Clare is the director of CTCC Solutions, an outsourced credit control service that provides credit management for businesses from invoice creation all the way to chasing overdue payments.
Read on to find out about how she has managed to run a business for the last 10 years.
So, it’s been 10 years since you’ve started the business. How has the last 3652 days gone?
Wow, 3652 days! They have been scary, challenging, exciting, anxious, a complete mix of emotions. From the very first days of starting up I didn’t really have a clue on what would happen, how it would really go. I had to learn lots of different aspects of having to run a business from networking, the promotion, the sales. Even though I had a good grounding from my previous role as an office manager, putting that into practice was quite difficult to comprehend. That’s where learning to network, asking them for their advice and expertise and to feed that back into the business comes in. The business has gone beyond just me. It’s a whole different mindset to have when there is a team by your side. And it’s also always about learning new things, even after these ten years too. It's been exciting. Phenomenal, in one word.
Did you think you could reach this major milestone?
When I very first started, no. The first question you really think to yourself is, will I ever get clients? Where do I get them from? But once you get those first few, you kind of go oh ok. That’s when you start to think so how can I grow this?
It was at the five-year mark where I thought, ok this is the fifth year, I’m definitely a business now.
It was then I really started to think about where I wanted CTCC to go. Do I just want it to be me? Or do I want to expand.
How did you get into Credit control? Have you always been in this sector?
No. I started off at the age of 16 in accounts as bought ledger or purchase ledger and then went through different elements of accounts. Then I got into IT and did all my exams for it. It was when I went back to work after having my youngest son when my role developed into more office management. I did a bit more of this and a bit more of that and ended up covering lots of little bits. Everything from restocking toilet role and stationery to working on fork truck licenses. So, it became quite an involved job.
You seem quite passionate about your job. What do you love about it?
I love watching businesses grow. I like seeing them have their cash flow fully in control. Seeing businesses grow to the point where they don’t need us. We kind of work ourselves out of a job actually.
It’s a bittersweet moment because we might lose a client, but at the same time, we have been a massive part of their growth journey.
That’s our reward, we can make a really big difference to businesses.
You’ve worked in all aspects of accounts. Is there a favourite sector?
I suppose the credit control has been my favourite because I’ve ended up making a business out of it. I suppose it’s because it’s the one thing you can fix. It’s a lot more rewarding too. When you get those big payments in or those really tricky ones, or a zero column on a ledger, we do our own little happy dance around the office. We can really see a difference in our clients.
Were there many obstacles in your journey to get to where you are?
I suppose the main obstacle was myself, especially when you very first start. Having that belief that you are making a difference, that you can create this business has been my main obstacle.