- Kindly give our readers an introduction to your business. Please include what your business is all about, in which city you are located and if you have offices in multiple locations/ cities.
Ans: Our business is simply “Property”. We Buy, sell, refurbish and rent in London
- Kindly give us a brief description about yourself (it should include your brief educational or entrepreneurial background and list some of your major achievements).
Ans: I took an “Economics” degree what is now: East London University. I graduated with BSc Honours degree. My intention was to work for an investment bank in “The City of London”.
- What inspired you to (start a new business venture) or (to make significant changes in an existing business)? How did the idea for your business come about?
Ans: I was trying to start a small business after I graduated from the University. I made an appointment to see the bank manager. I gave him a “Business Plan” and projected future earnings etc. He kept asking if I had a property to put down as security. I kept saying: it is the business that is going to earn the money to pay back the loan. Needless to say; he rejected my small business loan. I realized that I needed to get into the property if I need to borrow from the banks in future.
- What three pieces of advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
Ans: Property is good for as a security to get “Finance” for other purposes. However, you must not forget that the money borrowed (Loan) is to earn more money. Therefore, live within your means and do not treat that loan as spending money. Pay your debts on time.
- What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
Ans: We are all in “People’s business”. You must have good communications skill. I know some of us has forgotten maths we learned in school. The figures have to work in any business. You must be able to work the figures yourself. After all the buck stops with you. Lastly, never forget your humble beginnings. Be thankful for all you have achieved.
- How many hours do you work a day on average?
Ans: I get bored easily. When we go away on holiday: first day; is getting used to the new surroundings. Second day; enjoying the pool and food. By the end of third day: I’m looking for something else to do. For that reason my working hours differ from most people. We have a five year old grand daughter staying with us. She wakes up 6.30 every morning without failure. I am always up with her. My day starts at 6.30 am with a coffee and carries on from there.
- To what do you most attribute your success?
Ans: Hard work. I don’t believe in “Luck”. Harder you work more lucky you will get. But, you must enjoy your work. Otherwise working becomes a chore.
- How do you go about marketing your business? What has been your most successful form of marketing?
Ans: marketing used to be mainly in the papers. But this has shifted from the days of “Loot” to internet marketing. Now a days our marketing 95% over the internet.
- Where did your organizations funding/capital come from and how did you go about getting it? How did you obtain investors for your venture?
Ans: I used to be one of the best “Heating Engineers” in the area. I moved on to 24hrs call outs. Hours were un-sociable, but earnings were very good. I saved my money and put down a deposit for my first property. Then carried on building the next deposit with rent from that property and my income from work.
- What is the best way to achieve long-term success?
Ans: We all must adapt to new ways of doing things. Those businesses who didn’t adopt died. Digital photography was invented by a “Kodak” engineer. They wouldn’t adapt. Eventually died. Another business from old days was: Blockbusters. They used to be a huge business. They decided not to adapt to new way of doing business. They could have kept the old business and diversified to new ways. Even buy businesses in the new era of video streaming. Look what happened to them.
- Where you see yourself and your business in 5 – 10 years?
Ans: our intention is to grow the business steadily. I have seen those businesses who expanded too fast, folded during last recession. An example of this is old Mortgage Express. We made very good use of their services while they were around. Look what happened to them while others survived.
- Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?
Ans: I admire “Apple” the most. Steve Jobs was a visionary. He saw where the changing business environment going. He exploited to the full and created a huge business.