This anniversary coincides with challenging business circumstances. But it’s not like we’re not used to it.
10 years ago, just a single employee (me), with a home office and some garage storage space, we were in the depths of one of the harshest economic recessions of a generation.
This was my fifth attempt at running my own business over a 30-year period:
- Artech – engineering drawing and design
- Prosafe Integral Valve Interlocks Ltd (nearly lost my house on that one)
- Can’t remember the name of the next one: Website design.
- Komfikids – Little chairs for children.
- Total Lockout (Safety) Ltd
And 10 years on the success of Total Lockout has borne two more businesses. Our US subsidiary, Total Lockout (Safety) LLC and EINTAC Ltd, the latter being a supplier of insulated tools and equipment used by motor vehicle technicians working on electric, hybrid vehicles.
It’s an opportune moment to thank some significant people.
My Dad and Mum, who’s unwavering support and encouragement has kept me going (and not forgetting the non-repayable loan, right at the start).
My family. My kids were still kids when this all started, and they won’t understand the pressure I felt to provide for them at the start. Today, they all support me whether as valued employees or just kids who seem to appreciate their Dad.
My Aunt and Uncle in Lincolnshire who walked the industrial estates of Gainsborough doing a brochure-drop.
My sister Fiona who undertook some tele-marketing for us in the early days.
My neighbors at home who tolerated 7t trucks pulling up outside the house in the first year and didn’t complain to local council!
My current team, Ian, Terry, Susie, Carl and Lauren who all share our goals and aspirations for the business.
Susie, my wife and co-director, holder of the company purse strings, ensures that everyone (suppliers and staff) all get paid on time, and we are financially strong to weather the current storm.
Past employees, Tristan, Demi, Alex and Ethan who all did their very best when they were with us.
My best mate of nearly 50 years, Paul who put me up whenever I was travelling north, saving me hotel bills. He’s always been available at the end of the phone to listen, give opinion and advise.
Neil from Derwent James Ltd. We first met over 20 years ago when we were employees of different companies working in similar circles. We remained friends and both embarked upon the journey of running our own businesses at similar times. In that time Neil has been a great sounding board to share experiences, ideas and challenges.
In America, all the ExportAction team Natalie, Sara, Anita, Jada and Mike who provided the closely spaced steppingstones we needed to get started in the USA. My wonderful hosts on my trips to Florida, Gail and Roger, and especially Nicole, who always goes the extra mile for us. She’s very much part of our team.
And lastly our business advisors, associates, suppliers and customers. You’ve all made it an incredible 10 years.
The future remains uncertain, but with the same dedication and good will, Total Lockout will prevail.