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SPOTLIGHT ON BUSINESS TALENT

Adam Davidson BoConcept

SUCCESS STORY

At Murrison &Wilson we're privileged to work with so many successful business owners and keen to showcase our clients' talents. We would like to welcome Adam Davidson, BoConcept Scotland to share his real experiences and tips to help business owners build up a successful business.

Q: What does your business do?

A: BoConcept retails customisable Danish designed furniture and accessories for commercial and domestic customers all over Scotland.

Q: How did you get started running BoConcept?

A: I was originally employed as store manager in the company owned Glasgow store in Princes Square. I ended up as Retail Operations Manager for all the stores in the UK. At this point I realised what an amazing proposition BoConcept would be so negotiated to take over the franchise in Scotland.

"Don't waste money on advertising initially unless you have a huge budget to get blanket coverage, it doesn't work. Find referral partners and help each other build their business."

Q: How long has your business been running?

A: I took over ownership of the business in July 2007 although I had been running it one way or another since 2002.

Q: What's your background?

A: I left school and joined the Met, hated London, kind of fell into Civil Engineering and post qualification from the 'University of Cowcaddens' worked on the Coulport submarine base. Then fell into retail, fashion, electrical and then furniture. I had an amazing 5 years at Reid furniture finishing up as Merchandise Manager for their 25 stores. It is fair to say I had a short attention span but got some spectacular training and experiences.

Q: What was the biggest hurdle you faced starting up?

A: The first 6 months turnover was astonishing. Then the housing market collapsed at the start of 2008 and the next 4 years were hard graft. We survived, coming out of it lean and mean with tons of experience (and mistakes) to learn from

Q: How did you choose where to locate?

A: My condition of taking over the franchise in Scotland was that I would not take on the lease for Princes Square. We chose Sauchiehall street due to the ease of describing the location to people. Everyone knows where Sauchiehall St is. Add in 2 minutes from M&S and it is pinned down perfectly. It is a 7,500 sq ft unit next to Magnet kitchens and Sharps/Moben used to be in the area too.
From leaving Princes Square and opening the new location on Sauchiehall Street took less than a month, including shop fitting. It is a great measure of the team that we did a huge chunk of the rip out ourselves. I worked off a couple of stones doing that!

Q: Where do you plan your business to be in five years' time?

A:I will have the Edinburgh store and Aberdeen store up and running along with 3 concessions or feeder stores. I won't work in though, part of my long term plan is freedom, quality of life is as important as income. There is no point in having one without the other.

Q: What has been your best day, so far, in business and why?

A: Our team being selected to create the common areas of a high end student residential development. This one job was equivalent to 15% of our annual turnover and we handling the install very well despite the size of the job. We are all very proud of that one.

Q: How do new clients find you and you find new clients?

A: 68% of our turnover comes from existing customers or recommendations, 17% from online searches. We love to work with builders and developers who want a unique look for their show homes. The word seems to be out what we can do and they often come to us.

Q: How do you kick start your working day?

A: My business coach recommended a book called The Miracle morning by Hal Alrod. It is about getting up an hour earlier and getting your head in the right place. It has even got me exercising! It really is a miracle!

Q: Why do you do think your clients keep coming back to you instead of the competition?

A: We have spent a lot of time thinking about what we need to do to make them come back. Our 5 point guarantee is unbeatable. We guarantee the customers delivery date. Most furniture companies struggle to give a delivery month, we confirm a delivery day at point of order which is unheard of for made to order furniture. Most customers look at us like we are insane when we tell them we offer a lifetime care service for as long as they own the furniture. One of my many favourite saying to the team is 'The customer isn't always right but we do it anyway.'

Q: How do you measure business success?

A: I used to do it the same as everyone else, turnover and bottom line profitability, but I am working on a system based on how many customers take advantage of our free home design service. I don't employ sales people. All the team are qualified interior designers, product designers or interior architects. If we are growing the design service then we are growing the business. The Wow factor of this services brings people back, and their friends and family.

Q: Business owners have so much to do every day, how do you manage your time?

I was a shambles until I started working with a business coach. He has helped me build the right team, create and work to a default diary and make sure I am working on the business, not just in the business. We achieved 50% growth last year which was driven by my team not me. I'm happy with that!

Q: What is your favourite part of your working week?

A: My networking meeting at stupid o'clock every Friday morning. A decent bunch of business owners who help me build my business while I help build theirs. Being a business owner can be a lonely game so I love the support we give each other.

Q: If you could travel back in time, to when you started up, is there anything you would do differently?

A: Absolutely so much! Main one would be to not spend so much on advertising that doesn't work. If I had put the money into building relationships and referral partners we would be miles further on than we are today. I would be much more demanding of staff and suppliers too.

If you would like to get in touch with Adam Davidson here's his contact details

Adam Davidson, Director, BoConcept Scotland
257 Sauchiehall Street
Glasgow, G2 3EZ
0141 341 4920
www.boconcept.co.uk
www.facebook.com/boconceptglas
uk.linkedin.com/in/adam-davidson-5304372a
twitter.com/BoConceptGlas

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