Phil Anderson set up his own financial services company after being made redundant, and describes it as one of the best things to ever happen to him. He chatted to BQ to talk about running a business and his plans for the future.
Describe your role in no more than 100 words.
As managing director of Phil Anderson Financial Services, I am involved with running the business and actively promoting it to new and relevant markets. I also make sure that the financial and mortgage advisers are all kept busy and have plenty of leads to deal with. The day-to-day running of the company is dealt with by our office manager and my role is now more focused on supervising the advisers, along with making key decisions for the business.
What is it the company does?
Phil Anderson Financial Services is an independent financial advisers, so we offer advice to individuals on pensions, investments and mortgages, as well as providing businesses with workplace pension advice and corporate financial planning. We provide home visits to all of our clients and have offices in Aberdeen city centre, Ellon in Aberdeenshire, and Caithness in the north of Scotland.
What do you believe makes a great leader?
Someone who realises how important relationship building is, as if you build the right team and have the best people around you it makes working life much easier. Good communication skills are essential for any great leader, plus it helps to gain the trust and respect of others around you.
What has been your biggest challenge in your current position?
Finding the right premises for our Ellon office, although I am a great believer in the law of attraction and that things will happen when they are meant to. At the moment, we’re still comfortable with our current office, so I’m just going to wait for the right property to come along.
How do you alleviate the stress that comes with your job?
I like to go swimming and to the gym in my spare time, as they’re both great ways to keep fit and combat stress. The past three years I’ve swam 22-miles to raise money for Diabetes UK and Aspire, so it helps that I swim regularly throughout the year. I also love spending time with my five boys, who are aged between three and 12. They all know how to keep me busy and this always takes my mind off work.
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Believe it or not, I wanted to be a stockbroker. When I was in primary school there was a project on different career options and, at the time, becoming a stockbroker was the job that people could make the most money doing.
Any pet hates in the workplace?
It annoys me when people turn up late for meetings. I think it shows a lack of respect to turn up late, especially if they don’t call or email to say they might be held up.
Where do you see the company in five years’ time?
At the moment we have nine staff covering Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and Caithness. I would like to see this figure doubled in five years, along with opening another office in Fraserburgh or Peterhead.
What advice would you give to an aspiring business leader?
An important piece of advice would be to never give up. In the early years it is very easy to wonder if it will all be worth it and if your investments will pay off. I would advise to get a business coach and to just keep going, as it will all be worth it once you reach your goal. If I can be successful, then anyone can.
Where did you start your career?
I started as a customer adviser with the Skipton Building Society, which involved serving clients who came in with their passbooks. The biggest problem for me at the time was that I didn’t know what I wanted to do, even though I really enjoyed my role. I ended up working hard over the years and started to make my way up the career ladder.
Give us a brief timeline of your career so far.
I have been in financial services for almost 20 years now. Most of this time has been as a financial/mortgage adviser, but I would now describe my current role as a business owner. I set up Phil Anderson Financial Services after being made redundant and it turned out to be one of the best things to ever happen to me.
Before I was made redundant, I never had the bottle to go out on my own, so this provided me with motivation to do well and prove people wrong. Now I take every second week off to look after my children and I have succeeded in my goal of building a profitable business that can run with a great team around me.