Lucy Johnson tells Business Matters what the inspiration was to start, Business Champion Award finalist, Isle Book-Keep, the Isle of Wight-based paperless accountants.
What do you currently do at ‘Isle Book-keep’?
I am the founder and head accountant at Isle Book-keep, a Book-keeping and Accounting firm, based on the Isle of Wight. I set up the business just 10 months ago, after being made redundant from my role in a finance department of a large beauty brand. After just 9 months, we have already expanded into a team of two and growing. We help our clients transition from paper-based systems to completely paperless, with a real hands-on approach to helping business owners understand the numbers, to aid them in growth.
What was the inspiration behind your business?
We have entered the market with a completely different approach to traditional accounting and with a modern approach. We begin with transitioning from paper-based to paperless systems and plant trees every time we gain a new client. We take all the jargon out and educate our clients along the way to give them more confidence along the process. And then we work through the numbers in an easy to digest way, where you begin to feel more in control. We are inspired to create change in as many positive ways as possible and encourage others to do the same.
Who do you admire?
I admire business owners who achieve great things through having a focus on what they do best. I think it is great to be able to do marketing in your business as well as your trade, however I am a firm believer in playing to your strengths and getting professionals on your side. If you are a jack of all trades, you’ll be a master of none. Integrity is a strong value within the business and we encourage all of our clients to be upfront with us so that we can achieve the best outcomes. The company is built on having forward-thinking clients. If prospects are not willing to go completely remote and have a modern approach, then we simply recommend a more traditional accountant.
Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently?
I never like to regret past decisions and I believe that everything we go through in life, gets us to where we are today. The only things I would have done differently is believed in myself faster and read more books. You can never have enough knowledge, regardless of the topic.
What defines your way of doing business?
At Isle Book-keep, we work on our specialism, whilst giving back. We know where focus goes, energy flows. This is exactly how we have grown the business, by focusing on what we do best and having ethical reasoning behind everything we do. We have planted over 280 trees to date, and we haven’t even been trading for a whole year yet. We are just scratching the surface, and there is so much more to come.
What advice would you give to someone starting out?
To anyone starting out on their business journey, my first piece of advice would be to work out exactly why you are doing it. The reasons behind your business need to be much bigger than just ‘for money’. They have to be bigger than you and important enough to get you out of bed on the bad days. Once you work out your why, keep that at the core of everything you do, so that you can stay focused. In business, it is so easy to want to do everything, but is it actually in line with why you are doing it all in the first place?