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Dave Broadway: “Bite the bullet and do the right thing”

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Name: 

Dave Broadway

Role and company: 

Managing Director of CFH Total Document Management Ltd

Company turnover (and most recent ebitda/most relevant profitability metric): 

£27m turnover, £1.6m EBITDA.

Employee numbers: 

270

Growth forecast for the next three years: 

Expect to be in excess of £45m sales.

In under 50 words, what makes your business distinctive in its marketplace:

Our core strategy is to deliver ‘posted’ documents in the most efficient, green and cost effective way. 

  • Docmail – print and post from your PC (doorstep document delivery);
  • Dotpost – where we print and post from a PC to a PC (online document delivery); and 
  • Velopost – we deliver our factory output (or your local collected mail) to the door by bicycle and electric vehicle.

We provide a supply chain under one roof leading to Fossil Fuel Free, Low Cost Local Post.

What’s the big vision for your business?

To provide a lower cost more efficient and greener alternative to Royal Mail.

Current level of international business, and future aspirations: 

Our aspiration is to acquire a non-UK business and role in another country. The current favourite for the first one is Ireland.

Biggest career setback and what you learned from it: 

We launched a catalogue service called ‘Aspects of Print and Paper‘ – which looked good, but bombed. Just learnt that not everything you try works, but you don’t know what will work until you try.

What makes you mad in business today?

Pensions. The government needs to get a grip and make pensions fair for all individuals and all companies. It’s wrong that rules and assumptions change all the time so that companies who tried to provide something extra for their employees are trapped in paying more money into a closed final salary pension scheme. Meanwhile, those who never did anything for their employees now enjoy a significant competitive advantage. It’s also wrong that those in public employ enjoy pensions that those in private employ could never afford. The average Policeman has a better and more valuable pension than I can afford as the managing director of a £30m+ company.

What will be the biggest change in your market in the next three years?

Royal Mail privatisation and the decisions they make on where they are going after that.

Can businesses in your sector/industry access the finance they need to grow? If not, what can be done to improve things?

It’s best to stay away from banks with the greatest debt like RBS, Barclays, Lloyds.

How would others describe your leadership style?

Remote.

Your biggest personal extravagance?

My Harley Davidson V-Rod.

You’ve got two minutes with the prime minister. Tell him how best to set the UK’s independent, entrepreneurial businesses free to prosper:

Bite the bullet and do the right thing on pensions, then just get out of our faces. Actually, DO something about health and safety rules, red tape, stupid planning restrictions on business on brownfield sites, and regulatory authorities that prevent rather than encouraging competition. Just give us a chance to run our businesses without government interference. Oh, and by the way, if you talk about making it easier for SME’s to win business from government, then why not stop giving all of your major contracts to huge corporates like Capita, Serco and Williams Lea.

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