Getting to know the wonderful Jonathan and Sarah Henderson, who own The Ship Inn at Gatehouse of Fleet, based in the beautiful Galloway in the South West of Scotland.
Tell us about yourselves
Sarah and I own a small hotel in a tourist town having spent 40 years between us in various financial services roles. I moved to Gatehouse of Fleet in 2015, with my wife and 2 young children following shortly after. It has to be the least predictable but most fun job ever, thankfully the bad days are just that, isolated moments that disappear as quick as they arrive.
What did you aspire to be as a child?
I wanted to re-float the Titanic and operate it as a hotel. Ironically having sunk a couple of my own boats I’m happy to leave some of my childhood aspirations behind.
What do you feel most proud of in your life to date?
Leading the financial restructure of a well-known hotel chain that delivered an equitable outcome for the creditors, HMRC and most importantly saved jobs that would have been lost had the business gone through a fire sale or insolvency process.
What drew you to working with David Allen, and how has your business progressed as a result?
Amy Muirhead was our first point of contact and is client-focused and a good listener which made me think I was dealing with an organisation that was genuinely there for us and responsive to our needs. For me I don’t like being treated as any less relevant than a corporate entity and that’s why I like David Allen’s approach towards us. Our business continues to benefit from David Allen streamlining our reporting/finance functions allowing us to focus on what we are good at it! Which is definitely not payroll or book keeping.
Describe working with the David Allen team in three words.
Efficient, approachable, solutions-oriented.
What does the future hold, how will David Allen help with this?
Stabilise the restaurant and hotel business amidst various headwinds that continue to depress margins. Retirement/wealth planning advice… not quite there yet… but on the horizon.
What is your strongest personal quality?
Approachability and a warm nature.
If you could trade lives with one person for an entire day, who would it be and why?
Bono – Always wanted to know if his life was that of a philanthropist trying to change the world for the better or just another well-intentioned, but ultimately conceited rock star.
Choose a movie title for the story of your life.
Happy Gilmore – my nickname and reflective of my sporting prowess.
What is the first piece of advice you would give an aspiring Business person?
Develop a clear vision and goals for the business before you start, and review/re-appraise regularly so that you can tweak/address issues before they suffocate your business.
What is your Monday Motivation?
Make someone else smile or laugh before 9am each day.
Situated in an area of outstanding natural beauty the Ship is surrounded close to the coast and on the edge of the magnificent Galloway Forest Park with lochs, forest trails and unique wildlife.
Established in 1794 this historic 4 star hotel is the perfect base for a relaxing break in beautiful Galloway in the South West of Scotland. You are always assured of a friendly welcome, delicious home cooked food, an extensive drinks selection and a comfortable bed at the Ship Inn in Gatehouse of Fleet. To find out more, visit: www.theshipinngatehouse.com