Meet our Members: Q&A with Allen & John from Compliance ROCKS!

    Meet our Members: Q&A with Allen & John from Compliance ROCKS!

    August 19, 2019

    Compliance ROCKS! is a London-based compliance consultancy firm specialising in the transport sector. As any business owner will know, compliance can be a complex, confusing – and let’s face it – just plain stressful affair. CR’s job is to provide expert advice and workable solutions to make the process as pain-free as it can be. 

    We caught up with co-founders, Allen and John, at their coworking desks in Watford to find out more about their journey and why they chose Halkin Watford as their HQ. 

     

    Hi both! So what inspired you to start your business?

     

    Allen: We set up the business seven months ago after identifying a gap in the market. 

    Initially we worked with a small subset of clients, helping them navigate all things compliance. Since then we’ve realised there’s a massive opportunity for using digital services within the industry so that’s going to be our next step.  

    My background is in digital technology and we’re exploring different software solutions at the moment. In that sense we’re less traditional consultancy, more tech startup. 

    John: I come from an auditing and transport management background and was a truck driver for a few years, so from a business partnership perspective it’s a match made in heaven!

    Allen: It is, and John’s old job meant we had a nice group of individuals that we could pitch to straightaway. It was an easy win and we managed to sign up about 32 clients within two months. 

    That gave us a huge kickstart and meant we didn’t need to go down the seed funding route. 

     

    Where did you guys meet?

     

    John: Believe it or not, we’ve actually only known each other for about a year, so not that long. We’ve both got 10 month old babies and met in an antenatal class – it was one of those serendipitous “right place, right time” scenarios.

     

    How did you find the process of starting a business?

     

    Allen: I’ve worked for myself my whole career in various ways, unlike John who’s been working for the man. So for me the transition wasn’t too challenging. 

     

    “There’s a massive opportunity for using digital services within the industry so that’s going to be our next step.”  

     

    How are you finding self employed life, John?

     

    John: It took me a while to get used to it.

    Obviously it helped that Allen had the experience – every time I had a concern Allen would do the fatherly thing; he’d put his hand on my shoulder and reassure me that everything was going to be fine. 

    If I’d done it on my own without Allen I’d have been a headless chicken!

     

    Where’s the business at now? 

     

    Allen: I’d say we’ve got to the stage where we can easily manage our client base and can start developing the digital solutions we’re looking to build. 

    That obviously comes with its own challenges because we’re not trained software developers, although I have worked with developers a lot in the past.

    What we don’t want to do is  go down the route of seed funding or have to ask an angel investor for 100k. Finding the right balance is key – we’re trying to save as much as we can.

     

    “Halkin Watford is £100 per desk per month…we’d probably spend more than that in Starbucks on coffee and lunches alone!”

     

    Why did you decide to make Halkin your HQ?

     

    Allen: For me it’s about the convenience. We were doing Starbucks for a few weeks which wasn’t ideal.

    John: Yeah, and after a while we were getting the shakes due to having to down so much coffee. (Quick tip for freelancers: you get a free refill with filter coffees at Starbucks.) 

    They used to see Allen and I coming from a mile away and just shake their heads, muttering under their breath. 

    Allen: Halkin Watford is £100 per desk per month – that’s £5 per day for 20 working days in the office. We’d probably spend more than that in Starbucks on coffee and lunches alone! 

    We record online training videos for our clients too and need to be able to record audio without background noise, so we come in early when nobody else is here. For that alone it’s well worth the £100 a month. 

     

    To find out more about Compliance ROCKS! visit compliance.rocks.