After being frustrated with reactive, unresponsive accountancy services for himself and his coaching clients, in March 2018 Mark Spolander founded Modus Accountants. As a multiple business owner, Mark understood the value of a good accountant, and so wanted to build an accountancy firm that could offer all the essential accountancy services but also deliver expert guidance and support to help businesses grow.
Three years on Modus Accountants are now successfully supporting entrepreneurs across the UK and overseas, with a range of accountancy and business coaching services. Having moved to their impressive new offices in Frilford Heath Golf Club, late last year, now seemed like the perfect time to celebrate their success and recap some Modus highlights.
How did it all start?
Starting life in an office just off the Witney Church Green, Modus’ first employee was Senior Chartered Accountant, Sam Newport. Sam was integral to making Modus work, with her very high standards and meticulous attention ensuring all customers were well looked after.
Initially supporting Mark’s own businesses and coaching clients, it was not long before the word was out, and other businesses and entrepreneurs wanted to find out more. With the business growing quickly, Sam looked after the clients accountancy services which provided Mark with the data and insights to support the client’s business at a strategic level.
When talking to Sam about Modus she said:
“Modus is all about helping people and enjoying what we do. Three years down the line this hasn’t changed. We may have more clients and have grown into an amazing team, but the essence of Modus is still the same. It’s been a journey, with a few office moves along the way, and I’m sure we will continue to change and adapt as that’s what we do best – I’m looking forward to what’s in store for the next 3 years!!”
Despite the pandemic and challenge finding the right office space, Modus Accountants have continued to go from strength to strength. As a testament to their hard work, each year they have more than doubled their customer base and maintain at near 100% client retention rate.
The three-dimensional service offering
As a business it has been important for Modus to always go the extra mile and deliver a full range of services that their clients need (and that means more than just standard accounting compliance). With a background in coaching and founding multiple businesses, business coaching and mentoring was always going to form part of the Modus offering. Provided exclusively to Modus customers, Mark and the growing team understand that by helping clients understand their financial information you can help pinpoint where issues occur, avoid pitfalls, unlock resources, and achieve greater success.
Now entering their fourth year of business the service offering has continued to grow naturally, and in addition to Accountancy support, Coaching, Mentoring and Business Growth Advice, Modus also offers a range of Marketing services. This new support allows existing customers to steadily establish and develop their own marketing function, with practical affordable solutions that help maintain a strong pipeline.
“Ever since I exited my first business back in 2008, I have always wanted to create a business where business owners can get all the all support that they need. I’ve seen and experienced all too often the misalignment between accountants, business coaches/mentors, and non-executives, which can be confusing. At Modus we have a created a blended service where the clients get the best of both worlds, where information is consistent and based on actual data.”
“I’m excited that we are continuing to add services to our offering to help our clients further. The latest one being marketing support which is led by our head of marketing Andy Moon. Now we are able to analyse the client’s numbers, assist with creating strategic plans and help with the implantation and growth. I’m sure we won’t stop here, and we’ll continue to add more services that will help our clients’ businesses thrive!”
Highlights from the last three years
The continued growth of the business and seeing clients thrive is the main reason why Modus love what they do. But here are a few other notable highlights from the last three years:
Key challenges of growing a business
It was not all smooth sailing. Looking back at key challenges that Modus faced, Mark stated two that he feels were key in shaping the Modus of today.
1. Moving offices
“Growing quickly and finding the right office to accommodate this growth has been a challenge, and we have had to moved between offices multiple times over the last three years. At one point just before Christmas 2019 the landlord of office that we were moving into in January did a U-turn at the last minute this made us temporarily homeless. This was a touch stressful but I’m great believer that everything happens for a reason and now we have the most amazing office space at Frilford Golf Club which has a few extra perks.”
2. Growth challenge
“Building the right team and culture is probably the hardest of part of building any successful business and it’s been the same for Modus Accountants. We’ve had a few ins and outs in 2019 and early 2020 however since then I’m so pleased as to how the team have come together. Our weekly Zoom calls are fun and energic, I can’t wait to get everyone back in the office again. I wanted Modus Accountants to be the opposite of the stereotypical accountant experience and I’m so pleased we’ve managed to do that. Modus is all about fun, motivation and helping people and the team radiate/exude that.”
So, what does the future hold?
With light finally at the end of the tunnel for Covid-19 restrictions, Modus are keen to get their community thriving again. Prior to lockdown the team were running a range of social and business support events and had plans to launch further events with Frilford Heath Golf Club. These events provided a great opportunity for clients to receive additional support whilst networking with other businesses across the Modus community. Hopefully they will be able to get these back up and running soon.
Later this year, Modus is also planning on launching and relaunching two further support offerings:
Modus Ignite 2021 – Building on the success of the 2020 programme, where Oxfordshire businesses Pobi Bakery and Printpool shared a support prize worth £10,000. Modus aims to relaunch the Modus Ignite programme on a quarterly basis, opening up more opportunities to invest in growing and supporting the local business community. They hope to be able to invest up £20,000 of capital into local start-up businesses in the next 12 months.
Development Fuel – With property being a specialist area of expertise the team plan on launching a new support function called Development Fuel. This offering will help property developers generate the investment, finance as well as provide the structure they need to begin their builds. Essentially, take the hassle of funding projects away from developers so they can focus on delivering their projects and seeking new opportunities.