SEVEN years ago Kevin Warburton walked out of a job and used his £700 life savings to set up a small lighting shop in Holywell High Street – now he has been named Flintshire Young Entrepreneur of the Year and his business continues to go from strength to strength.
In 2005 Kevin, then 23, decided he wanted to be his own boss. He left his job vowing he never wanted to work for anyone again.
When he met his future in-laws they weren’t impressed that he was unemployed – but Kevin had big plans.
He registered as a sole trader and took on a lease for a small shop in Holywell High Street, against the advice of friends and family.
He opened the doors of Ideal Lighting Holywell with his life savings of £700 and invested it all in stock, with a plan to start his new enterprise selling electrical goods and lighting to the local community.
Now seven years later the company has grown with six other branded companies under the umbrella of ICR Group.
Kevin, 29, has driven the company turnover to reach its first million, he employs 19 staff and has an impressive list of clients across the UK.
He won the Young Entrepreneur Award at this year’s Flintshire Business Awards and his in-laws and family are very proud of how he has turned it all around.
When asked how he was able to grow his business he said: “I’m totally hands-on day in day out, I also studied the markets I wanted to trade in, but the main thing that has helped me is learning to be adaptable, as business throws the unexpected at you most days.”
ICR provides electrical contracting, solar, LED products, commercial cleaning products, high profile sound equipment and repair service to the domestic, commercial and industrial markets – and of course lighting and lamps are still sold in the shop.
The company has increased sales by 630% over four years. In the last year alone, they have increased their customer base, which ranges from private individuals to large national businesses, by around 150%.
“An important tip I would give to anyone starting up a new business is get to grips with your costs from the start, and also say goodbye to leaving work at 5pm for the rest of your life,” said Kevin.