Facebook - Shropshire Business Twitter - Shropshire Business LinkedIn - Shropshire Business
http://www.bni.co.uk http://www.connexis.co.uk

Nicole Gunter

Nicole Gunter is managing director of Global Freight Services Limited, based at Halesfield in Telford.

IN A NUTSHELL, WHAT DOES YOUR COMPANY DO? We are a freight forwarding company that work with companies to take their products locally, nationally, and internationally. We have shipped everything from documents to the US to a large crane to Mongolia, agricultural products to Canada and last year we shipped human ashes to Slovakia. So as a company we really do move the world’s products globally!

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN IN YOUR CURRENT JOB? It’s hard to believe, but it’s been 23 years since I sat at a desk by myself and started Global Freight Services.

EXPLAIN A TYPICAL WEEK IN YOUR WORKING LIFE: The one thing about being a freight forwarder is that there is no such thing as a typical week. One week I am compiling tenders for large contracts and the next week I am dealing with agents in South Africa to sort out issues. I do have the dull days where, as the managing director, I have to look after the administration and running of the business, but thankfully with a great team behind me, we all work hard to achieve our goals

WHAT IS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE FACING YOUR INDUSTRY RIGHT NOW? One word, Brexit. The good thing about this specific challenge is that as a company we are all really looking forward to the changes. We regularly work through various scenarios to try and second guess what might happen, but it’s an ever-changing landscape and one we are looking to face head on.

AND WHAT ARE THE BIG OPPORTUNITIES? Funnily enough, that same word, Brexit!  As we leave the EU, the world will open up and become our new playground. The uncertainty of Brexit means that a lot of our customers who work in Europe are already looking at new and exciting markets and this means more opportunities for us to be able to support them.

HOW DO YOU GET THE BEST OUT OF YOUR STAFF? I have great staff who work tirelessly to ensure our customers are looked after. They are not only conscientious but also professional. We chat regularly about issues and jobs that are ongoing and I take a genuine interest in what they are doing. It’s great to have diligent staff who are knowledgeable and who care about the business as much as I do.

WHAT WAS YOUR LAST MEETING ABOUT, HOW LONG DID IT LAST, AND WAS IT PRODUCTIVE? Myself and Anton (our National Sales Manager and also my husband!) had a meeting with a potential new client. Likewise, I also spoke to a roofer about a downpipe on our building so my meetings can also be mundane. I do try to let Anton take those meetings!!

HOW MANY EMAILS DO YOU GET IN A DAY, AND HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU HAVE TO READ THEM? We work in a 24-hour industry so emails are constantly coming through via my mobile and laptop so I am constantly reading them. I really don’t count but I make sure all emails are checked and responded to within a reasonable amount of time.

DO YOU ANSWER WORK CALLS OR EMAILS AT HOME? WHAT’S THE RIGHT WORK-LIFE BALANCE? I very rarely get work related phone calls at home during a normal week. We have a 24-hour approach and our office phone is diverted to a mobile during out of office hours to a staff member. As for emails, I make sure I keep an eye on emails regularly and answer where appropriate. Emails are a silent mode of communication and probably the least invasive. I have woken up in the middle of the night and not been able to fall asleep, and then found myself answering emails - probably to the detriment of falling asleep again. As a business owner, I feel that work life balance is to a certain degree dictated to you by the nature of your business. I have a fantastic team who cover whilst I am away or not in the office. This means that I do communicate with staff whilst on holiday via email or the odd phone call, but I am the business owner and sometimes it’s just simply necessary.

HOW DO YOU HOPE YOUR COLLEAGUES WOULD DESCRIBE YOU? Driven, motivated and knowledgeable, someone who as a boss is fair but firm and someone who works with her staff in order to achieve goals.

BREXIT – WHAT’S YOUR VIEW OF WHAT IT’S ALL GOING TO MEAN? In two words, who knows? We are constantly looking at the news to see if we can find hints of what life might be like after Brexit, but at the moment we are telling customers to do what they are already doing and to wait and see.

