I started in business in 1985. Having worked and qualified in the insurance sector in Loughborough at the time that was my focus at first, but we evolved into personal financial planning.

I had been interested in helping people with their personal finances for a long time beforehand and thought I’d aim to do it as a professional practice. We’ve been in the current location, near the centre of Loughborough in a historical site, since 1991.

My business revolves around asking people questions, not just about their personal finances but where they want to go in life – and then helping them to get there using the resources that they’ve got. That means building a plan that looks into the future, which involves money and investment strategies but also a strain of personal coaching. I’ve realised that being an effective financial planner is about guiding and managing an individual’s behaviour as much as it’s about making good financial decisions.

What we do is important because a person’s well-being affects every aspect of their life, and money is a huge part of that. In a sense, you are giving people the ability to fulfil their dreams, and it’s hugely rewarding to work alongside people who have achieved things they never thought possible by following an established process.

We have a team of around fifty and we’ll turn over about five million pounds this year. When we need to hire, we usually get new staff through employment agencies. It’s not nice having to pay the recruitment fees, but we’re too big to get everyone we need through referral and not big enough yet to spend staff time and resource trying to recruit without the middle man. It’s important to find a good agency that works for and with you. Most people in the East Midlands have cars, so you can get people from a relatively large catchment area, although remote working has widened the net massively.

We are always looking at how we can develop and improve our services, and we have a plan to double our turnover within the next few years. We’ve assembled a great team over the years that have helped me build the business and feel optimistic about our own financial future. It’s been an enjoyable journey and a great career.