I have always relished a challenge in my life. I have been at my happiest when tasked with building businesses from the ground upwards. During the past 30+ years I have managed to do this successfully on a number of occasions.
As a young boy I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit. from the age of 11 I would sell chocolate bars at school to friends. My uncle worked in a chocolate factory, and I used to buy boxes of Ovaltine chocolate from him.
There were 12 bars in a box, I would pay £3 per box. I would then sell them for 50p each, making 100 % profit. Any business in 2020 would be proud to make this kind of margin ongoing I was doing it without really understanding at such a young age what it meant. I was just happy with the thrill of making extra money each week. Another side hustle was to buy dinner tickets for half price from the kids on free school meals.
Some weeks I could make £20 from my two little ventures. 40 years ago, this was a lot of money for a young boy like me to be making.
These two strategies worked well for me. So, I continued with them all the way through my school years to make some extra money. I wasn’t aware at the time what entrepreneurism was.
Looking back, I guess I had some in me from what I was doing. I am happy to say it has stuck with me throughout my life.
In 1990/91 at the age of 21 I embarked on my first business growth strategy. As a commercial lottery manager for a local professional rugby club.
I was tasked with setting up their first £1 per week lottery draw from inception. The proceeds were to go towards recruiting new players from Australia & New Zealand.
With this in mind the pressure was on to succeed.
I had a 3-month window before the launch date. Hitting the ground running was so important to be able to meet the deadline.
Recruiting as many agents as possible to sell the lottery on a weekly basis was the key to the launch being successful.
The rugby club had an average crowd of around 5000. At the launch we had 6500 people paying £1 per week. On the back of 500 agents recruited from factories pubs clubs’ shops hairdressers’ newsagents all doing their bit.
The Lottery was a huge success generating £250,000 per year to buy new players. It was much needed funds for the promotion to division 1.
Two years later I was head hunted by my local Football Club to do the same. With an average crowd of 1500 people, we launched with 4000 paying members & 350 recruited agents.
Again, the proceeds contributed to valuable player transfer funds. I must point out that all of what was achieved, was done with a landline telephone, contact book & word of mouth.
I suppose you could call this way of doing things, the analogue or the old-fashioned strategy for sales, marketing & operations.
In 1994 I started my first business supplying fishing baits to shops around London UK. I fell into this business; I agreed initially to go and secure the new business for a good friend.
I secured 14 new shops to buy fishing baits he was breeding himself. I rang all the shops for their first week’s order, it was double what he was already breeding.
When the first week delivery came about, my friend said he had no one to deliver. I said, you give me a wholesale price and I will deliver them myself. It would appear that being entrepreneurial has always been a part of my DNA.
I seem to be at my best when challenged to build something from the ground upwards. I crave finding the right solutions & strategies that are successful in building growth in a business & personal development.
In 2002 I became the Commercial Sales & Operations Director for a waste company. There were 2 wagons in operation when I started. Over an 8-year period to 2010 I & the team built the business up to approx. 17 lorries and £3m pa turnover.
I had many successes within the 8 years including expanding the businesses to two waste transfer stations, one quarry for tipping & aggregates. A new commercial waste arm of the business together with local council tipping contracts.
In 2008 I had my biggest challenge to date. With only 4 days to put the venture together, I took on a large local authority contract.
This was due to the waste collections team going on strike. It was initially a 2-week contract, I operated it for 11 weeks. 17 new lorries were in operation from week 2, 70 new staff, all operations including routing were organised by myself.
11 weeks on and nearly killing myself, we turned over £1.5m with a nett profit of £750k. Not bad for a business venture I had never undertaken before.
In 2010 I decided I had made enough money for other people. I wanted to do something for myself again. I set up my own business consulting.
Over a 10-year period, I am fortunate to have worked all over the world in places like. China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Bangladesh, Africa, USA & Europe.
Mainly consulting for companies who had a product or service to offer and or who were looking to engage with companies who provided similar.
Securing logistics contracts for 5000 containers per year. Brokering £2m booze contract to Asia, procuring £20m of development finance for clients have been some credible successes throughout this period.
As a prospective partner to you and your business, it is important to note that I have been in similar positions throughout my career in planning the best growth strategies to work with and grow businesses.
From the start of my career to the current new digital age, I have found it can be a mine field in deciding the best solution and strategy to run with.
I will be there by your side in helping you find and work with the best and most innovative ways. Combining some of the old techniques together with the new digital ones can be the key to successfully growing your business the smart way.
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