Chief executive, Perfect Image
I met Mark three years ago when he was working in his previous role. We talked about our shared interest in using business intelligence and analytics to make improvements to our clients’ businesses. A while later, he got back in touch asking my thoughts about his vision to build a product which uses technology to revolutionise the auditing sector. I felt that it was a great opportunity and told him I’d be happy to advise him on putting together a business plan and launching the business.
Our meetings tend to be fairly informal. We cover a wide range of topics but I would say that a lot of our conversations revolve around the commercial side of business – the development of the business plan, sales and marketing strategy in the software sector and how to build up a client base from nothing.
We’ve also spent time talking about the actual technology and how best to go about developing it. Mark has great intuition and always seems to know how best to use and apply his knowledge. Our meetings have always been a two-way conversation so we have definitely been able to help each other out. Mark has taught me more about the world of auditing and it has been great to spend time with someone who is so enthusiastic about what they do.
Inflo Software is entering a market which is ripe for improvement. I’m sure that with the combined knowledge of Mark and his team, Inflo Software will be able to help improve the auditing sector.
Chief executive, Inflo Limited
Andrew and I met at a Perfect Image corporate hospitality event. I found him very down to earth and was impressed with the very strong bond he clearly had with his team. I left my role at a large accounting firm in search of a new challenge but I wasn’t sure what, exactly. I spoke to Andrew about some initial ideas and I found him to be incredibly supportive and able to guide my thinking. His coaching helped me to understand the challenge I was seeking and very quickly established that starting up in business was what I wanted to do.
Andrew has helped me to think differently. He has shared concepts and principles he has seen in other areas of business and challenged my preconceptions. Andrew has also helped me to create a strong sales and marketing plan. Focusing on product is important but you also need a really clear plan on how you are going to get your message across to customers and why they should give you air time.
I think having mentors is essential when you run a start-up. The tech scene in the North East is full of people willing to offer their time and support to new businesses. The people linked to Sunderland Council and Sunderland Software City, such as Tom Hurst and David Dunn, stand out but there have been a lot of individuals who have been generous with their time and support. Since Inflo Software’s launch, we have been overwhelmed by the response from UK accounting firms to our software and are currently scaling globally. We want to establish Inflo as another great North East tech business and change the way professional services are delivered to businesses across the world in a more digital way.