Downsizing to reduce the pressure

We have all had a difficult time in the last 18 months due to Covid 19.

From the Draper Hinks view point in March of 2020, we had to shut our doors for months on end.  No sellers were selling and no buyers were buying.  Our business just dropped off a cliff.  It was a very difficult time for us.

From talking to a lot of accountants, it was a very difficult time for them too, but for very different reasons.  Your workload increased significantly.  Having to deal with furlough claims, grant applications and all the different initiatives the government brought in with little or no preparation and training for those implementing them.

As a result, a number of accountants have been in touch with us suffering from stress related conditions.  They do not want to sell the whole of their accountancy practice but they cannot sustain the level of work they have been doing for too long.  One vendor recently told me that he gets to work soon after 5.30am and does not leave the office until after 6pm.  This cannot continue. 

My response to anyone in this situation is to sell a tranche of fees immediately.  Work out how much you need to sell in order to get to a reasonable work load, then sell more. The most difficult thing the vendor will have to do in this scenario is to choose who to put on the list of fees for sale.

One vendor, diagnosed with cancer, went through his client listing and came up with 2 clients on his list of fees for sale.  He worked with his wife and she said the problem was he “liked” all his clients and didn’t want to sell any of them.  She made him do the exercise again and he came up with another 5 clients.  Bit by bit, and by going through the client list several times, the tranche of accountancy fees for sale increased to the point that he identified over £80k of fees for sale.  The sale progressed to completion, the stress reduced, the vendor was able to concentrate on getting better and all was well. 

We are currently marketing tranches of fees for a number of vendors.  We also have other potential vendors going through their client lists to see who to sell and who to keep.   You cannot run a business if you do not have your health.  Stress is insipid and creeps up on you bit by bit.  Don’t leave it too late to do something about it. 

If you want to discuss the possibility of selling a tranche of your accountancy fees, then please get in touch.  Remember everything we discuss is confidential.  It is the buyer that pays our brokerage fee.  You can contact me, Nicola Draper, on 01788 816440 or email me at