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Building a dream family business

Sara Willcox, Interior Designer at Format Designs Ltd

Interior designer Sara and her partner had a dream of growing a family business which could support them both. When she first came to me, Sara had been laying the basic foundations of her business for about a year, but needed to grow. She’d just set up as a limited company but needed help to move on from spreadsheets to a more professional process, supporting the business so that she could scale up.


Together we looked at what she already had in place and decided what needed to change. We set her up on Xero and sorted out her first set of accounts. We now provide Sara with full service accountancy including payroll, VAT, corporation tax, annual accounts and Xero – plus of course, plenty of advice and support when it’s needed.


And that advice HAS been needed – for example, when Sara needed to discuss options for funding her maternity leave when she was expecting their little boy, or when the business grew enough to start taking on extra people.


We speak regularly about all things business, and even when I’m not able to help, I’ve been able to put her in touch with the right people to sort out more specific problems, such as complex queries around insurance cover in the building industry.

We’re sure that with all the hard work Sara and those around her puts in to the business, it will carry on growing and flourishing!

“Rachel is responsive with a no-nonsense, up-front approach and always willing to offer helpful and supportive advice”, says Sara. “I feel that Rachel’s experience and knowledge will help my business both grow and develop”.

Getting to grips with a new franchise

Vicky Graham, Longcroft Luxury Cat Hotel, Letchworth

When I first met Vicky she’d just invested in a franchise with Longcroft Luxury Cat Hotels. Although the franchise came with a subscription to Xero, she wasn’t set up and using it in the most effective way. She wasn’t sure exactly what she needed to do to keep HMRC happy, either, let alone how to go about doing that.


We worked closely together to get Xero fully set up and updated in time for her first self-assessment. It was a really challenging timescale to work with, but we got over 500 receipts and other bits of paperwork uploaded onto the system in time!

Vicky is now an ongoing client with us, is clear on what she has to provide to HMRC and enjoys the relief of having systems and processes in place which keep her finances nice and neat – saving time and reducing stress!

“Rachel was instrumental in getting me set-up properly on Xero and also provided me with Auto-Entry so I could get all my receipts on the system in time for the self-assessment deadline!”, says Vicky. “Rachel is highly supportive and helps me to manage the business better from an accounting perspective”.

Support for a growing business

Simon Hinton, Responsive TV Ltd

With over 25 years of experience in his industry, Simon runs award-winning TV production company, Responsive TV. Unlike some of my clients, he wasn’t new to the world of running his own business when he got in touch. Instead, he was looking for an accountant with a fresh approach who could help him develop and move his already-established business forward.


Simon was already using Xero, but I helped him to get more out of it and use it more effectively. I was also able to resolve a dispute with HMRC relating to an issue from several years earlier, successfully getting over £800 of debt written off.


I provide Responsive TV with full service accountancy, and Simon and I also chat regularly about the longer term strategy for the business, as well as about related ventures and collaborations.

The great news is that the business is growing strongly! Simon now greets me as his “favourite accountant” every time we speak, but I think the fact that he happily recommends me to family, friends and business colleagues speaks louder than anything. In his own words, “I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend friends or colleagues to Bulldog Accounting”!

“Rachel is extremely supportive of both me and the long-term strategy of the business”, he says. “She’ll always provide important and relevant insights.”

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