After over a decade working as an Accountant, Danielle Cole decided to pursue her dream of running her own business. As the Managing Director of Cole Accounting Ltd and Veloci-Tech Ltd, she now runs two businesses and helps other business leaders grow their companies.
How did you end up sitting where you are today?
I had worked in practice for 12 years as an accountant for a couple of small, local firms and a large national firm specialising in personal tax before I decided to pursue my dream of starting my own business 10 years ago. I had three children, two of whom were very young, and the benefit of being my own boss and working hours around my family seemed a perfect choice.
At the time, I had no plans to grow the business outside of my own capacity, but 10 years on, I have a team of 5 supporting me.
What kind of work does your role involve?
Over the past two years, and with the help of my business coach, I have been in the lucky position of being able to step back from day to day running of the practice. I now focus on developing the business, offering support to our clients on specific projects, and launching a sister company, Veloci-Tech, specialising in working with dynamic business owners in the tech industry, looking to scale their business sustainably.
What gets you excited about your industry?
It's so rewarding when you work with a business owner from the start of their journey when they come to you with a vision, and you can work with them whilst on their business journey and see the amazing results of their hard work. The transformation it can make to them personally, whether it's being able to afford luxury holidays, a new car or working 3 days a week, is phenomenal.
I love working with business owners, finding out why they are passionate about what they do and understanding their aspirations, both for the business and personally. This is vital when working with them on their business growth plans.
What's the best advice anyone ever gave you?
From a young age, I remember my Dad being my champion. He always supported me in everything I did and told me to stay strong and that if you want to achieve something, hard work and determination will always pay off.
What, or who inspires you?
My inspiration comes from many sources, sometimes when I'm least expecting it. Be it my husband and four boys, my clients, other successful business owners, even song lyrics.
How do you keep up to speed with what's happening in your industry?
I spend a good deal of time keeping up with changes in my industry and keeping up to speed with changes in my client's world so that I can advise them in the best possible way. I love reading or listening to podcasts to enhance my knowledge and pass this onto other business owners.
What was the most challenging project or situation you've overcome?
When I first started my business, I always wanted to go the extra mile for my clients and provide a high level of service. Whilst my clients always appreciated this, it soon became apparent that I hadn't understood the amount of value I was giving away. I was under-valuing my years of experience. I had to change my mindset and value the knowledge I could provide to my clients, and this has been a game-changer in how I now run my business. I can still go the extra mile for my clients and provide an excellent service, but now I can confidently charge my worth.
Running your own business teaches you many lessons, and I have had to learn how to be more resilient to keep growing my business.
You finish work today and step outside the office to find a lottery ticket that ends up winning $10 million. What would you do?
Wow, what a thought! Would I have to tell my husband?
I wouldn't stop working; I love what I do, but I would definitely work part-time to spend more time doing other things I love.
Travel would also be near the top of the list. It's always been a passion of mine, but with four children, I've not been able to do as much as I would have liked.
Making sure my friends and family are looked after would also be a priority.
How do you switch off after a day at work?
On a good day, I love going for a run. I can put my music on loud (without being told off by the children) and zone out from everything.
If it's been a long day, nothing beats a large glass of wine and a good TV series to relax and watch.
If you had one wish for the future of your industry, what would it be?
That we can overcome the stereotype of being boring. If you've read this far, I've done my job!
Actually, the stereotype doesn't worry me at all.
It would be for business owners to think of their accountant as a valued partner of their business and to really get to know their key numbers. It's often a critical factor of whether a business is successful or not.
What book or podcast should everyone know about?
How should people connect with you?
Linked In linkedin.com/in/danielle-cole-86b66548
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