August marked the end of our eighth year. Looking back, we have aged, a lot! We have had a lot of fun, we have an amazing team across four offices and we absolutely love supporting our clients.
When we started Black Cat, we aspired to have a business made up of brilliant, experienced surveyors, who like to share their opinion. Eight years on we have a business that is uniquely transparent, where the whole team knows everything including everyone’s salaries, bonuses and every cost associated with running the business. We don’t even have meeting rooms! Our team have all taken a risk joining a firm that is so unique and we reward them with transparency, openness, unlimited holidays and a quarterly share of the fees that they invoice.
Building on this transparency and unique modern way of working, we wanted to be transparent and share an update with the wider market, who have all contributed to ensuring that this unique model is a success.
The first half of the year was honestly a challenge, the business has grown to over 40 amazing individuals across four offices and with many service lines including #surveying, #projectmanagement, #façade consultancy, #design, #quantitysurveying and even #fireconsultancy and we were feeling the growing pains. The term “cash flow” was used in the first quarter for the first time and simply because we broke our own rule! We always maintain a buffer, sufficient to pay the whole team for a whole year, in the event of a Covid like scenario. I guess we became so focused on work and our clients, we overlooked the ‘business’ bits and bobs as after all, we are all #surveyors! We brought in a Financial Director Rob Mowat to bolster the finance team, we developed an operations and marketing team to reduce the burden on the surveyors and the magic has returned.
The business runs a lot like a co-operative with everyone having access to all the information and pulling together in the same direction, it has been astonishing to see how well everything works and how well people can work around their family lives and without undue stress and pressure from unnecessary process. The best description of the model that we operate is that it is work for grown-ups, experienced grown-ups who have been there and done that, whatever “that” may be!
We have ended the year in a remarkable position with a healthy business that is well placed to move forwards, looking after the team that we have, whilst attracting the very best people in the market. We are a little old fashioned in our approach, we believe in maintaining financial reserves to carry the business through lean times, we focus on supporting the team, we trust the team to support their clients and the numbers should, all being well, look after themselves.
The below information and statistics provide an insight into Black Cat. If you are curious or have any questions, then please get in touch and we can share everything with you!