Jo & Anthony The Kitchen & Indulgence
Interviewer: We would like to welcome Jo and Anthony from Indulgence and The Kitchen, Farnborough, on to the Red Sofa. To get us started, would you like to tell us a bit about Indulgence?
Jo & Anthony: Indulgence Boutique Hospitality is an event catering company. But besides all the corporate events we did last year, we actually did 150 weddings too. We also have another business, our restaurant, The Kitchen. Both businesses have been operating for over 15 years. So we’ve been around a while!
Interviewer: Can you tell us why you chose to work with Roger and the team at Essendon, and what differences this has made to your business?
Jo & Anthony: Put simply… we hate accounts! Doing ‘the books’ has been a big learning curve for us. We’re naturally creative, so the finer details of accounts has always been hard for us. We make the magic. What we need is people associated with our business to bring the detail and mechanics to it to make that work. Someone who can cross the ‘Ts’ and dot the ‘Is’ and add up more than two and two. It can take time to find the right people, though. We’ve worked with 3 different accountants over the years. But Roger and the Essendon team deliver on every level in ways the other firms didn’t. In the past we were chased for information for accounts and then simply told if we’d had a good year or a bad year; at which point, it’s far too late to do anything about the year that’s gone by. The best thing about working with Essendon has been that we now have monthly planning meetings and feel much more in control of the accounts, despite the daunting nature of running seasonal businesses.
Interviewer: As part of the service you receive from Essendon, you are given insight into future trends and possible cost increases such as inflation. What benefits do you take from this?
Jo & Anthony: It’s really helpful to have someone paying attention to what’s going on, like changes in legislation etc., changing trends. We need someone whispering in our ear, “Be prepared for this. It may have an effect on your business if you don’t do something about it”. What’s crucial is that we’re much more in control of forward planning now. The biggest thing has been finding out where we’re profitable and where we’re not profitable, so we can move in the direction for being more profitable; before we were pretty much just putting a finger in the air and going with it.
Interviewer: Running a family business must have its highs and lows. Are you able to discuss how Essendon helps to relieve stress and tension to avoid taking the problems home with you?
Jo & Anthony: Totally! It’s like having a business godparent. We can share highs and lows with him, phone him up in a panic. It’s his genuine interest in our business that we really value. Roger always puts things in perspective and saves us worry. Cashflow is significant for us, and Roger will put our minds at rest because he knows how things work for us. He can see the long term and the short term, and give us guidance on what needs to be done to stay on track. You could say that Roger acts as a Financial Director of the company. And this in turn helps us look more professional, and even larger, to other businesses, so they take us more seriously.
Interviewer: There are people out there maybe thinking about changing accountants or who want to start up a new business. What advice would you give them when looking for an accountant?
Jo & Anthony: We wish we’d met Roger when we’d started the businesses; he’s even helped us pick the best candidate for our in-house accountant when we’ve needed his input! But is it daunting changing accountants? Yes. And it was important we found the right person. However, the team at Essendon made the transition very smooth. They did all the hard work.
To view the full interview and hear more about Jo and Anthony’s interesting take on running a business, and the benefits they’ve enjoyed having Roger and the team at Essendon working hard on their behalf behind the scenes, scan the QR code above.
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