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Business Times feature: Innovative approach shows why it can pay to talk

MPA founder and MD Mike Price recently spoke to Business Times Northamptonshire about what drove him to create MPA, and why he and his team are doing things a little differently when it comes to supporting SME's
By Annie Roberts, Features Writer, Business Times

A life-changing road accident was the catalyst for Mie Price to think about the ways he wanted to lead his life. He had plenty of time to think.

A car crash in 2005 had left Mike with three breaks in his spine and a broken neck. It would take two years of gruelling operations and rehabilitation for Mike to get back to business.

His high-pressured role which had taken him around the world was behind him and in its place was his newly fledged business MPA which specialises in helping businesses to maximise their potential benefits from available HMRC tax concessions.

Fourteen years later it has grown into a thriving enterprise with a £7m turnover and has earned a place in the UK’s top 100 accountancy firms.

There is no secret formula behind MPAs success which started with Mike working from the family home.

“I had plenty of time to think and revaluate what was important,” said Mike, who believes the holistic approach is what makes the difference to the way MPA do business.

Engineers now make up nearly half of the 70-strong team which offers a wide range of services to SME’s.

“There is no secret as to why we employ engineers. It is because they talk the client’s language and understand how things work,” said Mike.

Many times, clients ask the wrong questions. It is only by having a deep understanding of their business and the market they operate in that we can guide them firstly to the right question and ultimately the right answer. We’ve built our services around the challenges that SME business owners face during the life cycle of their business. We understand that whatever business they are in, whichever sector it all comes down to the same thing for everyone: People, systems and processes, with people being at the centre of everything.

MPA leads by example with Mike believing there are tangible benefits for businesses who prioritise the needs of their staff.

“More than anything, it’s about being flexible. Look at your people as individuals and listen to them, see what you can do as a business to help them do their best work. It’s them that keep the clients happy which in turn makes your business successful,” said Mike.

The pandemic has seen many having to find new ways of working and taking on other responsibilities like homeschooling. MPA’s approach is to list to employees and offer packages that meet their specific needs – maybe flexible furlough, a sabbatical, work working hours that slot into an individual’s life. We trust our team to get the work done to the right quality and working with the client on timing. People must have the chance to step back, decompress and relax. It is not about the work-life balance; it is about the life-work balance.

Mike’s insight into what makes a business work started at an early age through his mother’s engineering firm. Here he saw a blend of client care, compassion for the staff, and innovative techniques bring great success.

“She had a lot on her plate being a single parent with three boisterous sons and a business to run. She didn’t just manage…she excelled,” said Mike.

Mike watched and learned and has now put his mother’s way of doing business at the heart of MPA.

“What is driving us at MPA is a bigger ambition. The Government’s Industrial Strategy sets out a vision for growth in the innovation and technology sector. MPA are committed to supporting these sectors because it presents the opportunity to drive growth across the entire economy.”

By helping create a thriving technology sector MPA are helping drive UK plc.

Pick up your copy of Business Times today, or visit www.business-times.co.uk for more inspirational stories from business leaders across Northamptonshire.

Or speak to the MPA team about your business today