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This month we spoke to Dr. Hannah Odendaal & Christian Jacques, company directors of Dr. Hannah Odendaal (& Associates)!
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What’s your name and your role in the company?

We’re Dr. Hannah Odendaal & Christian Jacques, and we’re both company directors. Dr. Hannah is a Clinical Psychologist and author of the online blog (via the practice website), and Christian is co-director, managing the website, marketing, admin, technology, and design.

It’s lovely to chat with you both! Tell us about your business.

We offer private psychological therapy. This includes in-person sessions at our clinic in St Albans, Hertfordshire, as well as online therapy. We offer psychological therapy, drawing on evidenced-based therapies to support people with their emotional and psychological wellbeing.

Our approach is contemporary, using the latest technology to provide an efficient service to patients and to any associates we work in partnership with.

What drove you to start the business?

Hannah:

I have always seen myself doing private practice in the future as a milestone, and Christian and I both realised that, actually, there was nothing stopping us from just starting straight away. I thought “If not now, when?”. Otherwise, it would always just be in the ‘future’. We haven’t looked back.

Having worked in the NHS for over eight years, working on a business outside of my NHS role feels exciting and gives me more opportunities for the future.

I must say, having a husband that has previously owned his own business helps! With his experience in business and tech, he can usually answer the questions I am unsure of! We both approach the business from different angles that compliment each other well.

Christian:

I closed my previous business before the pandemic, and was using The Accountancy Partnership beforehand. Starting up the psychology practice has meant I can use – and remember(!) – all the skills I had when working in business. It’s actually been quite fun and rewarding. Helping Hannah push through all the hurdles I struggled with when I set my first business up has felt very satisfying.

Our main game is to provide excellent service across the board in fire alarm maintenance, servicing installation, and small works.

What particular challenges did you have to overcome in setting up your business, and since then?

Hannah:

We only started the business in December 2022, and we both work full time in other roles, so we’re very happy with how quickly we’ve grown. There’s a lot to think about when moving into this space, from HMRC, accounting, medical and legal insurance, building a website, banking, accreditations and information security, but we’ve pushed through all of it.

Although challenging at times, it’s been worth it.

Why did you choose The Accountancy Partnership?

Hannah:

My husband Christian used TAP before for his previous marketing and technology business and spoke highly of it.

 

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Have we helped you overcome any challenges, and if so, how?

Christian:

TAP has been great. Although you can learn to do your own accounting, we decided that it would be a more effective to focus our time and energy on to other parts of the business such as marketing, the website, branding and strategy. For example, we’ve managed to have spare time to put out some high quality pages on specialties in mental health like our psychologist, psychiatrist and counsellor guide, rather than have too much on my plate like accounting.

Simply having the left over capacity to troubleshoot other issues and hurdles is really valuable to me. Without TAP, I suspect I would have spent my weekends worrying if my accounts will be correct in a year’s time. Instead, I have been focusing my energy into what really matters – satisfied clients and growing the practice.

Hannah and I have to be pretty brutal with our time in terms of productivity otherwise we don’t have any free time on our weekends. The reassurance that our accounting is taken care of helps so much with this.

Knowing that I can email my personal accountant Ben anytime is also highly reassuring. Recently I was able to have a video call with Daniel in bookkeeping to keep me on track and answer my questions.

Would you recommend The Accountancy Partnership?

Christian & Hannah:

Absolutely, especially for startups where you need to focus on making a success of it.

What do you have planned for your business in the future?

Christian:

As we expand we’re going to be trying to build a very efficient business from the ground up. This means, as automated as possible so that our time goes to therapy, marketing and client outcomes.

This is going to take some research – and probably some trial and error – but once we’ve nailed that we will be taking on associate psychologists and creating more video content. Because we’re starting from the bottom, it makes sense to figure that out first before we get bigger.

Learn more about our online accounting services for businesses just like Dr Hannah & Christian’s. Call 020 3355 4047 or get an instant online quote.

About The Author

Rachael Anderson

A creative content writer specialising across business, finance and software topics. I have a love for all things writing, and creating engaging, easy to understand content that helps everyday people! Learn more about Rachael.

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