The OFD Blog

The diary of an overworked accountant aged 61.75

What are The Top Ten Challenges for Growing Businesses?

By Colin Bielckus / 6th September 2017 / 0 Comments
Top Ten Business Challenges

I’ve been in business for more years than I care to remember and after a while you get to spot the same issues coming around time and time again. Coming from an accountancy background those issues are often financial but, of course, the majority of business issues cut across most, if not all, areas of a business. This blog series is based on challenges identified by myself and other small business owners. I will talk about ways to tackle the issues that 10 small business owners talk about from their own perspectives, using their own experience. Do you recognise the Top Ten challenges we identified? Sign up to our blog to receive this series – and contribute to the conversation! The economy. How to prosper…

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New year, new resolutions?

By Colin Bielckus / 10th January 2019 / Comments Off on New year, new resolutions?

Are you the sort of person who makes New Year’s resolutions? And more importantly, are you the sort of person who carries them through? I’m sat here writing, yawning like my jaw is going to dislocate and awaiting someone dropping some missing paperwork in before I can even think of a nap… It’s the regular (usually) first Thursday of each month where I am on the road by soon after 06.00 for a networking meeting 45 miles down the road followed by my monthly session with life coach Becki. So now, by mid-afternoon, the concentration is beginning to wander, the eyelids are getting heavier and heavier and the reclining sofa beckons for a few minutes’ recharge. Except some “stuff” is being dropped in after 15.00.…

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Did you have a good Christmas?

By Colin Bielckus / 3rd January 2019 / Comments Off on Did you have a good Christmas?

Good Christmas? Accountant? I think the polite answer is that I’m still looking forward to a few days rest but it WON’T be the same few days as all the “normal” people out there. The impolite answer involves a stream of rude words… I didn’t even have the luxury of knocking off early most days. I was still sending emails after 22.30 several nights. And what happened after I stopped work on Friday 21st? Down with another crappy cold. You could not MAKE this up! Felt foul all weekend then twelve hour day on Xmas Eve. The only positive being that the emails had reduced to a trickle by then. But it must have been a nice Xmas Day? Daughter had been in contact with…

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Whither weather and whether it matters

By Colin Bielckus / 13th December 2018 / Comments Off on Whither weather and whether it matters

Whither, weather, whether. Not sure that’s got anything to do with today’s ramblings but it will sure please the internal SEO for this post. Tempted to quit while I’m ahead… Wind is presently out of the east. Along with north, my least favourite quadrant weather-wise. I don’t do cold and I don’t do damp but – in general – I can survive damp so cold is the winter weather I like least. Especially as my office window faces sort of northeast so a cold easterly breeze chills the outside walls and soon pervades through this room as it really doesn’t get direct sunlight except first thing of a morning and not at all in winter ‘coz the garage gets in the way… I really need…

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Staring at a blank screen

By Colin Bielckus / 7th December 2018 / Comments Off on Staring at a blank screen

Blank screen, blank mind. I’m SURE I had a really wonderful idea for a post earlier – but I’m burgered if I can remember what it was… At least it’s the right day (so far) which is one up on the last couple of weeks for sure. Some “stuff” I do is remarkably tedious. At least it is now having discovered the excitement (yes, really) of the advising side of my business so we have an interesting conundrum for the future. There are people out there who really enjoy the stuff I’m finding tedious so it should be a no-brainer to find someone who does and have them do it instead allowing me to concentrate on what I want to do. But. You knew there…

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Top ten Challenges – Processes. Do you have processes and procedures to monitor every aspect of your business? Are your staff following these procedures?

By Louisa Newport / 4th December 2018 / Comments Off on Top ten Challenges – Processes. Do you have processes and procedures to monitor every aspect of your business? Are your staff following these procedures?
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I’ve asked Louisa Newport to talk about Processes from her perspective as a virtual PA (I’m one of her clients and very good she is too), and part of the national partner network SmartPA. Louisa started with SmartPA in November 2016 and provides a wide range of admin support to me, and a variety of other clients.   Processes – Do you have processes and procedures to monitor every aspect of your business? Are your staff following these procedures? “It’s just me in this business. I don’t need any ‘processes’ I just want a bit of help with my admin” was the declaration of one my early clients. I think their idea of a ‘process’ was something long-winded, cumbersome – the opposite of the agile,…

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Networking or notworking

By Colin Bielckus / 1st December 2018 / Comments Off on Networking or notworking

Networking. At least I’m my own boss so I don’t have to achieve any metrics to show whether it’s “profitable” or not… It’s easy to look upon networking as a “jolly” and a good excuse not to work. Especially lunchtime when your business or employer pays for both direction’s travel time. It’s why I’m only starting writing this in the evening (but at least on the usual day which is a step up from last week) and it’s anyone’s guess when I’ll have time to complete it. Having decided to stop working at 22.50 (I kid you not) unless there are exceptional circumstances. I’ve been networking at lunchtime today which you’ve probably guessed from the writing so far and with a visit to my osteopath…

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Software-d. Again

By Colin Bielckus / 25th November 2018 / Comments Off on Software-d. Again

Software and computers. Can’t live with them, can’t live without them. Sigh. This almost didn’t get written this week (and? I hear you cry. Might even have been a positive!). Earlier in the week I had a major “issue” with my antivirus product. Soon after a Webex-style interaction with my main accounting system software support team – not sure if this is coincidental or related. Be fascinated to know though. However… Laptop response times were getting slower and slower. Hit a button, go make tea or have your lunch. You know – the older ones amongst you – just like dial up internet and Windows 3.1… Or watching Netflix in a 3G area maybe for my younger readers? So – somehow – you manage to…

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What to talk about this week?

By Colin Bielckus / 15th November 2018 / Comments Off on What to talk about this week?

What to talk about indeed. Still a head full of man flu this week. And trying to squeeze in writing this along with software demos, networking events and the odd bit of work if all else fails… To be honest the man flu is doable as long as there’s something to keep the brain cell in use. The minute you stop it’s another matter. Like hitting a brick wall. And getting started again after a slump – physically as well as mentally – can be interesting. Interesting as in the old Chinese curse “May you live in interesting times”. Like now. Wrote the intro, went to help out at an exhibition, got back and fell asleep for an hour. Don’t feel guilty about it at all.…

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Top Ten Challenges – The economy. How to prosper whatever the economy throws at you.

By Colin Bielckus / 13th November 2018 / 0 Comments

For this challenge I’ve turned to Ian Dickson. I’ve known Ian for a number of years. An excellent public speaker, nationally and internationally. Not attended one of his events? Make sure you do as they are highly inspirational. Former copper on the beat in Brixton he has now found his niche in business transformation. I’m going to let Ian have his say:  Seek and you shall find!   Matthew 7:7 As Business Owners Brexit is an interesting situation for many of us. For many it creates uncertainty, change, worry, fear, potential commercial/financial disruption. On the other hand, for many it creates potential, positive change, certainty, clarity, opportunity, excitement. My name is Ian Dickson and I’m an international business speaker and multi award winning business coach. For the last…

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Man flu again

By Colin Bielckus / 8th November 2018 / Comments Off on Man flu again

Man flu. Can you even call it that when the wife goes down with it first? Firstly apologies for nothing last week – (i) we were away and (ii) man flu… Lorraine took time off work last week. On its own not an earth shattering statement but that woman just doesn’t take a sickie. Previous occasions were a nose bleed that put her in hospital and appendicitis, not a bl00dy cold! She only took time off after the birth of the daughter because she was kept in hospital, I kid you not… So she’s had it for a week and a half and I’m a few days less than that. Ever tried to have an already booked and paid for long weekend with man flu?…

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