myHRdept’s monthly profiles of UK entrepreneurs
This month we’re delighted to profile the amazing Rob Howard, myHRdept client and owner of specialist hospitality management accountants Accurise. Accurise have had ZERO PERCENT TURNOVER of clients and STAFF in the 3 years since incorporation. How on earth have they achieved that? myHRdept met with Rob to find out.
Rob, please tell us about the business you’ve created, Accurise
Accurise are specialist Management Accountants to the Hospitality Industry working with groups of bars and restaurants in the UK. In a service industry you live and die on the quality of the team you work with, and we chose to offer best in class terms and conditions to attract and retain the best people. In 3 years, with 20+ employee’s and 20+ clients, we have 100% retention of both. Everyone who has ever joined Accurise, in any capacity, is still with us!
Uniquely for the sector, Accurise offer staff a 4 day working week (paid for 5) and unlimited holiday, and they are 100% home working, with regular events for the team to get together, socially and simply to work in the same space.
0330 460 0201
What did you do before you became an owner?
I’ve had a varied career. I have been a General Manager and Operations Manager for various Bars and Restaurants. I was once the youngest Licensee in Birmingham. I bought a Nightclub and Cocktail Bar in Scotland when I was 25. I spent a couple of years travelling the world as a live music tour manager. I retrained as an Accountant and became Managing Director of the business I trained in 4 ½ years after joining them. And then, in 2020, 2 months before a global pandemic, I started a business dedicated to Accountancy in the Hospitality Trade, one of the sectors most severely impacted by the lockdowns.
Why did you decide to start your own business?
Mainly because most of the things I want to do, and how I want to run a business, and how I believe in treating people, are really hard to convince other people to do. I became my own boss so I didn’t have to convince anyone else anymore – it was easier that way, and I had got to the point where I could see that I couldn’t do it any other way.
What was your greatest challenge, and how did you overcome it?
I guess working out what the hell to do during Covid, when all my carefully laid plans were entirely disrupted a month after we started. We got through it by being honest, by trusting people and by diverting our entire marketing budget to discounts for clients, and hoping that the goodwill we showed would pay off.
What was your most memorable mistake, and what did you learn from it?
Buying a Nightclub and Cocktail Bar in Scotland when I was 25 and signing personal guarantees, because I didn’t know any better. I learnt that I’m a better Accountant than I am a Nightclub Owner. And to never sign personal guarantees!
How optimistic are you about the future of your organisation?
I’m always paranoid that it’s not going to last, that’s what keeps me up at night. I worry that I will have to go back to a job I hate, that all this stuff I believe in can’t work because no one else does it. But here we are 3 years later with turnover well over £1m a year, and a team of 20 happy employee’s …. so maybe, just maybe, I’ll stop worrying one day. But not today.
What key pieces of advice would you pass on to someone contemplating starting their own business or organisation?
Do it because you can’t do anything else. Do it because you believe in the service or product, do it because you want to change the world – even if it’s just making a few people’s lives a bit better than would be otherwise. But don’t do it for the money, the money will come if you do the other things, but if you do it for money all your decision making will be wrong, everyone will see through you and it probably won’t work anyway. Even if it does, you will be miserable.
Calling other owners, tell us your story!
What a great insight into Rob’s approach to creating a successful business! Without the pressure of financial backers, Rob has created a business that has grown rapidly in the most challenging of times, a business that offers leading-edge radical terms in a sector better known for its conservatism.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts Rob, and for offering us an insight into your world – sure as eggs is eggs, Accurise has fantastic successes ahead!
If you’re an owner of your own enterprise and you’d like to be profiled in these columns please contact me: email@example.com.