Our politicians and commentators continue to tell us that we are officially out of recession. Speaking as a medium sized business owner working with other medium sized business owners, I can tell you that we are still operating in a challenging market.
The opening of the legal market and the arrival of new business models (Alternative Business Structures ABS) into the market has placed an even greater emphasis on meeting the needs of our clients and distinguishing ourselves in the market place. They want us to listen more and understand the issues each business faces and provide solutions that have commercial value. At Glaisyers we pride ourselves on offering clients not only options in a given situation but actual recommendations about the most effective way forward for the individual client.
We have spent the last month contacting some of you to obtain feedback about how we are doing and what we need to improve on. We want this process of interacting with clients to become an on-going process that enables us to establish a genuine partnership striving to achieve our clients goals. We want to seek opportunities for clients and find ways to help your business grow. Part of this process is in introducing you to others we work with and sharing information about changes in industry.
We also value your business and want you to help us promote what we do well and be our advocates. To achieve this we appreciate that we have to demonstrate a high level of service. We are currently offering clients on our Absolute HR Scheme, a month’s fee rebate in return for introductions to other companies or organisations who could use the Absolute HR Service, and a three-month fee rebate for every new Absolute HR client that results. We hope to develop other services of this type where we are able to give something back to clients who are so loyal to us.
There is much comment at the moment about the housing market and we are clearly seeing a significant increase in instructions and in new plot sales. We note Mark Carney at the Bank of England’s comments about not wanting the “help to buy” scheme to fuel another property boom. However we know that most Local Authority’s in England and Wales are way behind on delivery of their housing stock and efforts need to be focused on the delivery of new housing. We have noticed from our own data an increase in instructions from the international community who having settled in this country are now seeking to invest their income into the UK property market as they see it as a “safe haven” for their assets, putting further strain on property prices.
Finally I would like to leave you with findings from a survey I read recently that stated that in the United States as many as 63% of people aged 64 remain in full time employment. The myth of early retirement is clearly felt as our working lives become ever longer and retirement ages likely to be over 70 years of age in another 20 years. This places a bigger burden on ensuring we plan properly for the future and looking at succession in our businesses and how we deal with those who work with us. These will all need careful consideration with an ageing working population. Also, taking action now can ease a lot of the strain that comes with finding care for later in life and being in a financial position to do so. Be careful with schemes that seek to hide assets from social services so as to avoid payment of care fees. Our expanded Wills & Probate team are skilled in preparing tax planning advice to assist in preparing for life after a working wage and dealing with vulnerable adults who need protecting.