How awards can bolster your firms' success
Founder of Faith Simpson Accountants, Faith Simpson, shares her thoughts and insights into what it takes to be a successful firm and on being shortlisted for Scottish Business Women's Business of the Year Award with Gail Purvis.
The firm enjoys a 25% CAGR, six-figure turnover, working for individuals as well as small, medium and large businesses.
Simpson founded the firm in 2006 in Elgin and since then, business has expanded into Fife, with Edinburgh clients - but it won't stop there. Glasgow and the West Coast are next on the agenda.
Simpson's Edinburgh University degree is in Tourism and Languages, but after realising her heart lay in accountancy, she began to study that.
She moved to Guernsey, where she eventually went on to train with Deloitte. After this, her career progressed to Specsaver's headquarters and later to Johnston Carmichael.
Eventually, she started her own firm in 2006 and prides herself on having a professional, but fun, practice.
"I didn’t like the stigma attached to accountants and accountancy and wanted to turn that on its head," Simpson said. "We're normal, professional and we can have fun as well. Winning an award really raises that business profile."
Simpson's accolades don't include many accountancy awards, as her dislike of the traditional accountancy image prompted her not to enter them. But she has won a number of business awards, including Moray Business Women of the Year, Highland Business Women's Club Business Woman of the Year, and is currently a runner-up in this year's Scottish Business Awards.
Her motivation for entering these awards is entirely client focused, she said: "We currently taking on about four new clients a week. I asked one how they picked us. The answer was they Googled, and highlighted by Business of the Year Awards chose us over the competition."
The firm currently employs six people, but Simpson said there are plans to expand the team. Most of the applicants for new roles have been women, so far, she added.
"I've just interviewed again, and want to offer four people a job. So far it has all been women, two-thirds returning to careers after having kids. We have a very flexible work approach and with cloud-based IT this works so well."
Simpson's clever use of awards as establishing her firm as an expert, or authoritative voice on her area of specialism - all sizes of business - is another marketing tactic firms can employ to win clients relevant to them.
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