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Value for Money Image

Are You Getting Value For Money?

960 640 Marta Bellamoli, Marketing Co-ordinator

Value for Money Image

“You get what you pay for”. “Buy it right or buy it twice”. We have all heard these phrases and have experienced inexpensive products or services not working as we had hoped.
For some clients, price remains the key focus when making fundamental decisions. While this thinking may be correct when applied to goods, when it comes to corporate services there is actually a more important driver to finding the right solution: value.

“While price may have a short-term benefit, it will be value that delivers the true benefit over the long-term.”

Running a business incurs costs, what that business charges its clients will not only need to cover those costs but will need to represent value for the client. This means clients will be faced with a cost/benefit consideration.

While price may have a short-term benefit, it will be value that delivers the true benefit over the long-term. This is particularly true when looking for specific services such as establishing trusts, company incorporation, structuring for tax purposes, to name but a few. Every corporate services provider works differently and those services could vary.

Focusing solely on headline price makes it extremely difficult to establish the overall value and can lead clients accepting a solution that could not be completely right for them based on pricing only. But focusing on value does not mean that price should be ignored, but proper enquiry will help see beyond the cost alone and understand the longer-term benefits provided by that service provider.

The real value (long-term benefit) comprises of three main elements: trust, transparency and simplicity. So, when it comes to Abacus how do these elements shape up?

“The value of transparency can’t be underestimated. Transparency is all about information; it embodies honesty and open communication.”

Relationships have to be built on trust. It can be tracked over time and it is mainly based on reliability and availability. The reason trust is important is because everyone feels more confident knowing that there is someone in the company who will help in case of need. Abacus has always taken the approach of developing personal professional relationships with each of its clients, enabling us to really know client’s businesses, ensuring the team provides a bespoke service and prompt support whenever required.

The value of transparency can’t be underestimated. Transparency is all about information; it embodies honesty and open communication. At Abacus we provide our clients with fee information and estimates. There are some fixed fee elements plus time charges that are appropriate to the varying responsibility levels. This represents a much fairer arrangement than a percentage of assets held.

That brings us to simplicity. Simplicity is what it says: keep it simple. For example, if structuring or receiving tax advice is complex this requires a higher degree of knowledge. Abacus applies its knowledge, understanding and expertise to ensure that the services provided meet the objectives of each client and their respective comprehension.

Looking beyond the final cost and gaining a true understanding of long-term value is what has helped thousands of businesses find the right provider and a priceless long-lasting collaboration.
If a service is unique, the ‘value curve’ that it forms is also unique.

youngerself

Lessons From Your Younger Self

1005 1024 Caroline Flanagan

younger

Who do you see staring back at you from across the years, and what lessons can you learn from them that will serve you today?

Take a minute to think back in time and remember your younger self. Who do you see and what can you learn from them? These are questions I found myself asking a while ago, and the answers surprised me.

On a rainy December night, I found myself pulling random books off cluttered bookshelves in search of something different to read. It is one of my favourite things to do when I’m tired, confused or just looking for answers. I retire to the quiet corner of my house where the books turn yellow with age and the photos gather dust, the only corner untouched by technology and flat screen TVs with subwoofer surround sound speakers that are a constant reminder that I am one woman alone and outnumbered in a house full of boys!

So I peruse the shelves and, reliable as always, something jumps out. An old favourite – Richard Bach. Reading his name brings memories skipping out of the past – first Jonathan Livingston Seagull and thenIllusions, books I have read so often the pages are all but ready to crumble in my hands. This time a different book jumps out:Running From Safety, a book I have never read before. I remember trying to, but never quite getting into to it and so abandoning it for another day.

Why this book? I have no idea. Besides, I wasn’t there to ask questions. Sometimes the universe throws up just what you need at just the right time. No point thinking too hard about it, or looking too long for an explanation because you may end up missing it.

Running from Safety is the story of an adult man who reconnects with his younger self, a younger self he shut away and refused to think about or acknowledge. So for the second time in as many months I find myself looking in the mirror and seeing an eight year old girl staring back at me.

The first time was the previous month, when I gave a presentation to a room full of professionals at the Pitch Perfect club in London. The topic: rapport. The brief: say anything I wanted about rapport, as long as I told a story. So that’s what I did.

I told a story of an eight year old girl who managed to build rapport in a school where she was the only child with dark skin and from a working class background; of how she overcame the negative stereotypes that in those days people were so quick to attribute to her race, and was able to build extraordinary rapport with all those around her.

In both preparing and delivering my talk, I found myself unexpectedly filled with awe at the child I was thirty-five years ago. It was the first time in years that I had even given thought to the mindset and resolve of the skinny little black girl with crooked teeth and unruly impenetrable afro hair. The girl that despite being singled out as different by school teachers and pupils alike, somehow went on to excel in academics, sport and art; the girl who had the steely resolve to overcome set back after set back to become the person I am today.

When I asked myself that question, it dawned on me just how much I have to thank my younger self for and if only she could hear me, these are the words I would say:

Thank you for how hard you worked to compensate for what you thought were your weaknesses;
Thank you for the risks you took, even though you were terrified of failure;
Thank you for the resilience you displayed when it felt as though the world was against you;
Thank you for the belief you showed when others told you it couldn’t be done; and
Thank you for the relationships you nurtured that have become your most treasured possessions.

Working hard, risking failure, displaying resilience, showing belief and nurturing relationships. Who knew that my younger self would have so much to teach that is relevant to my life today?

When you think about your younger self, who do you see staring back at you from across the years, and what lessons can you learn from them that will serve you today?

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What do your Family and Friends mean to you?

1000 877 Clare Evans, Personal and Business Coach

LifeFamily

This is the fifth in a series of articles to help you focus on a different aspect of your life and to inspire and motivate you to make a change in one or more areas.

What do your Family and Friends mean to you?

• How often do you see close family?
• Do you have a circle of good friends?
• How often do you spend time with them?
• Do you have a good relationship with your children?

This week is about focusing on the important people in your lives.

When you’re putting in the hours at work, it’s too easy to ignore or take for granted those closest to you and those that know you best. You snatch a couple of hours in the evening and maybe you manage a bit of time at the weekend. Are you zoning out or trying to relax with a bit of TV, eating meals while you work or check social media or emails? Are you still thinking about work as you read the children a bedtime story, catching up on work when they’re in bed or getting home so late you miss their evening routine?

Maybe friends have moved away and you don’t see members of your family as often. You keep meaning to call and arrange to meet up but ‘you’re too busy this week’, you’ve got a report due next month, you’re busy for the next two weekends … Next week becomes next month and then next year and before you know it years have passed and you’ve lost touch.

You’ll have friends you don’t see often but when you reconnect it’s as if you’ve never been apart.

While social media can help you to stay connected with friends and family you don’t get a chance to see as often, it can also make you more isolated. Even families living together retreat to separate locations to chat to their ‘online’ friends but forget to have real conversations with the people right there in front of them.

Friends come and go during the course of our lives. You may have friends you’ve known since childhood. Friends you’ve met at different stages of your life and then move on to new and different friends.

Action:

What difference could you make to your Family & Friends this week?

• Who in your family haven’t you spoken to in a while?
• Phone a friend you’ve been meaning to talk to for a while.
• Write a letter or send an email to a friend or family.

Spend time this week with the important people in your life. Not just time you would normally spend together but plan something different.

Re-evaluate your relationships with your friends. Do you have friends who always seem to want something from you? Do some of your friends drag you down more than they lift you up.

Only have people around you who respect and support you, who you enjoy being with and make the time and effort to see or talk to them regularly.

Enjoy the time spent with your family and friends this week.