07 Jan 2019
Business Featured Startup
Accord Legal Services Ltd is a legal services provider specialising in estate planning. When first launching her business, Sarah Williams approached the Chamber for support and met with a business start-up adviser who helped her write a business plan and offered support and advice.
Sarah commented: “I joined the Chamber because I planned to start up a business and I wanted some back up and guidance with regards to the commercial aspect. I knew I had the experience to do what I wanted to do, no one in my family is business minded or run a business so I had no one to point me in the right direction, which is why the Chamber were the first people I thought of when I wanted to go into business on my own.
“I would absolutely recommend Chamber Membership, I would say to anybody running a business or who is self-employed that the backup and support you get in addition to the opportunities it provides is essential. I think anybody who is running a business is absolutely daft if they don’t join and utilise the Member benefits you get!”
Established six years ago, Accord Legal started in the Enterprise Greenhouse offices and has gradually expanded and flourished into the successful business it is today.
Sarah commented: “We started off when we were at the Chamber with a handful of consultants working with us. Now we are up to about 180 consultants around the country.
“We have quite a unique structure for a legal company, our consultants visit people at home, which is a lot more relaxed. They go out and speak to clients about making wills, trust planning, protecting loved ones and assets. The office acts as a processing centre/legal hub.
“Because of our structure and the way we are organised it means we can cater for clients all over the country, which is why we have done very well. We have managed to secure some big contracts with building societies, some charities, and we are working with some investment companies. We are in discussions with some banks at the moment about providing wills for their clients.”
In the space of six years Accord has experienced rapid growth expanding from their Enterprise Greenhouse offices and buying a bigger office space on Ormskirk Street in St Helens with the support of a grant from the Chamber.
Sarah added: “When I think back to starting at the Chamber and being in a little office to where we are now where we have contracts with some of these household names, it’s been a fantastic journey.
“There have been ups and downs along the way, it’s not all been easy. I feel privileged we are in the position we are in now and to have such a healthy and strong business, but we wouldn’t have got here without the Chamber’s help and support.”
“From start-up in the Enterprise Greenhouse offices through to the Apprentices we have had and the quality and the support we get through training for them and especially the grant to help us buy this building.
“We rapidly outgrew the offices at the Chamber and at that point in time, because we were still a start-up, we were in a catch22 situation, we needed to expand, but we didn’t have the liquid funds at that point in time to enable us to buy the property. Buying the offices really facilitated the growth as it gave us the room to expand and following that develop the business.
“It probably won’t be long until we outgrow this building but we are in a much stronger position. We are thankful to the Chamber for all the help and support.
“The Apprenticeship programme has also been fantastic and for anybody considering taking staff on, I’d recommend getting involved. The young people we’ve had through the Apprenticeships have been amazing, I can’t fault them at all.
“They have been hardworking and we have been lucky enough to retain them after they have qualified and do more training through the Chamber.
“Young people quite often just need a chance to get their foot on the working ladder. A couple of our Apprentices have been to University or attempted to go and found it wasn’t for them. Working here is a total different direction for them to go but they tell me they totally love what they do now.
“The position we are in is fantastic and I’m really looking forward to next year. We will be looking for more contracts and partners to work with and will also be offering a discount to all Chamber Members, especially if they are running their own businesses, because it’s essential they have all their affairs in order to make sure everything they are working hard for goes to the right place.”
To find out more about Accord Legal Services visit www.accordlegalservices.co.uk/