After everything that had happened during my pervious employment, after the initial shock, the next feeling was freedom! I was away from the hours and hours of thankless work and stress and the world was my oyster, the only issue was I did not have a means of income!
I made the decision that I did not want to go back into the same pattern, so I started to set up my own business to provide commercial services within my sector. I organised a meeting with the bank and set-up a business account then met with an accountant that was recommended to me and they set me up as a limited company, sorted my VAT registration and within a week or so I was ready to trade.
I then covered the basics, of setting up an email account, preparing a home office and getting in touch with all of my contacts to market my services. Within days I had a meetings with potential clients and the work was starting to come in. At the same time, a recruitment agency had been in touch and there was a business that required my services on a regular basis. Fantastic!
The business that provided me with the majority of my work was a small business that had attempted to build a new sector of their company that had failed so the bulk of my work was to close the sector down as efficiently as possible. It was a great shame as they had a great model set up but unfortunately they just did not have the right people in place. After gaining the confidence of the owners I was asked to a meeting to discuss a potential opportunity.
I was told that there was a couple of schemes they were contractually obliged to undertake and they asked if I could resource a team to deliver these schemes. This I did, and with great success. They were amazed with the performance that we achieved and straight away wanted me to consider looking at further schemes for them.
This coincided with an old boss and friend of mine being available for work, so I organised a meeting with the owners for him and a deal was reached that we, in partnership, would aim to build a successful sector for the owners and although it was their business, we would be able to run it and make decisions as if it were our own. This did mean, however, that I had to stop trading through my own business and become an employee again! As I was enjoying what we were doing so much, and as we agreed a deal where we would be financially awarded for our performance this did not cause an issue to me. Also, it meant that I would receive a title of Director that was something that I had be striving for for years in my previous employment!
The work days were difficult but enjoyable and the feeling of ownership and total control was exciting and rewarding. After the first year of trading we had built a £5m per year standalone business that was performing at a fantastic margin. A margin that I never comprehended could be achieved.
The next three years where a whirlwind as we grew quickly but managed to maintain control and efficiency and had grew to become a business that was turning over £25m per year and maintained a fantastic profit margin. The sector that we had grew was actually as big and profitable as the rest of the company combined and the pride that came with what we had done was massive. We have a significant number of people in employment (over 100) and this all added to the pride in the job!
This was a massive change in my life over the 4 year period and at the same time I had moved to a new home and had been married so everything was looking good!