John Gower – Omni Local
John Gower has been an entrepreneur since he was a young boy. According to John, one of the key attributes to being an entrepreneur is to never give up. He is extremely supportive of young people, having two apprentices of his own which he admits has helped his business grow and he also supports Enterprise projects for young people in the borough. Let’s see him under the spotlight!
- Please tell us a little about your current business/es.
Omni Local is a quality FREE local A5 glossy magazine which is published every month and distributed FREE, to up to 20,000 residences in Kingston upon Thames and surrounding areas. We also distribute around 4,000 copies every month to key outlets such as The Tourist Office, Police Station, The Rose Theatre, The Rotunda Centre, hotels, hospitals, doctors and dental surgeries, clubs, bars, restaurants, museums and theatres, libraries, galleries, record stores and car repair outlets. The total readership of Omni Local each month is an estimated average of around 100,000. We also offer a wide range of marketing service ranging from LOCAL leaflet distribution to Pay Per Click and telesales mentoring.
- For how long have you been an entrepreneur and what was your first business that you set up?
I come from a very rough background. My Dad was in the army so we moved around a lot, but when my parents split up, we lived on one of the worst council estates in Coventry. My first ever business was when I was about 10. We went around the council estate finding burnt out motorcycles and mixing and matching all the parts, fixing them up and then selling them on. It got us into trouble as many of the bikes were stolen, so my friend and I then set up a window cleaning business.
- What qualifications did you gain when leaving formal education?
I left school with no formal qualifications. I got about average GCSE results, but I don’t recall what and which subjects. I wish I had learnt more at school. Nothing holds me back, but I am always reading and learning more about everything!
- What specific qualifications and skills do you need to run your current business?
Most businesses at my level don’t really require any qualifications. However in ALL businesses you need the ability to not give up when things get tough, learn to like others quickly, and be able to make sales. You can get others to run your books, deal with the finance and help with other areas of your business, but if you are your business, then learning to sell, knowing your target client, and listening to your customers is vital.That being said, you really do need to have some business understanding. Knowing your profit margins, costs and overheads makes you and your business have a much better chance.
- Why did you decide to be your own boss?
Believe it or not, I didn’t want to be told what to do. I always thought, if I am the boss then I do what I want to, when I want to…How different reality is!
- What do you like about running your own business?
Every day is different, unpredictable, and if you get things right the rewards are awesome. Its hard work, and even if you don’t make it, you can be proud of everything you do. We have published more than 30 editions and I still get goosebumps with every issue, no matter what the bank account looks like!
- What help did you receive when you first started out?
I didn’t actually get any help. I just started with an idea, knew where I wanted to be, and got on with it. In fact, I had a lot of people telling me not to go into business and get a proper job.
- How has technology helped enhance your business?
I am not a techy person. The internet hadn’t even been running when I was running one of my most successful businesses in my professional career. But now I use tech for everything meilleur site pour viagra. My first ever PC was only a 386MB. Now I have a PC with has over 500GB
- What do you think young people can bring to the entrepreneurial table?
Young people have a wealth of fearless factor. Money never gets in the way of an idea. An idea is never impossible. Energy is abundant and tech is not an obstacle, it’s a way of life..so in a nutshell…EVERYTHING!
- What one piece of advice would you give a young person who has a new business idea?
GO FOR IT…Just be careful nobody steals the idea, make sure there is plenty of profit and time for mistakes…If you can take your time, measure twice – cut once!If I am allowed two extra bits of advice – My Granny gave me these:One hand washes the other, and always be polite to the person you sit next to on the bus. I would need a whole lifetime to explain these, but keep them in mind!