We are 10! Here's our story so far

Charlotte Allen
March 13, 2024
We are 10! Wow, what a journey it's been so far.
We’re so proud of how our business, team and experience has grown. We’re thrilled about what we can deliver to our clients, and know the value that we provide.
We wanted to share with you a little more information about our history and business growth. We believe that we’re not just another accountant and that this story, journey and experience tells you so much more about why we feel that we deliver a service that is helping people and businesses beyond simply being HMRC compliant.

How the business began

In 2014, we worked for the same company. Victoria worked in Finance Management and Charlotte in Sales & Marketing for a company within the construction industry. However, on one particular pay day we learned that the business would be liquidated and our positions became redundant. After the shock and worry wore away, sat at the kitchen table and spoke for hours about our plans. We were both determined that instead of looking for new employment, we would create something of our very own. Something that we were good at. Something that we cared about.

Victoria & Charlotte  2014

Our idea? It was quite simple; we wanted to utilise our sales, marketing & accountancy skills and experience to support businesses of all shapes and sizes to develop and grow by way of outsourced support under one roof. Charlotte would be offering her marketing services and Victoria offering accountancy & bookkeeping services. We wanted to keep the business simple, easy to understand and accessible for all; allowing business owners to flourish in their chosen field. We would take care of the tedious (but important) work and provide them with the freedom to concentrate on theirs. Importantly, we wanted to promote ourselves as professionals but maintain an approachable and easy-going nature (something we certainly feel is still the case). This was key to our branding and identity. We didn’t want to project a corporate image, instead opting for visuals which are less formal, fun and engaging.

Why a Hut?

So, with the products, services & philosophy in mind; we came to the conclusion that we wanted to focus on the ‘under one roof’, natural and fun elements to our name and logo. We pretty quickly settled on a hut for its connotations and fun imagery. A hut is defined as a small and crude shelter; a simple, single storey house. For us, it perfectly visualises our brand. The idea that we would provide shelter for our clients and give them the security to flourish individually. We also discussed how a hut was something that developed over time, it starts out its life as just mud, wood and water but through hard work and perseverance soon becomes a place for people to feel safe and sheltered.

And so, due to us offering an array of services, The Business Hut was born. The branding and logo rapidly evolved to the point in which you see it today.

Our first branding, 2014

The early days

We began, as many new businesses do, working from a small office at home. We started to work on our business branding and marketing (something Charlotte could still get her creative fix from). We launched our first website, grew some online presence and made those first few sales. We also became a Xero Partner – something we now know would grow hugely in the next few years, and in turn, help us grow our own business as more and more clients wanted to use the software. We initially became a Xero Partner because we loved what it was offering to business owners and felt it reflected our own ideas about how we’d like to deliver services and get clients involved in their finances.

Victoria's niece and Beryl in the home office, 2014

It was only a few months before we found ourselves becoming increasingly busier with bookkeeping and accountancy work. The handful of clients that we originally began working with had quickly referred us on to other businesses and we grew very organically – something we’re super proud of. Due to our growing bookkeeping & accountancy work, we made the decision to change our business plan to exclusively offer this work. This was the biggest change for Charlotte, although she did not come from a financial background, we made the decision for her to qualify as ICB Bookkeeper and Xero Advisor. Looking back, this was one of the best decisions we made and well worth the risk. Bookkeeping, Xero and numbers came so naturally to her, and together as a team, we were able to deliver bookkeeping & accountancy to many more clients. And so our business continued to grow.

Level up

After only 12 months in a home office, in March 2015 we decided to move to a small office in the centre of Market Harborough. As we’re sure many business owners have experienced, this felt like a massive jump for us and made everything feel more real. It was an exciting and nervous time. We now had an expense that we had to ensure we covered, while paying our own wages and adding more expenses as we went. Whether you’re doing things on a big scale or small, this part of your growth is always a nervous time for business owners.

We rented a small office above Naylors Estate Agents on The Square in Market Harborough. We loved this office! Having a separate place to work away from home was really important for us, but as we grew, we also loved being in the town and feeling like part of the business community. Here we continued to grow at a steady pace. We had yet to employ any staff and between us we were covering all of our client work as well as working on our own business.

