Rosse Systems, a commercial fire and life safety specialist based in Shipley, West Yorkshire, was established in 1982. Their client base includes the likes of Harewood House, JCT600, Bradford Alhambra, Coco Cola, The National Trust and Leeds Cathedral.
How did you find out about FSB and why did you join?
Another local company had mentioned the HR and legal benefits of FSB and said that if something did crop up and you needed help, it was worth having FSB in your back pocket. We’ve never used it to its full advantage, I must admit, but I know my membership is for a good cause. If we do need FSB, we know you’re there for us. We had joined other organisations in the past, but it seemed to be one-sided, whereas with FSB we know you’re fighting our corner.
What challenges do you face in your business and how has FSB helped you?
The red tape and day-to-day running of the business is difficult, things are continually changing and evolving, every month there seems to be something new to look into. Especially when you’re managing staff and compliance, filling out tax forms and ticking all the financial boxes. We have a team of 25 with 14 engineers, and we’ve been steadily growing over the last 39 years, looking after a lot of local sites in the Bradford and Yorkshire area. We look after all sorts of sites – from a corner shop in Shipley to Wentworth Woodhouse a 300-room grade 1 listed stately home. Due to the size that we are we still feel like a family and know all our customers. Quite often companies lose that ability when they grow too big.
COVID has made us all realise that the responsibilities stop with us as the employer. When the pandemic hit, suddenly all your staff look at you and ask: “What are we going to do now?” We’ve never been in a pandemic before, we don’t have the answers, but as a business owner you’re expected to know. It’s a lot to cope with.
That’s why the legal side of FSB is such a comfort to have behind you. We called FSB this year in relation to COVID-19, access to sites and enforcing COVID tests, PPE and how to deal with any refusals. There’s so much information out there at the moment, and when you’re dealing with employees, you can’t have an opinion - it has to be facts. We wanted to make sure that we knew our facts were correct. Being able to have a second opinion gave us clarity on the situation and made sure we weren’t going down the wrong path and that everything we put out was correct and current.
The advice was virtually instant. We phoned at 7:30am and had a call back with a legal advisor by 9am! Normally you expect to ring up and hear back within a few days, but to have it within a couple of hours was great. It’s very easy to get tied up with the running of the day-to-day business, so sometimes we forget about our membership, but we know that when we need help, FSB will be there every time.
Have you attended any FSB events?
Attending FSB’s IR35 webinar was reassuring. We’re lucky that IR35 doesn’t affect us because we’re not CIS registered and classed as a small business, but we do work with contractors and they ask us for evidence that we’re exempt. We’ve not been trained in accounting or HR, but we’re supposed to know all these things. It’s a minefield and you don’t want to get it wrong.
What’s the most rewarding part of running your own business?
Being able to drive past a building and knowing our systems are fitted in it is a great feeling and thinking, didn’t the team do a good job! We have a lot of pride in what we achieve and what we do. Our engineers are very skilled and they get a lot of praise. Another rewarding side of the business is when one of our long-standing customers ring up for a chat or some advice – we have known some of them for over 25 years and it is great that we are their first port of call.