How much could your business save?Find out now!
Or, you can call us on:0800 411 8830

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

the week's top energy news

The Week’s Top Energy News

Top News In Energy This Week This week we’ve seen a flurry of green energy stories – including gr...

Read More

Very Clever Commuting Hacks

It’s easy to focus on the downsides of a long commute. The average UK commuter spends 58 minutes every ...

Read More
will innovative jam boost the economy

Will ‘innovative jam’ boost the UK economy?

It’s the economic equivalent of Union Jack bunting. Today, in a move surely masterminded by the Great Briti...

Read More
Excellent, 9.4 / 10

Competent and courteous service.

"Marie was knowledgeable and helpful. I feel able to recommend the service given without reservation. David Slesenger"

This review was posted by David Slesenger on the 16th of August 2016

Good service

"Nadia was very helpful"

This review was posted by Robin on the 16th of August 2016

Excellent Customer Service *****

"Jonathan Burgess is an asset to Switch My Business. He made me feel at ease and was more than helpful at all times. He made regular contact and guided me through the whole process which made switching a breeze. I just wish there were more customer service advisers like Jonathon whose friendly and happy demeanour make your day a much nicer one. Well done Switch my business and more importantly thank you Jonathon for all your hard work! Maria Owen Lodgecrest"

This review was posted by Maria Owen on the 17th of August 2016


"I totally agree with a customer maria owen,Jonathan Burgess was such a pleasure dealing with and is truly a asset to the company, he made it very easy to switch my electricity companies, Jonathan Burgess was very helpful, easy to talk to it was like talking to a friend not just a customer adviser. I would definitely recommend switchmybusiness and try get hold off Jonathan Burgess if possible and have the same excellent service as I did. Rajan Shanan"

This review was posted by Rajan Shanan on the 19th of August 2016

Excellent and very helpful

"Arron who dealt with my switch of energy and gas has been a huge help and extremely efficienct and easy to deal with. Despite British Gas throwing obstacles in the way at every turn he has doggedly stuck to his task and saved the day. Thanks Arron."

This review was posted by Rod Pryce-Jones on the 19th of August 2016