Small Firm of the Year is always a hotly contested category. We asked Luke Smith, Managing Director of Purpose. – a Small Firm finalist for the second time, what his tips would be for achieving excellence.
Congratulations Luke! What does it mean to you to be one of the Accounting Excellence Top 5 firms in the Small Firm of the Year category this year?
Having been shortlisted the last time we entered in 2017 as well, we know it makes a big difference to our conversion ratios and our brand’s reputation in the local market place. More importantly, though it has given the whole team a lift and an external sense of pride and achievement. There are only so many times the directors can tell them they’re great without it sounding like “parental bias”!
What achievement in the last year are you most proud of?
In 2014 we took on a client losing £100k from £2.5M turnover and last year we helped them sell for a little under £3M, having made profits over the last couple of years of circa £500k. It was a great day for us too as we arranged an amazing contingent fee which doubled our annual profits.
What are you going to be focusing on in the next 12 months?
We have set up a Techsploitation team and also last year a change and HR support service to our VFD clients called ‘People & Performance”. We also have a joint venture business brokerage with a local law firm. Compliance isn’t yet dead as a profitable source of business but regular advisory is only valuable if the advice is implemented. Clients say they will implement it but often don’t so we will focus on implementing change for them legally and positively from a people point of view and with as much tech as appropriate.
What would be your top tip/tips for firms aspiring to achieve excellence in the profession?
Be brave. If you’ve got clients over £250k turnover the vast majority of them want to talk to someone about their business and they have almost given up on the profession being able to do that. Getting involved in other people’s businesses and lives can be emotionally draining, but the upside of caring is when you see a business turnaround that your advice has helped with, it is hugely fulfilling and makes much of the compliance pain worth it.