Working with Cassons has always been a family affair for Andrew Bannister, owner of Nelson based Vertex Vehicles. He’s the third generation of his family to use our services, and from bakery to food retail to commercial vehicles, we’ve been with him every step of the way.
Andrew’s come a long way since the start of his career. He started out playing football, and was signed to Burnley for two years before joining the family bakery firm. The third generation of Bannisters to be involved in the business, Andrew helped his grandfather and father manage 4 shops employing 40 staff.
When the company was bought out by a larger firm, Andrew moved into a different area of food retail, as the owner of a Spar shop. In 2007 he sold the shop and used the money from the sale to make the move into commercial vehicles.
“A friend of mine who I’ve known since school was working in the commercial vehicle business, and that’s how I got into it,” says Andrew. “The business has evolved from there.
“I started off just selling a few vehicles, then I built my contacts with local businesses, started advertising and created my website. Not coming from the commercial vehicles background and having some knowledge of the internet meant I had a different approach, which really helped the business take off.
“At the time not many commercial vehicle sellers were using the internet. They would advertise in auto trade magazines and it could take a week from buying a vehicle for it to appear in the magazine and a potential buyer to spot it, whereas I could buy a vehicle in the morning, clean it up and have it on the website or even sold on the same day.
“Building the business up has been all about creating and building relationships with the people I buy from and sell to.
“I source new and nearly new cars from local auctions and main dealers and sell to individuals, small dealerships and business owners. I specialise in buying a lot of high-end vehicles like Volkswagen. One of the advantages of setting up the business during the recession was that a lot of people who would at one time have a van for work and a car for domestic use now opt for a smarter, high end van which they can use for home life but will also double as a van. People are willing to spend a bit more if they’re only buying one vehicle.
“A lot of large companies made joiners and plumbers redundant during the financial crash, so again I was able to capitalise by selling vehicles to a lot of them as they started up their own businesses and needed vans of their own. It’s never really been quiet for me since to be honest!”
Looking to the future, Andrew aims to expand his premises and stock levels whilst keeping a close eye on the business.
“I wanted something I could manage single-handedly, although I’m hoping to move into a larger premises and increase the number of vehicles we stock in the next couple of years – so I may need to take on a couple of people to help me out!”
When it comes to the help and support Cassons offer, Andrew knows he can rest easy.
“Our family has always been with them – from my granddad, to my dad and now me. Cassons prepare quarterly and year end accounts for us, and all my self assessment tax forms. All I need to do is give them a file at the end of every quarter and they sort the rest out for me.
"Steven gave me a lot of guidance when I set Vertex Vehicles up; how to record details for my invoicing, how to simplify matters. Cassons also ran the PAYE for the two employees I brought in to help me set up the business at the beginning. And they always took care of payroll when we had the bakery business.
"Every year we have a meeting, my dad, Steven and me, when we go over everything. This is when we will review our personal financial matters and look at any tax planning.
“Working with Steven Greenwood is just really easy. The good thing about Steven is he always gets back to you when you have a question. Nothing ever fazes him, and it’s the same with everyone at Cassons – nothing is too much trouble.
Steven Greenwood explains: “I have built up an excellent relationship with Andrew, having advised him and his family for many years. Andrew has a great capacity for being able to continue to look at the business with new ideas and always to see ways to make it better. He has achieved a lot so far and I look forward to helping him with the next stage."
Andrew concluded: “For me the best thing about Cassons is that they let me get on with doing what I do, and they take care of the accountancy and personal finances for me. I can rely on them and I know they’ll do a great job. It makes life much easier, and means I can concentrate on what I do and not have to be an accountant as well!”
For further details about Vertex Vehicles Please call 01282 699 877 or for more information please visit www.vertexvehicles.co.uk
Vertex Vehicles are clients of Cassons business advisers LLP as well as Cassons Financial Planning Limited.