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Flying Accountant online
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Hi Adam

this is a very common problem in time based businesses. I run an accounting firm and am in the business of selling time. The accounting services are second to what we actually do.

Any service based business is in the business of selling time. Once time passes you never have the opportunity to recover that revenue. It is not like selling widgets of shoes or clothes etc. If you don’t sell the widget today, not too worry – you might sell it tomorrow and still make your $$.

I had a very interesting discussion with someone and we concluded the following:

Females in general are used to paying for services or using time based businesses. ie hairdresser, beauty salon, waxing etc.

Males typically don’t use many service based businesses and when buying something generally go out to buy a physical tangible product. ie flat screen tv, car etc

So when a male gets an invoice for a time based service – he wonders to himself how it could possibly take so long.

I would suggest giving your client and estimate of the time expected and get them to sign off on this – that is how I run my practice and it works well. After a while you get to know your business so well that you can quote fairly accurately on the time expected to complete the job.

I think we are going to see more of this type of behaviour from clients as the economy contracts and spending or $ become more scarce.

Hope this all makes sense.