I got my first taste of self-employment while studying at Queen’s University Belfast in the early 1980s. Even then I wanted to work for myself; so while other students were pulling pints to pay their bills, I was running a painting and decorating business.
After finishing university, I went into business full-time in 1987 opening one of Belfast’s first pizza takeaway and delivery businesses and running it successfully for 14 years. In 2001, I became the Northern Ireland sales agent for a UK business membership organisation. Over the next 12 years I met with and spoke to over 10,000 business owners, listening to their business challenges and problems and bringing them effective solutions to support their business.
Helping businesses with 'peace of mind' benefits such as, Health and Safety, Employment Law, Tax Legislation, Auto-Enrolment and other compliance issues is the foundation of what we do and where I find business owners have the most concerns and challenges. But having been a business owner myself, I saw that there was also a need and a desire out there to add something more aspirational - how to get more business, how to educate, train and reward you team and how to make sure my business is successful.
A good business owner works hard to promote, sell and deliver their products or services to their customers but more and more recognise the need to spend precious time and money complying with today’s increasingly complex business environment.
That’s why in June 2014 I launched Business First Network. It gives business owners peace of mind that essential business legislation and compliance are being taken care of without it eating into their precious time and profits and because I wanted to give something back to entrepreneurs in the shape of events, masterclasses, workshops, networking and trading opportunities and the perks and treats of Membership Plus.
Deliver immediate access to essential business advice lines
Make all businesses compliance affordable and easy and protect them from detrimental prosecution and investigation
Save small businesses thousands of pounds
Grow a network of inspired, empowered and fulfilled business owners