Claire Emery

Elsby & Co is an award-winning firm of Chartered Accountants which employs more than 60 accounting professionals from its offices in Sywell and Rushden in Northamptonshire. Its clients range from sole traders to large SMEs where its focus is to add value by providing more than just accountancy services and a set of year-end accounts. It takes the time to understand its clients’ business and goes the extra mile for them.

What challenge did Elsby & Co face?

 Elsby & Co is in the process of expanding its business so it can become a one-stop shop for its clients. As well as offering its core accountancy services, a year ago it launched Elsby Wealth Management and also supports clients with corporate finance and estate planning. It turned to SEMLEP’s Growth Curve programme for help to accelerate its growth plans.

How did SEMLEP provide support?

Elsby & Co partner Claire Emery enrolled in the Growth Curve programme to see if the firm could access funding to support its growth plans.

The firm secured £10,000 from SEMLEP and will use the money to advance the development of its new Elsby Wealth Management, corporate finance and estate planning businesses.

Claire booked a series of one-to-one meetings with Growth Curve advisers to get specific support around transitioning from being a manager to a business leader and took part in sessions dedicated to marketing.

Claire said: “The sessions about transitioning from a manager to a business leader were very useful.

“My business adviser made me appreciate the distinct difference between the two roles. As a manager you still tend to do your core job but as a business leader you need to focus more of your time on the development of your business.

“It’s important you invest time in thinking about the direction you want your business to go in and analyse the decisions you make to see what went well and what could be improved.

“I’ve definitely been doing that more since I worked with SEMLEP and I now have more of a focus on the development of our business and our staff.”

Claire recognises that her own development has played an important role in strengthening her workforce.

She said: “I’ve delegated some of my previous tasks to my colleagues so I can concentrate more on the development of the business and they are thriving on the opportunities to have more responsibility.

“It’s made our team stronger and as a result the whole business is stronger.

“These changes mean I have more time to attract more clients, recruitment is easier and our staff retention is better because everyone feels they are being developed.

“People will take different things away from Growth Curve but for me the key thing was to refocus on time management so that I could do things that make a real difference to our business. We were also thrilled to access funding which will accelerate our growth plans and help with our four-year plan.”

Would you recommend SEMLEP’s Growth Curve programme to others?

 Claire said: “I have recommended Growth Curve to the professional services firms with whom we work.

“The point is when you’re doing a job if you progress in that role nine times out of 10 everyone’s job broadly ends up the same.

“I trained to be an accountant but that’s probably 20 per cent of my role now because the rest is leading, managing and doing things like marketing, sales and getting new clients.

“You train to be an accountant but you don’t train to be a manager or a leader and that’s why Growth Curve’s support is so helpful.

“Business leaders often make the mistake of thinking that they trained to be an engineer, for example, and that is what they should continue to do but SEMLEP helps people realise they’ve got to step away from that role because they’re now managing the business.

“Growth Curve gives you light bulb moments that show you how you can take your business forward.”

To enrol in the Growth Curve programme, fill in the registration form here before the scheme ends on June 30 2023.