Q&A with Brian Stahelin - Kirklees Business News

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Article is featured in the Huddersfield Examiner, Kirklees Business News, p7, 5 July 2018

Brian Stahelin is chairman of the Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce and founder and managing director of Stafflex. Before entering the recruitment profession, Brian held positions in personnel with Nestle, Mecca, the BBC as well as contract roles within food and construction. Brian is a trustee of King James’s School and Kirklees Active Leisure.


What’s the Chamber’s motto?

Our business motto at the Mid Yorkshire Chamber is ‘We’re here to connect, support and represent our members’.


How do you make contacts which are useful for the Chamber?

The search for useful/helpful contacts is continuous and involves attending the chamber’s own member networking events as well as the local business forums that we hold separately in Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield. In addition, we meet various trade associations as well as keeping in regular touch with large and small employers, our local MPs, local authorities, other local and national groups, plus the British Chambers of Commerce.


What makes the Chamber different?

The Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce is an accredited member of the British Chamber of Commerce network. Through our affiliation, our business network which represents thousands of businesses of all sizes and sectors, employing over 5,000,000 employees. We support and connect our members, bringing together firms to build new relationships, share best practice and foster new opportunities. We also provide a voice for our members, amplifying their priorities and concerns, to improve the local business environment in which they operate.


What do you always have with you?

Mobile telephone, pencil and five £1 coins.


Do you dress-up or dress-down for business?

That depends on what the situation/event is. Normally a suit but if not, smart/casual i.e. trousers and jacket.


Which person has inspired you most in your business life and in what way?

Whoever said: “If you believe you can do it, you probably can. If you believe you can’t do it you probably can’t – either way, you will be right”. (I think it was Henry Ford).


What’s your proudest achievement in business?

Setting up my own business, Stafflex Ltd. It is relatively easy to join an established organisation but when you have to make big decisions about signing property leases, arranging finance loans – all of which require personal guarantees – you appreciate the risk and possibility of losing everything if you fail.


What’s the Chamber’s greatest asset?

Without wanting to sound trite it is, without question, our staff who have worked stoically on behalf of chamber members.


Do you use social media and if so with what success?

We use all forms of social media on the basis that if we don’t make ‘the noise’, no one else will do it for us. Measuring success produces variable results depending on how topical/trending our content is. On balance, stats suggest that we do OK compared with many others.


If you hadn’t gone down your chosen career path, what would you be doing?

My original choice was to be a geologist.


Give us one top for a successful business

Keep talking with people until you get to the point of yes or no, by agreement, and to know why you have arrived at that decision.


At what time of the day are you most creative or inspired?

There is no particular time and often the creative thought or ‘light bulb moment’ comes from speaking with colleagues and friends.


How do you relax away from work?

Lots of things help me relax. Some are obvious such as going to the pub, watching TV, seeing friends= and family or simply doing nothing! Less obvious ones but as therapeutic can be ironing shirts, cutting grass etc.


When do you take your coffee break?

The concept of a coffee break is a bit alien to me as it suggests stopping what you are doing. At work I make a cuppa first thing to have at my desk and often find I still haven’t drink it when ready to leave at the end of the day. At home., I don’t have coffee breaks.


Who’d you most like to have a coffee with?

Her majesty the Queen. It would be great to hear about the experiences the Queen has had during her lifetime.


What’s your coffee break favourite?

Raiding Paul Balderstone’s biscuit tin!