Shipley-based commercial fire and life safety firm Rosse Systems was established in 1982 and has clients including Coca-Cola, The National Trust and Leeds Cathedral. Kendall Proctor, Managing Director (pictured), and Carron Kennedy, Company Secretary, tell us more.
Q How did you find out about FSB and why did you join?
Another local company had mentioned the HR and legal benefits and said that if something did crop up and you needed help, it was worth having FSB in your back pocket. We’ve never used it to its full advantage but we know our membership is for a good cause. We had joined other organisations, but it seemed one-sided, whereas with FSB we know you’re fighting our corner.
Q What challenges do you face in your business and how has FSB helped you?
We have a team of 25 with 14 engineers, and have been steadily growing over the past 39 years, looking after sites in Yorkshire – from a corner shop in Shipley to Wentworth Woodhouse, a 300-room, grade-1 listed stately home. We feel like a family and know all our customers. Often companies lose that when they grow too big.
The red tape and day-to-day running of the business is difficult. Things are continually changing and evolving, especially when you’re managing staff and compliance, filling out tax forms and ticking the financial boxes.
Covid-19 made us realise that the responsibilities stop with us as the employer. We called FSB this year in relation to access to sites, enforcing Covid-19 tests, PPE and how to deal with any refusals. We wanted to make sure our facts were correct. Getting a second opinion gave us clarity on the situation and made sure we weren’t going down the wrong path.
Q Have you attended any FSB events?
Attending FSB’s IR35 webinar was reassuring. IR35 doesn’t affect us because we’re not registered with the Construction Industry Scheme and we’re classed as a small business, but we do work with contractors and they ask us for evidence that we’re exempt. We’ve not been trained in accounting or HR, but we’re supposed to know all these things. It’s a minefield and you don’t want to get it wrong.
Q What’s the most rewarding part of running your own business?
Driving past a building and knowing our systems are fitted in it is a great feeling. We have a lot of pride in what we achieve. Our engineers are very skilled and get a lot of praise. Another rewarding side is when one of our customers rings up for a chat or advice. We have known some of them for over 25 years and it is great that we are their first port of call.