This is a period in which accountants are making or breaking their clients’ businesses. Here’s what our clients can access since the Coronavirus crisis escalated two months ago.
- Personal contact and open lines of communication, answering questions and taking calls. When we don’t have the answers we can still provide a framework so you can take back control and feel reassured.
- Advice on treatment modalities for economic outcome.
- A dedicated Corona page https://hivebusiness.co.uk/coronavirus on our website that’s kept up to date as a reference point with everything dentists need to know in one place, saving them the time and stress of parsing large volumes of ever changing data.
- We operate a group-wide strategy called STABILISE PROTECT REGENERATE to support clients in different ways depending on their circumstances.
- We give financial analysis, cashflow forecasting, advice on government support available and tools to manage finances through lockdown.
- We give planning support for re-opening.
- We host webinars to gather groups of associates or practice owners together for moral support, to share information and make sense of the chaos to ameliorate widespread feelings of isolation.
- Our network value rises as we identify themes by speaking to more people. Many of us have been working longer hours than usual and, given the time saved from not travelling, our output has increased significantly.
- We’ve been modelling what the sector will look like after lockdown, creating thought leadership content that’s freely available to everyone.
- We’ve developed practical guidelines on what is within the the control of practice owners that they can be working on now, things like getting your books up to date so you can manage cashflow by calculating your tax bill, and introducing Xero to get visibility on your business model (after years of recommending this we’ve seen a large and sudden take-up).
- We encourage our clients to do business reviews and personal budgets as many accept that now is a good time to evaluate how they have been working and organising their finances. Many more than usual have taken us up.
There’s been a palpable mindset shift among our clients, perhaps driven primarily by fear, that there’s no more time left to put off actions that we recommend for practice owners. In short these are: get visibility on your numbers and take control of your business, instead of relying on doing high value treatments personally to take £10k out of the business month by month haphazardly. Many owners realise that lockdown is similar to what would happen, in terms of their business model, if they were to be taken ill. Principal led businesses fold pretty quickly when you take away the principal because they lack resilience and sustainability.
We’ve all had an opportunity for reflection, and in that sense lockdown has been a blessing. Well done to everyone who has stepped up and made changes, because change is painful and difficult, although it’s perhaps easier when there’s no choice. Many practice owners have been rebuilding their financial models, and this is something our accountants can be supporting you with.
You still have more time out of surgery and you are going to be able to get a lot more of this financial work settled. Step one is to understand the numbers in your business in a deeper way than you have before. We’re seeing people who, after engaging more seriously with the numbers, decide on new growth plans. For instance a number of clients with competitive advantages are aiming for bold turnover objectives and will go into the red to fund expansion, also working on their pay plans and making other cost based changes and expanding opening hours.
Many are waking up to the possibility of creating an associate led business with far greater critical mass that relies less on their own clinical work. Perhaps having seen that change has been possible quickly during lockdown they have more confidence in what they can achieve. This is a great opportunity for us to help you in these plans.
We believe it’s our role to make you understand your business data, not just do the data processing. You can’t take real ownership unless you understand the numbers. We’re always here for a chat if you have any questions. We’ll ask you about your profitability and business numbers over the past couple of years, and if you don’t have the numbers (as many don’t) we’ll get you on board to begin a proper analysis asap.