To kick off our self-employed Saturday feature, we caught up with Nat, who recently purchased JCM Fine Joinery. Nat gave us an insight into the wonders of self-employment and why becoming your own boss is the way to go.
What made you decide to purchase a business?
I wanted to be my own boss again and truly make a difference.
What attracted you to this particular business?
I like manufacturing businesses. They are typically hard working, unloved and very important to the UK economy!
How long have you been self- employed? What do you like most about it?
I made my first foray into self-employment over 2 decades ago. It isn’t about working less by any means, but it is about feeling like you can exercise some modicum of control over what you do, how you do and perhaps more importantly why you do it. And it isn’t just about making money either. I think most self-employed people want to be self-employed because they genuinely care and think they can make a difference in whatever field they are in.
What advice would you give to people thinking about going down the self-employed route?
The best advice I had was a practical piece of advice. Get your financial affairs in order and have 6 months living costs and little extra for ‘emergencies’ put by. This should give you the cushion you need to step out on your own. I never had to dip in to my 6 month fund but it sure felt good knowing that I wasn’t going to be homeless if I didn’t succeed.
Why would you recommend buying a business rather than starting your own?
99.9% of businesses registered in the UK are small to medium sized businesses (we truly are a nation of shop keepers!) and a large proportion are owned by baby boomer owners. Baby boomers are the largest generational cohort. In short there are a lot of really good businesses out there. Many of them don’t have a clear succession path and the market for buyers is not as buoyant as it was. I would encourage anyone looking to leave a ‘job’ to think about buying a business. It does require some key change management skills and can be immediately rewarding. Just ensure you do VERY good due diligence!
What lessons have you learned from buying a business that you would pass on to others?
Three things; 1. build a relationship with the owner, 2. build a relationship with the business transfer agent and 3. build a relationship with the owner some more!
If you want to find out more about JCM Fine Joinery and what they do, visit their website or find them on Instagram (@jcmfinejoinery) or LinkedIn.