Married couple Richard and Claire Loyson own Loyson Consulting in Cape Road, Gqeberha. A qualified chartered accountant, Richard decided to open his own business in 2010.
Richard left PWC after completing his articles and accepted a post at Nelson Mandela University as a senior lecturer, but he did not want to lose touch with what was happening in the business world and decided to consult privately from home.
In 2012, his wife, Claire, also a qualified chartered accountant, joined him after their daughter was born.
In 2017, the couple moved their financial business to their current offices in Cape Road.
Please share some background about yourselves.
We are both born and bred in Gqeberha and love the lifestyle Gqeberha offers us.
Richard matriculated from Grey High School in 2002 and Claire from Collegiate Girls High School in 2002.
We then went on to NMU to study accounting. We completed our Honours degree in 2006 and started our articles in 2007.
Richard completed his articles at PWC and Claire at EY.
Tell us about the studies you did to become qualified chartered accountants?
We completed our BCom Accounting degrees in 2005 and our BCom Hons Accounting degree in 2006.
Richard went on to complete his studies for his Master’s in taxation in 2008-2009.
In 2009, we qualified as chartered accountants after passing the board exams and completing our three years of articles.
What did you specialise in?
Richard has specialised in taxation both from a local and international tax perspective.
Claire has specialised in financial accounting and general business advisory.
How old is your business?
Our business is 12 years old. Richard started Loyson Consulting in 2010 from home and Claire joined him in 2012 after our daughter was born.
In 2017, we moved from home to our current offices in Cape Road.
What is your core service?
We provide accounting and tax services to a wide range of various-sized entities ranging from listed entities to trusts (both local and foreign).
What makes your business unique?
Our employees are our single biggest differentiator. They are gold!
We strive to give consistently excellent service and ensure we maintain at the cutting edge of tax policies.
While we strive to give the most tax-efficient service to our client, we also need to act with the highest integrity and ensure that the tax law is being fairly applied to all parties.
How did you navigate your business during the pandemic?
It was a pleasure to embrace technology and even though we are now at the end of the pandemic, we are still using those same tools to keep us in touch with clients who are geographically far away.
Our clients were versatile and adaptable during the pandemic and were able to continue to meet the needs of their clients from their home environments.
How do you find running a business together as a couple?
We love working together as a team. We enjoy discussing business structures and how to improve them to make them more tax efficient.
Many couples don’t want to talk about work at home ... for us, we rarely talk about work at home because we both know what’s going on in the office for most of the day.
If someone wanted to copy your business model, how would they start?
They would need to have the courage to step out of their comfort zone and take the plunge.
They would also need to have a passion for tax and accounting or whatever their line of work is. Patience, persistence, perseverance.
Do you have any tips for budding entrepreneurs or new business owners?
It is very important to conduct your business with the highest integrity and to ensure your own values are met.
What are some of your biggest challenges in day-to-day business operations and your particular industry?
The biggest day-to-day challenge we experience is finding the right balance between working long hours and business success.
It is important to work smartly but not compromise on the quality of the work produced.
What is the best advice anyone gave you on success?
A river cuts through rock, not because of its power but because of its persistence.
How do you measure or define success in your business?
Parameters like profitability and growth give a tangible measure of success, but there is much more to success than data and numbers.
Business success for us is about having happy clients and happy employees as well.
What are some of the best practices that have made your business successful?
When running a business, it is important to adjust oneself with whatever challenges and changes face the business.
We live in uncertain times and it’s important to accept that.
It has also been important for us to work as a team and “Be a Fixer, Not a Blamer”
What kind of advertising do you do?
We rely solely on word of mouth for advertising. This way we are introduced to like-minded clients with good values.
What is your company’s vision?
To continue to provide cutting edge tax structures to ensure that tax efficiencies are achieved.
What is your target market?
Any business that wishes to be more tax efficient.
What have some of your highlights been in running your business?
Richard was nominated for SAICA’s Top 35 Under 35 in 2018.
Richard was awarded the SAICA TAS award in PE in 2019.
How many people do you employ?
We are a staff complement of six people.
We are very proud of our amazing team of young and dynamic people who always go out of their way to ensure our clients are well looked after.
Our staff are our greatest asset.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learnt from your business journey so far?
So many people focus on the future and while having a plan in place is important, it is equally important to never forget to learn from the past.
Your past performance reflects future performance.
This is something to remember both in your personal ventures and your financial ones.
You must make mistakes to build character and to make yourself a better person.
Make sure to look back on these mistakes and learn from them.
What have been the greatest challenges and advantages of running your business in a city like Gqeberha?
The greatest challenge of running a business in Gqeberha has been that it is a small city, however, this also has worked to our advantage as word of mouth spread more easily.
What do you say are the three key traits of a successful entrepreneur?
Adaptability, grit and hard work are the three traits of a successful entrepreneur.
In fact, they are the three key traits to any business endeavour.
What do you say are the key traits of a successful employer?
We believe a successful employer makes people feel that they are part of a team and a family.
We encourage open communication, and we strive to treat our team fairly and consistently.
What do you wish people knew about your industry?
You have to be open and willing to periodically relearn your job.
The laws relating to accounting, taxes and audits are constantly changing.
We have to be flexible and quick on our feet so that we can stay on top of all of those changes year after year.