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Breaking News: Doug Hutton Takes Up New Role as DNS Accountants Franchise Operations Manager

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Doug is currently preparing to take up the newly created role as DNS Accountants Franchise Operations Manager. The creation of this new role will enhance how we provide our Franchisees the support they need to grow a successful accountancy business.

Doug Hutton arrives with an ideal skill set to take on this important role: He has previously managed an accountancy practice; owns first-hand experience of what it takes to build and manage a successful practice; and he is already fully versed in the DNS Group’s procedures, practices and ways of working.

Below, we set out what the role of DNS Accountants Franchise Operations Manager entails and then give Doug the opportunity to answer some questions in which he relates his journey to his new role to how he intends to develop it to meet the specific needs of DNS Accountants Franchisees.

Doug’s role will be to:

  • Manage the onboarding of new Franchisees and answer any doubts or queries;
  • Deal with queries once Franchisees have joined the network;
  • Develop strong relationships with Franchisees; provide ongoing, personalised support and professional guidance; discuss plans; act as a sounding board;
  • Convene weekly and monthly meetings with new and existing Franchisees;
  • Visit Franchisees on site as soon as it is safe and legal to do so;
  • Ensure Franchisees continuously grow their territory;
  • Provide support with initial and ongoing training.

Doug is well equipped to provide Franchisees an extra level of support, to guide fledgling Franchise owners to meet their objectives as much as to support established Franchisees as they expand and grow their territory and client base.

Since 2016, Doug has been practice manager at one of DNS's partner branches. While this has provided him with first-hand experience of the DNS business model and operations, Doug has also shown that he is one of those people who can take on a role and turn it into his own. A multi-tasker, cool under pressure, a good delegator and a great communicator. Below he explains how he intends to fulfil this important new role:

Q: What experience do you have to support the growing DNS network?

A: I studied business at university and it was while I was there that I began to realise I had the potential to develop a good “business head” in that I like new challenges, believe I can spot opportunities, do enjoy working up ideas, and genuinely enjoy working with others towards goals. I know I can work with my colleagues to achieve the goals we set ourselves as part of the DNS Accountants Group.

I worked my way up at Limelight over 11 years. I began there doing data entry and then jumped at the chance to take the role as office manager. I was an assistant to the senior accountant and then became practice manager. I’ve worked in HR and sales for DNS and ran a publishing arm for an unrelated consultancy business. Prior to that, I started and ran a business related to events management and worked in retail. I have a great deal of relevant vocational experience and see myself very much as qualified by experience! When thrown in at the deep end you realise you have two options: to sink or swim, I tend to swim, no matter what.

In my view, vocational experience, formal qualifications and qualification by experience are only a part of it. Humility and self-confidence come top of my list of attributes in business. You need to take on any role with the same focus, no matter how menial, insignificant, or overwhelmingly unfamiliar the task you are performing may seem at the time. An undertaking such as starting a new business needs this sort of an attitude. It also requires both an appreciation of the risk you are taking on and a steady determination to turn risk to opportunity and to make it a success. To have a realistic vision and a belief in yourself and your plans means that you will take on challenges as opportunities. No one should start out in business hoping for an easy ride.

Good communication skills and people skills, plus a sense of humour are essential attributes, in my view. Power of persuasion is important too, to persuade yourself you can do it and to persuade your team or your clients and wider network that you are on top of the job and reliable. I still see myself as a person growing in business by increments – organically – never rushing things, patiently and steadily doing what needs to be done and whatever is asked of me.

Q: What made you take this role on?

A: I have a commitment to DNS as a business, I really believe in it. Decent people run it expertly at the top, and knowledge, expertise, and good plain graft abounds from top to bottom. I still have much to learn from all of my colleagues. One important lesson I have learned is that self-gain alone in business will never cut it. Anyone aspiring to make a success in business must be committed to making the service offering as good as it can be and it must provide value.

In our business – Accountancy – integrity is at the heart. DNS clients are at the heart of the business model, so DNS Accountants Franchisees are recruited because they fit the DNS mould.

What clinched it for me was that my job is to protect the DNS name, brand if you will, and to protect our Franchisees, which is to say that I want to encourage Franchisees to take every opportunity DNS gives them to grow and develop as individuals and as a business. That is exactly what I achieved with Limelight in Redruth, Cornwall, and at our branch in Surry, and I intend to protect my clients and my team and work closely with my DNS Franchise colleagues as I begin to take on more in terms of my new role. I still own the experience I gained at Limelight. I feel enfolded within the DNS Group. DNS’s success is my success, our success as an Accountancy Group is related to our clients’ success and to our Franchisees’ success in running their business as well. I will put my energies into making sure that in my new role I nurture our new and our existing DNS Accountants Franchisees.

Fundamentally, this is why the role was attractive to me: I’m a team player with leadership skills, sales and marketing experience, and business acumen. I take on this role to fulfil my job spec and to coach and support. I love a challenge and firmly believe that no business or individual should remain static. Just look at DNS’s growth – this is what we are a part of, and it gives me every confidence that together we can grow as individuals while working to make the DNS Accountants business network stronger and make sure it meets its ambitious targets and aspirations.

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