Client Stories: D12 Fitness, Black Ox, Perfect Prep & Calon Lan

Dean and Janet

Interview with Dean Davies of D12 Fitness, The Black Ox, Perfect Prep & Calon Lan.

We caught up with client and serial entrepreneur Dean Davies to find out how LHP helped take his hospitality and leisure ventures to the next level all under one roof.

Tell us a bit about how it all came about.

I’m originally from Carmarthen, returning in my late twenties after working in Cardiff as a Senior Meter Operative for SWALEC. I saw a gap in the market for a gym here and decided to set up D12 Fitness in 2012.

I’ve got 4 businesses in the Carmarthen region. D12 Fitness, ‘not your typical gym’ with a barbers called Bangz Barber Shop set up inside it, The Black Ox , an award-winning gastro pub just outside Carmarthen; Perfect Prep, which delivers healthy meals straight to your door and Calon Lan, a cosy local independent café in Johnstown. I’m possibly one of the biggest Carmarthen town hospitality and leisure independents.

D12 Fitness has grown a lot over the years, and we’ve come through the other side since Covid. At its peak, D12’s gym enjoyed over a thousand members and 10 full time staff. At one point we had beauticians in there, but that’s gone since Covid, it may all return though as it’s really busy again.

The Black Ox pub I took on in 2016. I reinvented it as a gastro pub which worked a treat and I purchased the premises in 2020. It’s one of the busiest pubs in Carmarthen and was voted in the top 10 places to eat in Wales.

Perfect Prep I set up this year when I saw a gap in the market for healthy food home deliveries. I wanted to be the first to offer healthy meals in the region. Each meal has carefully counted macros and calories and I work with gyms as food partners. It’s growing fast and we now deliver as far down as Swansea and Pembs. Calon Lan café uses quality local ingredients – it’s not your run of the mill café. 

In all, I employ well over 50 staff in the area, I guess you could say I’m a serial entrepreneur.

What problem were you facing before LHP?

I was at the point where I needed more professional advice and needed to free up time when I approached LHP. I needed the right people to help me take things to the next level. I’d heard good things about LHP, so I set up an appointment and the rest is history. I chose LHP because they are definitely the real deal with professional services under one roof.

LHP took on everything! From my bookkeeping and tax to payroll and advice. I was set up on Xero Cloud Accounting, a great time saver with a bird’s eye view of finance. Sam Hart their Senior Digital Manager was a massive help training me on Xero software.

They took on my payroll as paying 50 staff took up time I needed to focus on growing my business. During Covid LHP Payroll did all my furlough claims and their Tax team helped me with my personal tax. 

Director Janet Collins has been great as has Nicola John of NJJ Business Solutions, my business consultant who I work with on forward business strategy, planning and growth in collaboration with LHP.

What benefits have you enjoyed since LHP?

There are loads. Time saving has been great, which comes with being digital. Business advice, all aspects of taxation support, payroll and accounting under one roof makes life easier. They advise me on new ideas (I have a few!), compliance, margins, turnover, and meet with me often to keep track of how we’re doing.

It’s great to have such a professional service. My previous accountant just did bookkeeping and for ambitious business entrepreneurs that’s not enough. You need a trusted advisor and chartered accountants with varying areas of expertise.

If you could describe LHP in 3 words?

  ‘Professional excellent practice’.

Let’s Talk

If you find this story inspiring and need help with your business finances, let’s talk! Our team at LHP has 85 years’ experience in helping businesses thrive, adapt and grow and are based across 5 offices in South Wales including Carmarthen, Cross Hands, Haverfordwest, Tenby and Lampeter.

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