings and final accounts, I would not have the time to add value. Frankly, I do not want the types of clients who take too much of my time. I want quick turn around of work clients. Work in, work out, and fees paid by every month Direct Debits. I am well aware about adding value. Clients I am now targeting are simple ones where adding any significant value would not apply. I just want compliance work. Here delegating work would be so much easier.
2) ACCA Bookkeeper would understandably try to get the client to provide a full service.
You may ask why did I take on this work? I wanted to see how it went and the fee was good. It is a significant monthly fee loss. I can live with this.
On reflection, I was right to take on the work and say to myself, I will take it on for as long as it lasts. I will now trust my instincts a lot more.