Sunderland-based business management consultancy, DKS Straightforward Ltd, is gearing up for further growth in 2020 following a six-figure turnover in 2019.

Alongside a strong financial year, over the past twelve months the firm has also tripled its workforce, bringing its staff headcount to nine.

Set up in 2015 by experienced business professional Dianne Sharp, DKS Straightforward works with SMEs across the North East to unlock potential.

A qualified accountant by trade and with over 30 years experience of running SMEs across a variety of sectors, Dianne originally set up DKS Straightforward after recognising there was a lack of people development and businesses weren’t prioritising ‘human’ capital within their business and leadership training.

Dianne said: “I’m passionate about improving the quality of businesses here in the North East and through DKS Straightforward we work with leaders of SMEs to recognise where the areas of improvement are for continued success and growth.

“I’ve been working in businesses of all sizes for over 30 years and I wanted to share the experience I’ve gained with the future leaders of tomorrow. It would be fantastic to see more businesses thrive here in the region and to show the rest of the UK that the North East is a great place to do business.”

Alongside its team of associates delivering consultancy, training and development programmes, DKS Straightforward Ltd launched its purpose-built learning environment, The Leadership Academy, in 2019.

Based in Sunderland city centre, the space is designed to provide teams, leaders and course delegates with an area fully equipped for strategy planning and internal training. Featuring wall-to-wall, ceiling-to-floor whiteboards, projection equipment and breakout areas, the space is designed to host team away days as well as provide an environment for DKS Straightforward to host its proprietary workshops.

Dianne added: “It was important for us to invest in a space that businesses can use to get out of their usual working environment.

“We want to see more businesses succeed and a space like The Leadership Academy is there to encourage a growth mindset for business owners and their teams to step out of the day-to-day and look at their strategy from a different point of view.”