Meet Jenna, director at Chill Gas Ltd
Family-owned and run, Chill Gas offers complete plumbing, central heating, oil and gas services for both domestic and commercial customers in Northern Ireland. Jenna and her team boast years of experience in the industry, and in starting Chill Gas, they’ve been able to combine their existing skills with a more modern approach that focuses on making people’s lives easier. It’s a mission that deeply resonates with us at Tide, which is why we’re thrilled to have Chill Gas as one of our Plus members.
We caught up with Jenna to learn more about life as a small business owner, why she loves using Tide’s Expense Cards, and what’s next for her company. We’re grateful to her for taking the time out of her busy schedule to speak to us, particularly as she’s recently welcomed a new baby! Congratulations from all of us at Tide.
Hi Jenna 👋, it’s great to chat with you. To kick things off, can you tell us what motivated you to start your company, Chill Gas Ltd?
My husband and I are directors of the company, and we’re under 30 with three young children. We were always passionate about launching our own business and felt we could offer customers something better than what was out there. We wanted the plumbing and heating industry to move with the times (which it wasn’t), which is why we decided our business would be different. For starters, we’ve set up an online booking system and a text system – these allow our customers to book and pay at a time that suits them, and be kept up to date throughout their job. We understood the frustration of booking tradesmen and them not showing up, and by setting up our new systems, we’ve been able to put a stop to this.
“We chose Tide because of its flexibility. It seemed (and is) the most modern option out there.”
Tide has made a commitment to support women in business, which is yet another reason why we love hearing stories like yours. What advice do you have for other women looking to start a business within a traditionally male-led industry?
Confidence is key. If you’re knowledgeable about your industry and know what you want to say, then say it with confidence and others will trust in you and want to listen. You’ll win the respect of others in your industry if you lead by example and show them that you have an educated opinion.
On that note, what’s been your biggest challenge since starting your business?
Finances! And Tide has helped massively with this. We found it difficult to get a business bank account during lockdown, and we struggled with bookkeeping (we’re now using Xero which Tide links with). Making payments with our previous bank was a huge struggle, but it’s much easier with Tide. We’re young parents with young children, so we needed something we could operate from our phones – and Tide is perfect for that! Having Expense Cards for our team is also incredible, as it means we can continue to work on our own jobs while all our engineers have access to spending, which is a huge timesaver for us.
What do you love most about your company and being a small business owner?
Having previously worked for other companies, we were frustrated by being micromanaged and not being given trust and autonomy. That’s why we’re so proud of the culture we’ve created at Chill Gas – our staff all feel they have control over their work. We simply load their jobs onto their apps and they control their days, and with Expense Cards, this even allows them to buy their own materials. We love seeing them so happy and having customers give us positive feedback about our team.
How did you hear about Tide? Why did you choose us?
We heard about Tide through our accountant and chose it because of its flexibility. It seemed (and is) the most modern option out there. We didn’t want to have to run to the bank constantly or spend our days on the phone with the bank when we could be making money!
Being a Plus member has helped us in managing our business, too. Again, one of the biggest reasons for this is Expense Cards, which allow our staff the autonomy to continue their work without needing us there to approve payments. It gives us more time to focus on making money rather than the back office stuff.
We’re glad to hear it! We’d like to continue offering guidance and resources to our members, to help them run and grow their businesses. Do you have any top tips for fellow business owners or those just starting out?
Resilience. Never give up. There will be hugely bad days and days you want to stick your head in the sand, but it’s all worth it.
One final question: looking ahead, what’s next for Chill Gas Ltd?
We’re currently looking at expanding into ROI and the mainland UK markets. We are hiring another new staff member this month and growing daily!
Connect with Chill Gas Ltd
Could you be our next Member Spotlight?
Enjoyed reading our interview with Jenna? Want to showcase your business to thousands of fellow Tide members? Register your interest and we’ll be in touch if you’re shortlisted.