Skip to content

Entrepreneurs Panel

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

Risky business

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 operate from a couple of units on an industrial estate outside a small town and I often find kids hanging around the place after dark. In the mornings I find beer cans lying around and there’s been some minor vandalism but nothing more. Some staff have mentioned that they don’t feel safe and are afraid things might escalate.

What do you recommend I do? The police aren’t interested because currently it’s relatively minor stuff.

Answer: 

Operating on the outskirts of Wythenshawe we too have had our fair share of problems along the lines you have mentioned. In fairness to the police, in the absence of any criminal activity there is little they can do.

In order to manage the risk we have introduced a number of measures to protect both the premises and, importantly, to help create a safe environment for our colleagues. These have included the installation of CCTVs, external lighting and perimeter fencing. Additionally, we employ a local security company, from whom all keyholders have received safety awareness training, which helps mitigate the risk still further.

  • Kathryn Parsons, co-founder of Decoded, started with little more than faith and determination, but four years later it’s grown into a global business. Ahead of her appearance at Accelerate 2015 in...

  • Author, writer and marketer Ryan Holiday on how entrepreneurs need to interpret failure.

  • Sue Vizard, business coach and author of Jump Start: The Start-up Book for Your Dream Business, looks at some of the questions solo entrepreneurs should ask themselves.

  • Ian Wright, founder and chief executive of NonExecutiveDirectors.com, is bringing together SMEs and NEDs - without the hefty recruitment fees.

  • Former professional golfer turned entrepreneur Colin Stevens has had a busy 18 months. The Better Bathrooms founder has increased turnover at the firm, secured a multi-million pound investment and...

Five Minutes With

David Hughes sums up his entrepreneurial career to date thus: four spectacular successes and two failures. He founded the sports retailer Allsports and achieved turnover of £180 million before a vicious price war meant decline, administration in 2005 and a sell-off to rival JD Sports.

It took Richard Shonn, managing director of 151 Products, three years to find a warehouse big enough for his requirements.