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Industry Spotlight: Starting a Business

Nico-climate-carsStarting your own business can be incredibly rewarding. So what does it take to start a business from scratch?

Nicko Williamson founded eco-friendly taxi firm Climate Cars. He talks to Jobulo about starting the business and shares his CV tips.

How Did You Start Your Own Business?

I started Climatecars straight out of Bristol University at the age of 23. I wrote a business plan, worked for a rival company, did tons of research and raised equity funding from family and friends. It took a year from conception to launch. Since then I have focused on growing the business.

Do You Think Going to University is Essential In Order to Create a Successful Business?

No it’s not, however Bristol University taught me how to work independently and structure an argument (I did Modern History so lots of essay writing). I was not ready to start out on my own straight after school so University provided a great growing up opportunity.

Tell us about Climate Cars?

Climatecars is an eco-friendly car service, offering an alternative to black cabs or minicabs with a 24-hour service, covering the whole of Greater London and all of the airports. Our fleet is made up entirely of environmentally friendly hybrid cars which run on a combination of petrol and electricity resulting in significantly reduced emissions. In 2006 I researched the green taxi market and realised there was a gap in the market so in 2007 I launched the company.

What is a Typical Day Like at Work?

There is no typical day as I have a wide variety of responsibilities. I have a fantastic team who report to me, so I spend some time each week catching up with colleagues. Today for example I have spent the morning writing my monthly management commentary for our investors, plus ordering 15 new cars! The afternoon will be spent working on a diversification idea for Climatecars.

What Advice Would You Give to Someone Wanting to Start their Own Business?

Think very carefully about the type of person you are and your risk appetite. If long hours, hard work, and potential for failure don’t put you off then this is a good sign. If you do decide to start your own business then do tons of research, get a good team (especially make sure you have somebody numerate) and be realistic.

What’s the Biggest CV Tip You Could Share?

Honesty and keeping your CV short, succinct and to the point.

Name Three Personality Traits You Need to Succeed in Business

Ambition, determination and persistence.