A budding businessman and qualified accountant who helped over 50 businesses during the pandemic is expanding his consultancy after receiving startup support from Boost; Lancashire’s Business Growth Hub.
Gordie Smyth set up his business consultancy in February 2020. Having spent 10 years progressing to senior level in an accountancy firm, Gordie was not totally fulfilled and felt he had more to offer clients.
Flower Accounting began as a business idea, with Gordie working from a spare room at home. His aim was to work with clients not just on accountancy compliance work, but as a business partner.
Wanting to surround himself with like-minded people and be part of a wider business community – Gordie established roots at Society1, a co-working space in the heart of Preston. That’s where he heard about Boost.
He said: “When you start up a business you have to wear so many hats. I wanted some technical training – particularly in sales – to firm up my value proposition and get comfortable selling. I felt without these skills I could not move the business forward.”
Gordie reached out to Boost to get support to cover some of the skill gaps he had as a startup. He joined Boost’s fully funded Flying Start programme designed to provide new business owners and pre-start entrepreneurs, just like Gordie, with the tools and knowledge to make their business ideas a success.
He added: “I needed to overcome the feeling of overwhelm and my mindset around sales needed a complete rewire. Being in the Boost workshops with other people all in the same boat really made the difference.”
Gordie completed the Flying Start programme, gaining valuable skills in selling, strategic marketing, how to use social media for business and how to network effectively.
Boost is Lancashire’s Business Growth Hub and is led by Lancashire County Council and the Lancashire LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership). It is supported by funding from Lancashire County Council, the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
As a funded business support service, Boost helps Lancashire business owners and leaders navigate the local, regional and national public and private sector business support landscape, to find the right support for their business. Boost also delivers a number of funded programmes for start-up, established and fast-growing businesses.
As the pandemic unfolded, Gordie temporarily returned to working from home and was able to offer a focused personal service to his small portfolio of clients. Having set the business up to take advantage of digital technology, he was well-equipped to support his clients remotely – holding online meetings and working with cloud accounting programmes.
Flower Accounting has now been trading for just over two years. Gordie has taken on two full-time staff – a client partner and an operations partner. The business is still growing and now turns over £150,000, with at least 30 per cent growth forecasted for year three.
In addition to providing accounting, taxation and compliance services, Flower Accounting offers business support services and an outsourced finance director role. The firm also specialises in working with franchises.
Gordie plans to appoint another client partner to protect capacity for new clients. He is based back at Society1 and looks forward to returning to more face-to-face client meetings.
Gordie added: “We see ourselves as a business partner for ambitious business owners, and our name Flower derives from a focus on growth. We’ll make the finance function more efficient, more accurate and more powerful. We want to help people who aren’t where they want to be – just as it was for me when I first started out before I received Boost support!”
Pictured above left to right : Laurie Brown, Gordie Smyth and Joe Parkin from Flower Accounting.