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Scott Mullins, Chief Executive Officer, Pimlico

Scott Mullins, CEO of Pimlico, the largest independent home services firm in the UK, spoke with Business Matters about his role models and what he would change about his own career.

In your current role at Pimlico, what do you do?

We’ve been around for four decades, and we’ve grown steadily every year. Now, our 500 employees—including more than 60 apprentices—help us generate annual revenue of more than £40 million.

Carpentry, appliance repair and installation, roofing, and air conditioning are just some of the many home improvement services offered by the company, which serves the Central and Greater London area. Our kitchen and bathroom design and installation services are also among the best in the industry.

Working closely with our founder, my father Charlie Mullins, and our exceptional senior management team, I supervise the day-to-day operations of our fast-moving firm (we execute more than 10,000 projects per month) and also steer the strategy for our continued growth.

Where did the idea for your company come from?

The plumbing profession had a bad reputation for cowboys when my father first started the business in 1979. These unscrupulous workers would show up to jobs in filthy vans with their rear ends hanging out of their trousers. He was resolved to alter the stigmatized outlook of his field.

Charlie knew that if he set up shop in London’s more affluent neighborhoods like Kensington, Chelsea, and Westminster, and provided the same level of service to his customers that they were accustomed to receiving at London’s finest restaurants and department stores, he would have a much better chance of attracting clients. It’s a philosophy that permeates the company even now, and one that I’ll be emphasizing as I steer the company into the next decade and beyond.

Who do you look up to?

The beneficial impact my father has had on our sector is immeasurable, and the efforts he has made to elevate the status of apprentices among young people, employers, and legislators are very inspiring.

Peter Jones, from Dragons’ Den, is another TV personality I look up to. His business accomplishments are nothing short of remarkable, and he is largely responsible for popularizing the thrill and exhilaration of being an entrepreneur.

Is there anything you would change now that you have the benefit of hindsight?
I wish I had started my own company sooner. After graduating high school, I wasted two years at a business college. Nothing I picked up there was any different from what I had learned at Pimlico. Being exposed to the industry beginning when I was seven years old was invaluable learning experience.

How would you describe the way you conduct business?

The highest standards of customer service and a well recognized and trusted brand have allowed us to consistently lead the market.

Our customers receive first-rate and honest service from the time they phone our 24-hour call center in the heart of London until the job is done. This is because we encourage strong family values among all of our employees, not just myself, my father, and my children who help run the company.

More than 75% of Pimlico’s revenue comes from repeat customers thanks to the approach’s emphasis on building personal connections with them.

In your experience, what piece of guidance would you give to a novice?

Don’t doubt yourself. Nobody knows more about your industry than you do. If you succeed more often than you fail, you’ll be successful. I think it’s important to start hiring people as soon as feasible. Having the proper people around you and the ability to delegate is vital for achieving business success, but several entrepreneurs worry about recruitment and if they can afford it.

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