Posts tagged ‘Detriment’

If not, you are probably not making the most of your best clients by allowing the less important, or less profit making clients distract you.

So honestly, how well do you know the profile of your client portfolio?  

Have you ever stopped the frenetic daily routine for a moment to sit back and think about who your clients are?  Why you work with them? What contribution they make to the profitability of your business?

Sometimes it can be very interesting to do just that. You might be surprised by what you find out and you may even be disappointed.

Many businesses are so busy going about their business that they don’t find the time to think about their customers, but wouldn’t it be a good idea to ask:

  • 3D Character and Question MarkHow many clients do we have?
  • What does each client give us?
  • What do we give to them?
  • How much of a contribution does each client make towards the bottom line?
  • Are we maximizing the opportunities from each client?
  • Are we over servicing any clients to the detriment of others?
  • If we changed the mix of our clients could we make more money?

He who shouts loudest…

It’s often the case that the clients who shout the loudest or are the most needy are those that are draining a business of its precious resources which could better be used elsewhere.

Perhaps it’s difficult to face up to this because when you do find out, you then have a decision to make – do you disengage from them or is there an opportunity to turn them into a worthwhile client through conversation and negotiation around what you do for them and for how much.


If you haven’t reviewed your clients for a while I would recommend getting some help to do this by a professional that is qualified to analyse your business and come up with some suggestions as what your options are. It may cost you a bit of money in fees to do this but it could be a very worthwhile exercise and it may change the way that you do business in future. 

Doing this yourself can be time consuming and emotionally draining, after all, we all have clients that we prefer, but are they really the best clients for your business?

Related post from my fabulous Twitterbuddy and blogger extraordinaire, Jim Connolly : How to attract better clients

The information provided in this blog illustrates my opinions and experiences, it does not constitute advice and I do not accept responsibility for any actions taken or refrained from as a result of reading this post.

The Charity Commissioners have been quite public about their detailed and sometime rigorous reviews of registered charities’ compliance with their public benefit tests.

The two key principles of this imperative test being:

support tree1. There must be an identifiable benefit (or benefits)

It must be clear what the benefits are, how they relate to the aims of the organisation and they bust be balanced against any detriment or harm.

2. The benefit must be to the public (or section of the public) 

The beneficiaries must be appropriate to the aims.  If a section of the public is the target, the opportunity to benefit must not be unreasonably restricted by geography or ability to afford fees etc.  People in poverty specifically must not be precluded from the opportunity to benefit and any non-public benefit should be incidental.

The implications of losing charitable status are huge.  Not only would the loss affect public confidence and therefore the ability to raise funds, but H M Revenue & Customs have the right to ‘unwind’ tax exemptions claimed in the past six years which could create liabilities that would simply end the organisation’s ability to continue.

If you would like to see some of the Commission’s “Emerging Findings” reports, take a look at their website.  You will notice that they seem to be targeting fee charging schools as they are suggesting that offering a few bursaries to good students that can not afford to attend, does not constitute ‘public’ and is not going far enough to remove restrictions, but all charities are susceptible to this review.

Any charity with annual income above £25,000 (effective for accounting periods commencing 1st April 2009) must attach a Trustees’ Report to their financial statements and file these with the Commission with in 10 months of the accounting year end.  For incorporated charities this is in addition to the required Directors report.

This report is in my view, the best defence against a review as it gives the Trustees the chance to explain the activities of the organisation in both financial and non-financial terms as well as stating the aims, objectives and policies of those charged with governance.  It should tell the ‘story’ of the charity for the year giving those who are not trained in business the ability to understand how the charity is performing and the impact it is having on the public.

Much of my time spent working with trustees of charities revolves around this key report, guiding and advising them on structure, essential disclosures and helping them to explain the accounts and performance of their organisation.

The information provided in this blog illustrates my opinions and experiences, it does not constitute advice and I do not accept responsibility for any actions taken or refrained from as a result of reading this post.