A large part of running a business is making decisions. The best decisions are made when you have all the information on your various options… but how do you gather that information (accepting always that you will never have perfect information!)?

Many of the more critical decisions I made as Managing Partner of a law firm, were based on my views on the market – should we hire a Commercial Property specialist? Yes if the market’s growing, no if it’s going to crash.

But where do you get that market information? How do you know if the market is going to crash?

There are of course lots of different ways, from expensive paid for surveys, to your own reading and day to day experience. However, one of the best ways I found was to speak to as many people in your market as possible, and “distill” their collective wisdom. Of course, I came across many conflicting views, and some utter nonsense, but, for on the ground market intelligence, speaking to people operating in my market was always helpful.

When I joined Cashroom, I found there were very few firms operating in our market (outsourced legal accounting), but I could speak with lots and lots of solicitors?

Cashroom now acts for over 220 firms across the UK.

As Chairman, part of my role is to speak with as many of our clients as I can, simply the get a feel for how things are going. In these conversations, I gather lots of market intelligence.

For example, it seems the conveyancing boom ended in Scotland a while ago, but is just starting to turn in England now. Many clients are struggling to recruit, but one has been very successful in recruiting by thoroughly overhauling their benefits package, and including far more staff in (for example) private health insurance than might otherwise be the case. One client, faced with difficulty in recruitment, decided not to recruit, turned away all but the most profitable work, and is now more profitable than they have ever been.

Insolvency practitioners are as nervous as everybody else about the next few months as they fear that lack of liquidity/confidence will impact the purchase of distressed assets from insolvent companies. If that happens, there will be no cash available in many insolvencies to pay professional fees.

And finally, many (many) people are nervous about increasing interest rates and how that will impact on the market.

However, I was speaking to one client this morning who remembers interest rates of 14% … and the world didn’t end (cold comfort I know)!

So, next time you get an email from me, inviting you to fix a call I would appreciate 30 mins of your time for a chat. I’ll pick your brains about how things are going, share what I’ve learned from similar conversations, and try and make some sense of where it’s all heading!

Speak to you soon.

David Calder, Cashroom Chairman 

About Cashroom

Cashroom provides expert outsourced accounting services for Law Firms including Legal CashieringManagement Accounts and Payroll services. Our mission is to free lawyers from the complexities of legal accounting by supporting the industry with accurate management information and allowing lawyers to do what they do best – practice law.

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We’ve been with Cashroom for quite a few years now, and I would never go back. In any business, and particularly in times of uncertainty, it’s important to control your costs, and that’s exactly what you help me do.

Sharon Needle
Sharon Needle
Managing Partner, Needle Partners
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