A day in the life of Jan McDermott


Jan has been Managing Director of her own firm of Chartered Accountants since 2005. She has built up a good reputation, growing the business by word of mouth and networking and now has a diverse portfolio of clients across the Wirral and North West of England. Jan is supported by her fellow Director Rachel and four other team members. Next year the company will be celebrating it's tenth anniversary. 

5.30am – alarm goes off. It’s an early start today as it’s my weekly networking breakfast with BNI in Bromborough. It feels hard work getting there but soon the chat in the room and the business being passed buoys me up and gets me going for the day. I’ve been a member for 12 years and really like introducing people to my fellow members to benefit their businesses. We have a range of professions represented from B2B services to tradespeople to manufacturers and it’s been a great source of leads for us. 

9am – make it into the office raring to go and having mentally listed everything I need to do on the drive in. Catch up with the team, normally about football scores and what was on TV last night. Crack on with my to do list of calling clients, answering the team's varying client queries and making decisions on next steps of our marketing campaigns.
10am – off to one of my key clients for their monthly board meeting in my role of Finance Director. Present the management accounts, review expenditure against budgets and monitor the cashflow as well as have an input into the more general discussions on growth and direction of the company.
12.30pm – lunch with an insolvency practitioner who we refer work to and share a reciprocal arrangement with. We have a number of these relationships in place and one of the more enjoyable parts of my work is catching up with people over lunch. We achieve a lot being away from the office but the backdrop helps us feel like it’s more social than work. We discuss the most tax efficient ways one of my business owner clients can close his business to give him an attractive exit route. Once decided and agreed we soon discover some other mutual contacts and new opportunities to work together – something which would have been missed on an email conversation or quick phone call.
2pm – back to the office for a team meeting. The team all work different hours depending on their personal circumstances and they are often out at client sites which makes it difficult to get us all together. However, having this weekly meeting in the diary helps us schedule work; exchange ideas and best practice; and see how we can introduce clients to each other to offer them the best package of services.
3.30pm – back to my to-do list which has grown again since I left the office at 10am. I make time to catch up with my social media accounts to pop a few notes to clients who are reporting business success or posing questions. I also engage with a number of the business community groups on Linked In and add comments where I feel I have some expertise. It’s great to share my experience of running a small business with others in the same boat. I’m never too shy to ask questions myself as I find people often like to be able to help if they can.
5.30pm – head home and out for a run. After my early start I’m tempted to flop on the sofa with my cat but remind myself how much better I will feel after some fresh air and a bit of time pounding the streets.
7pm – catch up with my husband over dinner and a glass of wine (I’ve normally deserved this and today has been busy so it’s an extra-large one). We both work in the same field but try to avoid too much work talk, instead we start to plan our next holiday or talk about plans for the weekend.
10pm – last check of emails to clear things before tomorrow. I try to avoid emailing anyone at this time of night as although it works for me I don’t want anyone else feeling the pressure of answering my queries or acting on anything until tomorrow.