Some 30 years ago, on 1 July 1990, Harris & Co chartered accountants was formed.
Of course when I started the firm I did not know that 1990 and 1991 would turn out to be the deepest recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s! It wasn't the most sensible time to start a new business!
However, despite the unfavourable economic conditions, starting a business at that time taught me many valuable lessons. An important thing I learned was that it was essential to deliver value for money and businesses that did would always prosper.
Along with delivering value for money we also tried to focus on what it must be like to be a small business on the receiving end of a professional service. I knew what it was like to be that small business.
These principles have remained the bedrock of our philosophy over the last 30 years.
The statistics are that over 80% of new businesses do not survive past their first three years. Fewer still make it to five years. Only a handful make it to thirty years!
So what has been the secret of our success? I would put it down to two things.
First, you can only do so much in your business on your own. You need a team of great people around you if you are to succeed. I think getting good people and developing them is essential to long term success.
The second is that you have to have constantly monitor your market and look for emerging trends. Have your business model under constant scrutiny and adapt and change it as the business environment around you evolves over time.
Having been through the three biggest recessions since the Great Depression of the 1930s, and pretty much every other phase of growth a business can experience, means that we can give our clients some really practical advice, no matter what stage their businesses at.
I'm really looking forward to seeing what experiences the next 30 years in business will hold!