We have been talking to the businesses we work with, finding out about the journey they have been on, their ambitions for the future and tips for future success. The latest business we look at is PF Director.
PF Director was founded by Gareth Salomon. He is a chartered accountant who has been helping business owners navigate their accounting and taxation responsibilities since 2003. Gareth noticed a gap between what the average accountant does and their clients’ expectations of what they should be doing. In 2018, he started to develop PF Director – an intelligent web-based advisory solution for accountants, financial advisers and growth experts.
Here, Gareth Salomon shares what he's learned on his business journey so far.
Tell us about PF Director
PF Director focuses on the underlying business owner, rather than looking solely at the business. We plan to launch in autumn 2019, and there’s been significant interest from proactive advisers around the UK. I expect to recruit more people into the team as the business grows in the next few months.
When I began work on PF Director, I had already been running a small accountancy firm for 10 years. It meant I had to fit developing the idea for PF Director around all that. Then I saw a post on social media about Town Square’s co-working space in Wrexham and decided to use the Enterprise Hub as my base while working on PF Director. It was there I had an opportunity to enrol on Business Wales AGP, which helped me to develop the concept at a faster, more structured pace. I took part in a pitch event at Welsh ICE in Caerphilly in July 2019 which has opened the doors to further opportunities.
What are your proudest moments in business so far?
I have to say, I am proud of managing my time to juggle the accounting firm and the new development process. It may not sound like much, but when you start a business whilst also working another full-time job it can be tough to prioritise and get everything done. Ultimately, something has to give. For me, it was the decision to delegate some of the work that I have always done myself within the accountancy firm to others. This allowed be to free up the time to work on PF Director.
If you were starting again, what would you do differently?
If I was starting out with PF Director from the beginning again, I would put together a bare bones concept – on paper or in the form of a pitch deck – of what I wanted to achieve and talk to my target customers at a much earlier stage. This maximises the use of time and money, allowing you to focus on the work that is most relevant to your customers’ needs.
How has support from Business Wales AGP helped your business?
Business Wales AGP is helping me to structure PF Director’s start-up and growth processes around a proven framework, maximising the business’ chances of success. Business Wales AGP has surrounded us with expertise which would not have otherwise been easily available.
What advice and guidance would you give other businesses starting out?
- Don’t let unconditional praise from family members about your business idea cloud your judgement. Let it motivate you, but don’t use it as a basis for business decisions.
- Talk extensively about your product/service with your target market to gauge demand from those that matter – before the main development process starts.
- Surround yourself with highly knowledgeable people, who are experts in their field.
- You can stay in employment while starting your own business. You will know when or even if the time is right to take the plunge into full-time self-employment.
- The fact that your idea may not have been done before is, more often than not, a warning sign. Sometimes, the best business ideas merely make an existing product or service better.
For more information on PF Director click here.
Further information on the Business Wales Accelerated Growth Programme.