Getting to know you: Darren Fell

What do you currently do?

I’m the Managing Director of my current company, Crunch Accounting.
Crunch takes a new approach to traditional (and painfully expensive) accountancy.

We combine easy to use online software with your own expert account manager and team of accountants, available on email, the phone and even video Skype.

Crunch does absolutely everything for a Limited company including the VAT returns, all the paperwork like P11Ds, as well as the year-end return.

What is your inspiration in business?

Much of my inspiration for Crunch came from prior experience – and when it comes to traditional accountants they were usually quite painful! With one successful start-up behind me, I decided to undertake the unimaginable and challenge the dull, dusty world of accountancy.

Who do you admire?

James Dyson. As a start-up project Crunch was unbelievably complex and the task of building a massive accounting system was due to take 2 years to even get off the ground. James’ book ‘Against the odds’ explores the story behind developing the bagless vacuum cleaner, a process that took 13 years and all his family’s fortune. He’s ever inspiring.

Looking back are there things you would have done differently?

Disrupters have one useful thing in common: ignorance. As a non-accountant, had I realised the difficulty and size of the project I was undertaking I would have walked away. After 5 years of extremely hard work, with more than 4,000 customers and being the fastest growing accountancy firm in the UK, I’m damn pleased I did it!

What defines your way of doing business?

Going for things, momentum and doing tasks in baby steps.

What advice would you give to someone starting out?

Don’t get too hung up on the perfect idea. As I proved with my first business Pure360 and with Crunch, the final product was not what we set out to build. Pure360.com started as a party portal to help people advertise their party, email friends and remind with SMS. From this I created what is today one of the top UK email marketing platforms. With Crunch, the project started purely as an online accountancy tool. I realised the ultimate solution would be one that solved 100% of the issue for small business owners, offering the software and the accountant in one place, for one fixed price.

Create an idea that feels good and if the feedback from everyone is positive then go for it. With momentum you’ll find the real idea within the original one.

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