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Chris Chapman

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Name: Chris Chapman

Age: 43

Company: My Business FD. We provide first-class experienced finance directors to young ambitious businesses on a part time and affordable basis.

Turnover: Approx £1m in 2012.

First job: Trainee accountant at Lotus Cars. Okay, I was sucked in by the glamour of working with fast cars but I was 19, what can I say? My first few weeks were interesting, everyone was convinced that I was a “mole”, planted by the late, great (Lotus owning) Colin Chapman. I’m no relation whatsoever but, given I’m also a C Chapman, I got my share of attention. All in all, it was a great experience that taught me a lot of the basics in finance. 

Dream job: Finance director of Ipswich Town Football Club, the greatest club in East Anglia, bar none.

Car: BMW 330 coupe

Economy, business or first class: First class on the train (I can’t afford to not get a seat and miss an hour of work; time is money!). Economy on flights – but I’m willing to go first if someone else is paying! Virgin Upper Class is highly recommended, which I experienced recently to Dubai thanks to a very close friend.

Most extravagant purchase: Probably my car, see above.

Most-played song on your iPod: “The Lazy Song” by Bruno Mars. I dream of days like that, but they never quite happen!

Best business book: Business Networking by Heather Townsend (in conjunction with Financial Times)

Worst business moment: Shutting the doors on a previous business on Christmas Eve and laying off a dozen staff. It can’t have made for a good Christmas for them. We all knew it was coming but due to factors outside of our control, we couldn’t influence the timing. I’m a big believer that you learn as much through the bad experiences as you do the good – and I learned more than my fair share there.

Proudest business moment: Starting My Business FD and developing a fantastic team who want to help small businesses grow. We’re passionate about doing all we can to increase their chances of survival, growth and success. That’s what we stand for.

Your business mentor: I’ve been lucky to work for some great people. Those who have made the biggest impression include Richard Green (CEO, Ubisense), Doug Richard (ex-BBC Dragon) and Charles Cotton (serial entrepreneur). Generally though, my father remains the benchmark of who I always strive to impress and make proud.

Next big thing: My twin boys Jack and Lewis. Look out for them making a name for themselves in the years to come. Okay, they’re only ten but as a Dad I’m sure they’ll do great things.

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UK FDs: We control our destiny
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