Getting to Know You: Chris Phillips

What do you do currently?
We started as a web hosting company and although we’ve grown to become one of the biggest players in that industry, I’ve spent that last few years diversifying into investments in order to help other young entrepreneurs build their own successful businesses.

Day to day I’m heavily involved in seeking out new investment opportunities, working closely with their management to ensure they are in the best possible place to grow, planning forward strategies for growth and bringing in the best possible team to help them achieve this.

What is your inspiration in business?
I’m really inspired by entrepreneurial people, rather than companies generally, which is why our portfolio of investments is so diverse. We’ve invested in everything from golf clubs to nightclubs, from to children’s clothing brands to restaurants and that’s largely down to the people behind them. I like helping people who have big ideas, aspirations for the future and a great work ethic. They are a lot of fun to work with and keep things exciting. Plus seeing them grow and often incredibly fast is really satisfying.

Who do you admire?
I really admire Richard Branson, and his ability to run multiple business in different sectors. Not only does he generally achieve massive success in every area he works in, he also appears to be really laid back, with all the time in the world and having lots of fun along the way.

Looking back, are there things you would have done differently?
I started my first web hosting company while I was still at school – mainly because I really didn’t want to have to get a paper-round! Before I knew it I had over 100,000 companies using my service and I really didn’t have time for anything else! So I guess, looking back, I wish I had started it all about two years later so I could have enjoyed myself a bit more when I was younger, rather than working 24/7.

What defines your way of doing business?
I am very much a believer in the Wayne Gretzky quote, saying ‘you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take’. That’s why I always want to make the most of opportunities put in front of me. I don’t mind losing money on an opportunity as long as we gave it 100%.

Although Just Develop It is now a large business, we always try to think entrepreneurially and act quickly on any opportunity which presents itself. We know that with hard work, growth is almost always achievable, but a lot of companies these days will give up on projects too soon if they don’t show immediate returns, which I think is a great shame.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out?
That it takes time! Success isn’t built over night and nothing ever goes entirely to plan. Half of what you do will fail, or not go as expected, but if you’re adaptable, open to change and able to keep focused on your end goal you will get there in the end. At the point where you are ready to quit the chances are you are on the edge of success.