Our,’ Ten Minutes With,’ series of interviews gives businesses the opportunity to tell us how they’ve adapted in response to the Covid-19 crisis, what their experiences have been and as we continue to live alongside the virus and changing restrictions, what their plans are for business in the future.
This week we’re talking to golf lover and Gatewood Commercial Finance Limited owner Matt Fludgate, a dad of one who lives in the Staffordshire Moorlands.
Describe yourself in five words
- Southern – I’m from Aylesbury originally!
Tell us about your business?
Gatewood Commercial Finance Limited is essentially a commercial finance brokerage, with the aim of saving clients time, money and stress.
I help clients get the best financial deals, whether that’s supporting businesses with development finance, commercial mortgages, asset finance, invoice finance, working capital, VAT/HMRC or CBILS help.
What did you do before launching your business?
I’ve always worked in invoice finance and have worked for a number of global finance companies. I left to set up my own brokerage and we’re celebrating the company’s third birthday this month (November).
What’s the first thing you ordered on-line during the first lockdown?
I’d love to say it was something exciting, but it was a ton of topsoil and 52 rolls of turf, so I spent two weeks during lockdown digging up the garden and laying turf. I won’t be doing that again anytime soon!
How did you cope in the first lockdown?
I work from home anyway and I like my own company, so nothing really changed on that front!! My partner Jayne worked on the Covid ward at her hospital so I saw first-hand how tough it was on the front-line.
In terms of business, lenders shut up shop so much of my time was supporting my clients rather than arranging finance packages.
Are you going to do anything differently?
I spent a lot of time during lockdown networking and getting to know other lenders better which has definitely formed some good relationships. I think enhancing those relationships will only benefit clients by ensuring they have access to more choice.
Have you learnt anything about yourself because of Covid?
At 43 I think I know myself pretty well but one thing I do know is that I need to improve my golf swing!
What are your plans for the future?
I want to make sure I retain the high levels of service each client gets from me. There’s a certain level of turnover I would like to achieve but for me it’s more about having a nice lifestyle and a good work, life balance.
As long as I have quality time with my daughter, my partner and I get to play golf I’ll be happy.
And finally, what was your dream job when you were at school?
My dream was always to be a professional cricketer. I played junior county cricket but a serious back injury ended my chances of making it professionally. I was devastated at the time, but as you get older, you realise things like that are just one of those things and you just have to get on with it! I was still lucky to play against players like Kevin Pietersen and Ian Bell as an adult.
If you’d like to be one of our, ‘Ten Minutes With,’ interviewees find out more by dropping us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org