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Andrew Wolffe, Founder, Wolffe

Accounting for growth – spotlight on Wolffe

DBA Supporter KPMG Small Business Accounting turns the spotlight on boutique agency Wolffe, as they look to double the size of their business within the next three years.

Tell us a bit about you…

My name is Andrew Wolffe and I’m the Founder and Creative Director at Wolffe.

What does your business do?

We’re a boutique brand design consultancy and are involved in all brand touchpoints, from positioning, strategy and naming, right up to brand identity design, the delivery of tactical materials and campaigns.

When did you know that you wanted to set up your own business and what made you finally take the plunge?

I worked for a large agency for about 13 years and was able to pursue a fruitful career in design. Towards the end of my time there however, I felt an overwhelming urge to pursue a new challenge and test myself. The creative director who gave me my first job stressed the importance of always having creativity and design at the forefront of whatever you do, and that message really stuck with me. My late father, one of my biggest inspirations, spent his whole career and life running a successful business of his own and I felt as though it was only right for me to explore that path. So in 1998 a year after my first son was born I took the plunge and setup Wolffe.

What’s the best thing about your job?

Number one has got to be the thrill that comes with winning new clients. However, day-to-day, I love the variety that my role as Creative Director brings. I could be working on a project for a smoked salmon company one day and then a whisky manufacturer the next. What I’m also really passionate about is nurturing young talent. I started my career as an intern and that gave me my first break, so I really see the value in mentoring fresh talent. Since owning my own business, the majority of staff I’ve taken on have actually come through on an internship.

What’s the most challenging thing about running your own business?

I find funding and dealing with banks quite an arduous task. Managing cash flow is also something I’m constantly trying to get my head around. Being a designer, I can’t say I particularly enjoy looking at spreadsheets, so I turn them into graphs and they make more sense.

What’s enabled you to better manage this side of your business, as its grown?

As a business we’ve always generated lots of data, whether that be financial, or project related. We got to a point where we needed somewhere to log it all. We implemented KPMG Small Business Accounting and what we’ve found particularly useful is that the cloud accounting software, which underpins the service, was able to talk to our in house management system and provide us with one single view of the business and how it is performing. I love that I can have an instant view of our accounts, profit and loss, and balance sheet 24/7. Even when I’m on the go! As our business and financial transactions continue to grow we’re looking at the next level of support from the service which will see us hand over some of our core financial administration so that we can focus interrogating our financial data to drive a number of key business decisions.

Were there any challenges in setting up the accounting service?

The KPMG Small Business Accounting service includes access to a dedicated accountant and ours was instrumental in getting us set up in the cloud accounting software platform. They also talked my financial controller through the process and were also able to support as we integrated the software with our in-house management system.

If you could give one piece of advice to other design business owners, what would it be?

Treat every client or customer as if they were the only customer you ever had. It also always helps to have good advisors e.g. accountants or lawyers, that you can trust to keep your business matters in order and give relevant and considered advice when required.

What’s next for your business?

Growth is definitely on the agenda as we look to double our size within the next three years. This will involve taking on new business in different regions, growing our headcount and also making the move to deliver more digital services in-house.

Get in touch

To find out more about the KPMG Small Business Accounting service for design businesses visit our website to request a quote or call 0808 231 0660.

KPMG website