Mike Crocker of Gravitate shares his secrets.
Gravitate is a game-changing accountancy practice specialising in digital accounting, with a dressed-down, paperless office and a young workforce. I had the pleasure of speaking to co-founder Mike Crocker about what drove him to take such a different approach to accounting, and how he and his team make it work. Read on for his insights and inspiration.
Tell me about Gravitate.
Gravitate was born for two reasons. First, it was inspired by the digital revolution. Second, both Sam and I have a passion to really spend time with businesses, fully understand exactly what they do, genuinely add value, and support them in achieving greater commerciality. We have regular catchups with all clients as a minimum.
What’s your secret sauce?
Doing what we’re selling–there’s no red tape here. We focus on being strategic and driving change. And we’re not scared to give advice–we’ve been doing consultancy since day 1. Our passion to add value keeps us focused on the goal. We’re competitive and determined to be successful and grow.
What makes you different?
When you walk into our office, it’s not clear it’s an accounts practice. It’s a relaxed environment with no nerves–and no complex terminology to understand. We like to be transparent. But we do love a challenge. We ask a lot of questions before building a bespoke reporting pack.
How would you describe the team?
They’re the best and strongest team we’ve ever had. They’re full of personality, adaptable to change, and up for learning.
It’s a young team–is this deliberate, and why?
It is deliberate, we value young professionals for their agility and willingness to learn - our marketing helps drive this.
What’s your leadership style?
I lead by example - we set metrics and achieve them together as a team.
You started in 2019 – how much growth have you seen since then?
200%. Our success is driven by referrals and our reputation for being supportive – plus our active presence on LinkedIn and socials.
How do you ensure you’re staying current?
The image of Gravitate is younger. Charlotte, Megan, Jess and Charlie are instrumental in keeping us at the forefront with our social media keep us current.
How important is LinkedIn and the content you put out there to the business?
It’s instrumental–one of the key ways in which we stand apart from other accounting companies, it’s been a valuable tool to help us grow and reach a wider audience.
Who are your main competitors?
There’s no-one like us in the accounting space in Sheffield/Yorkshire. We want to be the Amazon of accountancy.
Is there space for both the new school and old school practices?
100% - it gives people options.
How do you think your previous background in practice has shaped you?
It’s made me a good number-cruncher! It gave me a solid understanding of the basics and building accounts.
What does the future hold for Gravitate?
To invest in the business and help it continue to grow, have the best systems and the best team – we couldn’t do manage with out them. Our short-term target is to get to 20 staff–we’re at 14 at the moment. Also there are plans to potentially set up in another northern city, stay tuned.