What do you do?
I am the Managing Director of Pawn Brokers Direct.com, one of the largest online pawn brokering companies in the country. My main role within the company is dealing with clients looking for funding for business ventures.
With over twenty years in the finance and jewellery industry I find I still get a buzz dealing with clients and businesses on a daily basis and as we have a great team dealing with the valuing and storage of assets I am able to spend more time with our clients. However, as a solely online business I also like to oversee the valuing of items coming into the company, which may range from property to designer watches, and their safe storage.
With the recent downturn in the economy we are being seen by more and more entrepreneurs as a good alternative to use for raising finance quickly.
What is your inspiration?
I think it’s extremely hard to pinpoint one source of inspiration. I have always been aware of what the people around me have been doing and I have always enjoyed being my own boss. With a career in financial services I have also always been very money motivated and aware how hard it can be to launch a new start up. From this I have taken inspiration from individuals that have been able to make the transition to a successful and thriving business.
Who do you admire?
I admire a number of people both within business and outside of business. I especially admire people that are willing to put themselves on the line in order to build a business. If I had to pick a specific person it would be Philip Green, from humble beginnings and obstacles along the way he has succeeded.
Looking back are there things you would have done differently?
To get to the point that I am at now I have had to take the rough with the smooth and inevitably have made some mistakes along the way. However, the plan is to learn from each mistakes and build on what’s happened.
Every business comes with a challenge, some you expect and some you don’t. I may also have been guilty of focusing all attention towards our online ventures when we could have invested more time in offline activities, however the problem is finding the balance that works!
What defines your way of doing business?
Thinking big! When I set up PawnBrokersDirect.com I knew that I wanted it to be the biggest online Pawnbrokering company and that I wanted to change the way that clients viewed the term pawnbrokering as there is still a somewhat Dickensian image of the industry.
I also believe that our clients define our business, they can make or break your company. If we didn’t offer an outstanding service, we wouldn’t be in business!
What advice would you give to someone starting out?
Plan and Plan again – get the structure of your company right and ensure your customers are happy this is vital – Talk to them regularly for feedback.