Name, title & company name?
Cecilia Patterson, Managing Director at MTC Marketing Research Solutions


In a five words or less, tell us what your business does?
We provide opinion research services, consultancy, market intelligence and insights to companies to help them make evidence-based decisions and evaluate market opportunities.


When did you know that you wanted to set up your own business and what made you finally take the plunge?
I used to run a similar business in Botswana before I moved to the UK. When I arrived in London, I had difficulty finding a role that I wasn’t overqualified for as a result of my experience in the field, so I decided to setup and build my own business again here in the UK.


What’s the best thing about your job? 
As a working mother, I enjoy the flexibility that comes with owning my own business and being able to control my own hours. While market research is fairly consistent across the board I find it fascinating to really get under the skin of the different industries that my business targets such as financial institutions, utility companies, beverages in fast moving consumer goods, telecommunications, travel and tourism. This really satisfies my curious nature and it means I’m always learning.


And the worst? 
To run a small business you need to be prepared for the financial challenges that will come along the way. You don’t have control over when you take off and become profitable, so there’s a lot of hard work involved in the first few years.


Why did you choose KPMG Small Business Accounting?  
The salesperson I spoke with from the KPMG Small Business Accounting team was really great at explaining the service and its benefits to me. What immediately stood out to me was how transparent the service was and the fact that all the technology and timely advice I needed was included in one monthly fixed-fee.


How have KPMG Small Business Accounting and your dedicated KPMG accountant helped you? 
My accountant is very helpful and extremely professional. Having access to friendly advice at the end of the phone puts me at ease and it is just the kind of support I’ve always looked for from an accountant. It’s also handy to have a source for general advice on how to structure my business effectively.


What one thing do you think the Government could do to help small businesses? 
A really important issue for me is security. I think the government needs to draw up more legislation and provide a lot more support for small businesses around this issue. It’s scary to think how detrimental an IT security or telecommunications breach could be for a small business and how little protection there is. The costs that could be incurred as a result of the loss of sensitive information or data alone is enough to warrant more protection, training, and


Who do you most admire in business? 
As a female entrepreneur, I admire any fellow business or professional woman who has succeeded as a result of their passion and determination. Off the top of my head, Michelle Mone and Cheryl Sandberg stick out to me as two great examples, but there are certainly more.


If you could give one piece of advice to small business owners, what would it be? 
Keep persevering. Starting and scaling up a business is not an easy journey, so if you feel like giving up, I find it helpful to take time out to reflect. This always provides a fresh perspective and a renewed sense of direction.


What’s next for your business? 
I really hope to see my business take off in the next two to three years. Right now I’m focused on stabilizing the business and taking advantage of all the value add services that KPMG provides.


If you hadn’t set up your company, what do you think you’d be doing instead? 
I imagine I’d probably be working in the voluntary sector, raising lots of money for good causes.


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