What was your first job after leaving school/further education?
My first job after graduating was a commercial underwriting assistant for CGU Insurance. I found it difficult and boring and wanted to get out of insurance. Underwriting wasn?t for me.
When did you start your business & what prompted you to do it?
I started SKB Risk in July 2012. Prior to this, I had a good insurance career in the broking sector but a couple of things niggled me whilst working for other companies. I didn?t feel in control of my own destiny and also felt I could look after clients in a much better way by having my own brokerage.
?What did you find most challenging at the beginning?
The realization that I had to build the business from scratch with very few previously known clients to bring over.
?Who did you ask for advice & why did you choose them?
My family. They know me better than anyone.
How did you fund your business?
I set up using some savings and kept all costs to a minimum. Started out in a spare room, bought second hand office furniture, invested in a good computer system and my husband set up the IT/phone systems, website and designed the business logo.
What would you do differently now looking back?
I would have been out networking more at the start. It would have been the quickest way to get the company name out there.
What or who has helped you to grow your business the most?
My husband and daughter. I would not be here without their support and faith in me. My husband James is my rock. My daughter, Navpreet still writes little notes of encouragement and leaves them on my desk. They have never complained with me coming home late after meetings or working long hours.
?What have been the biggest challenges you’ve faced?
The competition and aggressive nature of the commercial insurance industry.
?What are the future plans for your business?
Steady growth over the next 10 years. A new office with more staff within the next 2 years.
?What advice would you give to anyone wanting to set up their own business?
If having your own business means that much to you then find a way around all of the obstacles and never give up, no matter how hard it gets.
?Tell us something about you that isn’t commonly known.
I want to write an inspirational book to help other people.
?And finally, why did you join WeDO?
I would like to be part of a business group and not just another networking group. I would like to contribute to other businesses by way of referrals and support based on my own experiences.