All Be an Entrepreneur

Ken Millar on turning around his hotel business

After more than 15 years in the hospitality industry, Ken Millar faced the horrifying prospect earlier this year of having to call in the administrators for his hotel business. He’s managed to turn his fortunes around and is now part of the successful consortium of Best Western Hotels.

Crossroads of expansion

While the start-up phase of a company’s life can be make or break, the next step in the evolution of a growing business can be even tougher.

Partnerships pay off for IFone

IFone, Morgan O’Rahilly’s mobile phone games developer and publisher, was recently crowned the second fastest-growing technology company in the UK.

Estdale heads to Hollywood

At first glance, Mark Estdale seems every inch the reluctant entrepreneur, after all Outsource Media – the voice production venture he established over ten years ago – was originally conceived as a lifestyle business.

Peninsula: Job Done

Having built a thriving betting shop business, Peter Done changed tack and took on employment consultancy Peninsula. He eventually turned the company’s fortunes around, but sailed close to the wind on many occasions.

UK Manufacturing companies with exciting global prospects

Britain might not be the manufacturing behemoth it once was, but what it lacks in scale it certainly makes up for in expertise and innovation. 

Littner drives Powerleague on

Powerleague is leading the way with floodlit 5-a-side football centres in the UK, has plenty of growth to gun for in a thriving market, and even has one eye on a European push

Spending a small fortune

Most entrepreneurs are far too focused on their own businesses to contemplate what they’d like to do in the future. Undeterred, GrowthBusiness decided to ask a simple question: ‘What would you do with £100,000?’

Diversity cues Bond revival

Back in late 2001, recruitment industry software developer Bond International Software was a business on the up, but then things started to stall.

Innocent Drinks road to success

In the late 1990s, Adam Balon, Jon Wright and Richard Reed came up with the idea of a device to automatically fill your bath, but, on account of the dangerous mix of water and electricity involved, they changed tack and started selling fruit smoothies instead.

JPMH finds its niche

In just three years Phil Harvey and his fellow founding directors have grown media, design and advertising agency JPMH from start-up into a business generating £2 million of turnover each year.

Francis eyes Zenith renaissance

‘We were already in the nursery sector, but not in a big way,’ explains Ringo Francis, chairman and chief executive of cleaning products supplier Zenith Hygiene.

Charles Howson: Turning debts into profits

Most entrepreneurs are optimistic types who might regard insolvency as the last thing to focus on when growing their business!

Match Day Media shoots for success

‘We want to be the leader in the UK, we want to dominate Europe and we want to make a lot of profits in the process,’ – so says Gerry McKenna, chief executive of Match Day Media (MDM), Europe’s first ‘transmedia television network’.

Spring avoids complacency

Stephen Archer is CEO of business growth consultancy Spring Partnerships. Established in 2002, the company now boasts annual sales of £3.2 million and an impressive list of blue-chip clients, though reaching this level has not been easy.

Cash Generator plays to its strengths

Brian Lewis opened his first outlet selling second-hand goods in 1994, offering televisions, trombones and a lot more besides to the residents of Bolton. Now, there are 80 Cash Generator stores across the UK and annual turnover exceeded £50 million last year.

Brilliant British business ideas

Great business ideas are often very simple. But to make them work, you need a dash of luck, a helping of inventiveness, inspired leadership, and, very often, a desire to think in unconventional ways.

Thomas’ TMTI looks to the future

Entrepreneur Crispin Thomas hopes to raise up to £10 million for TMTI, a company that helps consumers use complex mobile phones, ahead of a projected AIM float.

Media companies making an impact

Business XL identifies five innovative companies intent on dramatically transforming – and dominating – their particular niche of the media sector.

Mitchell Tonks: Respect your shareholders

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.

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