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Five minutes with Kained Holdings


Mo Clark, director of Kained Holdings, owner of the Finnieston Bar, Lebowski’s in Glasgow and in Edinburgh, the Crafty Pig and Porter & Rye, offers insights into the challenges he has faced and overcome.

My business card says: My name and ‘director’ although there is also an interesting logo, which says “Three gentlemen frequent above the old Georgian tavern of Finnieston, Glasgow”. This refers to the three guys that started and still run Kained Holdings.

I would describe my business self, in five words, as: Driven, focused, prepared, pragmatic and proactive.

The hardest part of setting up the business was: Sacrifice, both in terms of time and the lack of a work-life balance. It is completely one-sided when you are setting a business up.

The biggest challenge for my business has been: Recruiting key staff, which continues to be an issue. The pool of suitable recruits is quite small – massive amounts of people say that they can do a job but the vast majority can’t. The market is quite saturated.

My biggest business regret is: Missed opportunities. We have previously been offered establishments that we thought – for whatever reason – were not right for us at the time. With hindsight, in some cases we should have taken a leap of faith.

My greatest business success is: Probably our most recent offering, the Porter & Rye. The popularity, turnover and notoriety it has gained have far surpassed our expectations.

The key to being a successful small business owner is: There are many keys but I would say having a clear vision and direction is the most important. Everyone who joins will subsequently need to buy into this. We use a practical demonstration of this with our new starters: we ask them to close their eyes, turn them around and then point to north. They always end up pointing the wrong way. The key to success is ensuring that everyone is pointing the right way through shared values.

My top tip for entrepreneurs is: Be smart and brave. You can be brave but stupid or be smart but not get anywhere. The trick is getting the balance right.

The one thing that has saved me the most time with running my business is: Employing the right people. You can only move from being a manager to a director if you can delegate to others and trust them. It is also key to empower these people so that they can get things done.

The one thing I would do differently with my business if I had my time again is: Become smarter sooner! It may sound strange but I wish I had worked more in the industry before starting my own business. Instead of gaining valuable expertise through experience, I have often had to learn the hard way.

The business headline I would most like to see is: ‘Kained Holdings is the Number One Employer to Work For’: that way I would find recruitment easier. Either that or ‘World Peace Declared’.

If I wasn’t answering these questions I would be: Probably in a meeting or dealing with other company issues.

My top money-saving tip is: My top tip would be to utilise multiple avenues for getting best rates for utilities. Have agents competing against each other and then end up with SwitchMyBusiness.com as the best option.

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Excellent, 9.7 / 10

Very easy

"Very easy. Bea Luseni very efficient & knowledgeable."

This review was posted by Alan Duffy on the 31st of March 2017

Super helpful and easy to work with

"Recommend this company in a heartbeat - Nicole Borneuf was super easy to talk to, was not pushy in the slightest, very helpful and replied with all my questions very professionally and did all she could to help. I had to deal with a few companies to sort my business energy out, all but Nicole were too pushy for my liking and I refused to follow through with them. Thank Nicole - you are a credit to your company, thank you for making the stressful energy change so easy."

This review was posted by Mia Drew on the 29th of March 2017

An Extremely Competent Company

"Switch my business has not only helped my SME secure a good energy deal for the second year running but Jessica swiftly found a alternative supplier for me when I was let down on the day of switching by the new contractual provider I had chosen some 4 months previously. Being suddenly out of contract and without provider is everyone's energy nightmare. Greatest thanks."

This review was posted by S McMillan on the 29th of March 2017

Helpful, friendly and we saved lots of money!

"Jessica Purnell was helpful and friendly, she made the whole process easy and simple AND we saved lots of money thanks Jess"

This review was posted by Melanie Baker on the 23rd of March 2017

Quick & Easy

"Kabibi was very helpful and the whole process was very efficient. The one small reservation I had was that I was phoned up by Kabibi almost immediately having received my online quote - which wasn't enough time for me to finish reading the quotes! Fortunately she was able to assist me in a greater savings on both Gas & Electricity, and so as long as the switchover is seamless I will remain very happy with the service."

This review was posted by Amanda Brown on the 21st of March 2017