Please tell us briefly about your career to date and what you are most proud of achieving.
"I’ve spent 16 years in practice as an accountant, beginning as an apprentice and working my way through the qualifications to become a fully qualified accountant with the AAT in 2006. Having been an apprentice, I know how important it is for some people to get hands-on learning in a profession they might not have an opportunity to get into otherwise. I now employ an apprentice and I am thrilled to pass on my knowledge and skills onto them.
Working for several firms over those 16 years has helped develop my business style and this lead me to be able to start up my own practice with the help of the Start Up Loans Company. I was then able to become an ambassador for them this year, which is an extremely proud moment for me, meaning I am able to give back to the company that helped me, but it means I can help those who are just starting out and get their business up and running."
What do you see as the biggest challenge facing Doncaster businesses today?
"I feel the biggest challenges facing Doncaster businesses are the recovery from the COVID pandemic and lockdowns. There’ll be many businesses who are now facing having to pay back the funding they have received, as well as any debts that have accrued i.e., business rates and are still struggling to get back on their feet.
Another issue is people being unable to manage their cashflow with no training. They go into business and cannot keep track of their finances as schools do not teach how to budget effectively in either business or personal circumstances. This causes problems if they do open their own business and cannot get to grips with all the different things they have to budget for and make sure have been covered by expenses.
Doncaster businesses need more guidance when it comes to how to handle their cashflow and manage business finances. Without this, more businesses will end up failing due to budgeting problems."
What is the best thing about Doncaster and what do you think are the borough’s biggest opportunities?
|"Doncaster has a huge opportunity to grow, with the Amazon hub opening and creating more jobs within the borough.
With our transport links to the A1, more commuters can get to Doncaster for work, and this will increase footfall in the city centre, helping smaller businesses and the High Street get back to some normality.
The airport is one of the fastest growing international airports in the country, which is a big opportunity for increasing Doncaster’s employment opportunities and growth in the surrounding areas.
With the expansion of the iPort, which offers warehousing and logistics space, is a strategic rail freight terminal, and has great links to the motorway and the Doncaster Sheffield Airport is also going to help with Doncaster’s expansion and will help cement the city as a new hub for warehousing and logistical companies."
What would you like Doncaster Chamber’s priorities to be for the next 12 months?
|"I would like to see more education and training for business owners to understand how to budget effectively. There will be the impact of the COVID loans, the end of furlough and needing the money to recover and grow.
It is important that businesses in Doncaster know that they have this support out there and that there is help available.
Giving business owners the tools to make sure they can budget and keep track of their incomings and outgoings in an effective and efficient way will only increase smaller businesses wishing to open up and thrive in the area."
What would you like the Chamber to be famous for in three years’ time?
|"I want to see the Chamber be famous for making sure none of its members are suffering from lack of financial understanding and information, as it is the basis for a good business.
If the Chamber implemented training in simple cashflow management, even the most innumerate business owners could have a handle on the basics and can see from day to day that they need to pay taxes but also themselves.
Using basic tools and implementing this training for new business owners will go a long way to helping cement the Chambers’ reputation in being an organisation for business owners."