Pure Cloud: Working in partnership as father and son
At Haines Watts we value relationships and what better way to celebrate Fathers’ Day this Sunday than to interview one of our family run businesses.
Jamie Lake, Managing Director and his dad Darren Lake, Group CEO set up Pure Cloud in the West Midlands in 2012. We asked Jamie five quick-fire questions to find out what it’s like working with family.
What is the best thing about working with your dad?
I think it is the experiences that we have had together. I obviously spend a lot of time with him doing the sales work and visiting customers and partners. We have had a lot of experiences that a lot of father-son partners don’t get to experience.
People always say ‘don’t work with friends and family’ - Do you have any advice to pass on to anyone thinking about starting a business with family?
It’s not always possible but try to keep your business and your personal life separate. We are guilty of letting the lines blur. We will be out for a Sunday lunch and start talking about work, and our partners have to stop us from talking about it. We do our best to keep it separate.
I would also say, if you do have any disagreements within the business, don’t let that into your personal life. We are very good at that. We don’t always see eye to eye, and we don’t always agree on everything, but the thing is we both argue our cases passionately and it never leaves the boardroom.
We have never, touch wood, had a major falling out. We have had disagreements when my dad’s way of doing something is different to mine, but we would always manage to reach the best decision for the business by leaving our pride at the door.
What do you tend to disagree on when it comes to running the business?
I would say that because of experience, my dad has a lot less patience than I have. I will take a step back and say, “lets look at the implications of doing that”. In his role he does not have to deal with the day-to-day issues, so he has the luxury of being able to stand back. We then would filter his decisions down and pass the information on in a more professional kind of way.
Who’s in charge of the accounts and what do you like about working with Haines Watts?
My dad's cousin is our Financial Director. He went to school with Andy Jones, Partner at Haines Watts. Even before discovering they were school mates we had a great relationship and that just strengthened it even further.
I met Matt Tyler, from Haines Watts Birmingham at a networking event and we just clicked. We were using a different accountant at the time but they weren't the right company for us. We got the guys at Haines Watts to do a proposal for us and we haven't looked back since.
Haines Watts are great at resolving any queries we have and we have a great relationship with them. We do lots of things socially with them as well as professionally. The relationship is key for us. We do not change suppliers often. We look at our suppliers in the same way we look at our customers - a long term relationship is important to us. We do not like the upheaval of changing all the time. For us, finding somebody that you trust and delivers on promises is important. We have found that with Haines Watts.
What’s the best gift you have bought your dad for Father’s Day?
It’s a tough question! What do you buy the man that has everything? I think in a materialistic sense, there is nothing that I have ever bought him that he couldn’t buy himself. So, I think the best gift I have given him is every year, we always do something as a family. We go out for food or out for the day. The memories we create are a gift in themselves.
For this Father’s Day we are going round to his house. Normally we have a buffet and have our grandparent’s round for a big family get together. We have some food and a few drinks and spend the time together. Hopefully no business talk, but sometimes it is inevitable.