The Dovecote Inn: The village pub bucking the trend.

David and Linda Brown took over The Dovecote Inn in May 2007 with no significant experience in the pub industry, coming from textiles and healthcare industries respectively.

There were big challenges from day one:

  • raising the required finances
  • proving to the landlords, The Crown Estate, that they were the right people to take the business forward, and
  • the culture shock of the extremely long hours that pub owners are expected to work.

Aggressive rent increases and a 500% increase in rates followed. The delightful location, at the top of several hills proved to be a curse when 3 successive winters of above average snowfall led to a loss of trade because their loyal customers were either unable to venture out!

To their credit, they coped admirably with all of these problems alone.

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However, it doesn’t need to be that way. A good accountant will always offer way more than simply number-crunching and the filing of tax returns.

And it was for this very reason that they moved from the accountant that they inherited when first taking over the lease. At the time, they felt an accountant who specialised in the pub industry offered them the most potential for advising and supporting the business going forward.

Unfortunately, the new accountants failed to deliver on their promises, communication from them was poor and deadlines for filing were frequently missed.

Sunny Accountants contacted The Dovecote in 2013, we were already acting for several pubs at this time and we were keen to add to our portfolio.

“Karl came to see us and presented Sunny Accountancy Services which turned out to be exactly what we were looking for.”

We explained how we seek to work alongside our clients with a genuine desire to provide support and advice. Clients can take for granted filings will be made on time.

How are we different? We asked one of the partners, David:

“Sunny Accountants are always on hand to provide advice and support. Prompt service, realistic charge for service.”

Karl Watts visited the Dovecote every month for the first couple of years to discuss business, answer any queries, and provide management information on the previous month’s figures. 

During the last few years we have advised on:

  • Managing cashflow and preparing monthly forecasts
  • How to be proactive, rather than reactive
  • The different types of VAT schemes and selecting the right one for the client
  • The right bookkeeping package and training on how to use it
  • Funding options for fixed assets
  • The most tax efficient way to run vehicles
  • Business plan preparation
  • Increasing the number of let bedrooms and the financial impact
  • Valuing a business and advising on the acquisition of a business
  • Creating an exit strategy
  • Personal financial planning for retirement

We still collect paperwork monthly and the partners know that if they ever need any advice, they can ask Karl Watts to visit personally. This is all included in their fixed monthly fee - something we offer to all of our clients.

The business still faces many challenges however turnover is increasing, cashflow has improved, and profitability is better than ever.

We are excited to hear of their future plans to expand their letting business, act as a wedding venue, and get to work on improving that gross profit margin further.

The Dovecote Inn are situated in Laxton, near Newark. Why not book a table today, you are sure of a warm welcome and an excellent meal.