- "In the last 20 years our business has changed considerably…and as the focus of our business has changed, Bird Luckin have moved with us."
Alex Tanner, George Tanner (Shalford) Ltd
- "Bird Luckin has looked after us incredibly well for over 60 years, they are pro-active and innovational - meeting all our needs to help us achieve our aims."
Richard Stubbings, Cliffords Limited
- "I can honestly say that Bird Luckin are the best firm of accountants and auditors I have ever dealt with - and I don't say that lightly!"
Colin Webb, Walthamstow Stadium
- "It's important for us to know that we will always be able to contact the right people to give us the right advice and support."
Jane Bennett, Bennetts Funeral Directors
- "Although we deal mainly with one Partner … we also know that if we need to contact someone else who is a specialist in another area, we can get the advice we need quickly and easily"
Jeremy Ruggles, J.S. Wright & Sons Ltd
- "Bird Luckin got us to a stage which would have taken us months - if not years - to reach on our own, and they got us there in a matter of weeks"
Matthew Sullivan, SNC Ltd
- "You can be a good accountant, but if you don't have an understanding of the industry it can be very difficult. "There are two or three people we have regular contact with at Bird Luckin who know our business well, and it makes a difference.""
Robert Church, W A Church (Bures) Ltd
- "The work which Bird Luckin has done for Boddingtons over the past few months has helped shape our future direction for the better."
John Warner, Chief Executive, Boddingtons Ltd
- "Bird Luckin has acted for us since our inception 10 years ago. They have a very 'can do' yet highly professional attitude - we are very appreciative of their support and advice over the years."
Marlon Fox, Outlook Property Ltd
Overcoming the problems of e-commerce
For businesses that depend on e-commerce, one of the greatest problems is the loss of personal contact with their customers. For many small enterprises, the thing that sets them apart from larger corporations is their ability to deliver a personal touch. This competitive advantage can be lost in trading over the internet.
For the customers the downside is not being able to see or touch what they are buying. For certain products, such as books, CDs and so on, this is not a problem: the latest Harry Potter bestseller is exactly the same whoever is supplying it. However, if you are selling products with individual characteristics you have to work your way around this problem through effective website design.
For example, items sold via mail order are usually illustrated in lavish (and costly) colour catalogues. A website can be even more effective at illustrating a product because you can include options that allow different views of the same product or allow customers to 'zoom in' on a particular detail.
But as you are selling products 'unseen', you need to be prepared for a higher than usual number of returns - experts suggest around 20 per cent of goods sold via mail order end up being refunded. This is because customers may discover that it is not the product they want only when it is delivered.
As such, you need to be aware that this significant level of refunds will have a major effect on your cashflow. For this reason, selling customised products over the internet should be undertaken with care.
Making your business stand out on the internet is extremely difficult. Although customers can get a list of everything from 'organic beef butchers in Edinburgh' to 'dealers in spare parts for Hornby model railways' by using search engines, there is no guarantee that they will see your company's name. This is particularly true if you are one of a number of businesses selling similar things. You should consult an expert on internet marketing and search engine ranking if you want to improve your performance in this area.