Getting To Know You: Ian Flanagan, managing director, RFM Group

What do you currently do?
I am the managing director of RFM Group, an energetic and dynamic facilities management (FM) and interiors company. My job is varied and no two days are the same. As well as steering the ship towards guaranteeing we meet our growth objectives over the next two to three years, I have to ensure we have the right strategy in place to enable this, which is, quite simply, the best possible team combined with high quality results for our clients.

What is your aim in business moving forward?
While we currently operate on a national level carrying out FM and interior fit-out, my aim is to grow the company to become market leaders in property services. I hope to achieve this by offering our clients world-class services by a team who is proud to be part of RFM Group and has full job satisfaction.

Who do you admire?
The athletes at this year’s Olympics have been a true inspiration, not just to other athletes, but to all of us who strive to be the best at what we do. They have proved with hard work, persistence and determination you really can achieve your full potential.

I also admire Sir Alex Ferguson, he has shown strong leadership throughout the years and continued to get results, something which is difficult for the industry he is in.

Looking back, are there things you would have done differently?
There are always going to be areas that you think you could have done differently, but the best way to gain experience in any field is to make mistakes and learn from them. We started out as a facilities management company, my only regret is not spotting the opportunity earlier that we can provide our clients with a full property services solution.

With this interiors specialism has brought some truly talented professionals into our team which is taking our offering to a whole new level. However, with the benefit of hindsight there are plenty of things we all would have done differently, but there’s no point dwelling on the past, we’re looking to the future!

What defines your way of doing business?
Anyone who knows me will say I am honest, open and straight talking. There’s no point in being afraid of confrontation in business as you won’t get where you need to be. I am passionate about what I do and expect my team to be the same – if they’re not passionate about what they do then you’re not going to be offering the best possible service for your clients.

I also think 100% commitment at every stage of the process is absolutely crucial to business. I encourage my team to look after the buildings we manage as if they were their own – this ensures high quality is always a priority.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out?
If you want to get ahead in business then don’t be afraid to take a risk, be confident you are making the right decision, no successful entrepreneur made their money by waiting for opportunities to come to them.

And always remember the five Ps ‘Perfect Planning Prevents Poor Performance’ – organisation and pre-planning are key to a successful business.