Acorn Business Management Specialists is a Sage Business Partner and works with a wide range of SMEs, providing key business management solutions. Co-founder Declan Bradley says the company is now growing further, marking 20 years in business and has undergone a rebrand to fuel the next step in its journey
It’s quite a triumph marking 20 years running a successful and continually expanding company.
And for founders Declan Bradley and Dominic McMullan and their burgeoning business Acorn Business Management Specialists, the future is looking increasingly bright.
The company has undergone a major rebrand, formerly Acorn IT Solutions, and is a business management software firm and one of the largest fully-accredited Sage Business Partners here.
And it’s continuing to work with some of the customers it first dealt with two decades ago.
The Kilrea-based business is continuing to expand beyond its base – opening up a new office in Dublin, with plans for another in Glasgow as it rolls out across GB.
“The company was created in 2002. We were working with other firms but saw a gap in the market to extend the reach beyond Belfast in terms of providing business solutions for companies,” Declan says.
Declan and Dominic have worked with Sage products since leaving university, and the selection of software and solutions have been ingrained in them right across their business journey.
“That experience has given us a good understanding of the various product roadmaps and what lies ahead for Sage customers. And since 2002, the company has grown and grown.”
Acorn Business Management Specialists works with a wide range of customers across Ireland – from start-ups to small firms and SMEs with big workforces and turnovers.
The company is now a team of 13, but that number is likely to soon grow as it expands its reach in the Republic of Ireland and GB. Acorn recognises that growth is not possible without the efforts of their committed and talented workforce, and appreciates the efforts of all staff. The firm added to the board by recently promoting Deaglan Lowry to director to help with the strategic vision of the company.
“We’ve tried to expand our offerings out in terms of product and solution, split across various verticals and sectors,” Declan says.
“We’re working primarily around the whole SME marketplace. Our main product focuses around clients who are able to avail of Sage 200 – it could be anyone from a firm with a turnover of £1m to much bigger businesses.”
In its customer portfolio, Acorn supports over 100 businesses using Sage 200, across a wide range of sectors which highlights how the firm’s solutions can be configured to suit unique business requirements including companies across manufacturing, construction, engineering, wholesale, distribution, retail, food production and public services.
“But essentially, there’s no restriction on who we work with,” Declan says.
“We can start off with an initial meeting to really establish what the client needs, and then build on that.”
Declan says some of its customers have been with them since day one.
“Some of our customers have been with us for the 20 years since we started. We’ve continued to build, year-on-year, the number of support clients that we have and continue to provide a high level of customer service.”
Declan says it can help and assist a variety of firms with a wide range of accounting and finance and business management software, especially those in a growth phase.
“It’s about creating bespoke solutions for each of our clients, from the smaller operators right up to those with significant workforces and turnover,” Declan says.
And its own growth is central to its ongoing success working across the SME sector here, and beyond. “We are still ambitious and are continuing to grow,” Declan says.
“We continue to grow into the different verticals, but also geographically and as well.”
And speaking about its continued growth and reach across Ireland, and now into GB, Declan says the firm has just opened a new office in Dublin and Belfast, with plans on the horizon for another in Glasgow.
“We have further ambition to then push into the rest of GB as well,” Declan says.
“We’re very well supported by Sage with these ventures as well, both by Sage in Dublin and in Newcastle – that really helps us to build strong relationships.
Declan says that strong relationship and expansion allows the company to adapt to new technologies. And rebranding the business was another key step in its journey, Declan says.
“Our new name Acorn Business Management Specialists is more aligned to what we do on a day-to-day basis. We are providing business management solutions for companies across Ireland and GB.
“Our growth will not only enhance the product range that we have at the moment, but also add completely new products which Sage may be releasing.
“We want to be seen as one of the key Sage Business Partners, right at the forefront of offering the latest technologies.
“We can be the first port of call for anything around business management solution issues that a company may have, and then helping businesses improve.”
Acorn Business Management Specialists is continuing to hire as it expands its operations, and Declan says it’s returning to in-person events this month. That includes events in both Belfast and Dublin.