Meet Nick Carter (our business management consultant)
1. Tell us a little about your career so far
I started work as an Assistant Accountant for a family controlled engineering consumables company in 1982. I developed my career within the LP Gas division of the business and was appointed Managing Director in 1998. In 2008 during the banking crisis, I completed an MBO to acquire the LP Gas trading division from my employer and create a NEWCO. The business was developed significantly and traded successfully for 7 years, I then sold the Off-Grid energy business as a trade sale to the UK subsidiary of a large US energy group. Following the sale of the business I became an investor in Trade and Export Finance Limited (TAEFL)
2. What did you want to do when you were little?
When I was young I wanted to be a professional footballer or singer. I went on to play football and cricket at a good standard (in my opinion!) and was a singer in a band, performing every week in clubs around the West Midlands region.
3. What was it about TAEFL that attracted you to the company?
I enjoy working in an SME environment and felt that there were good opportunities for growth at TAEFL. I also believed that I could have a positive impact on the business, with my experience and key skills I hope to be able to make a difference.
4. Who is your role model and why?
My former MD was a role model/mentor to me, he had a very positive outlook on life, was a good communicator and people person. He had excellent ability in identifying opportunities and would adopt a partnership approach to business development where possible.
5. How are you finding being part of a small company?
I am enjoying being part of the TAEFL team and helping to shape the company’s future. I have been given great support from the team, sharing their knowledge and experience in what is a completely new area to me.
6. What were some of challenges of being an MD?
As an owner MD in the early days of the MBO, the biggest challenge for me was to see that we managed the cash flow of the business to ensure we were able to meet our commitments and obligations to build our credibility. The most difficult aspect of my job moving forward was in managing people and their expectations, something that most MD’s of SME companies can no doubt agree with and relate to.
7. What would you say is your biggest achievement to date?
My biggest overall achievement to date is in being involved in raising two sons (of whom I am very proud!). In terms of business achievements, being able to raise the finance by convincing the bank to lend me sufficient money to support the MBO and set up Lister Gases Limited. The subsequent extensive shaping and development of the business into one of, if not the most sought after Independent companies in the Off-Grid LP Gas sector game me a great sense of achievement.
8. If you were a superhero, what would your superpower be?
If I was a superhero I would want my super power to be, that I could bring peace and harmony to society, our country and make the world a safer place both now and for future generations.
9. What advice would you give to someone younger starting their career?
Set yourself short term goals for your career and improve your skills and knowledge constantly through training. Learn at least one additional language as these skills are important and will be more important in the years ahead. Be ambitious and keep looking for opportunities to progress and enjoy job satisfaction. There is nothing better than being able to work for yourself, therefore if the right opportunity becomes available, grab it with both hands and give it your best shot.