His longest serving activity is his current one as an accountant, practising since Jan 1990.
Currently assisting with Tax / VAT planning and investigations, business development, crisis management, marketing & marketing systems – including franchise development.
Steven is a published author in his own right, and contributes regularly to his own newspaper. Steven has also developed an on- line TV station which broadcasts a variety of business programmes and features.
Stevens main interest is looking for and developing interesting ideas, especially in the development of useful services and products for the for small businesses.
Steven has qualifications/ training in: Accountancy, Bookkeeping & Taxation, Psychology & Philosophy, English literature and Mathematics, despite all this, he is hopeless in the kitchen.
With a ‘no nonsense, straight to the point’ temperament, Steven will suss out your problems and come up with the solutions, despite what he says, he’s quite likeable too.
Steven started his business life at 17 after returning from school in New York, working for his father’s handbag manufacturing business, a year later in 1979 he opened a cash and carry with his sister wholesaling and supplying shops and market traders with fancy goods, gifts and general fast moving consumer goods. By 1983 he was importing goods from China and Europe to supply the growing cash & carry and also the seven retail shops that formed part of the business. In 1986, Steven realised that his heart was not in the business and that his ambitions lay elsewhere.
He left the business in his sister’s hands and pursued a formal education in accountancy.
In 1991 he qualified as an accountant and set up practise in Manchester, offering bookkeeping and accountancy services to local small businesses.
Many customers from Steven’s days of running a cash & carry became clients of the accountancy practise and stayed because they realised that.
Steven brought a practical approach and an understanding of small business needs learnt from his days as an entrepreneur and trader.Steven realised that people needed more than number crunchers, they needed someone to guide them.
In 2000 Steven set up the idea of Accounts Direct.
Here clients would be appointed a dedicated business relationship manager (BRM) who was less of an accountant and more of a mentor.
The BRM would be the liaison between the client and the service provider (accountant) and guide the client through a business development plan.
The BRM would visit the client at regular intervals in order to make sure the client was achieving their goals and to make sure compliance issues were dealt with. In the meantime accounts and reports for the client were produced at the central office for the client.
Experience further resolved Stevens already formed opinion that so many small businesses are often put at a disadvantage by so called expensive professional service providers who at the very least do not always focus on their clients core needs and understanding, but that they often did not know who to turn to that they could trust.
Having a very practical and down to earth approach Steven continued supplying bookkeeping and accountancy services to his established client base and now operated with BRM across the country although did not actively promote the growth of the franchise or the client base.
Stevens remit is simple –Find out what the clients real goals are, set a plan of action and make sure the client keeps to it.
In the meantime we refer any services to in house companies or will only refer to professionals who have proven themselves to be competent and reasonably priced.
Steven often says that anyone can create a business with loads of money, let’s help clients grow who don’t have loads of money.The money we earn almost always grows with the value of the service we provide.
Steven is very choosy about who he will work with or trust to be part of the team, core members of the team are family and or people who have proven themselves in battle, although another of Stevens famous anecdotes goes:-
“the best consultants are those who are over 40, have been divorced and skint at least once…….the others we have to train’
Steven is a natural strategist and is constantly irritated and disappointment at the difficulties that are placed in front of small businesses and entrepreneurs as well as the lack of protection or recourse against unscrupulous vulture like service providers.
Steven seeks to help equalise the balance and is firmly on the side of the small business man.