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Entrepreneurs Panel

Jeremy Roberts
Richard O'Sullivan
David Pollock
Charlie Mullins
Julie Meyer
Steve Purdham
Tony Caldeira
Michael Oliver
Brian Hay
Laura Tenison
Jennie Johnson
Debbie Pierce

Parking Problems

Brian Hay

Co-founded freight forwarding company Cardinal Maritime in 1998 using a £5,000 loan. The firm has offices in South Africa, Ireland and Holland, as well as its headquarters in Eccles and aims to open six more in Europe by 2012. It made a profit before interest and tax of over £1 million on a turnover of £38 million to March 2009.

Question: 

I run a specialist logistics firm based not far from a residential area and, as the business has grown, we have found ourselves having to park some lorries on the road outside at certain times of day.

There have been complaints to the council about this and the council seems to be taking their side. I can’t really afford to move at the moment – despite the fact that we are expanding, because of fuel prices and other market factors we’re making the same profit as we did two years ago when turnover was lower. What can I do?

Answer: 

Great news that you are expanding in what are clearly difficult times for the road haulage and logistics sector.

It is apparent that your current facilities are beginning to frustrate your endeavours and whilst it can be an expensive process to transfer business premises, now is absolutely the best time to take advantage of the downturn in the commercial property sector. A tough call now could put you in excellent shape for the long term and position your business without the limitations that you are currently facing.

You also need to have in mind that it is illegal in most local boroughs to park heavy goods vehicles on public roads overnight, and in some cases during the day. If the council has already had to handle a number of complaints from local residents, it is likely that they will be inclined to monitor your activity and be obliged, on behalf of the residents and in the interests of safety, to take a more proactive approach to restricting you further from utilising residential roads for your business.

Avoid the conflict, make the most of the commercial property sector and free you and your team to concentrate on growing the business rather than managing the car park.

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