Ask Alastair Barlow what’s important to flinder, the high growth accounting firm he co-founded, you’ll get a simple response: “What's our 90-day cashflow so we can keep hiring people.”
And, boy, has Flinder been on a hiring spree. Its run rate is about one new hire per month, and the fledgeling firm will move into a bigger office on 1 May to accommodate its swelling ranks.
Barlow and his co-founder Luke Streeter are both PwC alumni. The pair quit the professional services giant because they wanted to build something for themselves. And so, flinder was launched in February 2017 -- with no clients and just Barlow and Streeter.
But despite its startup status, Barlow explained the focus has never been “winning clients”. When flinder was founded, Barlow was -- and remains -- convinced that there tonnes of businesses who were being underserved by their accountants.
For Barlow, growth is a logistical issue. “We've got too many clients in our pipeline,” he said. “Our biggest challenge is hiring the right people at the right time. And we need to plan ahead because hiring them there's a lead time to hiring: searching for candidates, interviews, notice periods.
“It’s not winning clients. There’s so many out there.”