Each month in the Resolve Newsletter we will be showcasing either a client’s company or a company that we work with on a regular basis. If the lockdown has taught us anything it is that we need to support small businesses and so we thought we could do this by showcasing a different company each month. This month we caught up with Neil Smith from Home Transformations, who undertakes building and renovation projects in and around residential and small commercial properties. This includes house extensions, loft conversions to renovations of a whole property or just the kitchens, bathrooms and any other internal space.
What are the pros and cons of running your own business?
There are many pros and of course cons of running and owning a business. The last 18 months has highlighted the requirement for a small business owner in having to wear multiple hats. This means that someone that may be a specialist in their field has to become more adaptive to items such as accounts, marketing, HR, H&S and even down to areas such as IT. It isn’t always cost affective or practical to utilise an external organisation or support all the time. However, there are also many many Pros. Having the ability to drive and direct the company along with seeing the end result and the customers satisfaction is something I will never tire of seeing.
What advice would you give to other individuals thinking of starting their own business?
Be realistic and honest with yourself, it’s not a walk in the park. Just because you have seen someone on Instagram supposedly doing it or you know a mate etc this may not be a realistic view of running a business. Safe as to say its early mornings, late days, weekends and a lot of hard work to run your own organisation and be sure, you will make mistakes along the way, you will lose money and you’ll take things personally, stick with it, learn as much as you can, get help where you can and it’ll all be worth it.
What lessons have you learnt over the years of running your own business?
Don’t take anything for granted, Check once, check twice and be sure. Do not just assume that because you have completed something that it is said and done. Items such as accounts and insurances can be a stumbling point so check that you have these in place and running right.
How has your company had to adapt during the 2020 pandemic?
There have been many challenges that we have all faced in the last 18 months, I won’t focus too much on that but I will say that 2020 has also presented some unexpected and beneficial openings. An example of this is the bespoke external structures that we have started and are building for clients. These predominantly are for home offices or schooling but also provide an ideal break out space. I enjoy being able to provide ideas for the design and positioning based on previous experience and seeing the finished article being enjoyed.
How do you ensure a work / life balance?
Honestly, with difficulty! When something is yours there is more of a want and desire to get it right and be there for the clients at every turn. Ignoring that email, not responding to that text, not taking that call might be the “best” thing to do, but there’s little space for that if you want to be successful and get repeat work with glowing references, at the same time, turning off and taking family time and personal time is key to a balanced mental health.
Booking time is essential for me. For example, booking to take the family to a museum or swimming or for myself a day on the golf course or evening socialising needs to be diarised to ensure I DO THEM!
What are the values that drive you?
Quality, honesty and personability. I really enjoy liaising with clients and taking their ideas or concepts to completion, looking and functioning at its best for the years to come, everything we build whether it be an outside office or a full house renovation, it’s done using the best materials possible and to the highest specification that budget allows, we will NOT cut corners.
What is the one piece of advice you always give to clients/customers?
Ensure that the quotes you are getting are like for like. In our element of works I hear all too often clients saying that in the past when they’ve had work done by other companies they get stung with additional works “we thought this was going to be included” etc. All too often people are looking to the cheapest price when it comes to building works but they do not seem to do the same with other elements of their lives! Cost doesn’t always mean quality but here at Home Transformations, we can assure you, it does, we charge the right price without being expensive to deliver the right product.
If you would like to be included in our monthly company showcase, then please get in touch.
Our other company showcases can be found here: Gladiator Events, Stone Survey Ltd, Vision Properties Weybridge, Adam Richards Magic, The Happy Startup School, Forevergreen, Bug Animations Ltd, And So She Thinks.