A Rotherham-based accountancy firm has embarked upon an ambitious expansion programme after successfully completing not one, but two acquisitions within the space of just one month.
In Autumn 2017, Chartered Accountant Ednan Karim was working at a large regional accountancy practice. Yet despite the success he had enjoyed within his career, including a stint at one of the Big Four accounting firms, he felt unfulfilled and decided to take a short career break.
After much soul searching Ednan decided to take a leap of faith and use his skills to set up his own business and after spending several months carefully formulating his ideas, in January 2018 the accountancy entrepreneur launched EK Accounting.
Specialising in supporting self-employed individuals and owner managed businesses, Ednan felt smaller businesses were often overlooked by larger accountancy firms. Keen to exploit the unique niche he had spotted in the marketplace, the fledgling business began to grow.
With a growing client portfolio, Ednan’s business had quickly outgrown his kitchen table and he felt confident enough in his business to invest in premises, enabling him to meet clients face-to-face as well as providing an environment enabling him to prepare for recruiting staff.
Keen to find an out-of-town office with good links to Sheffield and Rotherham, Ednan drew up a shortlist of suitable premises. Having weighed up a number of options, the new entrepreneur approached RiDO to find out whether any suitable units were available at their business hubs.
After spending time visiting two of the centres, Ednan chose Fusion@Magna as the new headquarters for his business. The flexible leasing terms appealed to him, offered ample parking, but above all else, he felt ‘there was good feeling’ about the building.
Since moving to Fusion, Ednan has benefitted from being a part of the building’s business community, counting business based in the centre as being both clients and suppliers. Working with a business advisor based on-site, Ednan has been able access additional help for his business through the Sheffield City Region Launchpad programme, which has enabled him to harness social media as a way of generating new business leads, as well as attending workshops aimed at recruiting and retaining members of staff.
Ednan Karim, founder, EK Accounting said: “One of the nicest things about being based in Fusion is the sense of community amongst the very different businesses which are based here. The centre hosts regular networking events and everyone tries to support each other.”
“As my business was beginning to grow, I realised that working from home was no longer practical. I needed an office to meet clients, as well as enabling me to recruit members of staff to enable the business to grow further.
“I’d previously delivered workshops at the RiDO business hubs and I liked the idea of working in a serviced office where I would be surrounded by like-minded individuals. However, I also knew that the units are often in high demand and so I approached RiDO to enquire about availability and fortunately for me one had recently become available. It was exactly what I was looking for and since moving my business to Fusion, the business hasn’t looked back!”
Today, Ednan’s has built a portfolio of more than 250 clients. He has since expanded into a second unit at Fusion, and following the acquisition of a West Yorkshire accountancy practice, EK Accounting has opened a second office in Leeds – saving six jobs from the threat of redundancy.
Within just a few months, Ednan’s entrepreneurial journey has come full circle and having previously delivered finance workshops, to attending the training sessions run through the Launchpad programme, Ednan is once again using his knowledge and expertise to deliver workshops to entrepreneurs based at the RiDO business centres.
“When I left my job in accountancy, I knew I still had something to offer. Wanting to create a more favourable work-life balance and noticing that accountancy firms weren’t meeting the needs of small, first-time entrepreneurs.
“I never intended my business to be a one man band. From the very beginning of my business journey I wanted to build a team of like-minded individuals. The opportunity to acquire the businesses came about almost completely by chance, but I felt the chance was too good to miss and I’m really looking forward to seeing the business continue to grow and evolve. Since moving to Fusion@Magna my business has grown faster than my wildest dreams and the opportunities which have presented themselves to us, as a result of being part of a dynamic and progressive business community have certainly contributed to the growth we have enjoyed.
Julie Hall, RiDO Business Centre Coordinator, Fusion@Magna said: “Working from a business centre like Fusion enables like-minded entrepreneurs to connect with each other and support each other’s businesses. The centre regularly hosts networking events which are well-attended by both tenants and nearby businesses alike. We also host a range of training events enabling new business owners like Ednan to develop or improve their skills.
“The flexible terms provided at the RiDO business centres are designed to help new entrepreneurs to grow their businesses, without fear of being tied into a lengthy lease agreement. Many of our previous occupants have successfully used the centres as a stepping to securing their own premises as their business grow.”
Fusion@Magna is based between the Sheffield-Rotherham gateway and is home to 28 office units, 18 workshops and provides a range of meeting spaces. To find out more about the current availability at Fusion, please call: 01709 789300