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Client Stories: Jacks at the Longhouse

Jacks At The Longhouse

Interview with Nigel Land of Jacks at the Longhouse

Nigel Land, founder of Jacks at the Longhouse, shares his story of how his new business came about and how LHP helped him with his new venture in the tourism industry by freeing up time to focus on growing the business and offering a breadth of services under one roof from tax to business advisory.

When did you start The Longhouse?

My wife Carine and I are business partners at ‘Jacks at the Longhouse’, an independent bar, restaurant and event space located at the holiday village entrance, 75m from the beach at Freshwater Bay. We only signed the lease in July 2021 and immediately gave it a new look and feel, naming it after Captain Jolly Jack Furze a local smuggler that plied his trade in the early nineteenth century. We provide local seasonal food, drink and cocktails.

Carine has been holidaying in Freshwater East every year since she was three, I’ve been coming here for over 35 years, it gets into your soul and you fall in love with it. Our children spent their formative years camping on the local farm and now our granddaughter Pippa visits us here.

Before the business I worked for big corporates and lived in Oxfordshire. I was MD for Chrysler Jeep UK, Global Head of Marketing for Triumph Motorcycles and a ‘turnaround business consultant’ for a  Race Car Company. We bought a house here in the village 6 years ago. It became our weekend bolt hole, but we wanted more.

We visited the Longhouse pub many times over the years, often at the end of a walk with the dogs on the beach. On one occasion in June 2019 we sat at the bar thinking, what we could do with a place like this! We put our ideas together, created a plan and tracked down the owners in July 2019.

Fast-forward a little and we put our house on the market. I left my consultancy job and we made the leap to our lifestyle change. In November 2020 we heard that the previous tenant had left and in April 2021 we got offer of first refusal. We signed the lease 1 July 2021.

We’re excited for the future and confident LHP can help us develop and expand the business. It was a brave, some would say foolish move. As we believe we walk this way once and with the full support of family and friends we set about delivering against our plan.

Nigel and Corine

We’d only worked behind bars and didn’t even know how to change a barrel. But it didn’t matter. We had the huge support and goodwill of our local community. Customers who have become friends, suppliers who advised and guided us. Everyone helped us.

Year one is the biggest challenge for any business, and we had a very steep learning curve. We funded the purchase with the sale from our house, giving us a good working capital base and allowing us to get up and running and invest in new equipment. At this point we needed a good accountant and business advisor.

How did LHP Accountants help?

Around the time of starting Jacks at the Longhouse I reached out to a number of accountancy firms. Of the ones that responded, I was most impressed with LHP on their initial responsiveness.

I met with Tenby office staff, Amanda Cunningham the practice manager initially. I selected LHP for friendliness and impressive range of services including Xero expertise. Xero was the cloud accountancy software I wanted to use.

Amanda, Michelle, and the wider team really took time to understand my aims and goals. They were down to earth, gave practical advice and took pressure off me, boxing smart on how I could get set up and running. They assisted with payroll and a whole breadth of services. I thought, all sorted! I don’t need to worry now, just get on with running the business!

At the time, like most of the UK’s hospitality industry we were trying to recruit a new team, while also learning and running a new business. LHP helped us free up time to focus on the business. I already had a limited company, so I changed the SIC code and with the help of LHP, switched our VAT scheme from flat rate to a more suitable scheme for our new business.

What are the benefits since joining LHP?

It may sound counterintuitive but the practical approach of LHP rather than a big push for a formal plan with numbers allowed me to make progress and hit the ground running. LHP helped me understand that the previous historical information was incomplete and rather than put pressure on me to create a plan, they pointed out that I had all of the right concepts and information needed to begin trading. I knew all the margins for food and drink, just not a complete view of the billing history.

When I approached LHP I was playing with Xero, but wasn’t using it properly. Now I have a Platinum Xero Partner at my fingertips. I use Xero for banking, Dext Prepare for invoicing and I don’t need to worry about invoices, I take photos and upload to Xero with a click of a button. Xero really simplifies finances for us.

VAT returns are done by LHP too. LHP has a deep knowledge of our sector so were able to advise us on local matters. Learning the basics has been challenging but easier with their support, freeing up time in providing a range of services under one roof including year-end accounts, director self-assessment returns, payroll services, business advisory and VAT services. Also support with Covid-related support from furlough to business funding.

The key benefits of LHP have been confidence in knowing professional, skilled people have got your back; they’re always available on the phone for advice and their fast reliable response and guidance keeps us within the rules.

How would you describe LHP in 3 words?

Insightful, inclusive and practical.

Let’s Talk

If this business story inspired you and you need finance or business advice and support, let’s talk.

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Jacks Long House

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