Meet the MD: Neil Atkinson of Deminos

Meet the MD: Neil Atkinson of Deminos

Aside from being the managing director of Gateshead-headquartered HR and employment law firm Deminos, Neil Atkinson is also a part time 'Dad's Taxi' and a car fanatic. BQ caught up with him to see what it's like at the helm of the firm.

What is it you do?

I run Deminos with my wife, Louise. As a fellow of the CIPD she takes care of all advice, support and legal matters. My job is working with marketing and sales.

 

What is it the company does? 

HR and Employment Law advice and guidance for managers and business owners. We cover it all, from recruitment to dismissal and everything in between.

 

What do you believe makes a great leader? 

Build a team of people that are far better than you and then let then get on with it!

 

What has been your biggest challenge in your current position? 

In the early days I spent my life on the M1, away in London and the South for most of the week. It was tiring both mentally and physically to be away from home and my family.

 

How do you alleviate the stress that comes with your job? 

I spend quite a bit of time as Dad’s taxi, taking my girls around the North East, but when I get time off I enjoy nothing more than track days at Croft, Donnington, Silverstone, and the Nuremberg. It doesn’t leave much time for worrying!

 

When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up? 

I have always been fascinated by electronics and computers, I was always eager for my dad to bring his Apple II home from work in my school years, so I could have been a young games designer or electronics engineer if I had been a bit brighter!

 

Any pet hates in the workplace? 

Negativity and moaning.

 

Where do you see the company in five years time? 

We have a fantastic team of advisors so I see us expanding, taking on a lot more clients. We are also expanding the training courses we offer, particularly in the Employment Law area.

 

What advice would you give to an aspiring business leader? 

I love the startup phase of a business, a blank sheet of paper, where you can do anything.

You also have to do everything yourself; sales, marketing, finance, admin, making the coffee.

It’s invigorating and life affirming, as well as hugely rewarding to see all you achieve in a small space of time.

 

Where did you start your career? 

The only proper job I’ve ever had has been 4 weeks as a car mechanic when I was 16. The last recession in ’91 meant I couldn’t get a job, so I was driven into self-employment, without a doubt the best thing that has ever happened.

 

Give us a brief timeline of your career so far. 

1989: Scraped a 2:2 in Biology and from Reading University

1991 – 1995: Ran Mac Connect

1996 – 2007: Ran Give Way Maps

2007 – Present: Deminos.