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Word from the Wise: Tom Verner - Momentum Group


Tom Verner

Tom Verner

Tom Verner

How did you start out in your business?

I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spark and had set myself the challenge of owning my own business before I was 45. Back in 2006 I was working for Yell and helping SMEs find new business opportunities. In 2009 I started my own consultancy business and the first thing I did was buy into a proven methodology for growing companies called The Alchemy Network. This provided me with the foundation from where I could work with companies as a consultant and identify opportunities to help them develop.

What have you found the most challenging during your years of business, so far?

It’s hard to pinpoint one thing, as a business owner you are constantly ‘spinning the plates’ to keep everything running as smoothly as possible. Externally we strive to be the best at what we do so we can continue to move forward and help our clients. Personally, I set myself challenges to make the business better. As the business grows there is the challenge of staying on top of HR and the strategic development as well as ensuring we secure more business to cover our increasing operating costs.

How would you describe your management style?

I operate an open-door policy and I consider my style to be fair, firm and flexible. I lead from the front and pull others along as we move forward. It is important to me that my team is happy, motivated and feel they can approach me to talk about any issues. I am a people person with a hands-on approach to the business and I want to see all of our people excel.

What would you change if you could go back and do it all again?

I have thought long and hard about this and I can honestly say there is nothing that I would go back and do differently. Don’t get me wrong, there have been setbacks along the way, but I prefer to learn from these and move forward. Someone recently said to me they wish we could go back to 2019 but I would rather go forward to 2021 having learned from the experiences of 2020.

Have you done it all on your own?

Absolutely not. No business can be successfully built by just one person. I may have control of the steering wheel, but the staff are the engine room. I greatly value all our people who all bring something different to the table. Recruiting the right people is extremely important and I make sure anyone joining the Momentum Group is a good fit and has the right skill set. I also have a number of business associates I can use as sounding boards and it’s vital to have mentors from outside the business who can provide impartial and objective advice. Going back to my time with the Alchemy Network, I enjoyed a weekly mentoring Skype call with Richard Starkey and it was during one of these calls that he suggested I should get involved in R&D tax credits. He helped me spot an opportunity and since then we have evolved to become one of the UK and Ireland’s leading business consultancy practices that specialises in securing financial benefits for our clients through R&D tax credits.

How would you like your business to be remembered?

An honest and ethical business where everyone worked extremely hard to achieve the best outcome and exceptional value for clients. I would like the Momentum Group to also be remembered as being the best at what we do.

What piece of advice would you give to a 20-year-old you?

During a recent talk to up-and-coming entrepreneurs the advice I gave them was to really figure out what it is they want to do, look at the competition and then work what they are doing, and make sure you can do it better. To do that you need experience, and I would advise my 20 year-old self to get as much experience as possible because where you start out is rarely where you will end up.

Ulster Business