Melber Flinn

Melber Flinn turns 5 (part 2)


Part 2 of the Q&A blog, to mark Melber Flinn’s 5th birthday!


If you suddenly had to retrain (as your job was no longer viable in the style of Fatima the Ballet dancer) what would you be? (see link below)

So I have actually had a go at this. It doesn’t seem to really pinpoint some options, but maybe I was being a little too cautious with my answers. Business and Finance seemed to have the most career options as a sector, but close behind was science and research and the first suggested job in this industry was an Astronomer. Recruiter to astronomer? Of course, makes perfect sense!


If you found out an employee was using the company credit card for personal use, effectively defrauding the company for circa £800 would that employee still be your favourite just because they can add up?

Yes I would. Completely hypothetical of course, but if that same employee spotted their mistake, instantly fixed it, paid the money back and sent me a long explanatory / apologetic email then it would almost be as if it never happened. To encourage them to stay at Melber Flinn I might also gently suggest that any attempt by them to find another job would be thwarted by me declaring their fraud in a reference.


What is your favourite item of confectionery?

Really tough this one. I’d walk over hot coals for a Marks and Spencer chocolate flapjack. Does that count? If not and we’re talking more traditional confectionary Ill go with a kit kat chunky.


What has been the biggest challenge to your business over the past 5 years

a.      Your first year of trading

b.      Introduction of IR35 assessment

c.      Coronavirus

Ive been given some options here which is convenient. Of those Id pick the first year of trading, we actually did quite well, but it’s the anxiety that made it difficult. Growth felt precarious and I was constantly distracted by the other administrative tasks of running a business. Kathryn and I remain scarred by our early attempts to manage the finances and accounting of Melber Flinn. IR35 wasn’t really a challenge per se, it was in terms of having to amend contracts, and understand different engagement options and how to process those, but if anything it became an opportunity, I inadvertently immersed myself in IR35, and began to blog about it, to the point where lots of people were seeking my advice on it. I’ve never really been an expert on anything so that was a nice position to be in.


Where do you envision the business to be in 5 years’ time?

I should have a better answer for this. When we started I envisioned doing 5 years, because I spent 5 years with my previous employer building a health practice, and so that seemed an appropriate chunk of time over which to plan growth. Now we are at the five year point I’m trying to evaluate what the next five years should look like. In most ways Melber Flinn is where I want it to be, we have a great team, a strong brand, and consistent performance. We are small but we operate in a niche market, there is a limit to how big we could get. We could diversify into other services or markets but to do so carries inherent risk, there is probably stronger appeal in sticking to what we are good at.


Who is your favourite employee?

Mary French, our company accountant.


As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

The very first job I remember wanting to have was a shopkeeper. At five I didn’t really understand that the shopkeeper has to buy the goods they sell, aswell as pay for other overheads, I just saw people giving them money and thought that would be a great job to have! In later years I wanted to be a sports professional, DJ, briefly an accountant, before I finally settled on recruitment.


What is your dream job?

It would be something running related, I’ve always thought I’d love to organise races and events. Do something you live and you’ll never have to work a day in your life!


What have you learnt about yourself during lockdown?

I miss contact with people. I used to spend 2-3 days out on the road, and actually pre Covid I preferred my days in the office, as they would be less stressful and I would catch up with workload. But since March I have not been going out for meetings, hospitals heavily restrict visitors now, and rightly so. But I’ve really missed catching up with people, and developing relationships, I’d give a lot right now for a crap cup of tea in a hospital canteen.


I have learned plenty about my family aswell. My son believes my job is “Global President – Wifi signal”. I am apparently directly responsible for the strength of wifi in his room, and if his game is glitching, I’m expected to do something about it. I’ve also discovered my kids have no appreciation of the cost or environmental impact of electricity consumption. I’ve resorted to telling them every time they leave their bedroom lights on, baby turtles are dying. Its not making much difference to their habits, I maybe need to pick another animal, something cuter.


Who is your favourite cartoon character?

Has to be Homer Simpson. So many quotes.


If animals could talk, which species would be the rudest of them all?

Geese I reckon. Grumpy buggers geese.


Who would you rather spend 24 hours with

a.      Matt Hancock

b.      Boris Johnson

c.      Rishi Sunak

Boris I reckon for his pure entertainment value.. I couldn’t talk shop with Matt, and a conversation with Rishi might get a bit technical.


What is your most treasured material possession?

Great question! I forgot who asked this one? It has to be my iPhone. If my wife asks, its my wedding ring.

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