Most business gurus tell us ‘always put the customer first’ which is really good advice for those who only see pounds signs when they catch a glimpse of a potential customer but it can also be the worst advice you’re given.
For example, putting the customer first means that the first thing you do when you wake up or get into your office is to check your emails but in a previous blog ‘Do you get to the end of the day and wonder where your day went’, I explained why this may not be such a good thing. I also introduced the concept of being a little selfish over people pleasing.
The reason why I encourage you to be a little selfish is because putting your customer first is the number one reason why you don’t file your tax return early nor get any of your admin or accounts done.
Choosing between helping a client or doing your tax return, or any admin/ accounts related task- often feels like two different paths you have to choose between. It’s often perceived that doing your own accounts is being selfish as it helps you (not your client) but doing your own accounts, keeps your business afloat which then allows you to keep helping your customers!
Most business owners intellectually do know that doing their accounts & admin helps to keep their business alive, yet, out of the majority of clients who come to me asking for help, they always struggle with finding the time to do their own book-keeping.
When a client first approaches me to help with their tax return, we discuss where to start (step 1), then we arrange a future date, where together we review the accounts and I show them how to complete the tax return (step 3). However, before I can help them do their tax return, the client needs to gather together all their book-keeping (step 2) and this is usually the most challenging of the 3 steps.
Business owners struggle to find the time to do their book-keeping during the working day because they are helping their clients each and every day, they are then either too exhausted to do it afterward or would rather spend their evenings and weekends with family or friends.
It is the number one reason why business owners delay filing their tax return and it’s the most commonly discussed issue I cover with business owners when I coach them. There are others, and in my next e-book Tax Return Made Simple – How to do your tax return with ease I will be discussing all of them, but without doubt, finding the time is the top number one reason why a tax return is always left to the last minute.
It’s only when the deadline is fast approaching before most business owners sit up and take notice; knowing they really must do something about it.
Business owners find it much easier to say no to others when they have the ‘excuse’ of having to get their tax return in before the approaching deadline.
I completely understand, there are many times I’ve been last minute with my own tax return, company accounts or admin. I discussed my own challenging experience of being unable to say ‘no’ to pleas for help in Successful Business Minds. Still, more often than I would like, I often find myself challenged to put my own needs first but thankfully I notice much quicker and now know that I must be selfish or else there will be no business.
In Successful Business Minds, I also discuss the metaphor of having to put on your own life jacket before you can save others and running your business is no different. You can help as many people as you want, but only if your own business is running smoothly.
What will you do this week that puts your own needs before your clients to ensure that you are up-to-date with your own accounts, tax return, admin or business development/ marketing?