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Each Monday, we ask small companies key questions. Right here we communicate to Ian Parfitt, proprietor of Swim Whisperer in Moray, primarily based in Lossiemouth.

He instructed us he would really like personal swim colleges to change into zero-rated for VAT, or exempted from the tax altogether, to place them on an equal footing with the general public sector.

How and why did you begin in enterprise?

I gained my swimming educating {qualifications} within the early Nineteen Nineties and began working within the leisure business in Wales. As quickly as we moved to Moray I may see there was an actual want for grownup one-to-one personal tuition, so determined to arrange my very own swim college.

Phrase quickly circulated concerning the grownup classes however I used to be inundated with requests to start out them for kids too.

So, now my spouse, Mandy, and I run two swimming companies: Swim Whisperer In Moray for adults and youngsters; and Mandian Swim College for kids.

How did you get to the place you’re at this time?

I had an actual need to encourage extra adults and youngsters to take up swimming. For adults, there’s a stigma hooked up to not having the ability to swim or to being weak swimmers.

However I do know there’s a very excessive share of adults within the UK who both can’t swim or don’t swim effectively.

A lot of my clients really feel self-conscious in group settings, so it’s essential for me to supply them a personal facility in a relaxed surroundings the place they really feel snug.

Who helped you?

In addition to being a swimming instructor, Mandy has helped immensely with beginning and operating the enterprise. We known as on a good friend to assist with our web site.

An excellent accountant is essential, and I’ve had nice backing from Cathel Fraser at The Lengthy Partnership in Elgin.

The Federation of Small Companies is at all times available to offer me recommendation on present laws, and I’ve downloaded a few of its authorized doc templates. These have helped save me time and money.

What’s one of the best piece of recommendation you’ve gotten ever had?

My father at all times stated to me after I was rising up to focus on working at one thing you’re enthusiastic about. If you change into good at it individuals will need to pay for what you do. That recommendation has led me to the place I’m at this time.

What’s your largest mistake?

I want I’d taken my dad’s recommendation sooner. Sadly, I spent a very long time working for corporations the place I wasn’t passionate in any respect. Fortunately, that has all modified.

What’s your best achievement?

I’ve to say my two sons. In enterprise, my best achievement is that Swim Whisperer In Moray is now considered the principle grownup and teenage swim specialist within the space. I’m very pleased with having taught a whole lot, if not hundreds, of adults and youngsters to swim.

How are you managing quickly rising prices, and the way can the federal government assist?

With nice issue. The Swimming Academics Affiliation is campaigning for the (UK) authorities to make personal swim colleges VAT zero-rated or exempt. That is already in place for the general public sector.

We’d like a extra stage enjoying area that permits companies like mine to compete pretty with the general public sector, with a view to enhance the amount of classes and college students we are able to educate.

What do you continue to hope to attain?

I hope to encourage extra adults and younger individuals to take up swimming classes.

Youngsters have issue in the case of studying to swim. At Swim Whisperer In Moray I work on a one-to-one or one-to-two foundation, so no massive teams and an actual give attention to the client.

It might be an enormous achievement to get extra youngsters coming alongside so I can enhance their confidence within the water.

What do you do to calm down?

Keep utterly away from chlorine. I calm down at residence with my spouse watching Netflix or practising yoga. Once I do have spare time I like strolling across the lovely Moray countryside and I additionally play drums.

What are you presently studying, listening to or glued to on TV?

I’m not an excellent reader however completely love music. We’ve simply completed watching Detectorists, a fantastically written and directed comedy by Mackenzie Criminal.

What do you waste your cash on?

Within the present cost-of-living disaster I can’t actually afford to waste cash. However I do have an actual drawback, bordering on an obsession, with Dr Martens Boots and Fred Perry shirts.

What’s the very first thing you do while you rise up within the morning?

After checking emails and social media I take Louie for his morning stroll. He’s my beautiful, chocolate Chihuahua. This provides me time to consider the remainder of the day.

What do you drive and dream of driving?

I drive a 2022 Toyota Yaris Cross. I’m not likely into automobiles however in the future, if enterprise stays robust, my spouse may very well get what she’s at all times wished for – a duck egg blue 1960-70s Morris Minor van.