Tell us a little bit about your business – when it started etc:
Reynolds was established in 1867 and is still run and owned by direct descendants of Samuel Reynolds the founder. We have a furniture shop in Bognor Regis and three funeral offices in Bognor, Chichester and Littlehampton. We also have a storage facility in Bognor Regis. I run the company with my brothers Dominic, James, my twin Stephen and my niece Freya.
What does a normal day consist of/look like for you:
No two days are the same, but I always start my day reviewing the previous days figures and checking on the daily status of the business and make sure everything is running smoothly. Depending on what time of the month it is I could be doing VAT returns, month end reporting, payroll, debt chasing and other financial tasks. I also manage the property development which could include talking to surveyors and contractors but I always make time to discuss the latest football results with my colleagues.
What do you love about where you are based?
I grew up in Bognor and I love the town and surrounding areas. We are so lucky to live near a beach and I regularly enjoy walks along the promenade with my cockapoo Betsy. I am the Vice Chairman of the Bognor Regis BID and passionate about improving the town centre for all businesses to strive and be successful.
What have been some of your biggest challenges during the global pandemic?
The immediate period prior to lockdown was the biggest challenge for the furniture store – footfall just fell away and sales dried up. We were looking into the unknown and it was scary! The government assistance, job retention scheme and suspension of business rates all helped during this period and thankfully we have experienced strong demand since reopening after lockdown.
The provision of our funeral service has also been particularly challenging during this time due to constantly changing regulations and restrictions on funeral attendees and services. Despite this I’m proud of the way we have adapted and continue to serve our customers during this difficult period.
Do you have any future goals for the business or things you are looking forward to as life returns to normal (whenever that will be!)?
In the future we want the business to continue to grow and adapt to changing times as we have done throughout our long history. We are aware we are only custodians of our family business and are therefore keen to get the next generation involved so that they can carry on the story. My niece Freya is already celebrating 10 years with the company and my son Alfie and my niece Rebecca recently began working here so it’s exciting times.
How have Blue Spire helped you with your business:
Reynolds have had a long relationship with Blue Spire. We are, I believe, their oldest client and for over 30 years they have helped Reynolds to grow and prosper. They have been by our side and counselled the company during good and bad times. They carry out their audits and tax returns efficiently and without fuss. More importantly they always give us sound business advice and add a different perspective on financial decisions.