THE INTERVIEW: We are delighted to share your knowledge, experience & insights with the GallantCEO audience.
Let’s begin with a little introduction…
Tell our audience a bit about yourself and your company.
I am the founder, CEO, and Managing director of Forweston Consultancy & Management
. I have over 16 years of in-depth experience in sales, marketing, business development, human resources, management, crisis management, and customer service. For many years I was running weekly sales, tutorial, and motivational meetings. During my years in the business, I have built, developed and run very productive sales teams for various companies and financial brokers, rapidly increasing revenue, quality of business and client database. I have experience working in four countries – the Republic of Ireland, Scotland, and Spain and now my business is based in the UK. I was very successful in business and helping clients.
More and more people started contacting me asking for help in different areas, hence, I have made a decision to set up a consulting company with a considerable range of various services. We are doing well and have many satisfied clients, mainly 5-star reviews as our business is dedicated to helping people and making their life easier. Our company is helping people to solve many of their daily issues. Some areas of our business: UK visas, income protection, occupational pension schemes, mortgages and re-mortgages, issues with employers, landlord disputes, and many more. We help many vulnerable clients, for whom English is not their first language, as well as locals. Many people face problems due to the language barrier or not knowing how the UK financial system works.
2021 and 2022 has been a tough year for business around the globe.
In your experience can you share…
How businesses prosper in 2023?
You always have to think ahead, have a plan B, think about tomorrow today, precisely analyse employee performance, have spare assets should the income of the company drop, think outside the box, look for new partners, new ideas, and new sources of alternative income to keep your company afloat.
I also learned how to make business easier by meeting my potential clients via Zoom or Teams. It was a very good lesson. Currently, half of my business is done via video consultations. That is what I have learned during 2021 and 2022. For 2023 we have added new services provided by our company, we had to increase our fees, we employed a few extra people, and we have found and work tightly with our new partners; all these measures will increase the company income in 2023. We do lots of live streams and webinars which cuts our expenses but increases our profit. Two of our employees are studying to gain more knowledge of how to operate online. One of them is on the Digital Marketing course, which will give us more opportunities to make the most of our company`s online presence. We are going to open an office with multilingual staff to be able to help as many people as we can. Our motto is – WE KNOW HOW. ONE CALL, THAT`S ALL!
The economy has been turned on its head in the wake of the pandemic.
What should businesses focus on in 2023?
In my mind, businesses should be focusing on the income and expenditure of the company. Review and cut unnecessary expenses, and increase their fees as the current inflation rate is 6.1%. Moreover, companies should analyse the experience and mistakes of 2022 and avoid doing the same mistakes in 2023.
Our rule is – today we avoid making yesterday`s mistakes; if you keep doing the same, but expect a different result, it will never happen. Another suggestion is to precisely consider the company`s budget for 2023, try to utilise additional digital means, review the client database as more business can be done through existing clients, staff development, saving or investing as much as possible, prepare a “Financial Pillow“ as I call it, try to do a staff meeting at least twice a week to analyse performance and how to attract more clients. Always look for new ideas and new opportunities.
Business is slowly recovering and overall trendlines are positive for this year. The outlook should be acting short term but thinking long term. A crisis might be beneficial sometimes to reconsider your performance and mistakes.
Many businesses went from working in the office to working at home.
What are the pros & cons of working from home?
The pros are – the company is cutting expenses as people work from home, so there is no need to pay for the office premises. Employees cut travelling expenses and time; they work in the comfort of their own home. The environment benefits as well as many of the employees were using vehicles to go to work. You can meet more clients working from home online as there is no travel involved to meet them. Many people learned how to use Zoom or Teams to meet potential customers.
The cons – many of the office building owners suffered dramatically as lots of office spaces are empty. Office owners are losing lots of money but have to pay back mortgages to the bank. Management has less control over staff compared to the office. Many people are more sedentary as they can work from home, and some do this without even getting out of bed. Some workers can suffer mentally as there is less socializing.
The war between Russia and Ukraine has caused a rising effect on inflation!
How can business owners combat the rise of inflation?
As mentioned above, I suggest considering the company`s expenditure and income to cut some unnecessary expenses. Some business owners can opt for hybrid working, hence they would save a decent amount of money per year avoiding office costs. Precisely analyze the performance of each employee to see, if they bring enough value to the business.
Raise the fees. Employers could increase salaries to help their employees. Also, a bonus system might be worked out just to help the staff fight inflation. If a company has some spare money it should be invested in different funds, bonds, or gilts. Rigorously manage the company`s cash flow. Consider the budget for 2023 and plan for tax. Look for new ideas and new business partners to increase revenue.
In the last 5 years, we have seen the rise of Cryptocurrency, Blockchain, NFTs, Digital Marketing, and many more!
What do you think will impact the world most in regards to online selling?
Online selling is a very powerful tool. In similar businesses to mine, you can make more money selling online as you do not have to travel to meet your client. You save time, money, and energy, especially for driving. During the Pandemic I also learned how you can work and sell online efficiently using Teams or Zoom. As I have mentioned above, after the Pandemic our company does half of the selling and other services online. More and more people go for online selling. Online selling opens the doors to a global audience and expansive advertising. Be active and work on LinkedIn as it is an excellent platform for meeting new clients, business partners or even finding inspiration for new ideas for your business. I do not have a lot of faith in Cryptocurrency, Blockchain, etc.
On a more subtle note…
If you could have dinner with three people, dead or alive who would it be and why?
1) Grigori Perelman – a mathematical genius who solved one of the 7 Millennium Prize Problems. He had solved POINCARE CONJECTURE. He was awarded many awards but did not accept any of them. I would love to have dinner with such a genius as I would like to know how he solved one of the 7 Millennium Prize Problems and how he arrived at the solution.
2) Nikola Tesla – Serbian-American genius who was ahead of his time with his inventions. One of the questions I would ask is about the mystery of Tunguska event, how he managed to transfer electricity over such a long distance, how he made a car drive with no fuel, and many more.
3) Arthur Schopenhauer – German philosopher. I like German philosophy and I would like to discuss his thoughts on our world and other philosophical topics.
Reading is still one of the most popular ways to learn anything.
What is your most recommended book(s)?
My favourite novel is -The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov. I learned a lot from it about good and evil. The devil manifested as Professor Woland, challenges the Soviet Union citizens` beliefs towards religion and condemns their behaviour throughout the book. The book shows a consistent confrontation between dark forces and good forces. I love it because the book combines supernatural elements with satirical dark comedy and Christian philosophy.
What is your purpose for getting out of bed each day and what do you aim to achieve in the future?
I wake up early every day intending to develop myself, my company and achieve excellent results. Every morning I am working on myself, meditation, stretching, and other physical exercises. I am working hard to be stronger, smarter, and healthy. Me and my team are all working hard hoping that someday we can become an international company. Success is the only option we have.