Each year, I make it a priority and compulsory activity for all of my team to get away from the office for what we refer to as our Away Days. This year, I was delighted to bring the team to the town where I grew up, Enniskillen, where we collectively looked back on a successful last 12 months and began to discuss how we can realise our ambitions for the future.
Each year, we invest in a range of team building and skills development courses, but this year was special in that it was the 10th year of the programme. It was particularly exciting to introduce my team to MP Michelle Gildernew who really helped communicate how important a role we as financial advisors play in supporting the businesses that impact on our economy.
I could tell that her words left an impact as she reminded us that entrepreneurs need our support not only to establish their businesses but to grow and go on to create employment opportunities. SMEs and owner-managed businesses are the backbone of the local economy here in Northern Ireland, but it is easy to forget amid the hustle and bustle of day-to-day operations just how positive an impact they have on communities.
Our clients seek growth, and with growth comes job creation which is critical to help support an often-beleaguered local economy. By representing our clients and imparting sound advice, we support businesses to succeed. It comes with its challenges, and Michelle helped us remember why we do we what we do. She reinvigorated us after what has been a challenging year supporting our clients to navigate issues including rising operational costs, the ongoing fallout from Brexit, and punitive changes in taxation.
During some downtime I stepped out between sessions at Enniskillen Castle and privately reflected on how fortunate I am to work with such a talented team. Last year, we announced ambitious expansion plans to support various departments across the business that service our growing client base, and that simply would not have been possible if we didn’t have the right team in place.
I thought about the business’s potential and feel satisfied that we remain geared to offer the best possible support and guidance to owner managed businesses. I know circumstances will change – and with that will come the requirement for analytical understanding and intuitive expertise – I also know our clients have come to expect this of us.
I established this business more than a decade ago and, as I say, for almost all of that time I have been running these Away Days. I firmly believe that getting together in a different setting from time-to-time harnesses teamwork and unlocks potential. We get the opportunity to connect in a meaningful way with one another so we can continue to learn new skills, brainstorm solutions and motivate each another.
I take my responsibility to my team very seriously and believe that a key part of how we learn and grow together is looking back to look ahead.
Ross is the founder and director of RBCA, a chartered accountancy established in 2010. It offers proactive advice and consultancy to support privately owned businesses and the public sector across the UK and Ireland. For more information visit rbca.co