'Foolish' Small Business Idea: Created Urban Splash - To convert unwanted buildings into smart housing.
Start-up Capital: Not known.
How small business idea was launched: They started the Urban Splash property company. The 1st building they purchased was a chemical lab.
Sales: Housing for domestic use.
Earnings: Urban Splash made a profit of £4million last year and has £100million worth of projects on the go.
Tom Bloxham and Architect Jonathan Falkingham set up the Urban Splash property company in 1993, buying old inner-city industrial buildings which are often in a decaying or dilapidated state. They pioneered developing these unwanted buildings into tasteful, often upmarket apartments, in the North-west. There is usually a queue of buyers, ready to move into the smart apartments built by the company. Tom spends most of his time searching out buildings suitable for development and finding good people to manage the conversions. Tom Bloxham and Jonathan Falkingham now employ nearly 300 people.
Their first project was a chemical lab, which had great windows and exposed brickwork. Tom, says he wants to make Urban Splash the designer brand of housing.
Tom's own 'success' tips:
You need a strong small business idea and the determination to succeed with it.
It's important to treat people in the same way you'd like to be treated.
Don't be afraid to ask for what you want, and go straight to the people at the top of an organisation.
Urban Splash is certainly a successful company with £100million worth of projects in hand and a profit of £4million made last year. (2003)