Support Received: Workspace
Location: Previous tenant at North East Suffolk Business Centre, Lowestoft
Social Media: Facebook
After a varied career, including working in the catering industry, as a lorry driver and a stint as a taxi driver, Neil Barrett was ready for a new challenge. We spoke to Neil about his journey from taxi driver to business owner.
Can you tell us a little bit about your business?
I first began my company in 2007. At Oven Blitzer we come to your house and deep clean your oven and remove all traces of burnt on carbon and grease using non-caustic and non-toxic professional oven cleaning products.
What would you say your Unique Selling Point is?
The people that work for me, I have an exceptional team. We are fully insured, and all our staff are CRB checked. We currently employ 20 staff.
What made you decide to set up your own business?
The whole business idea of cleaning ovens came from an impulse buy on eBay and slowly grew from there! I had wanted to try something different for a while and was quite keen on leaving taxi driving behind. It was a very good feeling when we got our first customer in 2007. Now we have been established in the local and surrounding areas for some time, we feel it’s time to spread our name further across the UK and offer a wider range of services.
How did you find out about Nwes?
I first found out about Nwes online. Until recently, we were based at Nwes’ managed North East Suffolk Business Centre, unit 26 – which was great – however, we had to move due to expansion. Still, the relationships we built with other tenants within the Centre have been very helpful, the Centre Coordinator, Jackie, was very pro-active helping us to make those contacts and making sure we had a smooth and comfortable start at the Centre. All the people were great, and it was a really nice place to be.
Have you encountered any challenges and how did you overcome these?
The high demand for our services lead to a fast but steady expansion. Finding good people to represent the company and maintain high standards has always been a challenge, but being my own boss and seeing how far the company has come is a definite highlight.
Where do you hope to be in two years’ time?
I hope to have a minimum of 20 vans and increase our area to cover Milton Keynes and Stevenage.
Do you have any advice or business tips for anyone looking to start up their own business?
Nwes is a very good place to start with their experience and the extras they offer, I would always say don’t run before you can walk. The people around you can make or break your business reputation so make sure you choose your employees carefully.