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A catch up with the boss.

Since it's our 3rd Birthday we thought it appropriate to catch up with Neil Sutton and see how the last few years have been and what could be in store for the future of Roofing Kits Direct.

Tell us a little about your professional background?

I’ve had a long career in many businesses in markedly different marketplaces. Some corporate, some SME’s and some start-ups. These have mostly been in organisational roles such as project, programme and senior management.

Sometimes starting hands-on at the bottom and working up to senior levels. I’ve been a director and MD in 3 businesses which sounds very grand but in a team environment often the most vital contribution can be just making the tea.

In broad terms, twenty years in construction related businesses, five running public houses and finally another couple of decades in the digital arena.

I have however never been averse to understanding a business and its products from a hands-on perspective - For RKD this meant installing fibreglass roofing and becoming an accredited installer of EPDM roofing.

What do you do in your spare time?

Well, small business owners will know that spare time isn’t plentiful - In my younger days, I loved sport, swimming, rugby, most ball sports and especially the team environment. Great times. I still really enjoy this but now only from the armchair, I’m afraid.

Also for me, you can’t beat the relaxation of becoming immersed in a good book and entry to another time or world - just for a while.

How would your staff describe you?

Well, we are a family business so staff doesn’t quite cover the relationships here.

Let’s be frank, no one will tell you that I am the perfect boss, heaven forbid - Family run means the symbiotic interaction of different generations, mindsets and viewpoints - so no hiding place for me, the reality of today's business and customer, trends and interactions arm me with plenty of gently introduced reality checks from the team.

We are all very open with each other and have a really good team profile - everyone listens so the business is therefore actually really understood by all of us

Why did you create Roofing Kits Direct?

Simple really, after years of wanting to run my own business circumstance and necessity guided me to take the plunge. So I combined my construction and digital experience to launch RKD - I’ve never looked back.

What drives you?

I’ve never thought of myself as a driven person, but I suppose starting work before 7.00 am every day goes a little towards this perception.

Frankly, I like it when planning and preparation provides a good result, whether this is tangible or more spiritual. I also really like it when we can make a difference for the customer and their outcome, and they tell us about it - that’s an uplifting reward

Are there any business mistakes you made early on that you’ve learnt from?

Oh yes. Everyone makes mistakes - don’t believe anyone who tells you differently.

In running a business you can get so involved with the day to day minutiae that you sometimes forget to step back and look at the big picture - so yes I’ve made one or two mistakes, fortunately, prudence has meant these were not business threatening. An example was believing that an investment in an advertising opportunity would result in the success they promised - not so I’m afraid, I should have done more background research.

One bit of advice - in the heat of things mistakes can become emotionally bigger in impact than it is and you can get a bit down on yourself.

Even in the most successful businesses mistakes will happen - small mistakes can be a good thing if you learn from them - that’s the trick.

What has been the company’s biggest achievement in the past 3 years?

Well as a start-up, from scratch, 3 years ago, firstly a proof of viability as a business. We’ve without doubt ticked this box time and again and over the ensuing years have consistently grown and increasingly established the brand and business in the marketplace.

If this is not the biggest achievement perhaps the exciting stage in our evolution it has brought us to will prove to be the next golden milestone.

What do you see as Roofing Kits Directs biggest strength?

Our biggest strength is that we do care about the customer and our product. You’ll find everyone will say this about their business but frankly, it’s rarely a reality with larger concerns - just a marketing spiel. This is where maintaining ethics in the reality of day to day business is vital and our great strength.

We have taken great care to ensure our products are of good quality. We invest time and effort into listening and supporting our customers even when there is no sale to convert. We especially take pride in fair and quick resolution if anything goes wrong - and it does.

Where do you see Roofing Kits Direct in 3 years?

Given the last 12 months and the COVID pandemic, there is always the potential for the unknown and unforeseen. Couple this with the old business adage of " if you stand still you eventually wither and die”. So I see continued establishment, expansion, perhaps diversification and prudently putting our eggs in more than one basket. Exciting times ahead!

Is there anything exciting you are hoping to accomplish over the next twelve months?

Well communication is king, and quality our ethic - we have imminent plans to improve our profiles here early in the next quarter “ WATCH THIS SPACE "