Name, title & company name?
Kevin House, Owner, Butikku
In a few words, tell us what your business does?
Today, Butikku is a high-end Japanese clothing retailer. In fact, we’re the only multi-brand Japanese clothing retailer in the world. Our vision is all about bringing the best of Japanese design and lifestyle (not just clothing) into Europe and we’ll broaden our offering over time.
When did you know that you wanted to set up your own business and what made you finally take the plunge?
It’s a funny story really. I never intended to setup my own business, so it all came about almost by accident. Back in Easter 2013, my girlfriend wanted to start her own fashion retail business so I agreed to act as a backer and advisor for her. After developing the strategy, building the supply chain and opening the first popup shop, I found myself effectively running the business. So when she decided to leave shortly after we launched I decided to continue alone and it’s been my business ever since. Of course it’s been (and is) a full-time role for me.
What’s the best thing about your job?
I love that I get to control my own destiny, doing something that I believe in and want to see succeed.
And the worst?
As a small business owner, everything is your problem. The hours can be long as there is an infinite list of things to do and I always feel a constant pressure to be doing more.
Why did you choose KPMG Small Business Accounting?
I was doing the accounting myself for the first couple of years in business and it was becoming quite stressful. I found myself putting it off all the time, which only meant that it just kept looming over me. I actually came across the service via Enterprise Nation who were running a promotion at the time. As I previously worked for one of the Big Four, I was pleased to see KPMG was moving into the SME space seeking to help businesses like mine. Furthermore, having the opportunity to get my brand in front of KPMG staff through Bazaar was also a great prospect.
How have KPMG Small Business Accounting and your dedicated KPMG accountant helped you?
The service and my dedicated accountant have provided me with a lot of reassurance and guidance. Because of the nature of my business and my dealings in imports and exports, my accounts can be quite complex, however my accountant makes me feel confident that what I’m doing is accurate. Working with KPMG Small Business Accounting also means I have to be more disciplined and ensure I get things on time. Finally, as a growing business, having the KPMG stamp on my accounts, has the potential to be a great help for fundraising in the future.
What one thing do you think the Government could do to help small businesses?
I think the government should change what they define as a small business, particularly in the case of business rates. Small business rates relief is based upon the rental valuation of the property, and since the most suitable location for my business is the nicer parts of London, it’s practically impossible that any location I use would qualify as a small business and get any support.
Who do you most admire in business?
I’ve never really followed or studied individuals. I take inspiration from businesses who have done something different and executed it well. It takes a lot of courage to start something from scratch and a lot of hard work to keep it going.
If you could give one piece of advice to small business owners, what would it be?
I would say it’s crucial to be as conservative as possible when forecasting. It’s amazing how ambitious we can all be when setting targets for ourselves, but you’ve got to factor in the unexpected and allow yourself a lot of room for variance.
What’s next for your business?
The next phase will be fundraising to build a permanent business. The goal is to have a flagship store and really extend the core idea and brand to cover a full lifestyle offering.
If you hadn’t set up your company, what do you think you’d be doing instead?
Before running a business I was doing management consultancy. I think I would’ve always joined a start-up after this as I’ve discovered a real passion for seeing a business through from inception to scale.
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