Where do your new clients come from?

Do you know where most of your new clients come from?

It’s a question you often get asked, whether it’s by a new business partner, a coach or someone supporting you with marketing.

We have a fairly good idea where most of ours come from but are always working harder to refine that. It is especially difficult when a potential client first visits the website and contacts us through that, it is sometimes difficult to determine whether they just found Cooden Tax Consulting on Google or LinkedIn or whether they read an article about Research and Development Tax Credits in any one of a number of magazines that we publish articles in and then searched for us by name on Google.

Truth be told, around 50% of our new clients come from referrals from Accountants, they know they don’t have the expertise in house and so pass their precious clients to us, so that we can work with them to determine whether they meet HMRC’s eligibility criteria or not. However that’s not the complete story, 60% of those referrals come from accountants that we know and have established a relationship with before working on a client’s claim, but truth be told around 40% of those new clients have come from the accountants of clients that we have found through our other marketing efforts and then approached the accountant to ask them whether they work with another adviser with our skill set and then if they don’t we’ll ask whether they have any other clients that perhaps should be claiming R&D Tax Relief or Patent Box.

Are you brave enough?

We did this recently with an accountant in Eastbourne on the glorious Sussex Coast. They were brave, they asked us to come in and review their client list with them in house, that way they were in control. In total we identified around 12 business that might have been eligible, one or two weren’t interested, three or four, on further discussion weren’t eligible, but we’ve now worked with 6 of their clients on claims and their clients have seen tax refunds of around £300k and the accountant has earned themselves in the region of £10k in referral fees, just from being brave enough to admit they couldn’t support their clients and having a three-hour meeting, where they went through some of their clients’ publicly available information, to determine whether they should contact them about a claim.

So now, they have very happy clients and they’ve earned themselves a fee equivalent to a fairly large audit in the process, without actually having to find a new client. It’s wins all around.

We have also recently done some work with a new client in Essex, their accountant admitted that they weren’t very confident when it came to R&D Tax Relief claims, so we will have a similar with them in the very near future.

There’s nothing wrong with having an external expert!

One of the things our Director, Simon Bulteel learnt when he was in practice is that “none of us knew everything, that’s why we worked in General Practice, we knew a little about a lot, but in the end we all wanted to deliver the best service to our clients.

When I was in practice and it came to a specialist VAT or Duty query, there was always an external expert that we could talk to and if that failed, we could always fall back on either SWAT UK or if it concerned international matters, an international group of accounts that the practice was a member of.”

Having prepared a Research and Development Tax Relief claim for a water treatment business whilst in practice, Simon moved on to spells in industry as a European Finance Manager for a Top 5 Clinical Research Organisation, which was running drug trials for Pharmaceutical and BioTechnology companies and after 6 years and redundancy following a merger and office relocation, he moved into Motorsport Engineering where he was the Finance Manager for a Motorsport Group that had recently become World Champions in GT Racing and had then finished 6th in their first year racing at Le Mans, they were developing their race cars and trying to make them go faster and be more reliable and competitive. He honed his knowledge in these two roles and as claims for both companies were investigated by HMRC he was able to experience at first-hand how HMRC approach enquiries into Research and Development Tax Relief claims.

Can we help you?

No matter what level of expertise you have in house, we probably have something that can help you help your clients. Whether it is on a referral basis for providing your clients with a complete Research and Development Tax Relief service, or if you have some capability in house and you’d just like some support with our “Proofreading and Claim Review Service” or whether you just don’t understand Patent Box, we’re sure we’ll be able to help you help your clients better.