What do you currently do?
I am Managing Director of a bailiff business; JBW Group. We work mainly with local and central government organisations but we also work with private companies and solicitors. My day to day role usually involves a combination of activities around strategic management, sales, PR and marketing, and the jobs our company undertakes can range from collecting unpaid parking fines from footballers, to recovering commercial rent arrears and council tax to evicting squatters. I also appear regularly on TV and radio giving debt advice.
Who is your inspiration in business?
My competitors. We have constant challenges placed in front of us by competitors who do not like our modern take on things and the speed at which we adapt to change.
It is this that inspires me to get out of bed in the morning and make our company the best at what we do.
Whom do you admire?
Richard Branson due to his success in building businesses and his concentration on brand and PR. These are two areas of my business that are very important – especially given the image that some people have of the bailiff industry
Looking back are there things you would have done differently?
No not really. Of course I have made mistakes along the way, and going forward I will not do them again, but I am glad I made these mistakes when I did. Learning is fantastic and all mistakes are worth making if they make you better next time. I have been criticised for taking on too much at one time, but in reality I love having too much on – it keeps me alive!
What defines your way of doing business?
My management style is very much based around letting people make decisions and giving them decision making jobs. I am not needed on a day to day basis for my company to run, I am only required for it to succeed.
I have a great team, who make their own decisions which leaves me free to act as an entrepreneur. I have always had a good attention to detail which means I can spot bad working practices without having to be there every minute of the day watching over everyone.
What advice would you give?
Work hard, listen and don’t always speak. It is amazing how much quicker you will succeed by making mistakes, so make them. Find areas of the business that will challenge you and take that challenge. Pay your bills on time and be nice to people – you never know when you may need them.
If you think the computer you are about to buy should cost £1,000, then pay £1,000. You may well get it for £900 with some fierce negotiation but your relationship with the sales person who you may well buy another £100,000 worth of computers from will be damaged. Demand a good deal but always with respect.