Principal: bootcamp Jersey / Grafters
So, tell us what inspired you to get this off the ground?
I have the playing fields at Millbrook which we only use on Saturdays for Strikers Soccer School and I wanted to use it in the week. It was either a boot fair or a boot camp and I hate boot fairs.
What did you do prior to starting this business?
I still do my ?day job? which is running Grafters Ltd with my business partner James and I still do my ?Saturday job? which is running Strikers Soccer School. Prior to all that I spent nine years in the Police, four years in the Army and a few years doing just about everything else. And I went to school.
Did that teach you any lessons that helped you succeed?
Every job I?ve ever done has taught me something, but the two biggest lessons are work hard and be honest. There?s no point, especially when you?re the boss, in coming in late and going out for long lunches every day otherwise nothing gets done and everyone looses respect for you. Equally if you mess up, put your heels together, own up and get on with it. You can?t blag your way through life.
What?s the hardest lesson you?ve learnt since starting your own business?
How people want a part of the action without having to do any work. Parasites they call them in the natural world. Since James and I set up Grafters there?s been one or two cheap imitations pop up and you think ?get a life, think for yourself and come up with your own ideas?. It?s the same with the football. I even heard of one soccer school who were telling people that they were a branch of Strikers. I?m sure some bright spark will come up with Camp Boot in the next year or two.
Any funny stories that you have about the business starting out?
Apparently there was a TV programe recently called Boot Camp which followed a bunch of dodgy kids being disciplined at a residential home in the desert in America. When word got out about Boot Camp Jersey, a very well spoken woman rang me and asked if she could book her 14 year old daughter in for a fortnight because she was sick to death of her back chat. She was very disappointed when I said it was at Millbrook and was for adults.
What are your plans for the future?
Grafters is expanding all the time and is obviously my main priority. I?m also looking at growing the football school to include after school lessons which my head coach Dan will run and I?d like to sort out more sports activities at Millbrook. I wouldn?t mind sitting on beach at some point either, whether that?s the Bahamas or down St Brelades, I don?t really care.
What advice would you give would be entrepreneurs?
Research your market. I hear so many people say ?I?ve got a great idea? and they are all excited only to find out that its been done before and either failed miserably or that those doing it already have the market wrapped up. Don?t start dreaming till you?ve done your research that?s my advice.