Building a 6-figure lifestyle service business from the ground up. The Start.

I was recently interviewed by AAT, the accountancy body I trained with and have my practice licence under, the article was ‘When is enough growth enough for your practice?.

I was asked questions about my plans for growth with Every Cloud.

For around a year now, I have had a vague direction I want to go in with my business. I love business and the creativity of growing something, but at the same time, I don’t want to grind and sacrifice my well-being and relationships.

It started last year after attending an accountancy conference (rock n roll), a lot of the underlying messages there were around growth, getting to x numbers of clients and employees and I came home feeling turned off.

I had some great learnings, but ultimately I wasn’t connected to that message.

We have also recently had a baby, and that experience also makes you question what you want.

Deciding what you want

My answer to the AAT article was that I want to stay small and profitable, prioritising life as well as business, I am not motivated to build a big accountancy practice.

I want to spend quality time with my son, whilst offering a great service for clients and building the business.


Or should I say simple, not easy.

So this post is about expanding on that, getting a clearer idea of what I want to build. By doing this:

  1. Helps me get clarity by putting it on paper.
  2. It could inspire other business owners with similar goals, by following the journey.
  3. It could be a way of meeting some great fit clients, as this is what motivates me, not working with the next Facebook.

Tom Smith, Accountant building a 6-figure lifestyle service business

Building a lifestyle service business

Good or bad, the best term that describes what I want to build is a ‘lifestyle accountancy practice’ or ‘lifestyle service business’.

I don’t want to earn the minimum amount of profit, have a low cost of living and neither do I want to work 10 hours a week from the beach.

I want to grow the business but within the parameters of putting life first. I don’t believe it should be a trade-off, but maybe it will happen slower and I am ok with that.

Because for so many years, I have always chased building a million-pound business, see: Painful lessons from running 9 small businesses, but it has always been at a price of me. So it boils down to three areas:

  • Freedom
  • Profit
  • Service

Venn diagram showing Lifestyle business design: Freedom, Profit and Service

Am I balancing life and business? Am I earning the money needed to live the life I want? Am I delivering the level of service I needed?

You need all three.

Getting to 6 figures in revenue

The initial goal is to get to 6-figure revenue.


It’s a clear target, I think 100,000 in revenue is one of those mental benchmarks that feels like an achievement, but most of all it will give me a comfortable income personally.

It also will make me question how the business is set up. I can probably do all the delivery for 6 figures of revenue, but I would be flat out, so I will have to find ways of hitting it whilst living in line with point 1: Life balance.

Transparency is an important value to me, so I am going to document the progress on this blog, which you can see here. To start with showing how much revenue I am generating per year and a review of whether I am prioritising life – I am sure I will be able to quantify that more as I get clearer.

Can you achieve both, that’s the question but it’s something I am going to pursue.

Does a lifestyle business resonate with you? I would love to hear from you, post a comment below or email: