Shane Lukas, AVN

Liberating accountants to become truly purposeful and inspirational

Time for an out of body experience

Shane Lukas's article: Time for an out of body experience. shane lukas lucasWhen was the last time you walked in to your office and assessed it as a potential customer?

What do your prospects see and think when they walk in to your office?

You walk in there every single day; you may have become blind to the things that a fresh pair of eyes might see.

  • Does it look old or modern?
  • Is it colourful or bland?
  • What personality does it reflect?
  • How does it make you feel?
  • Do the walls need a fresh coat of paint?
  • What does it smell like?
  • How well are prospects and customers greeted?
  • What’s the overall impression they get when they walk in.

What about before they enter the office,  was parking easy and obvious?  Is customer parking reserved nearest to the door or is that reserved for the directors.  If I were a prospect or customer and it was raining I’d draw a pretty harsh conclusion about a business I was visiting who reserved the most convenient parking space for themselves.

What does your office look like from the outside?

Finally, and importantly, what’s the toilet experience?  Many customers and prospects will visit your toilet and that can leave an impression, positive or negative, about you and your business.

Put yourself in someone else’s shoes and try arriving at your office as though it’s the first ever time you did it.

Alternatively, invite a friend in to give you a critical assessment, don’t let the people at your office know.

Don’t use this as a means of looking for the negatives and chastising but to accentuate the positives and improve some systems and perhaps some paintwork.

Nothing new here, just a gentle reminder of something we should all do on a regular basis.

Remind others too, click like and share.

Accountant discovers an extra day per week

What would you do with an extra day per week?

The conventional journey of a start up accountant is usually one that starts from the spare bedroom.  As the client base grows and the revenue comes in that situation progresses to rented office space in order to give the practice a more professional feel for clients and prospects.

I recently met with Rennie Evans of Prospero.  An accountant who’s gone through that journey and made full circle.  He built his empire of an accountancy firm with his large office and hefty overheads based in the centre of Manchester which often took 2 – 3 hours of commuting owing to traffic each day.

Driving in itself contributes toward stress and that’s before even reaching the office.

3 years ago Rennie’s landlord gave him notice to vacate which left Rennie with a decision to make, relocate? or do what he’d been toying with for a while, set up a virtual office; he and his team would simply work from home.

He took the decision to work from home, but why the virtual office?

If you’ve been a homebased accountant you’ve probably suffered the late night or weekend drop-ins by clients giving you their books and records and running a few queries by you – while your dinner gradually cools or your kids patiently await your return since you were playing a game with them at the time.  You’ve probably been on the receiving end of phone calls that extend way out of hours too.

So, Rennie agreed with his former landlord that he could continue to use that address for his business and they would forward on the post.  They continue to take the calls and they put them through to his or his team’s mobile phones seamlessly.

He meets his clients at their premises or, if he needs office space he can rent a variety of sized rooms by the hour at his former office.

His clients are aware, there’s no secrecy.

He works from his house, he gets to take his dogs for a walk in the morning and appreciate the countryside where he lives.  He works from the comfort of his own house which means his commute to his office is a few seconds.

If you consider our average awake time is about 16 hours Rennie has created an extra day per week in the time he’s saved not commuting.

He’s saving the cost of the premises he was renting, the cost of the virtual office is less than a 7th of the previous cost.

He no longer requires two cars either, he and his wife book the car out on a first come first served basis.

What would you do with an extra day?

I’m sure there are questions in your head, click here to watch my interview where Rennie explains how he’s made this work so well…


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