What is your business and your role in it?
I am the owner of Car Lease 4 You, a car and van leasing group based in Londonderry. I am responsible for all aspects of the business, including finance, sales and customer care.
What motivated you to become an entrepreneur?
I started the business in 2009. My motivation was finding a gap in the market, coupled with my expertise in the motor trade over the last 10 years. This made it a win win situation for me.
What were the biggest challenges in starting up?
Cash flow was a challenge at the start. When we started trading, we did so from nothing apart from a few pounds we had in the bank as a reserve. We quickly found our feet and the money started coming in as we grew our database of customers.
What is your unique selling point?
We have a few USPs. Firstly, we are the only dedicated car and van leasing group in the north west. We specialise in prestige cars from Ferraris to Lamborghinis, a market that is growing with us.
What qualities make you a good entrepreneur?
Anyone can have the comfort of working for a big company and taking a wage, but a real entrepreneur can see that there is a bigger wage to be made in working for themselves. The sense of achievement proves it is worthwhile.
How did you go about marketing the company when you started?
We looked at all aspects of marketing and decided that we should be sensible with our cash. We put a lot of money into our website and invested heavily in Google adword campaigns.
What are the biggest challenges to growth?
The biggest challenge is financial constraints that our clients are under. We combat this by offering the best value for money service in the north west.
We put in the hard work and so we have not lost any of customers to competitors
If you were starting out again, what would you do differently?
I would have done it five years ago, when companies were spending money more freely on leasing new vehicles.
What plans have you to develop the company further?
We are always developing new ideas and new relationships all over the UK. I have plans for 2011 and I am very excited about what is to come.
What are you doing that is innovative?
We have became very active this year with our social media efforts. Facebook, Twitter and Linked In are popular forms of social media, which are completely free. We use these to generate sales and leads.
How do you keep yourself and/or your staff motivated?
Motivation really comes from within. We are motivated and we really have to be all the time and always looking for the next clients. Outside of business I play golf to relax and enjoy watching rugby, which helps me unwind.
Which entrepreneur do you most admire?
Any person who has left a paid job to pursue their own business has to be admired, especially in the current climate.
What is your favourite gadget?
None. I am not a gadget type of person
If you could do any job, what would it be?
I would have liked to be a pilot when I was younger. I still think sometimes that I will invest in a few lessons.
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