Thursday 11th February
The Growth Hub has provided tailored business support to Acc-Unique Solutions – a management accountancy practice with a difference. They provide accountancy services, training, and they help companies to reinvent their accounts systems.
Like most businesses, Acc-Unique Solutions had to re-think their strategy plan due to the pandemic. Fiona Wilson, Managing Director said: “We’ve had an issue – we’re only a small company and one of our key personnel was an apprentice. Of course we had to be very selective with the work that we had for our staff so we had to keep the ones on that could do the full rounds of services. Unfortunately, we couldn’t continue with the apprenticeship.”
As well as letting an apprenticeship go, Acc-Unique Solutions also planned to relocate for better work opportunities. “We looked at all of our costs, so a move to premises that offered a cost saving and a more prominent position seemed a wise choice. We were located on a side street, so no one knew we were there! We had to really focus on our visibility, we had to get ourselves out there so that people knew of our services.”
Fiona was familiar with the Growth Hub after receiving our emails, “When we went into lockdown, we were determined to react positively and use the time to develop our business. We didn’t know where to start, then we were receiving your emails and amazing support was becoming available” (Fiona Wilson, Managing Director). After initially seeking support from Aston University, she was referred to the Growth Hub, “The person at Aston gave me the contact for your organisation and I just put in an application thinking, ‘I don’t think this will work but we may as well try'.”
However, it did work as she was then contacted by Sandra Cunningham, one of the Growth Hub’s SFEDI accredited Business Advisers. Fiona explained: “Sandra contacted me for a diagnostic, I didn’t even know it was coming but we were on the phone for about an hour and a half. She went through absolutely everything with me, she identified every little area where we needed support and suggested things that I had never even thought of.”
After the initial phone call, Sandra supported Fiona with five different referrals ranging from a digital CRM programme to a business growth match funding programme with Birmingham City Council, which she applied for and was awarded.
Fiona is very pleased with the support that she has received from Sandra, she further explained: “I needed a first aider on the premises and Sandra put me in touch with a company for a one day course to get it sorted. We’re getting a new CRM system, she put me in touch with a mentor, a strategist, absolutely everything.”
Sandra referred Fiona to Wray Bennett, our Mentoring Relationship Manager, who delivers the Mentoring for Growth programme which facilitates business growth through high level mentoring across the region: “Sandra put me in touch with Wray and he’s linked me to other people which has allowed me to increase my networking.”
The support provided by the Growth Hub has helped Acc-Unique Solutions move into a new office: “We’ve relocated to the high street in Harborne and the Growth Hub has really helped us finish off the project. Just this week we’ve had someone walk past the office, notice our sign and sign up for our accountancy services. (Fiona Wilson, Managing Director).
The new location will help with their long term goals and business operations. Fiona said: “Once clients know we are here for them on the High Street we are hoping they will visit us whenever they need help. They can pop in, have a coffee, go through their plans and figures on the screen. We’re hoping to engage with local and further afield businesses and together we can help apprentices, youngsters and more mature people who need to change careers. We will do everything we can to help them to secure full time employment.” The additional workload will allow an apprentice to continue working at Acc-Unique Solutions and to focus on upskilling and developing: “The support has given me a lot more confidence and I’ve now got a plan to work to. We aim to turn future trainee positions into full-time roles, train people up properly, and allow them to work their way up the ladder."
All in all, Fiona is very happy with the services that she has received from the Growth Hub, specifically with the lengths that Sandra has taken to ensure that Acc-Unique Solutions grows: “I’ve been most impressed with the fact that Sandra has taken a personal interest in our company even though she has nothing to do with our field, she just really wants us to succeed.”
Since receiving support from the team, Fiona has watched her business grow from the guidance and referrals that she has received, she said: “We’re a completely different company to what we were this time last year, it’s amazing! In a nutshell, we have become a very well-connected company – I just seem to know everyone that I need to know.”
“The Growth Hub is very supportive; I just want to thank you for helping our business to progress. We’ve seen development because of what the Growth Hub has done for us and I can’t wait to get out there again when our projects are completely up and running” (Fiona Wilson, Managing Director). Your business can still grow amidst the coronavirus pandemic, if you need assistance on how you can reach your goals, contact our expert Growth Hub team.