Pure Offices Client Spotlight with ‘Our Head Office‘
Our Head Office is a finance office outsourcing business with a HQ at Pure Offices in Warwick. This month we caught up with Paul Knappett, the company’s Founder and MD, to chat about his business’ journey to date and how and it’s been helping SMEs and startups navigate the pandemic.
Pure Offices: Hi Paul! What inspired you to start Our Head Office?
Paul: I’m a qualified accountant by trade and worked for a number of SMEs after I left the large accountancy firm I qualified with. I eventually became the finance director of a contract catering company which we sold in May 2018.
I didn’t really fancy working for anyone else again, and one thing I think I’m quite good at is managing the head office environment for SMEs.
So, rather than doing it for one company and going to work for another SME, I thought I’d set up a vehicle that could cater to a number of SMEs looking to outsource their head office operations. We moved into our offices in Warwick in March 2019 and it’s been going steadily ever since. There’s three of us now and it’s working really well.
“The ease of moving in was the biggest selling point for us.”
Pure Offices: Why did you choose Pure Offices in Warwick as your HQ?
Paul: I was already based in Pure Offices with the contract catering company; we were on the same floor as we are now but in a slightly bigger office. Originally, we occupied a barn conversion in the middle of Barford but our landlord decided to convert it into residential.
We met with Kate, Warwick’s office manager, and told her we were looking for something short-term. The plan was to stay for a couple of months until we found something more “fixed”. That was around six years ago!
We’ve been here for a number of years in one form or another. The ease of moving in was the biggest selling point for us – it was a case of “plug in and go”.
Pure Offices: What’s it been like in the workspace during Covid?
Paul: We had a bit of time at home when Covid first kicked off but we’ve been taking it in turns to pop in and out of the office every now and then.
The access to the building’s been fine and there’s still a nice vibe.
There are some lads over the road from us; they run football coaching and we speak to them regularly. Another business has just moved in next door and they’ve invited us over this afternoon for a couple of socially distanced beers!
It’s a great office and we usually meet up in the shared space downstairs for socials – Covid rules permitting. We’ve got the coffee shop as well which is great for caffeine fixes.
We utilised the meeting rooms a lot before Covid and will do so again moving forward. They’re easy to book and very clean and tidy. Our clients love the offices and they have a real professional feel. The building was refurbed a couple of years ago and looks great.
Pure Offices: Circling back to your own business, what does it specialise in?
Paul: I’d always say we specialise in head office outsourcing rather than bookkeeping because I think we offer much more than your average local bookkeeper.
We manage the phones for our clients on a daily basis, as well as all the processing on their accounts such as raising sales invoices and processing bank payments. I also sit on the board for a couple of our client’s businesses in an FD role.
“Covid has encouraged all businesses to think differently about how they do things.”
Instead of employing a receptionist, accounts processor, management accountant and finance director, you can outsource everything you need to us at a much lower cost.
We also work with SMEs and small startups who are looking to raise capital, including crowdfunding, that allow them to take the next steps on their business journey. We have a mixed bag really.
We’ve picked up a few clients over lockdown – people starting their own businesses and existing businesses looking to reduce their overheads. Although we don’t want people to lose their jobs, companies need to do what they can to survive.
Pure Offices: Tell us more about the startups you’re working with…
With Covid hitting and everyone shopping online, our new startup clients are e-commerce businesses. We’ve set up the accounting function for their website, linking online payments directly to their accounts function to streamline the process. We run reports so our clients can see how they’re doing each month.
We’ve also been assisting clients with CBILS and BBLS; mainly liaising with banks on their behalf and completing forms. But the biggest bit of work we’ve done over the last year for the majority of our clients has been cash flow forecasting.
We’ve had clients who’ve never needed to worry about cash in the past because they’ve always been quite profitable. Once the sales tap switches off and the revenue stops coming in they’ve had to focus on their run rate and what they can do to reduce their cash outflow. Covid has encouraged all businesses to think differently about how they do things.
Pure Offices: Finally, what have you been doing to stay sane over lockdown?
Paul: Two things: running the business and Peloton. We bought our Peloton bike at the beginning of lockdown and I’ve become a bit obsessed with it.
We’ve had a lot of fun using it while the gyms are shut and have been doing remote classes with a couple of our mates who have bikes.
We usually go on holiday several times a year but for obvious reasons haven’t been able to. We’ve got one booked for next year – we’re just keeping our fingers crossed it goes ahead!
Whether you’re a start-up or global business, looking for a first home or a regional satellite office – our offices are flexible, affordable and designed with well-being in mind.
All offices are available on flexible contracts – equipped with ultra-fast broadband, 24/7 access and onsite management, with only 5 steps to take before moving day. Pure offices keep up with the demands of modern business and workplace expectations – the onsite teams and excellent ready-made facilities mean you can move in quickly and concentrate on your business, whilst we take care of the rest.