When is the perfect time to start a business? How do you know what business to get into? What can you do to make the business a success? Luxury Flooring and Furnishings set up in Leeds, by cousins Declan and Cameron Christie, over five years ago has become one of the largest online flooring retailers in the UK.
When Luxury Flooring was set up, Declan was 19 and Cameron was only 17. When the pair left school, neither of them was interested in further education such as University and wanted to go straight into work. At the time they had friends and family working in the flooring industry so this seemed like a pretty sensible place to start. After strengthening ties and gaining knowledge, they realised they were capable of running their own company that would be better than many other businesses in the flooring industry.
Obviously setting up a business at such a young age is never easy and Declan states that because ‘we share the same drive and passion to be successful’ it helped them to motivate each other through any difficult times. As well as having the support of each other, they were also encouraged by their families to work hard and having this support network allowed them to keep pushing through when times got hard.
Like all retail businesses there is always going to be difficulties and hard times when starting out from absolutely nothing and trying to grow a company. Declan & Cameron had very little money to purchase so had to network very well and build good relationships with suppliers to ensure they could purchase products at a good price. As a result of this they are now in a position where they hold strong relationships with suppliers and they state that ‘this is just as important as any other aspect of their business. If you are unable to get stock at a cheap price, you are unable to make profit and this restricts the chance of business taking off and growing.
External factors can also be a constant challenge, especially for a business like Luxury Flooring, who imports all their goods from abroad. This may include fluctuations in exchange rates, meaning they have to constantly be prepared in advance for problems that are out of their control. If they are constantly prepared for the worst then it allows them to somewhat deal with these problems when they occur.
The cousins believe that perseverance is the one factor that has made them so successful when starting their own business. It is important to stick with your idea and see it through. The easy option will always be to give up when things start to get difficult or when you don’t get the outcome you hoped for, however perseverance is key.
The timing of key decisions is also vital and this is where their close connection with each other becomes apparent. The communication between them allows decisions to be discussed in depth and analyse a certain situation. This also ensures that they have looked at a decision from a variety of angles before making their final decision.
They suggest that to be successful you should always challenge yourself after building a strong foundation. The strong foundation you have built gives you the flexibility to add a bit of risk to your everyday business. Declan states that ‘the only reason you won’t achieve something is because you weren’t willing to try 100%’.
Luxury Flooring is still rapidly growing and they are continuing to increase their product range and decrease their prices to stay competitive in an extremely demanding industry. They are also currently in the process of moving into a larger warehouse. This investment will allow them to increase the size of their team and also increase their levels of stock. Business for them should now grow and will allows mean more happy customers, which is one of their main priorities.