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Small business spotlight: Five minutes with…


 

…Duncan Black

Owner, The Grazing Shed, 1 Barrack Lane, Cardiff..

Duncan Black

My business card says:
I don’t have one – that reminds me I need to get one sharpish!

I would describe my business self, in five words, as:
Creative, opportunist, hardworking, loyal, fair.

The hardest part of setting up the business was:
Raising finance. There’s not much out there for start-ups as far as bank funding goes. My business partner and I took out personal loans and some private investment. Put together a strong business plan, some conservative forecasts and then go out and talk to people about your idea.

The biggest challenge for my business has been:
Creating a strong management team. This is key for any business. You need strong people with the right skills in the right places. As a start-up you don’t have access to these key people as you simply can’t afford them on a full-time basis. Management skills and support is something I would have really appreciated as a start-up: someone to talk to about commercial decisions; HR issues; understanding profit and loss; recruitment; accounting; negotiating rents; etc. This is why we’re in the process of creating a management consultancy team that can offer this support to all businesses on an as-and-when basis.

My biggest business regret is:
I don’t have one yet… (fingers crossed).

My greatest business success is:
Being voted no.1 burger bar in Wales in our first year.

The key to being a successful small business owner is:
Have a strong concept, to be able to adapt to market changes and maintain consistency.

My top tip for entrepreneurs is:
Have a strong team around you.

My top money-saving tip is:
Always review the cost of your goods as often as possible. Check if there are any suppliers who can provide your common items at a better price. Also, remember it’s not always about the cheapest price. Often good relationships with suppliers can be worth more. It’s a fine balance.

The one thing that has saved me the most time with running my business is:
Creating a thorough recruitment policy to reduce staff turnover.

The one thing I would do differently with my business if I had my time again is:
Open it sooner.

The business headline I would most like to see is:
Government cuts VAT to 10% in hospitality industry’ — Which would in turn create more jobs and allow us to re-invest in the business.

If I wasn’t answering these questions I would be:
Unloading boxes of ketchup into storage.

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Excellent, 9.7 / 10

thank you nicole for your kind help to…

"thank you nicole for your kind help to set up my business electric account fantastic service and your personal touch thank you"

This review was posted by Sam Raju on the 19th of February 2018

Aaron Gallagher recently helped me…

"Aaron Gallagher recently helped me switch the gas and electricity supply for our business. He was extremely helpful and well informed which was great for me as I know nothing in this area! He saved us a small fortune and dealt with all of the switch for us which again was extremely helpful as it wasn't completely straightforward. Thanks again for you help Aaron, it was so appreciated."

This review was posted by Rachel on the 17th of February 2018

A better deal for our Village Hall

"I recently used this company to get a better energy deal for our local village hall. Other companies were quite pushy but Lorraine and Bhavni from SwitchMyBusiness were much more professional. They sent me useful information by email enabling me and the village hall committee to make a decision about which supplier to use. The switch was done by phone and when the energy provider sent the paper work to the wrong address Bhavni sorted it out straight away. I saved over £1000 for the charity."

This review was posted by Irene Winter on the 16th of February 2018

Good Service

"Lorraine was great and very helpful. We negotiated and received a good deal on our supply."

This review was posted by Edwina Nash on the 16th of February 2018

The SME Personal Switcher

"The SME Personal Switcher, Lorraine Carey was really helpful."

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