Ex-oil worker and jockey enjoying thriving in new customs venture

Bethan Customs Consultancy L-R Aby Wilson, Stuart Wood, Elaine Lownds, George Laing, and Director, Nicola Alexander
ABERDEEN, SCOTLAND - MAY17, 2019:

Bethan Customs Consultancy helps businesses grow through importing and exporting.
Bethan Customs Consultancy L-R Aby Wilson, Stuart Wood, Elaine Lownds, George Laing, and Director, Nicola Alexander ABERDEEN, SCOTLAND - MAY17, 2019: Bethan Customs Consultancy helps businesses grow through importing and exporting.

A former trainee horse racing jockey who later worked in the North Sea energy industry is enjoying life after oil with her fledgling customs consultancy.

Nicola Alexander set up Bethan Customs Consultancy, in Aberdeenshire, in August 2015 following the birth of her second child.

The business, which provides independent advice, as well as training and ongoing support to businesses throughout the UK in relation to customs compliance and supply chain requirements, has doubled its team from three to six people since the start of this year.

Recent recruits include former HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) higher officer George Laing, who has joined the firm as a customs consultant.

The business is now turning over more than three times its first year revenue, while the client list has multplied five-fold.

Brexit uncertainty and frequent HMRC rule changes keep the team on their toes.

Ms Alexander said: “We continuously monitor the import-export compliance landscape.

While we would never claim to have all the answers at our fingertips, we always support our clients fully, and work with them and HMRC to proactively come up with a solution.”

Following her brief foray into horse racing in Dorset, Ms Alexander returned to her north-east roots in 2000 and embarked on a career in the North Sea industry.

For the next eight years she worked in the logistics and customs department of Weatherford International, becoming a senior customs co-ordinator.

Jobs with Transocean and Pentagon Freight followed, before she decided to fulfil her life-long ambition of setting up her own business – initially working from home.

Two years ago she moved her firm into rented office space in Oldmeldrum and took on her first member of staff.

Having rapidly outgrown its first office, Bethan relocated to a purpose-built suite in Colpy Business Park just over a year ago.

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