We were delighted to invite Murray Patt from Alexander Knight & Co. into the huddled office for a video interview. He gave us his views on choosing Manchester to do business and building important relationships.
Murray Patt – Alexander Knight & Co. Transcript
What’s your name, position and where do you work?
I’m the founder and director of Alexander Knight & Co. We’re a firm of chartered accountants and registered auditors based opposite Manchester Airport.
Describe your business in one sentence.
We help people save tax. We make them more profitable and we make things sound straightforward and simple.
What separates you from the competition?
What separates us from the competition is how we go about things. We’ve got a great team of people with great experience and we do the right thing for our clients. Doing the right thing is really really important to us and that’s why our client retention levels are industry leading.
What have been the highlights of your company so far?
Setting myself up in business. As an accountant we always try to advise people how to this and how to that. That’s really difficult when you’ve not run your own business. Therefore, by setting up Alexander Knight & Co., running my own business, dealing with issues, dealing with opportunities just makes us different.
What qualities are needed to succeed in your industry?
You need drive. You really do need drive. And you need the right sort of work ethic and putting that together with the right sort of personality means that you will succeed.
Why do new businesses choose Manchester?
New businesses like to base themselves where they see lots of activity. Here in Manchester, everything’s going on. The city’s a great city in its own right but it’s not too big and it’s not too small so therefore you can see a bit of everything and as a result of that, I think that new businesses become attracted to working in a climate where actually, they’re not a very small operator, they’re one of a number of businesses operating in the sector.
Who are some local companies you would recommend?
I like working with local professionals. I also like introducing business to my clients and introducing one client to another. So rather than provide an exhaustive list of all the clients and all the professionals I work with, I’d say to people, you work with people you like working with and our client base, we like working with our clients. They’re all nice people to deal with and that’s what we enjoy.
Who do you think are the most influential people in the local business scene?
I think it’s wrong to name just one person. There are a group of people that I’ve looked up to for many years. They consist of clients, they consist of other professionals and it’s really looking at them, understanding how they tick and trying to adopt their approach and that’s where I look up to people in business.
Do you have any advice for new businesses in Manchester?
Yeah, new or startup companies clearly should contact me because at Alexander Knight & Co., we know what we’re doing. We’re great looking after business – just ask one of our clients! We give them a great service and therefore if anyone’s looking to set themselves up in business they should come and contact me or a member of my team.
What’s the main benefit of working in Manchester?
The main benefit of working in Manchester is if you have an umbrella you use it a lot, so you know, if you work down South, your umbrellas don’t get used very often. I think though, as a city, it’s a small enough city to work your way around it but it’s big enough to see lots of great things here. Okay, everybody talks about football, yeah, and that’s fine, but there’s so much going on in this city. It’s brilliant.
Where are your favourite places to eat and drink in Manchester?
I could give you a very long list of all the places that I like to eat. This build that I’ve got here isn’t down from dieting a lot. I live in South Manchester, lots of great restaurants in Didsbury and Hale and Altrincham, places like that. City centre’s great. It’s too long a list!
Food wise – what do I like? I like Italian food, I like Turkish food, Chinese, Indian… erm… just about everything! I don’t like coconut though, so I avoid that.
Have you got any final words?
I think for anybody that is interested in business, setting yourself up in business is really really important. It’s great being a paid employee, a highly paid employee, but actually until you’ve set yourself up in business and run an operation yourself, you’re missing out, you’re missing out. So go on. Jump ship. And set yourself up.
Thank you for watching. I’m Murray Patt from Alexander Knight & Co., chartered accountants, and this was huddled.