SPOTLIGHT ON A CAP BUSINESS CLUB MEMBER
Testimonials Coming Soon!
I hope that you enjoy reading and pick up some useful ideas and tips
SPOTLIGHT ON A CAP BUSINESS CLUB MEMBER.
YOUR NAME? - Andy Sharpe
NAME OF YOUR BUSINESS? - GAP Cleaning Services
WEBSITE ADDRESS? – www.gapclean.co.uk
WHAT DID YOU DO BEFORE YOUR CURRENT BUSINESS? – I was in the Army for 26 years serving in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. I started out repairing weapons ranging from pistols and assault rifles through to 155mm Artillery pieces and 105mm tank guns. As I progressed through the ranks I moved over to Engineering Management eventually being a trouble shooter for 18 teams of engineers. I served at permanent stations in the UK and Germany. I have completed several Operation Tours of Northern Ireland, Bosnia with both the United Nations and NATO forces, Iraq (during the invasion and a subsequent tour) and Afghanistan. I also worked with the Army in Canada, Kenya, USA and the Falkland Islands.
WHAT MADE YOU START YOUR CURRENT BUSINESS? - I wanted to do something a little physical that was outdoors and would make people feel happy. A friend of mine cleaned gutters and I worked with him for a day, not thinking anything would come of it. We cleaned the outside of the gutters on a house and the owners were utterly delighted. They produced great big smiles and I thought, “I want to make people feel like that!”
WHAT ARE YOUR HOBBIES? - Walking the dogs and enjoying the beautiful forest - I love nature. I also indulge in a little computer gaming to escape!
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE MOVIE? - Jaws. In my opinion a perfect movie, even if the mechanical effects are a little dated now. The acting and direction is flawless with such a build up of tension… And that music - it’s already in your head isn’t it? Du-dum…du-dum..
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE MEAL? - A proper fry up. Bacon, egg, sausage, tomato, beans, mushrooms, toast and a cup of tea. Nom nom nom.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE UK HOLIDAY DESTINATION? - Cornwall. Beautiful.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE HOLIDAY DESTINATION ABROAD? - Anywhere where there’s good skiing. I learnt to ski in Canada and would love to go back there. The Rocky Mountains are awe inspiring.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE TV PROGRAMME? - Game of Thrones. I read the books whilst away with the Army and came back to binge-watch the first series. I was impressed with the transition and character adaptions.
YOUR FAVOURITE SONG? – A tough one. I’ve written and deleted so many titles here. I think I’ll go with Boys of Summer by Don Henley, but it will be different next week!
WHAT DO YOU MOST ENJOY ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS? - Being outside and seeing the end result of a good clean! For too long I was in a job that had no tangible end result for me, unless you can call making a spreadsheet go from 86% to 90% a result. I wanted a job that you could look at once finished and see the result clearly and be proud of it.
IF YOU HAD A MAGIC WAND WHAT WOULD YOU CHANGE ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS? - I’m always beaten when the weather is freezing, as I’m working with water. A magic wand would give me machinery to combat this - continuous hot water in my machine and a super-dryer to stop the formation of ice-rinks should do it. I wouldn’t say no to a self-levelling jet pack that runs on orange squash, either. That should make gutter inspections more fun.
WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN 5 YEARS TIME? It’s eleven o’clock at night, so in exactly five years time I should be in bed. Business wise, I’d like to be in the position where I have a big enough client list to already of taken on staff and be ready to run the administration side of the business whilst young whipper-snappers do the physical side of the work. Or at least, I’ll still do work for a select amount of clients.
DO YOU HAVE ANY USEFUL TIPS OR IDEAS THAT YOU COULD SHARE WITH THE OTHER CAP MEMBERS? - Yes, get your gutters checked every year! Most people take them for granted and won’t realise there’s a problem with the gutters until symptoms are showing elsewhere, such as damp appearing in the house. By this time it’s too late and you have a serious (and expensive) problem.
And think carefully before you buy a pressure washer - they’re great fun to start with, but the novelty can wear off. Pressure washing can be back-breaking, very messy and may take longer than you think. At the end of it, you may not have a wonderful, evenly cleaned surface. I have cleaned so many patios and driveways where I have noticed a pressure washer gathering cobwebs in the owners garage.
As for business tips, don’t be afraid to out source. One of your biggest commodities is time. When my girlfriend and I started our businesses we were running around like our hair was on fire. On the occasional days when we had a little time, we had to devote this to housework. Yuk. So we found a cleaner to come in once a week to clean the house for us. You may think this is lavish, but it was so worth it. The stress levels are reduced and when we get that little time off we can do nice things, rather than chores. Maybe I can look in to getting a butler next year…
HOW HAS CAP BUSINESS CLUBS HELPED YOU IN YOUR BUSINESS? - It’s amazing what you can learn from each other. Being in CAP is like having an extra brain, solely for your business. The collective knowledge is so useful, whether that is getting tips from the IT guru or hearing about how others have overcome problems in their business that can help in your own.
It’s also helped me to escape once a week to sneak off for tea and biscuits!
Thank you Andy for spending some time answering these questions
- it's greatly appreciated.