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Mark Fletcher

May Talk with Mark Fletcher

May is speeding up and summer is round the corner! How is our business community feeling about National Walking Month? Today we're talking to Mark Fletcher who is a loss assessor with Aspray, covering the territory of Swindon, North Wiltshire and Cirencester. He helps people make successful building insurance claims returning their property to pre-loss condition.

May is the last month of Spring – how has Spring been for you so far in your business?
After the storms in February we have been busy dealing with storm damage on top of the normal escape of water and fire and smoke damage claims.

Have you got any milestones coming up in May, personal or in your business?
In May I will be looking to perhaps purchase a second franchise territory of Aspray, to enable me to expand the business.

This has been a challenging time for some businesses – with issues around supply chains and cost of living rises – how are you facing that as a business or as a consumer? 
We have seen the costs rise in materials, and with the overall costs rising due to contractor’s overheads around rising fuel prices. 

The decision to get an electric car at the end of last year has been a huge benefit and has absorbed some of the impact of fuel costs. 

We were also due to see a big rise in our utilities yet working with Darren Chapman at Utility Warehouse we have been able to take the edge of what was expected. 

Do you have any money-saving tips or hacks you could share?
As advised by Liza Van Zyl from Priory Heating at our Business Wise referrral group, we've dropped our thermostat  by one degree as it will reduce energy consumption by up to 10%.

May is National Walking Month – it’s also one of the most beneficial exercises – do you walk at all?
I love a good walk, and a few of the local walks we enjoy are Stratton Woods, Lydiard and Coate Water, all in Swindon. 

Further afield is the Elterwater to Skelwith Bridge walk in the Lake District and who does not like a hike up Snowdon?

What’s your one top business tip to help others be positive about their business at the moment?
As mentioned, the cost of materials and fuel is going up all the time at the moment. 

Work with your contractors and suppliers to see the best approach to jobs, and look for alternative options to ensure you can both maintain margins. 

Don’t just swap contractors and suppliers to the cheapest you can find, work together as we are all in the same boat.

Who has your back this month? 
One thing for me that keeps everything in perspective at the moment, is our fortnightly Business Wise meeting, where you mix with a group of like minded people and where a coffee and breakfast and listening to what other have been doing along with their challenges and successes enlighten you and give you ideas for your own business. 

Also seeing the volume of work that gets passed around the room is wonderful to see and makes you know that there are others looking out for you to support you in your business.

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