I founded my own design company specialising in the property sector over a decade ago. Things were going well until along with just about everyone else in the industry we hit the cliff in 2008. I had attended a business growth programme at Cranfield where it was recommended that the company had reached the stage where it needed a Finance Director. Someone else on the course mentioned Brian was doing that job for him and commended him highly. I knew Brian would be right for us the first time we met him and we haven’t looked back since!
Brian is like my right hand. He guided us through the turbulent waters when the recession really took hold and we had to perform some pretty horrible restructuring and refinancing. Emerging through the other end, Brian has been pivotal in our strategy of diversifying the business such that we now have a group of companies specialising in additional markets such as events and data in addition to the core design and marketing offerings. In Brian’s words, “You have to find something to productise to mitigate the reliance on a pure service offering”.
Although I feel his greatest value to me is that of being a sounding board as well as always proffering well thought through advice, it is he who has constantly evolved our financial and reporting systems. One thing I can always rest easy about is the knowledge that our financial and operating recording, reporting and strategy is timely, informative and accurate. He has also saved me oodles of tax in ways that I don’t always understand but rest easy in the knowledge that they’re sound and above board.
Our focus now is on building terminal value. We have long since cracked the profit and working capital nuts and hopefully this is our next exciting instalment. Brian has been the best recruitment decision I ever made!