Awards 2007: Small Firm of the Year

AA Awards

Sponsored by Marks Sattin

Winner SJD Accountancy

Previously named Small Firm of the Year in 2004, SJD’s success in this year’s
awards comes because our judges were impressed by efforts to be a very focused
niche player in the market.

SJD aimed at becoming a business that serviced the needs of contractors in
the UK, and becoming the largest knowledge centre for them online. At the heart
of this strategy was becoming the key tax expert for contractors on specialist
websites and bulletin boards.

The approach gave SJD nearly 4,500 new clients over 2007 with turnover
leaping by nearly £2m as a result.

Revenues were therefore up 68%, profits rocketed by 86%, staff numbers had to
rise and visitors to the firm’s website rose by a massive 153%. The firm has
done this by placing attention to detail and customer service right at the very
top of its agenda.

Our judges said: ‘This is a unique and special firm which has shown excellent
growth and demonstrated it can satisfy clients. It has found a creative way to
run a team and it really felt like this was passed on to the clients.’

To become a knowledge bank for contractors SJD set about developing a range
of easy-to-use guides for contractors that would aid them in running their
businesses more efficiently. This resulted in the Step by step, and
Comprehensive contractor’s guide being published.

Together, the guides have been downloaded more than 10,000 times. At the same
time managing director Simon Dolan set about making himself the number one UK
expert on contractor tax affairs by posting on three key websites. He has
answered thousands of queries with one of these posts being viewed 32,000 times.

Key for SJD is that this approach meant that advertising spend could be
drastically reduced while at the same time still ensuring the promotion of the
firm’s name.

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