The Practical Guide to Limited Company Tax
If you have chosen to operate your business as a limited com...
By Jonathan London on 29th September 2015
At its most basic level, the art of understanding clients is about grasping what they want to achieve by hiring you: where they’re at, where they want to go and how your skills will help get them there.
However, over time, a deeper, more subtle level of understanding comes into play. Your role can evolve into something a lot more complex than that of a mere service provider.
Picking up on – and (where advisable) responding to – unspoken needs can really strengthen your working relationships and make you more profitable.
Here are four examples of (potentially) what your clients really want, but probably haven’t told you.
An anomaly of self-employment is that you can often find yourself being managed by people much younger and less experienced than you. They may feel under internal pressure to demonstrate they’re in charge, while in reality, they want your guidance. Give them that guidance in the form of friendly advice, suggestions and your best work. You’ll be investing in your own future because, as these people progress in their careers, they’ll remember the support you gave them. Also, understand that the experiences and training they have had will be different to yours. They may be more up to date with modern techniques and contemporary working cultures than you, so it’s a learning opportunity for you, too.
Sometimes, your contact may need to let off steam. As an external resource, you, unfortunately, present an obvious outlet. But, that terse email, critical feedback or aggressive voicemail message may not be what you think. A typical example is where you deliver your work exactly to the brief, but unknown to you, the brief was wrong. Your contact’s boss leans on your contact to put things right and someone has to take the rap. The easiest target? The hired help. It can be frustrating, but rarely fatal. See it for what it is and let it pass – taking one for the team occasionally will be quietly appreciated and worth it in the long run.
One of the great things about being self-employed is the escape from office politics. Sometimes, though, even as a freelancer or contractor, you can get drawn into other people’s schemes, conflicts and power struggles. Being asked to do something in a way that contravenes the client’s usual processes, taking ‘off the record’ calls and getting invited to clandestine meetings all smack of being recruited onto a team with a hidden agenda. Proceed with extreme caution here. Discreetly helping your contact with the fallout from an innocent goof-up is one thing. Exposing yourself as part of someone else’s unauthorised project or personal vendetta will kill your relationship with the organisation stone dead. It could ruin your reputation, too.
Never underestimate the value in making your client look good in the eyes of their customers, senior management or shareholders. The small sacrifice in credit or praise will repay itself in spades in the form of repeat business. It will mean having your work passed off as someone else’s and not being able to use it in your portfolio. No matter – be proud that your client wants to claim ownership of your work. After all, it’s a sure sign they’ll place plenty more of it with you in future.
Our handy guide to claiming expenses through your limited company looks at what you can and can’t claim tax relief on through your company
Take a look at our recent blogs below.
If you decided to take the plunge and be your own boss, one of the first decisions you’ll need to ...
Published: 6th August 2018
If you engage Boox to do your company’s VAT returns, you’ll be aware that we require your specif...
Published: 26th July 2018
It’s not just something cows do! MOO is the acronym for Mutuality of Obligation, which exists in e...
Published: 23rd July 2018
While it’s not a new problem, it certainly isn’t one that’s going away anytime soon. We’re t...
Published: 20th July 2018
HMRC are dogged in their efforts to recoup unpaid tax through schemes that they view as tax avoidanc...
Published: 18th July 2018
It is the time of year again when HMRC are sending out Self-Assessment Statements. These show all pe...
Published: 6th July 2018
To stay on the right side of HMRC’s expenses and benefits legislation, P11Ds need to filed by 6th ...
Published: 3rd July 2018
GDPR – the General Data Protection Regulation, comes into effect on 25th May and is the bigges...
Published: 24th May 2018
As a business owner, your time is way too precious to spend hours dealing with HMRC or Companies Hou...
Published: 14th May 2018
“Never do tomorrow what you can do today. Procrastination is the thief of time” Charles Dicken...
Published: 11th May 2018
Congratulations! The very fact you clicked this far shows you are considering employing staff, and t...
Published: 17th April 2018
If you need a little help to find the right accountancy service, don’t worry.
Thousands of contractors, freelancers and locums turn to Boox for help and advice with their limited company accounting. They love our personal service and app.
Specialist accounting for sole traders and the self employed, Boox combines easy online tools with expert support to take away the stress of handling your accounts.
Our combination of market-leading accounting software and expert personal advice gives you greater financial control and more time to grow your business.