A Stratford company which specialises in solar PV and electric vehicle charging points has enjoyed a record year – thanks to a combination of changed buying habits during the pandemic and the business advice it has been receiving from a town accountancy practice.

Stratford Energy Solutions has seen its workforce expand more than fivefold and enjoyed sales increases every year since it started working with John Street-based accountancy practice Leigh Graham Associates a decade ago.

And it’s now poised to expand further over the coming year.

Stratford Energy Solutions director Jason Savidge, who founded the company with co-director Andy Hollis, explained: “Leigh Graham is a key ally. We have meetings once a quarter at the minimum to talk to about strategy, discuss employment expansion and our own personal career paths. 

“The team there do so much more than basic payroll and tax returns. While they get on with the strategy, Andy and I are free to get on with the core of our business.”

Jason and Andy appointed Leigh Graham when they realised, soon after forming the company, that they needed  external business expertise to help manage its rapid expansion.

“Since then, we’ve seen growth every year, with 2020 our biggest sales year yet. And we’re are on target for more growth in 2021,” said Jason.

“Solar PV sales and installations have been particularly impressive over the past 12 months, partly because householders have had more time to think about property improvements while they’ve been working from home.

“Things like the stamp duty holiday have also meant that people who’ve moved house have been able to spend the savings on improvements such as solar PV and still have money left over. Or, they’ve decided to invest the money they would otherwise have spent on a holiday in energy saving measures.”

Leigh Graham Associates partner Graham Beach said: “We feel very much part of the Stratford Energy Solutions team. We work with them to discuss long term strategy and investment opportunities. 

“For some companies, at a certain stage, we look at succession planning, how the business can be passed on or sold in the best possible state for all concerned. These are perhaps not services one would naturally associate with an accountancy practice. We are with our clients for the long haul and love helping them develop their businesses.”

• Stratford Energy Solutions director Jason Savidge says Graham Beach from the town’s Leigh Graham Associates has played a key role in helping his company expand over the past decade.