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.

Related Articles

inspiration

8 Must watch TED talks for small business owners

Feeling a drop in motivation? TED talks never fail to fire us up. Here are some of our favourites......

Read More
lightbulb header image

Energy News 04/08/2017

Yes, the British Gas price hike is undoubtedly the story of the week, but it’s not all that’s been making ...

Read More
pylon header image

Will Energy Prices Ever Go Down?

British Gas has become the latest energy supplier to raise their prices, just weeks after the Government discu...

Read More
Excellent, 9.8 / 10

Great customer service from Bhavni Manek to set up new business contracts...

"Had an excellent customer service experience with Bhavni Manek to set up new business contracts and run me through all the details. She was very efficient at finding quotes and answering questions and made me feel reassured about the transition to new energy suppliers."

This review was posted by Emma Thomsen on the 18th of August 2017

Jessica Purnell at SwitchMyBusiness has …

"Jessica Purnell at SwitchMyBusiness has been most helpful and very efficient. Our business has made a real saving on our electricity supply and all it took was a few minutes on the telephone. Thank you"

This review was posted by David Hanley on the 18th of August 2017

Mark Weeks did an excellent job in …

"Mark Weeks did an excellent job in giving me all the information I needed and explaining everything."

This review was posted by Terry on the 18th of August 2017

This the second time I have used …

"This the second time I have used SwitchMyBusiness and i have received excellent service from Jessica Purnell on both occasions.I would recommend anyone to use this company as you know that they are acting independently and trying to get the best deal for you."

This review was posted by H Barrington on the 18th of August 2017

Mark Weeks was my contact point with …

"Mark Weeks was my contact point with this company and I have been extremely pleased with the way in which he explained everything to me in an informative, friendly way."

This review was posted by Mr CHRISTOPHER GEORGE on the 18th of August 2017