Adapting my model to a new city

Overview

During my teens, I spent an 18 month period working in a firm of accountants. During that period, I learnt a great deal about how the world of accountancy worked, and a couple of years later decided to start my own business - SJD Accountancy.

Based in Manchester, my business model was a very simple one: I placed adverts in local newspapers offering to do small business' and individual's book-keeping and end of year accounts. This had proved relatively successful and I had built up a small, but loyal client base in the North.

The challenge

When circumstances dictated that I move back to London, I decided to replicate my business model, which had proved successful in Manchester, and attempt to grow the company.

To my initial surprise, placing ads in local newspapers proved unsuccessful and I was forced to reconsider my options...

The solution

I began thinking about the time I had spent working at the local accountancy firm during my youth. I remembered that during my time there, we had done a lot of work for people working as IT contractors. I therefore decided to try offering a service exclusively for people working in the contractor market. I placed a more targeted ad in relevant trade publications, and experienced an amazing response.

After a short period, I was able to move the company out of my bedroom and into offices. I took on staff, and from there the company grew at an incredible rate.

Key lesson

Learning to adapt quickly was key in overcoming this problem. Fortunately for me, I realised that my previous approach was not going to be successful in London. I was able to put the experience that I had gained working in an accountancy firm to good use, and come up with a viable alternative.

Top tip

Find your niche. This has possibly never been more pertinent than during the current period of economic uncertainty. It is my belief that the days of the all rounder are behind us. If you are able to find your niche and you do a great job for your customers, your business has every chance of being successful.

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