Nigel on getting into business...
I started my own business around eight years ago. There are a number of different divisions or brands to it now. I’m based in Solihull in the West Midlands but we have have had franchise for sale opportunities right across the UK and indeed in six other countries.
I left school at 16 and joined Barclays. I was never a banker as such; I worked at call centres and that sort of thing. I left Barclays to join the Phones 4 U empire. My last employed job was with Card Protection Plan, where I was MD of a division.
Working with two very successful self-made entrepreneurs, Phones 4 U founder John Caudwell and CPP founder Hamish Ogston, really crystalised in my mind that I wanted my own 'train set'. And so in late 2002 I took the leap and set up on my own enterprise, which is one of the best things I’ve done in my life.
We’ve been together a long time and no one achieves sustainable, long-term success on their own
On what he attributes his success to...
There are one or two individuals that I’ve learnt a lot from, so a commitment to learning is really key. I’ve got a very strong team around me now.
There are more than 40 people with me in Solihull but I’ve got a strong management team of five or six people. We’ve been together a long time and no one achieves sustainable, long-term success on their own. So they’ve been really important as well.
The third element is passion and enthusiasm. I love what I do. And every day is like a holiday for me really. I’m really blessed in that respect.
I love my work and I think that shows. People warm to that. If you can be passionate, have a good work ethic and get up early enough, then you can have a lot of success.
On the danger of trying to do too much and future plans...
Yes that can be a danger. But we’re quite good at it now: we’ve built five separate million-pound businesses in the last five years.
We launched another one in September, which will be another million-pound business – about that I’m in no doubt whatsoever. It’s already well on the way, it’s had the most successful launch of any product we’ve ever done.
I’m in a situation now where I’ve got a team of people who are able to help make these things happen. But as I said right at the beginning, all entrepreneurs love bright, shiny new things and I think that’s what keeps us going.
New opportunities are there all around us and I will be striving to get my share of them in the months and years ahead.