Chris Scullard – Scullard & Co Chartered Accountants
Introduce your business and tell us what you’ve been up to recently?
Scullard & Co is a relatively new accountancy practice based in Altrincham. Our philosophy is simple. We want to remove the stress and worry of small business owners’ accounts, tax and VAT responsibilities whilst providing profit improvement and tax saving advisory services. Everything we do falls into one or more of these three areas. We are also determined to exceed our clients’ expectations time and again. As a relatively new business our key focus recently has been on growing the client base whilst also delivering excellent service and advice to our clients.
What makes you different from other similar businesses in the area?
Firstly, accountants are not all the same!! We firmly believe that we are different because of the quality of the added value advice and services we offer to clients. We believe we can deliver the information and advice small business owners need to drive their business forward and meet their goals. Most accountants say they can do this, but our MD has spent nearly ten years delivering this in both PLCs and as FD of small businesses. We know what information and financial tools business owners need to understand, manage and improve their businesses. We also know how to deliver this in an efficient, and so cost effective, manner.
What flexibility does being an independent business give you over a national chain / business?
Simply put we can deliver exactly what each client wants and needs by understanding their individual requirements. We can tailor our wide range of services to deliver the right level of financial support at the right price for any small business client from start ups to £m turnover companies. Also being a local small business we understand exactly what our clients issues and challenges are because more often than not our issues and challenges are no different! This, in our opinion, means we can give better support and advice to local businesses than a larger accountancy firm who don’t face the same problems as their clients.
Looking back, which piece of advice would you give to somebody setting up their own business today?
Research, research, research. And then do some more research. Also you simply have to understand customer service and what your customers want that will attract them in the first place and then keep them coming back. Don’t try to sell what you think your target customers need, sell them what they think they need.
What part does Social Media play in your business?
We try to stay active on Twitter by tweeting about interesting news that small business owners might be interested in. We’re also developing a series of Top Tax Tips that can save business owners a pretty series chunk of tax. We’ll be tweeting these on a regular basis soon and hopefully generating some discussion.
And getting to know you and your Altrincham…
Where do you eat / take out in Altrincham?
When we eat out it’s usually in Hale – places like the Hale Grill, American Bar, Spice Lounge, Dee Thai and Man Zen are very good. Piccolinos is excellent as well – they cater for our small children particularly well. Also Earle is rapidly becoming a favourite. Takeaways normally come from the Mughal in Timperley or Dominos!!
Which is your favourite pub or bar to drink at in Altrincham?
Altrincham town centre is not what it used to be for pubs unfortunately. Now the Orange Tree has closed the Slug & Lettuce is probably the next best. The Railway in Hale is pretty good too.
Where is your essential must visit shop in Altrincham?
From a business point of view Holts Business Supplies on Borough Road (near Tesco) is excellent. Great prices and great service which is exactly what I need. I would also recommend a browse around the Traders Outlet – so many interesting and unusual things for sale in there.
What’s been the most impressive new business you’ve seen open in Altrincham in the past 12 months
Probably Hale Fitness. The owner, Stu has set up a really good private gym and offers one to one personal training as well as small group sessions. What’s impressive, other than the facilities, is that Stu goes far beyond the exercise element of training and goes into diet, motivation, etc, etc
In an ideal world What major improvement would you like to see happen in Altrincham?
I think it’s widely accepted that Altrincham has a problem. I believe the solution starts in the town centre. If we can get the volumes of shoppers back (and ideally shoppers with a few quid to spend) then cafes, bars and restaurants will also flourish. I would like to see Altrincham become a viable alternative to the Trafford Centre. This starts by getting some of the big national retailers there. I would like to see a ‘wish list’ of retailers actively targetted by Trafford and offered irrestible incentives to come to Altrincham – things like no business rates for ten years or subsidised rents. If the town centre is only national retailers it’s a bit bland and boring – we also need a good number of independents so there needs to be serious incentives and support for them too. Personally I believe Altrincham town centre has been destroyed by the Broadheath Retail Park and the Tesco megastore. How many people who visit, for example, Mothercare would buy from another shop if Mothercare was in the town centre? I don’t know but it’s more than nil, which is what has happened by having the retail park. Also with Tesco selling so much more than groceries, the likes of stationers, computer supplies shops, clothes shops, off licences, etc in the town centre must have lost a huge amount of trade to the convenience and cheaper prices of Tesco.
And if we want to look you up on Social Media what’s your facebook / twitter addresses?
@Chris_Scullard on twitter
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