Halloween horror film lessons for UK SMEs
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My business card says:
Hair professional offering expertise.
I would describe myself in five words as:
Fair, committed, passionate about hairdressing.
I decided I wanted to run my own business when:
The opportunity came my way 18 years ago when I was working part-time as a self-employed hairdresser. This suited me as a mum with two young children. I’d previously spoken with my accountant about owning a business but it wasn’t on my immediate agenda. But when she found out this salon was up for sale she asked if I was interested. I had a look, thought why not and decided to go for it.
The hardest part of setting up my business was:
Finding the finance. My businesses partner – who’s also my other half – and I put in our savings but we also had to find a loan. That was really tough. We put our house up as collateral but that still didn’t guarantee us a loan as banks were dubious about lending. I think banks could do more for businesses: bank charges cripple us. We have to pay for every transaction.
I would tell other businesses to shop around and negotiate your banking regularly. Don’t stick with one bank for years. You might want to build up a relationship with a bank thinking goodwill goes a long way but it doesn’t – I’ve only met my bank manager once. Also, I could cut hair but I didn’t know about marketing the business or managing the team. I’ve had to educate myself.
My greatest business success is:
Being in business for 18 years and being successful year on year.
The key to being a successful small business owner is:
My top tip for entrepreneurs is:
You can get advice from business coaches and your local business community and I’ve always found most people are willing to help, but don’t forget to listen to your instincts.
My top money-saving tip is:
Shop around. For utilities, for insurance, for business banking. And check regularly to make sure you’re still getting the best deal.
The business headline I would most like to see is:
‘VAT rate cut to 15%.. VAT is a killer, especially having risen to 20%.
If I wasn’t answering these questions I would be:
Having lunch! It’s gone 5pm and I’m only just now getting to eat as it’s been so busy.
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
"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
EXCELLENT CUSTOMER SERVICE
"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