HIGHLIGHTS OR LOWLIGHTS OF YOUR CAREER SO FAR? A highlight has most definitely been winning Shropshire Chamber’s Best Small Business Award in 2010. To me, the recognition that what we as a business were, and are, doing is the right thing. Likewise, when we won the Apprentice of the Year award last year, it showed that we were investing the time and effort into the next generation of freight forwarders. Thankfully I’ve not had too many lowlights in the 23 years of business and long may this continue

PET HATES? People not replying to emails quickly enough, even if it’s just an acknowledgment to say they have received it.

IF YOU COULD GO BACK AND GIVE YOUR YOUNGER SELF SOME WISE ADVICE, WHAT WOULD IT BE? Carry on doing what you’re doing and it will all work out. And for goodness sake, stop crying.

HOW DO YOU RELAX AWAY FROM WORK? Since my husband joined the business, it’s very rare that we are far away from work, but I do genuinely love being at home or away with loved ones and simply relaxing. I used to have a motorbike, which meant I could spend spare time doing track days and riding. Sadly I don’t have a motorbike anymore.

WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE IS SPECIAL ABOUT THE SHROPSHIRE BUSINESS COMMUNITY? It’s diverse; a great mix of people doing business locally, nationally and internationally. It’s also the diversity of the clients we work with in Shropshire and the people you meet which makes it a great place to be. One day you are working with a sole trader to move something to the International Centre in Telford, and the next you’re working with a multinational on moving containers to Canada.

TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT YOU THAT MOST PEOPLE PROBABLY WOULDN’T KNOW. Shhhhhhh… I am a member of the local WI in Sheriffhales and am now proudly the treasurer and starting to learn the words of Jerusalem. I have also joined the local book club, which when I used to own a motorbike, I never thought I would ever do!

YOU CAN TAKE ONE BOOK, ONE FILM AND ONE CD ONTO A DESERT ISLAND – WHAT WOULD THEY BE? The book would have to be ‘Feel the Fear’ by Susan Jeffers. It was the book my parents gave me when I started Global Freight at the age of 21. I love a good giggle so my movie of choice is Bridesmaids. And for my music choice it would have to be a Take That CD.

YOUR FIVE DREAM DINNER PARTY GUESTS, DEAD OR ALIVE? Jodie Foster, the Queen, the Hairy Bikers and David Beckham.

WHAT WOULD YOU COOK FOR THEM…? My starter would be a white wine and cheese soup. The main course is a South African dish called Bunny Chow and no, it’s got nothing to do with bunnies in the slightest. For dessert it would have to be Lindt Balls wrapped in filo pastry and deep fried, served with vanilla ice cream and a toffee sauce. It sounds like I can cook, but because I’d be chatting to my guests, I’d get my husband to cook all of this!


Anton returns to his roots

Telford shipping firm MD's South Africa mission

29th February 2020

Freight forwarder is a driving force

Trike business success thanks to award-winning Telford firm

12th August 2019

Shropshire Business LIVE! is returning

Have you booked your place yet for November 28th?

10th October 2019

International trade specialist offers support

Practical advice available on future global trading

17th September 2020

Freight firm supports Dyslexia Awards

Shipping company sponsors Shining Star category

16th October 2020

Sky's the limit for primary school pupils

Local businessman helps judge "Height and Flight" contest

8th July 2019

Freight forwarder warns over shipping scams

Expert says artists and small companies are at increased risk

23rd September 2019

Shipping boss warns of 'no-deal' Brexit risk

Fears that leaving without a deal will damage businesses

1st February 2019

Import warning from shipping experts

Local firm says global supply chains face disruption

15th April 2020

New importers warned of costly risks

Freight specialists say businesses must check the small print

15th May 2020

Anton saddles up for cancer charity

Businessman will take part in national cycling event

18th April 2019

Spotlight on future of international trade

Event will identify post-Brexit export opportunities

21st February 2019

Businesses need an end to all the doubt

County firms respond to Chancellor's spring statement

13th March 2019

Partnership offers online security advice

New joint approach will deliver cyber solutions

11th November 2019

Businesses praise Bank of England event

Students at Telford College meet senior UK economist

29th November 2019