In this week's Founders Story, we interviewed Richard Knight. He is a serial entrepreneur and founder of four companies within the e-commerce and construction industry. We find out his reason for becoming an entrepreneur, the hardships which he has faced and the best thing which he has achieved throughout his entrepreneurial journey.
What’s your business?
Richard: I have four Ltd companies. Two are within the e-commerce industry and are predominantly focused on the fulfillment of the Amazon business model. I launched my first store in 2017 whilst working full time and my most successful product has done close to half a million in sales, I got in at the right time! It’s now extremely saturated with overseas sellers, however, it still provides a relatively ‘passive’ income for very little work.
My other businesses are within the construction industry. I specialise in the design and build of log cabins and glamping units. Lakeland Design & Build Group Ltd handles everything from the planning permission process to manufacturing and installing the finished units. My other company is an investment company which rents out holiday homes. I am building a show home log cabin in South West Scotland right now which will be available to rent in the new year. You can win a free week stay by following me on Social Media or joining the early bird list at www.CoastalCabins.co.uk. I’m actively searching for land with the potential to develop into a glamping site in the South Lakes area.
Why are you an entrepreneur?
Richard: I’m not certain what set me on this path but I do remember getting quite immersed in self-development books from the age of 12. The first book I read was the Midas Method by Stuart Goldsmith, followed by Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill – which I must have read a dozen times since. I grew up watching my parents working extremely hard. My father was a self-employed builder and developed properties for himself at the weekends. He also helped my Mother with an aromatherapy business she ran part time specialising in essential oils, body lotions and hand creams – they got into this industry before it was mainstream, they even had contracts with the NHS but ultimately failed to change with the times and build an online presence. So I think it was observing my parent's work ethic and desire to achieve success in business that inspired me. My parents have always been extremely supportive and allowed me to start my first serious venture at age 13 where I imported webcams from China and sold them on eBay. Ever since I dipped my toes into entrepreneurship I have been hooked and passionate about business and I have pushed myself to achieve greater things.
What’s been your hardest challenge whilst setting up your business?
Richard: My hardest challenge has been working on my own and being accountable to only myself. I genuinely believe I have not pushed myself or worked nearly as hard as I could have over the last 3 years when I compare it to how hard I worked in my previous job. Before going self-employed I worked in a relatively small business and had a very supportive team around me. I was accountable to the Managing Director and he put a lot of faith in me and gave me significant development opportunities. It definitely motivated me more as I was striving to impress and achieve for others. Since working for myself I have struggled with the isolation of being a ‘solopreneur’ and I’m trying to overcome this by networking with other entrepreneurs within my industry and gain a better level of accountability.
What’s the best thing you have achieved in your business?
Richard: I am currently building my greatest achievement which is my show home log cabin development. I wanted to build something that my customers could experience whilst planning their own glamping or log cabin developments. I also wanted to showcase everything we can do as a business. The log cabin is a traditional Swedish cope design with 200mm diameter round logs. It will have three double bedrooms, a large open plan living space, 2 bathrooms, decking overlooking the forest and glimpses of sea views. Hot tub, BBQ and sauna cabin, outdoor pizza oven and a fire pit. It’s also designed as a ‘mobile home' despite weighing 30 tons so it is quite the engineering feat. This allows it to be zero VAT rated, classed as plant and machinery meaning higher tax rate relief and benefit from laxer planning rules.
Thank you for reading this week's, Founders Story.
If you are interested in finding out more about Richard Knight, be sure to check out the website at www.CoastalCabins.co.uk.
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