What do you currently do?
Founder and managing director of Addmaster, which develops additives for plastics industries, such as MRSA resistant additives for products used in the healthcare market. We have our products manufactured in the UK and exported all over the world, which is a point of ride for me, as it bucks the current trend of outsourcing manufacturing to the Far East and then importing into the UK.
I also invest in other small businesses and advise them. I am currently working with an artist and a production company.
Who is your inspiration in business?
I started off, as most did, looking up to Richard Branson. Once I even sent him a letter, to which I got a reply wishing me luck! Nowadays, since I’ve been in business myself, my inspiration is the ordinary person who decides to work hard and take responsibility for his actions and position in life. I’ve also always been inspired by my dad, who taught me the basics of buying and selling things. When I was younger he would do things like buy bikes advertised in the free newspapers and resell them to raise extra money for family holidays. I credit him with setting me off on the track I have found myself on today.
Whom do you admire?
I admire my wife for giving me her support when I said I wanted to start a business. She was seven months pregnant with our first child at the time.
Looking back, are there things you would have done differently?
I’m really pleased with the journey I’ve been on but wish I had stuck with my university course, which I dropped out of in the first year as I found the business studies classes too dour. However, when I look back now, I know I have missed out on a lot of life experiences by not finishing the course.
With regards to business, I wouldn’t change too much. But one thing which has been hammered home over the years is making sure that, before embarking on a project or new business relationship, all paperwork is signed and everybody has set out their expectations. When projects become successful it often disappoints me how greedy people can become if clear contracts haven’t been put in place.
What defines your way of doing business?
I always aim to be honest, open, and hard working, and to get involved with projects which are fun! Nobody goes into business by themselves to work on things which they don’t want to work on, or to work with individuals they’d rather not. So being able to choose projects which are appealing is high on my list of priorities.
What advice would you give to anybody just starting out?
Choose a business idea that excites you, and something which you would be able to do for the sheer love of what you can achieve, rather than for the bank balance alone. Alright, we all have bills to pay, but, if you find something which you are really passionate about, and give it your all, you will achieve your goals and then the money you want will come as a by-product of success.