Look at any established business and if you dig hard enough you will usually find two factors that came into play somewhere along the way.

Clear Goals and Taking a Risk.

Yes, I know, talking about “Goals” can be a bit of a turn-off. Let’s leave Goals for another day.

No-one is going to hand you a successful business on a plate. You’re going to have to take a risk at some point, maybe several.

One of our larger clients is in the final stages of a sale of his business for a substantial number of millions of pounds. The owner started the business from nothing and became a client about 25 years ago. The big risk he took was around that time when he and his wife put their house up as collateral for a loan that was used to finance the business’ move to new, larger premises. Without that move, the business would have remained a small company with just a handful of employees, instead of the 40-employee, multi-million-pound turnover enterprise it is today.

When I look back on the risk I took 30 years ago today I shudder. It was so far along the scale of “taking a risk” that it amounted to lunacy.

I was a senior manager at Price Waterhouse, looking after clients such as IBM, Exxon and Barclays Bank when one day I announced that I was going to start my own practice. I recall telling people at the time that Mr Price and Mr Waterhouse had started a chartered accountants practice in the 19th century and I would start one now.

(Samuel Lowell Price and Edwin Waterhouse went into business together in 1865).

So there I was on the morning of 6 April 1988, having taken leave of my senses, with a freshly printed P45 from Price Waterhouse in my desk drawer, and David Hancock & Co Chartered Accountants was open for business – i.e. yours truly sitting there thinking “what have I done?”.

On my desk (in my “office” at home) was a pad of paper, a pen and a telephone. I had no savings, a big mortgage – married with a 4-year-old son – and no clients.

I could write a book about the intervening 30-year rollercoaster – something else for another time.

David Hancock and Lucy Parry went into business together as partners in Parry Hancock (formerly “David Hancock & Co”) on 1 January 2015. Parry Hancock is now a 2-partner Chartered Accountants firm, employing 5 staff and looking for more, with the best clients any accountant could want. We are a general practice firm acting for the full range of industries, businesses, charities and individuals. We are also Registered Auditors as well as being authorised to carry out Probate and Estate Administration work. Our purpose is to provide our clients with Peace of Mind and I find as I travel about that we have become “known” in the local area as a quality Chartered Accountancy practice.

30 years ago today, at 9.00am on 6 April 1988, I picked up the phone and started dialling…

David Hancock

Oh, and yes I did eventually set clear Goals, but that was many years down the line and is another story.