Our office on The Square, 2015
Dec 2016

In January 2017, after less than 2 years on The Square, we moved up the road to Talbot Yard, Market Harborough. Located just off the High Street, we were still right in the centre of town, but found a larger office with more space for new staff. Our bookkeeping services were now growing so quickly that we needed more help. In April 2017 we hired our first team member and we’ve continued to grow since. We took 2 of the units in Talbot Yard for office and meeting space and this was really useful for us. However, when the COVID pandemic hit and everyone worked from home, we no longer needed that additional overhead of a 2nd office. We reduced our space back down to our current office, 2 Talbot Yard.

Talbot Yard office, January 2017

Natalie, Leanne, Charlotte & Victoria - August 2018

Team meeting (feat.Beryl) Oct 2018
Charlotte on her last day before mat leave, Oct 2019
& Charlotte's daughter Ada visiting our office, Sep 2020

A new time

Fast forward to 2020. The year that most of us would rather forget! There is no denying that COVID changed many businesses. Whether it changed things financially, physically, or practically, there is not a business out there that wasn’t affected. COVID changed the way we worked, interacted with and helped our clients. Our team also felt some further waves as Charlotte went on maternity leave with her first baby, returning to work in the middle of the pandemic. As she stepped away from the client facing work, our other team members changed their workload, all whilst juggling their own families in lockdown at home. As a social bunch, we really missed being together and visiting clients. This was a big hurdle for us as a business because we wanted to maintain that level of service and relationships, we had with clients in order to remain valuable.

As we acutely felt the changes that were happening, we decided now would be a great time for a refresh and change of branding. We loved our original branding but we felt that the business had changed so much since we started and we needed something more polished. And aren’t we glad we did! We love our new branding and we’ve been able to do so much more with it, whilst hopefully standing out in the Accountancy crowd!

Our team have worked so hard and despite the difficulties of the pandemic, we managed to continue to grow as a business and offer more accountancy and compliance work in the process.

Team fun during COVID - May 2020
Talbot Yard Office after our rebrand - Sep 2020
Christmas Party - Dec 2022

Growing up

After the world returned to pre-pandemic activities, our team of 6 returned to working in the office and clients started to attend more face-to-face meetings; we soon needed a bigger space. However, we were desperate to remain in Market Harborough town centre. We love the community, vibe, and to be honest, all the food! So we started our search for a new office at the start of 2022. And what a search it was! It took us a while, but we eventually found our perfect spot in Millers House on Roman Way. A much more professional, grown up spot!

We loved kitting out our new space, branding it up and moving everyone in! We've got so much more room, relaxed seating area and a separate meeting room (not to mention the incredible new meeting table- honestly, constant compliments!!)

Moving to the new office, Millers House, in August 2023
Celebrating our 10th birthday, Mar 2024

The future

Now, as we reach our 10th birthday, looking back at how far we’ve come has been a lovely walk down memory lane, but also an important reminder of what we have achieved – therapeutic almost! While writing this, we sat and looked through our early photos and can’t believe how much we’ve developed, not only as a business, but as business owners and individuals. When you’re focused on something so intensely in the moment, it’s so easy to lose sight of the bigger picture and where you’ve been. You can find so much more of our 10th birthday content on our social media, photos, videos and all!

Alongside this, everyone has a personal life. There is always a million other things happening. And business is not always easy. It doesn’t just look after itself in the background while you go on holiday, welcome a new baby, or suffer a week in bed with the flu. It’s not always going to be your sole focus. But if you can come through those things and maintain that consistency then it can be a success. And this is the biggest lesson we’ve both learnt.

In 2024, we’re focused on continuing to expand our skills and services. We’re partnering up with some wonderful local businesses that will further provide value to our clients. From the beginning we’ve always focused on service. And that’s what we’ll continue to do, no matter how much we grow – We are a modern practice with a traditional approach to service.

Now, as Directors, our roles have changed. We have been able to grow our team with experienced, skilled and friendly staff to accommodate the client work; so that we are able to continue to work with clients, as well as focus on nurturing our own successful business - you know, that business we started at the kitchen table.

Here's to the next 10 years!!

Thanks for stopping by,

Charlotte & Victoria

You May Also Like