In these times of strained finances and gloomy forecasts, it’s heartening to see a small business bucking the trend – and even more heartening to discover the man running it displaying a distinct lack of greed.
Yesterday’s Sunday Times reported Pimlico Plumbers founder Charlie Mullins paid himself £1.3m last year - £300,000 less than in 2007, even though the company saw an impressive 80% rise in profits.
We interviewed Mullins back in November and he told us surviving in the recession was about adding value, rather than cutting costs.
“I don’t think undercutting prices is a good policy at all. You’re putting yourself under tremendous pressure – the price-cutting business in plumbing is suicidal,” he told us.
“Rather than try and reduce our price, we’ve increased the quality of our service. We now employ better engineers, we make sure their training’s up to date, and we make sure they get to the jobs quicker – we’ve had tracking systems fitted to the vans. Even with the recession going on, we’re hitting a record number of jobs.”
Yes, some might argue Mullins can afford to take the pay cut, but it’s reassuring to see an entrepreneur so keen to reinvest. His reasons for taking the cut are simple: “I wanted to put a bit back into the business,” he told the paper.