“Back in 1992 when I was 28 years old, I was made redundant in one of the other recessions, when interest rates were higher than they are now. So, I went off and I got a part time job at Brighton Hove and Sussex Sixth Form College. It was then I decided to go out on my own and start my own business.
I was working out of my one-bedroom flat in Enys Road, as well as working part-time at the college to pay my mortgage. The college had also given me an ultimatum at that time, telling me that I had to work full-time with them, or I would have to leave. I was only recently qualified at this point, you had to have a practice certificate to run an accountancy firm and I had just about enough experience to get one, as well as being qualified, I decided that my creative juices would dry up if I stayed at the college, so I left the college to start up on my own.
I started off working from my flat when one Friday night, after drinking in The Lamb in Old Town, somebody rang me up to talk about their tax returns – it was then that I decided it wasn’t right for me to be working from home anymore. I started off by renting a one room office in Archer House, Eastbourne, the rent was cheap, and the parking was free, I thought I would be out of their soon, once I got a bit bigger. I gradually took on more staff and thought I knew everything, I had seen other businesses accounts and how other businesses had been running, so I thought I knew it all, but I was actually quite naïve as I didn’t realise that accountancy is only one aspect of running a business.
I made all the mistakes, that some businesses make, employing the wrong people, waking up in the middle of the night wondering whether I can pay the wages, which still happens sometimes, but I gradually took on more staff and more clients. One day I was invited to go and talk to NatWest, I met a chap called Mike Cross who introduced me to an organisation called BNI, I joined the local Eastbourne chapter in 1998, we picked up more clients and have grown to twenty-five members of staff. We now have three directors and we never did move out of Archer House, we just grew and grew.
I enjoy dealing with our clients, that’s the best part of it for me, I like solving people’s problems and helping them to improve their lives, that doesn’t necessarily mean they are wanting to be wealthier; it can mean that they wish for a better lifestyle/work balance. Working out what they want to do with their lives and planning on how they can get there is what I like doing.
It’s not about tax returns, I’ve often said that when people are in the pub, they don’t talk about how great their tax return was or how beautiful their accounts looked, they talk about how much they’ve saved, how they’ve been able to get new premises, buy their new car etc. These are the things I think, accountants should be achieving – not just adding up the numbers on putting them on a page.”
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We are a team of Chartered Accountants located in Eastbourne who are regulated by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. Your first meeting with us is at no charge and we also have free parking all day available at our offices in Eastbourne. To ensure that we keep up to date with the latest developments in the profession, Dominic Hill have an ongoing staff training programme. By having this in place, we are able to provide our clients with a first class service which is responsive to changes in legislation.