Ewan Edwards set up his own tax and accountancy practice late last year offering a range of professional services to small business and individuals. Here, he shares with us the story behind the business.
Why choose to go into business for yourself and when did you start your current business? I officially set up Moray Tax Specialists & Accounting Services late last year. I worked for HMRC but due to restructuring they were reducing their locations across the UK. My options were to relocate to Glasgow or Edinburgh and I didn’t want to move my life from Moray, so I decided to leave HMRC and set up my own practice. It’s was a surprisingly easy decision to make and I’m glad I did it.
Why did you choose your current business? I’ve worked in tax and accounting for over 35 years and it’s what I know and enjoy. I love the complexities of it and a career change was never an option. As a Tax Inspector I investigated close to 1,000 businesses of all sizes UK wide, from international corporations to nightclubs and tradesmen. Some of the people I have met have been both challenging and fascinating. I can pass much of that experience on and use my skills and experience to offer individuals and businesses in Moray the level of expertise you would expect from a national organisation, with the care, attention and price of a local firm.
Who has helped you get started and develop your business? My partner Moira has been very supportive as was my old boss. I’ve also had help and encouragement from the local Business Gateway team which I really appreciate. As well as one-to-one advice from my adviser I attended free workshops that Business Gateway offer which were great. Not only did I learn valuable information but it allowed me to meet and network with other local business people.
What achievement are you most proud of? It sounds corny but it has to be my kids.
What was your biggest mistake? I was unsure about starting the business as I noticed that an accountancy firm in the town had recently closed. I wrongly assumed that it shut due to a lack of business but in fact it was closed for other reasons. I learned that I shouldn’t make assumptions.
What is the biggest challenge facing your business? As a new practice, attracting new clients is always a challenge. We need to ensure that people know we are here and market ourselves properly through word-of-mouth, client testimonials and an active social media and digital presence. It will take time but I’m confident we will get there.
What would help your business? Personal recommendations are how the practice will reach its optimum size. We firmly believe that quality and care are the drivers for increasing our customer base and by offering a fantastic customer service we know people will pass on their experiences to others.
What do you still want to achieve for your business? My aim is to build a practice to a size that works for my clients and me. It’s not about meeting a client once a year and sending out the bill, it has to be more than that.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to start a business in Moray? Go for it but do not financially over expose yourself. Make sure you access the free support on offer by Business Gateway Moray who can offer you not just a ton of advice and help, but encourage and guide you on your journey.
Find out how Business Gateway Moray can help your business by visiting their local page or calling 01343 508 838.
Outwith this area? Find your local Business Gateway office or call 0300 013 4753.
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