Danbro's Damian Broughton inspires businesses at 52M event

At the first in a series of monthly events being organised and hosted by 52M Consulting in 2020, an audience of Lancashire business leaders heard an earthy, honest and insightful account of how Damian Broughton and his wife, Helen, have grown Danbro into a £170m-a-year business since starting it in the family home.

Damian explained how the husband-and-wife team first considered running a pub and then a cross-stitch franchise before eventually starting an accountancy business providing a full range of advisory, tax and compliance services to contractors and freelancers.

Despite the success enjoyed by the business today, Damian was very candid about the obstacles it has faced along the way, including the acquisition of an accountancy practice elsewhere in the country that didn't work out as planned.

He told the assembled audience that Danbro owes much of its success to embedding the right processes, being disciplined, having a marketing plan and sticking to it, investing in people, supporting them and giving them space to deliver, and not being afraid to outsource non-core activities to external specialists - valuing the acquisition of this expertise as an investment and not a cost.

Olivia Carter, from the Athena Network for women in business, attended the event and said afterwards: "It was fascinating to hear how Damian Broughton and his wife have built their company from scratch into the successful business it is today. I really learned a lot from listening to Damian recount his experiences in what was a relaxed, down-to-earth setting."

It's a sentiment that others have been busy expressing on social media, with Gillian Seville, head of business development for Napthens Solicitors branding it "a fabulous inaugural event" on Twitter and commenting that it provided "a fascinating insight into an incredible business". Councillor Michael Green, Cabinet Member for Economic Development at Lancashire County Council, described it as "a great opportunity for businesses to network" and said that he "enjoyed the honest insight given by Damian Broughton" with Poulton-le-Fylde based Code Galaxy also describing Damian's story as "fascinating" and saying that it had learned some lessons that it plans to implement in its business.

It was fascinating to hear how Damian Broughton and his wife have built their company from scratch into the successful business it is today.

The event, held on the first floor landing at Bizspace on Marsh Lane, Preston, also saw a lively Q&A and was supported by a number of local organisations that exhibited on the night, including IT experts NetDec, Shout Network and Lancashire's growth hub Boost.

Lee Petts, managing director at 52M Consulting, said he is delighted by the response and can't wait to host the next event in the series: "It was such a pleasure to see so many people brave the terrible weather and come along to hear what was a genuinely inspiring talk from one of Lancashire's most successful entrepreneurs.

"I think everyone will agree that they left feeling invigorated and that they'd learned something valuable that could improve their growth prospects.

"Next month, we have a very different guest speaker in the form of hairdressing entreprenuer John Kersey. His story started when he opened his first salon aged just 18 before going on to grow one of the largest independent chains in the North West of England, and I'm really looking forward to giving him a platform to share it."

Businesses wishing to attend the second event in the series can find out more and book here.