Mitchell Tonks has proved seafood restaurants do make money – Fishworks, the OFEX-listed (Now PLUS Markets) restaurant chain he founded in 1994, turned in its first annual profit this year. With five sites now up and running, Tonks has plans for another 15 establishments.
Taking on your competitors and winning needs more than just energy and commitment. Clever thinking, creative ideas and the time to think strategies through with clarity are all on the menu too.
Introducing cat litter to the UK market, pioneering online entertainment centres and putting caravan parks back on the map are just some examples of AIM’s most successful companies.
Ken Wells originally wanted to be an architect, but carved out a career in the health and beauty manufacturing business with brands such as L’Oreal and Garnier. Now he has grand designs for his business, KWL.
Gareth Senior is the founder of software concern Axiom Systems, a business demerged from network reseller Connectivity Plus. It grew 250 per cent last year and just recently moved into profit.
Graham Duncan, founder of IT and telecoms provider Glen Group, is no stranger to public markets. His previous business, Atlantic Telecom, once enjoyed a market value of circa £1.1 billion. But when the markets turned nothing could prevent its collapse.
Wade Lyn founded Jamaican pattie producer Cleone Foods in 1987, intent on bringing Caribbean cuisine to the mainstream market. The business, which employs 44 people, is now looking to expand into other product areas.
Russell Kay created the best-selling computer game Lemmings, and made enough money from the royalties to set up his own business, computer games developer Visual Science.
Business angels wanted too much equity. VCs weren’t interested. Undeterred, Chris Rayner, founder of plastic card printing business Eagle Technologies, last month secured the investment he needed.
To safeguard his father’s 15-strong off-licence chain, James Rackham took the rather courageous step of closing every store bar one. Fortunately business has since thrived.
It’s been a tough climate for software ventures, but Christopher Winn’s Sanderson Group is one company looking as if it might outperform the market.
Under the guidance of chief executive Henrik Bang, call centre technology developer Netcall has seen a remarkable turnaround in its fortunes over the last 12 months.
Jonathan Clark founded direct marketing agency Clark McKay & Walpole in 1995 with Janet McKay. By September this year he had created a business boasting revenues of £9.1 million and operating profits of £900,000.
If you haven’t heard of Video Island yet, you soon will because in less than two years the group has built itself into the largest DVD rental operation in the world.
Peter Cochrane worked for BT Laboratories, developing a range of technologies, systems, networks and services. He left in 2000 and founded Concept Labs, which supports new technology enterprises.
Text Anywhere provides SMS (short message service) solutions to the business and public sector communities and is growing at the rate of 20 per cent each year.
Reacting quickly to market conditions and reformulating the business plan saved my company, says Gary Laurence, founder of recruitment specialist Huntress.
As a DJ, Bruno Brookes found fame and fortune as the nation’s favourite radio presenter. As an entrepreneur he has found success much harder to come by. But, following a few commercial flops, he believes his latest radio venture will thrive.
Eduardo Loigorri and Rob Steele founded business and accounting software company Exchequer in 1984, when they were both 18. Without any external funding, the business has grown to sales of £10 million.
John Perceval swapped a comfortable golfing retirement life to start an internet business in 1996. He tells GrowthBusiness why, now he’s back at the coalface, he’s not quite ready to retire again just yet.
Aberdeen-based Task Geoscience has been backed by the Business Growth Fund through a deal worth £3.8 million.
Glenn Porter, general manager international identity verification at GBGroup, examines the opportunities and risks of trading with the MINT population of Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey.
With March IPOs raising £671 million on London's AIM market, it looks like the junior exchange is back to its best.