Christmas Q&A with James Baird

James Baird
By James Baird
Group CEO, James, gives his thoughts and reflects on the last 12 months.
Christmas Q&A with James Baird

Your business

1. What were the three biggest highlights for your business in 2016?

Hitting our growth target for the year six months early was a real highlight, and a testament to the hard work of the whole team. Working closely with St Gemma's Hospice to help them raise funds has been another highlight, as has our partnership with Leeds Rhinos Foundation. They do fantastic work in the local community, and it’s been great to support that work as a Friend of the Foundation.

2. What are your business’ goals going into 2017?

Continued growth. We’ve got a strong team in place, which means we’re well positioned to build on what we’ve achieved this year. We’re aiming for 100% growth in 2017, but not at the expense of customer service, which is why we’ve invested heavily in getting the right people in the team and working well together.

3. Anything you/your business would have done differently over the past year?

I would have taken more holidays. No matter how busy you are, it's important to take time to recharge your batteries. I haven't done enough of that this year.

Your region

1. Why do you think Yorkshire is a great place to do business?

There are so many forward-looking businesses in lots of different sectors who are driving the regional economy forward and really putting Yorkshire on the map. We’re seeing a lot of inward investment, particularly in the property sector with student and office accommodation, and businesses relocating or opening offices here. That’s not just great for our business, it’s also fantastic for the regional economy as a whole.

2. Any other company/companies in the region stand out for you?

Parklane Group stands out to me as one to watch in the region; a well-established business with a forward thinking approach.

3. What does Yorkshire want to see happen in the future/next year?

The speedy implementation of flood defence work to protect homes and businesses in and around Leeds. We saw so many suffer irreparable damage in the aftermath of last year’s Boxing Day floods. Many businesses have never recovered, and I wouldn't want to see that happen again.

Yourself

1. What individual goals did you achieve personally/professionally in 2016?

It wasn’t a goal per se, but being shortlisted in the 2016 Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year awards was both a surprise and an honour. 

2. How do you unwind after a stressful day at work?

My feet have hardly touched the ground this year and, while running a fast growing business is very rewarding, it can certainly be demanding! I rarely wind down, but watching my son play football gives me something other than the business to focus on for a while.

3. What would be the perfect Christmas gift for you?

The gift of time travel. At the minute there just aren’t enough hours in the day!

 

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