Lessons I have learnt: Josh Yasar

Finance and Commercial Director of Pound Gates
Pound Gates is a leading independent chartered insurance broker and risk management organisation, serving clients in Suffolk and beyond. In my role, I lead the Accounts and Finance team and am responsible for developing and implementing strategies in line with the company’s growth objectives.
Published in Suffolk Director Magazine Winter 2023

We asked Josh, who is the Finance and Commercial Director of Pound Gates and its sister companies based in Ipswich, to look back and reflect on his younger self.

Q&As

How would you describe yourself at 18?

At 18, I lived in Turkey and owned two clothes shops in Bodrum, a tourist hotspot. I was extremely ambitious, enthusiastic and hardworking. 

If you could go back knowing what you know now, what three things would you tell yourself to do before starting a business / becoming a director?

  1. It is really important to understand the scale of commitment required, both from a financial and personal perspective, to run a successful business.
  2. Be yourself, everyone’s path to success is different so write your own story.
  3. It won’t be plain sailing. Make sure you are ready for the rollercoaster ride and stay strong.

If you could relive one day what would it be and why?

Professionally, it was the day I achieved my ACCA qualification. This was a very challenging journey for reasons that are hard to explain here but receiving my ACCA certificate was a wonderful day, as it allowed me to really kickstart my career journey.

What are the biggest lessons you have learnt about running a business?

Place customer service above anything else; happy customers tend to become loyal customers and loyal customers tend to be the best advocates for your business alongside your staff. Have open and honest communication with staff, as without them you cannot service your customers. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Learn from them, stay positive and surround yourself with people you can trust.    

How did you deal with a big mistake, and what did you learn from the experience?

During the early 2000s, my business started to struggle due to the impact on the Turkish tourism industry caused by the war in Iraq and the trouble in the Middle East. I now realise that my over-indulged self-confidence affected the decisions I made, and perhaps with more experience and guidance, I would have acted differently and saved myself some heartache along the way.

What does the future have in store for Pound Gates?

At Pound Gates, we are committed to achieving exceptional outcomes for our clients, creating a great place to work for our staff and to ‘do good’ in the communities in which we are active. We also have exciting plans in place to grow our business locally in Suffolk as the largest truly independent insurance broker in the county. Watch this space!

What does the future have in store for you personally?

I am currently at an exciting phase in my career journey, so the plan is to stay focused, work hard, learn more, look after my health – both physically and mentally – and ultimately achieve my personal and professional goals in the next five years.

For more information, visit www.poundgates.com

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