As a practice that specialises in working with start-ups in the service sector, Inca is privileged to be supporting many inspirational business owners. We thought it would be interesting to let some of them tell us a little more about their journey, their business – and to share their experience of working with us.
In the first of an occasional series of blogs, we asked Erin Rigault, owner of Peppermint Mortgage Services www.peppermintms.co.uk to answer some questions about her business, and her relationship with Inca.
Q: What does Peppermint Mortgage Services do?
A: “At Peppermint, we help our clients find the mortgage that best suits their needs and lifestyle. We understand that getting a mortgage can be stressful and confusing whether you’re a first-time buyer, an existing homeowner looking to re-mortgage or a seasoned investor, and we make it our mission to do all we can to make the process as painless and straightforward as possible.”
Q: What differentiates Peppermint from other mortgage advisors?
“At Peppermint, we provide clients with a friendly, personal service they won’t find in the corporate world – free of jargon, windowless rooms and awful instant coffee!”
“We recognise that it’s only by really getting to know a client that we’re able to make a recommendation that truly suits their needs. Applying for a mortgage is a big decision, regardless of financial circumstances or stage of life, and our goal is to ensure our clients feel safe and secure in their homes.”
Q: How long has the business been established?
“I started Peppermint four years ago now.”
Q: What inspired you to set up Peppermint?
“For 12 years, I worked as a mortgage and financial advisor in the corporate sector. During this time, I saw first-hand how obstructive and inflexible the process of applying for a mortgage can be – and the impersonal nature of the service provided by many of the larger players.”
“I knew there had to be a more personal way to help people get mortgages, and Peppermint was formed out of my desire to offer a different kind of service.”
Q: What advice would you give to someone who is self-employed and wants to get a mortgage?
“Call me! If you’re self-employed or run your own business, getting a mortgage is not quite as straightforward as it is for someone who is in a salaried job. But with the right advice, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to obtain one.”
“It’s certainly advisable to look ahead; if you’re thinking of taking on a mortgage in the next couple of years, you should start planning now. You’ll need to provide 2 or 3 years’ worth of accounts, and how you present these will be crucial.”
“The process is much easier and far more likely to have a successful outcome if your accountant and your mortgage advisor work closely with each other. Some things your accountant may want to do to protect you from tax may work against you when applying for a mortgage, so coordinating services is vital. If you have an accountant who doesn’t fully understand the process, an application can take a long time, and may even be declined.”
“Inca have referred a number of clients to me – including some who were struggling to get a mortgage. Working alongside Inca, I’ve been able to help these clients to prepare and present their paperwork and make successful applications.”
Q: How did you come to work with Inca?
“Having decided to set up Peppermint, I knew I needed an accountant I could work closely with. One who, as well as looking after my own accounts, would be happy to cross refer business.”
“I visited half a dozen accounting practices. I was looking for one I felt comfortable with, and that matched my personable, professional style of working. When I met Graham Carson from Inca, I knew he understood completely how I wanted the business relationship to work.”
Q: How has working with Inca benefitted Peppermint?
“Besides knowing my accounts are in safe hands, working with Inca has helped me develop my business knowledge and grow Peppermint.”
“When I shared my plans for expansion with Graham, he spent time discussing my ideas and helping me refine them. He takes a personal interest in helping the businesses he works with to succeed.”
“I’ve been on many of the Inca workshops to improve my business skills and to network with other local business owners. At one of these, I was introduced to a business coach, and over the last year or so, he’s been helping me to grow my business. As a result, I now have a full-time assistant and I’m planning to take on 5 consultants over the next 6 months or so. I know I wouldn’t be in the position I am now if I hadn’t been invited to a free workshop; they’re invaluable, and I will continue to attend them.”
Q: What advice would you give to a start-up business owner looking for an accountant?
“Your accountant will be one of your most important business partners, so it’s crucial to get it right. As well as having all the professional credentials, they need to be someone you feel comfortable with, and can develop a close professional relationship with. If you can find an accountant who will add value to your business, their fees will take care of themselves!”