IN THE LATEST OF OUR Q&AS WITH SUCCESSFUL ENTREPRENEURS, HIS & HERS ASKED IAN BLACKLEDGE ABOUT WHAT IT TAKES TO BUILD A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS IN A SPECIFIC NICHE.
Ian runs The Parr Group, which specialises in temporary recruitment, fire protection services and safety supplies and he has a loyal and growing client base.
What motivated you to set up your company?
I was motivated to set up my company because I wanted to supply a quality service at a competitive and honest price as I was seeing the costings that companies were incurring which was beyond belief especially as the services are a added cost that a lot of companies see as a necessary evil.
What were the biggest challenges during the early days of your business?
The biggest challenge was convincing companies to give me the chance to prove that we could save them money and at the same time give them a service that they deserve. They now appreciate what we do to make them compliant and recommend us to other companies.
How did you identify a gap in the market regarding fire protection services, temporary recruitment and safety supplies?
I identified a gap in the market whilst carrying out fire risk assessments following the introduction of fire safety order 2005 standard in 2006, due to on a regular basis seeing the same trend of companies being vastly overcharged for services within the fire industry which I didn’t agree with, hence the incorporation of Parr Fire protection Services Ltd.
Do you have any advice for readers who’d like to set up their own businesses?
I would say that they need to find a niche in the market, do some thorough market research and get as much advice as possible to make sure that you have the best start possible, as a lot of companies fail because they don’t do any homework prior to starting a business.
Which factors do you think have been key to The Parr Group’s success?
The main factors have been having a good work ethic and being thorough in everything that we do; I believe that if you put the effort in and work hard you will get your just rewards.
Please tell His & Hers about your career highlights to date:
Career highlights would be to see the company grow the way that I had perceived it to, and also to be able to work with well established and award winning companies and like-minded business people.
What does a ‘typical day’ involve for you?
A typical day would be to arrive at work for 7.45am to discuss the day with engineers, then go through my emails. I’ll then carry out new site visits to quote for possible business, touch base with my account manager and generally deal with the day to day running of the business to make sure that we have a business that is fully functioning the way that I need it to. Then at 17.30pm I’ll retreat home to chill and enjoy the evening with the family.
What are your plans for The Parr Group over the coming months?
The plan is to keep progressing the business by making new contacts and hopefully bring in new business and to make sure that our existing clients are fully aware of the services we can offer. I am also looking to acquire another service engineer to offer Intruder and CCTV servicing and installations in house rather than subcontracting out.