Our Commercial Director, Chris Price, recently appeared in The Journal’s ‘Meeting with…’ feature – you can read the full interview here…
What is the best thing about your job?
Turning a client’s vision into a physical reality. From the initial phone call to absorbing the brief and starting the design, then a few weeks/months later we are standing in the completed space and handing back the keys. It’s great to do something for a living that has such a tangible outcome and can deliver such a positive impact on a business and its people.
Another thing is the diversity of the job, not only is every day different but you just don’t know what the next call is going to be. People call us to discuss such a wide range of projects from office fit-outs, general practice, orthodontic and ophthalmic surgeries, to restaurants and multi-site retail rollouts. After twelve years it would be understandable if this no longer excited me but it does, it’s still genuinely exciting to receive that first call for a project and discuss the client’s requirements whilst thinking about it all coming together.
What is your proudest achievement?
Putting £5,000 into a business which I started in my flat in 2007 and has grown into a multi-million pound company that provides jobs for some fantastic people.
I set out to do every single task within the business as well as was physically possible with the resources that we had. Aptus has now evolved to be an accomplished delivery partner within our sector and as a company is capable of great things.
Also, having never made a single redundancy, successfully traded through a recession and grown the business to its current position with retained profit and no debt, makes me feel like we’ve been doing things right.
What advice would you give to someone starting in your career?
Strip down every problem, mistake or challenge, quickly create a fix and systemise it in order to prevent it from happening again. I can’t recall where I heard it, but it’s always stayed with me, “There should be no shame in making a mistake, the shame is making the same mistake twice”.
Which individual has inspired you most and why?
A chap called Jose Salvador Alvarenga, a fisherman that was swept out into the Pacific Ocean and survived on a small boat for 438 Days, insane unfathomable tenacity that shows what people are capable of. 438 Days, it’s a must read.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
It’s better to be at the bottom of a ladder that you want to climb than half way up a ladder that you don’t. David Brent, The Office.
What was the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your career so far?
Without a doubt it was trading through the recession of 2009, Aptus started trading in March 2007 and by the end of that year it was clear that we were in for a very difficult time. We cut our cloth, temporarily diversified from commercial into residential and cast our net nationally to reduce the impact of the pressures on the local economy. I won’t forget that in a hurry but with hindsight, we learned a lot and are much stronger as a result.
How is your business going to change in the next 10 years?
Building on our track record, we aim to firmly establish ourselves as a market leader by reputation in the North East and beyond. We will continue to embrace technology and innovation in our industry, and I have no doubt that we will capitalise on the opportunities that our changing markets present, whatever they may be.
What do you like to do out of work?
I’m at my happiest when I’m on an isolated Scottish loch in my kayak, hiking, or slowly working my way through every IPA on the planet. However recently it’s got to be spending time with my wonderful one year old daughter Grace, which interestingly seems to have coincidentally stopped all other recreational activities.
What do you always carry with you?
Laptop, Muji ballpoint pen and notebook, phone charger, laser measure, a carabiner and an emergency £20 note.
What would you do if you had to change career?
Vet, easy decision.