But small business owners are an innovative, creative, and tenacious bunch. We’ve heard from numerous businesses about the ways they’re rising to the challenge and adapting to survive and thrive. For that reason, we wanted to bring you some positive and uplifting small business stories to inspire you as we start to consider life beyond COVID-19.
It was originally supposed to just be a couple of days a week from home, to bring some money in. But it spiralled!
This week, I chatted with Claire Bartlett. Claire is the Director of Arden Bookkeeping, a small accountancy and bookkeeping firm based in Solihull in the West Midlands. Claire has over 15 years of experience in the accounting industry, and founded Arden in 2015 after her daughter was born.
“It was originally supposed to just be a couple of days a week from home, to bring some money in. But it spiralled!” she says. Arden now consists of a team of four, with recruitment planned for a fifth role. The company’s niche is cloud-based accounting, focusing on software and automation solutions to improve and streamline bookkeeping systems.
Like thousands of companies across the UK and the world, the Arden team were thrust into home-based working in March 2020. Fortunately, Claire explains, their office space was leased on a month-to-month rolling contract, so they were able to avoid ongoing overheads for an office they couldn’t use.
Despite the disruption, Arden has continued to thrive over the last year.
“A lot of business owners have had much more time on their hands, which has led them to review their processes,” says Claire. She also said that more and more companies are realising that outsourcing their accounting is much more cost-effective than bringing in a full-time employee. These process changes and cost-saving measures have had a direct impact on Arden’s uptick in business since the start of the pandemic.