Hi my name’s Tom Bristow and I'm from Lincoln. I set up my plumbing and heating business nearly three years ago now and I'm more than happy with how it's gone so far. I've based it around a high level of customer service, reliability and good quality work. But the trouble is there is only one of me. I'm at a stage now where I'm doing the work of one and three quarter plumbers which means lots of hours, lots of phone calls and lots of moaning from my beautiful fiancé. Not to mention the stress, what with me being incapable of saying no to anyone. So the question is, do I stay as I am and not take on any new customers ever, or do I go for the next step of taking on an employee to help me with the workload? The thought of someone else helping with the planned works and the boiler breakdowns is exciting. But if I do go to the next step, will the same amount of work keep coming in? Will they be reliable employees? Will I be a reliable employer? Will they do enough work to make it financially worthwhile? Will they keep the van in the same immaculate fashion that I do? These are all the concerns that are stopping me from jumping in with both feet. I guess my role of a plumbing and heating engineer will change somewhat by becoming not just that but a company manager. And with that will come more administration work. So do I also employ a part time secretary to help cope with the organisation and running of the office work? I was recently very kindly invited to take a tour around the ADEY headquarters and I took great inspiration from the staff who were all happy and motivated to achieve success. I even met Chris Adey's first employee who originally worked at a desk in his lounge eleven years ago and she's still
working for the empire that it's turned into today. That says a lot about the company in general to me - happy staff equals a great product. Perhaps in eleven years-time I might still have my first employee?