James Garside – Stocktaker West Yorkshire
Based in Leeds and covering Bradford, Halifax, Ilkley
After over a decade working in Hospitality Management, I felt that the time was right for a new challenge, and becoming a Stockcheck franchisee seemed like the perfect fit.
When I first started my business, I was fortunate to experience a high demand for stocktaking services, which meant I began with a very healthy client base. This journey has been both challenging and incredibly rewarding. My prior experience, where I worked closely with my own stocktaker, helped me quickly understand the job and offer the best possible service to my new clients. Since then, I’ve managed to retain almost all of my clients and even added a few more. The beauty of it all is that I can manage my own diary and workload. After experiencing the freedom of being self-employed, I’m not sure I could ever go back to the life of an employee. The flexibility is a tremendous perk, and I thoroughly enjoy the variety of working with different clients and experiencing various styles of businesses every day.
Like many stocktakers, I got my start in the hospitality industry during my teens and became completely enamoured with it. My passion initially came from working in bars before evolving into a deep interest in business management and finance. Having studied Mathematics with Accountancy at university and later developing a passion for bar work, it’s not surprising that a career in Hospitality Management was a natural and appealing choice. Stocktaking allows me to carry forward many of the advantages of that industry while leaving behind some of the negatives, particularly the challenges of maintaining a work/life balance.
I have plans to expand my franchise in the coming years, but for now, I am the sole employee of my franchise. After managing large teams in the past, this setup has its advantages, especially with the excellent support from the Stockcheck Head Office. I absolutely cherish the ability to manage my own diary and witness month-on-month improvements in my clients’ results.
I always strive to provide my clients with immediate results and engage in discussions with management right then and there. With my background in Hospitality Management, I understand that receiving a complex stocktake report via email, sometimes at the end of a long week, can be quite daunting. Therefore, I’m more than happy to highlight the key findings and offer recommendations to my clients in person.
Given the diverse nature of the work, there are plenty of amusing experiences to encounter. Just last week, I noticed that a client had been charged a whopping £40,000 for 4x 1L cartons of Oat Milk. I asked for an Oat Milk Cappuccino, and while it was good, it wasn’t £40,000 good!
Operating a stocktaking franchise has given me more spare time, which I try to fill with sports as much as possible. I’m often found playing racquet sports like tennis, squash, or padel, or watching football and cricket matches. I keep myself busy socially, frequenting bars and restaurants (while discreetly assessing their stock practices!), enjoying walks with my wife, or spending time in the garden.
The demand for the services as a Stocktaker in West Yorkshire is generally high, depending on your location, so concerns about starting a business with no client base should be relatively low. There’s enormous potential to grow your business to the size you desire, and the flexibility is unparalleled compared to other careers. Being self-employed has been an incredible journey for me, offering various tax advantages over traditional employment.