In early 2018 Commercial Expert Ltd added an Appointed Representative to our team, to raise our profile in Leeds and its surrounding areas, and provide our transparent advice and bespoke solutions to businesses in Yorkshire in need of alternative forms of business finance.
Now revisiting our ambitious growth plan, we’ve taken the opportunity to reflect on our year in Leeds and grab 5 minutes with James Gwynne, our Appointed Representative there who has created an impressively strong business network.
Read on, or download the interview in PDF format here.
James, have you achieved what you set out to when Commercial Expert planned to expand into Leeds?
Yes! We intended to increase the visibility of the brand and gain respect and introductions in a crowded Leeds market, and have most definitely achieved this. We are winning business from other brokers due to our service levels and ability to create solutions to business finance problems.
What was the industry like at that time?
Competitive! Leeds is probably the most competitive finance market outside of London with many brokers, funders and specialists operating in a relatively small area.
What have you seen change (industry-wise) in the last year?
New funders and propositions are arriving all the time and keeping abreast of them is one of the challenges of a truly independent broker.
What has been your biggest challenge?
Increasing Commercial Expert’s footprint and cracking a busy market with many highly respected competitors.
And the biggest achievement?
Ending our first 12 months with 2 big deals – in terms of both amount of loan, and profile of client – along with establishing a highly regarded monthly professionals networking event.
Why do you think Commercial Expert is a good fit with Leeds businesses?
Integrity, transparency and our ability to find a solution to complex funding requirements.
What advice would you give to Leeds businesses?
Don’t let factors out of your control influence your business. Take a good look at yourself and decide if further investment will enable you to grow in a profitable way. If you decide to seek investment then Commercial Expert and our vast network of lenders will be able to assist.
What has been your personal learning?
I don’t have all the answers in my own business. I have learned to take input and insight from others I trust and who have seen/done it before.
What do you see for Commercial Expert in the year ahead?
Continued and significant growth both in our lending and our people. We have a number of opportunities in the pipeline which will require us to carefully recruit talented people to serve the increased client base we are expecting.
Mike Coates, our MD, adds:
“Our experience in Leeds is leading us onto further increasing our Northern footprint, and therefore the business advisory team. Geographically, Newcastle is Commercial Expert’s next major focus. There, we will be introducing a service driven by technology but keeping the all important personal touch.”
Watch this space for updates, or return to the news page for details of the high profile deals mentioned above.