Renfrewshire husband and wife team counting on success

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Michelle and chris

Husband and wife team Chris and Michelle Allan set up C Allan & Son Accountancy Services in 2013, a few months after their first child was born.

What does your business do? We are a small cloud based accountancy practice offering a host of business services to clients. We do accounts, preparation and submission, bookkeeping, payroll, VAT as well as secretarial services, training, audit preparation and more. The companies we work with come from a wide range of industries including retail, creative, hospitality, geophysics, charitable and e-commerce.

What are you most proud of when it comes to your company? For a small practice of four people, we assist returning clients worldwide from Shetland to Australia and for us the thing we’re most proud of is the way in which our clients talk about us. We have remained true to our key objective of offering the best customer experience in line with our values. We are also proud of our team and offer our staff flexible working hours, pay the Living Wage and finance employee education.

What do you find most enjoyable in day-to-day business life? Dropping our children off at school and walking to work. We genuinely love what we do, so coming to work is a pleasure and because the business is within our locale, we feel strongly connected to Paisley.

What are your ambitions for the future? This is our fifth year of trading and in that time we have grown organically, so we want to continue this growth.

How has the business changed over the years? When we first launched it was just the two of us working from our small home office but last year after steady growth, we decided to look for premises and we moved into an office at Abbey Mill Business Centre. As a result, we also employed an Accounts Assistant who is currently undertaking her ACCA exams, which we are financing and supporting her with. We also reached the stage that our website needed an overhaul to make our business more visible online. We accessed the DigitalBoost support that Business Gateway offer which has allowed us to have a better presence on search engines, as well as showing us how to make our social media much more professional. Prospective clients are finding us so we couldn’t ask for more.

What are your top three priorities? Remain customer focused. Grow steadily. Employ another Accounts Assistant

Can you offer three tips to new-start businesses? Business Gateway’s support has been invaluable for us - from the free courses available, to the DigitalBoost sessions we took part in - so we would suggest any new business should access this help. The information is up to date, relevant and is delivered in such a professional, yet informal manner that makes it easy to understand.Be realistic. Unless you have capital behind you, it will take time for your business to become a viable income stream.Be brave and try it. It will be hard and it might not work, however you could play it safe and never try and remain unhappy in your current role.

Why is Renfrewshire a great place to run a business? We chose Renfrewshire as the place to base our business because of the buzz around regeneration. There is so much happening and we are genuinely excited to see the changes taking place around us, from fantastic new housing to upmarket hospitality spots. Renfrewshire is well connected to bigger cities, with several train stations, bus routes and the cycle track. The airport is also close by, so that when we travel nationally, it is easy.

Has anything weird or wonderful happened in your working life?The most wonderful thing for us is seeing the fruit of our labour. It’s such a worry starting out and you need to put a few things on hold while you grow your business. We are at the stage now that everything is falling in to place. We couldn’t have achieved what we have without the assistance of our Business Gateway Growth Adviser, Robert Kinniburgh.

What is the main thing you have learned since being involved in the business? That there is help out there via organisations including Business Gateway, you just need to look for it and ask. Also, we’ve learned to ask lots of questions as it opens doors you might never have known existed.

Find out how Business Gateway Renfrewshire can help your business by visiting their local page or calling 0141 530 2406.

Outwith this area? Find your local Business Gateway office or call 0300 013 4753.

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