In our regular feature, FLIC asks local business people a series of questions to give you an insight into how they operate and how they relax. This month we talk to Swindon’s Ashley Cain:
Tell me about your business?
I have two businesses in the Swindon area. The first is ATC Property Management which I launched in 2003, since then have grown to over 300 managed properties in the SN area. Although a challenging job, I still get a huge buzz from winning a new client or solving a problem that comes into the office.
I have also started a new business with two partners in recent months called Moovahome.co.uk, we are an online Estate Agency but with a twist. We offer all the traditional agents way of marketing a property combined with a heavy presence on social media. Two unique things we do are a video tour of the home and are open 24/7 for the sales process. We launch in January 2014 and our price for the whole process is from £699 saving vendors thousands on a traditional agent.
What are your future plans?
ATC has grown year on year since I started it in 2003, I aim to continue this trend. With Moovahome.co.uk, our plan is to get a good market share and reputation over the first two years. We believe the unique service we offer allows this to be achievable as most people when selling a home dislike dealing with the agent. We aim to change people’s perceptions of selling and also change the way people in Swindon sell their homes.
Who has been your biggest influence?
I have two, first my Father, he has brought me up to understand a strong work ethic, ruthless business streak and attention to detail, all of which are essential in enabling you to get anywhere in life. He has built up a substantial business from nothing and works in property too, he always gives me guidance and advice whenever I need it and is one person I always listen too in business. The second is my late Mother, she believed in work so much that when I lost a Saturday job she refused to let me in the house until I found a new one – lesson was learnt that day!
What car do you drive?
Smart Car – It’s a great way of advertising your business! Give our team a beep if you see us around Swindon in it.
What advice can you give anyone thinking of starting their own business?
Be passionate about your business, never lose focus of your goal. I was once told to treat every person the same, be it a client who is worth nothing to the business or your biggest client – treat everyone as the most important person in your day and you will succeed.
How do you relax?
I like to switch off by running, swimming or going to a gym. My daughter also enables me to switch off as she demands full attention – it’s a great way to unwind.
What’s your average day like?
No one day in my job is the same, I start at the crack of dawn even at weekends and am usually still working at midnight. The lettings business is very demanding with emergencies, problems and deals to be dealt with every day.
With Moovahome there is a lot of behind the scenes work that is involved, luckily the partners I have are very proactive with one dealing on Social Media/Marketing and the other concentrating on the core business. This allows me to concentrate on service, we aim to answer all calls no matter what the time is and offer a unique same day valuation/take on promise.
Holidays – England or abroad?
I adore Cornwall but to switch off I take my daughter abroad for the odd week.
What’s the most important business lesson you’ve learned?
Never assume you have won the business, failing to answer that text or email late at night could lose you a contract/customer
What’s your favourite film?
Any of the Bond films!
What are you currently reading?
I am currently reading Duncan Bannatyne’s autobiography, amazing man who has built his business from nothing.