quote
menu

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

energy-meter-reading-numbers

Business Electricity Meter Types

There is a wide range of electricity meters that your business may have installed, depending on your electrici...

Read More

10 Bizarre Christmas Traditions From Around The World

Everybody has their traditions at Christmas. From watching a pantomime starring a questionable celebrity cast,...

Read More

Which country gets the most time off at Christmas?

Christmas is celebrated differently all over the world, just look at our 10 Bizarre Christmas Traditions artic...

Read More
Excellent, 9.8 / 10

Fantastic

"Fantastic! Very happy with the service received Would definitely recommend"

This review was posted by Room 305 on the 06th of December 2017

I've used Switch My Business for a few …

"I've used Switch My Business for a few years because they literally do everything for you with no fuss. Mark Weeks was incredibly helpful, friendly and understood how busy I was. He explained everything simply, clearly and found rates that matched my needs perfectly (needed a 0 fee standing rate gas supply). He prepared all the paperwork so all I had to do was print, sign and scan. Highly recommended!"

This review was posted by Jay Grocott on the 06th of December 2017

Mark Weeks is very informative of the …

"Mark Weeks is very informative of the current market and helped us change our utility provider effortlessly on an attractive contract"

This review was posted by Alex Slee on the 05th of December 2017

EXCELLENT SERVICE

"It was a seamless switch and Mark Weeks was extremely helpful and knowledgeable. I will be using SMB again on the next renewal date."

This review was posted by Marc Hesford on the 05th of December 2017

Mark Weeks provided quotations for my …

"Mark Weeks provided quotations for my search for alternative electricity supplier which were competitive though not significantly better than our current supplier. Very useful however."

This review was posted by john barrus on the 05th of December 2017