A Day in the Life of ... Ryan Brown, Managing Director
Aug 18, 2017
What does a typical business day look like for you?
Most days start with checking my emails and getting all of my paperwork completed before I get out on to site with our teams and visit customers and keep up to date with our current projects. I think it is very important to be at the heart of the business with the team.
Do you have any daily routines that you think make you successful?
I think it’s having an early start – getting up and going through my emails, finance work and making sure that is completed before 7am when I’m at my most productive really makes a difference. I think it really sets you up for the day getting everything done before the phone calls commence.
What advice would you give any young entrepreneur starting out in the industry?
Take the risk and go for it. Always be prepared to accept some failures but with hard work and persistence you can achieve your goals.
Why did you decide to found Robinsons?
It was a big decision for me and my Dad, Jim to found the business. The previous firm we worked for went into administration so we decided to take the chance; we rented the premises, took over the order book and paid all the staff out of our own pockets for the first three weeks. Things just grew from there.
We basically ploughed everything back into the business from day one; the company started from nothing and we have thrown all of our own savings into the business and the first 6 months were full of risk.
How have you developed the business over the years?
Our business really has gone from strength to strength over the past 12 years, from a small team working out of a site cabin manufacturing steel framed buildings for local farmers to providing a full manufacturing and construction service to a variety of sectors across the UK
Since then, we have tripled the size of our yard, built new offices and in the last two years we have purchased ten acres of land behind our current premises which we are looking to use to further increase our manufacturing capabilities and build on our current workforce to provide even more jobs in the local area.
How have you kept up with industry changes in recent years?
We have thrived on developing the business from this early stage and growing it into the size that we are today.
There are three divisions within the organisation; our founding agricultural sector has remained a significant focus for us over the past 12 years now offering a full design and build service and becoming one of the leading suppliers in the industry.
We also created our structural steelwork and cladding division three years ago; diversifying by targeting the industrial sector and we haven’t looked back since. We have completed a number of high profile projects including a 300 tonne car deck including shear studs with a galvanised finish for ESH (Border Construction) at BMW Lloyds Carlisle and a 264 tonne project for ISG at Bruichladdich Distillery.
We have also employed a specialist Principal Contractor division who have significantly expanded the capabilities of the organisation; most notably, they have been appointed as main contractor for the extension of 3 large Lidl superstores and completing projects for clients such as Edinburgh University and Grants Distillery.
What do you believe are the core values of the company?
The family element is key; that will never change. My younger brother Sam, will be coming into the business in a few years as he’s currently at university. It’s got us this far, and the whole team really drive forward the family values and I think that it really shows in the relationships we have with our clients.
What do you believe sets you apart from your competitors?
Many companies in our industry provide steelwork, cladding or groundworks; and we can do it all.
Having the scope to be the main contractor and also manufacture our own materials guarantees that we can provide a comprehensive management service. We’re very unique in the way we do things and we’ve got big plans moving forward.
Where do you see the company in 5 years’ time?
Our sights are set on becoming a £30 million turnover business and significantly developing the 10 acres of land that we have purchased behind our current premises. We believe that there is a gap in the market for a firm where Robinsons currently sit and the very biggest companies in the sector.
Our current workshop can fabricate between 70 – 100 tonnes of steelwork per week and after recently acquiring 10 acres of land behind our current head office we are set to house a larger factory for Robinsons increasing our output to 300 tonnes per week.
How will your future development strategies support the local area?
We’re trying to involve local schools and encouraging people to be aware of us. In this area, especially, finding the correct skilled labour is difficult and it’s because it doesn’t start at a young age.
I would like people to be involved in the business prior to moving away to continue their education, hence trying to start with schools at a young age. Apprenticeships are a very important part of what we do and supporting our current work force with continued personal development programmes.