Part 1: Can you introduce yourself please?
Happily married and the proud father of two gifted young men.
Part 2: Starting a business?
I started carving pieces of old lumber for art and craft as a child. Then I graduated with a teachers Diploma with an elective in Design & Technology (DT) at age 19 and taught Resistant Materials for eight plus years. I then left the classroom to explore the craft in a business context. My passion for beauty, craftsmanship, precision and detail led me to create a bespoke furnishing business.
Part 3: What led you into the world of business?
Making objects of value can lead to a lot of demand. This was fortunately the case with my first business. I quickly realised that financial skills along with creativity can help a business to grow. Fortunately, my first cousin was an accountant who taught me the basic principles/moves while playing chess .
After exiting my first business, I put myself through an MBA, and never attended a class for my 9 ACCA papers, managing to find the time to work and learn simultaneously.
Accounting is simply one of the key skills you can possibly have in business. You do it for profit and for pleasure, something I learnt the hard way. But sometimes you need guidance and clarity along the way if you do not possess it.
What do you mean by guidance?
Guidance to find a clear path to make your business work. Sometimes you may have a great idea, but there are blocks on the path. We help our clients to see around the obstacles by offering our knowledge and experience to help them plan better.
If you hadn’t gone into Business Advisory and Accounting, what would you have done?
When I was teaching DT in a preparatory school in England, the kids used to run to my class with such vigour that I was occasionally concerned about Health & Safety rules! I think that, that kind of inspiration is what I love to see in people. Whether you are a child running to your design class or an entrepreneur, people love seeing results for their work. To answer your question, clinical psychology is what I wanted to do, but my parents could not afford to send me to university, so I started teaching and ended up following my father’s entrepreneurial path.
What were the challenges when you began?
The biggest challenge was the amount of paperwork back in 1988 when I started my first business. The tedious side of manual accounting was a real bore and we always felt we could go faster. We bought a rather large computer in the early 90’s and started with QuickBooks, then DacEasy and finally we cracked it with Peachtree Complete by Sage having found that the further you embrace the technology around you, the faster you will go.
What any business should do is capitalise on accounting technology to create sustainable entities. Over the years we developed a simple accounting framework for any accounting software. Whether it is Sage, Xero, QuickBooks, MYOB or Paperless.
What are the outcomes of putting these systems in to place?
When we build a making business digital system, you get transparent, real-time financials at the touch of a button, which takes the hassle and duplication out of the process. This lowers your operational costs and shines a light on what matters most in business – people, performance, planet and profit. For example, Sage recognised my work, when I used Sage 50 Professional which cost £150 at the time to run a multisite academy. I guess it lowers cost and makes business affordable for ordinary people as well as corporates.
Who do you see Harold Homes and Joinery working with?
What I am currently doing now, is expanding my vision to create quality homes for families to live.
What is your approach to dealing with business?
We study the data, design systems, plan, create & deliver cost-effective solutions. Therefore, Time and Motion Studies inform our Making Business Digital workflow design. Your story (intel) & journey is the roadmap we use, together with our experience and research to guide you across the winning line (See Below). However, as a quality driven businessman, there is also the quality in-quality out, notion. Therefore, we must choose our partners accordingly, as our model includes an exit strategy once we have accomplished the implementation of the success plan.
What is the simplest way of describing your mission?
HAROLDS OIKIA is changing ordinary housing for the better.
What do you think are the positive aspects of this job?
Of course, it must be the people aspect of the job. Our missions will always be to empower people to be independent while giving themselves the skills to be able to make the most of their talents.
This question is always difficult to answer, but can you describe yourself?
Caring, Knowledgeable, People-Oriented, Honest, Passionate, Meritocratic, Resilient and Inspirational.
How do you see your industry changing in the next few years?
Manual accounting is soon going to become obsolete. In the next few years, it will probably meet the same fate as the dinosaurs. Because the current accounting technology wave is virtually free, the way things are going! what is going to be valuable will be human knowledge and expertise coupled with integrity, to avoid or overcome the obstacles in the way.
The last word?
Business is about people and relationships…