Kasion Accounting Solutions Grows with Blackpool Unlimited
Like every business, award-winning accountancy firm Kasion Accountancy Solutions (Kasion) has evolved over its 3 year existence. Founder Julie Hutson wanted business support tailored to her stage of growth, support that evolved with her. She found it with EC2 and Blackpool Unlimited.
For many business owners, the relationship with the accountant is a passive one. The accountant does the books, the VAT, the end of year returns. The business owner signs off on the accounts and pays HMRC. Kasion does accountancy a little differently.
For ambition, with ambition
What I do is to help those that want to grow their business. After understanding what direction they want their business to go, we create a plan of how they are going to achieve it. For example, a salon owner may want to expand or franchise their business, this is built into their plan, starting from where they are now, using a timescale that is right for them.
“It can be a scary thing to run your own business. You can feel quite exposed and quite lonely. I’m a sort of cornerstone for ambitious businesses.”
Finding the right business space – and business support – with EC2 and Blackpool Unlimited
Like any business, when Julie first set up she was keen to control costs. “I started out using EC2’s Enterprise Centre as a postal address, but I’d often go along to the Boost sessions and lunchtime networking they held there. I met some people there that I’m still in touch with now, both on a personal level and as clients too.”
As valuable as the course content was, it was the connections that proved the real value to Julie. “It’s the communication and understanding you get from people in a similar situation to you – without having any agenda to the conversation. You build really good relationships, and it’s lovely to be able to walk into an event where you already know people. And because people get to know who you are and what you do, I’ve had some great referrals too.
“If I meet people who are moving to Blackpool from outside the area, looking to set up a business or already in business, I point them in the direction of the courses and facilities at the Enterprise Centre.”
As Kasion grew, Julie needed office space, so she moved into the FYC building on Church St, another of EC2’s office spaces in Blackpool.
“I like being in the town centre,” she says. “Being here you find out what’s going on. You connect with other businesses. I can walk into town and see some of my clients. And I can bring people into the office for a meeting. It’s such a good base. I love being available to my clients and being at FYC helps me with that.”
Help to get started
Julie and Blackpool Unlimited share a common goal: they’re passionate about helping business grow and thrive in Blackpool.
“I think some people are put off getting in touch with the council because they feel they might get ‘tied in’ in some way but that really doesn’t happen. If I’m talking to someone who’s just starting out I’ll suggest they give them a call and then at least they know what support is on offer.
“And if a local business is already up and running but they feel a bit overwhelmed with a non-accountancy related matter, I send them to BU saying, ‘Don’t just go to the events to learn the subject matter of the event – as valuable as it is – go to meet the people.’ It’s the people you’ll grow with.”
Throughout the pandemic, Julie offered free advice through Facebook Q&A Live (A top tip for any business that isn’t utilising accountancy software in their business: Sign up to Mettle, NatWest or RBS – bank accounts (Mettle is fee free) that come with free access to a software package call FreeAgent. There, businesses can do all their banking, invoicing, bookkeeping and self-assessment in one place).
Her efforts saw her nominated in the Northern Enterprise Awards where she was announced winner of Best Accountancy & Tax Solutions Firm in Lancashire 2021.
“It’s amazing and very humbling,” she reflects. “It’s great to have won, and to know that people value what you do and have gone to the effort of nominating you.”
Stepping stones of growth
Julie’s ambition remains to be her clients’ trusted source of business advice, and for them to become part of her “wider team”.
“BU has provided the stepping stones for me,” she says. “I was an addressee. I made the connections and built skills. Then as soon as an office became available, I moved in and met more businesses. It’s a relationship that’s grown with me.
“And it’s a great conversation starter. I often meet people who also started out at FYC or the Enterprise Centre and that can be a powerful connection. There’s a great community feel about it.”
To explore how Julie can help your business ambitions, talk to Kasion.
And for more information about how Blackpool Unlimited and EC2 can help you with office space, a postal address, networking and business skills development, please contact us.
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