Colin and Bradley Goodridge, Bradley Building Services, Southfields
Colin was only 22 when he originally started the business but it went up a gear when he renamed the business after the birth of his son Bradley. Now they run the construction business together and have created a successful family business.
Colin was newly married and looking for extra cash when he started doing the odd bit of brick work including fireplaces and patios. He soon put an ad in the local paper as a brickwork specialist.
Today however, and with the help of Brad’s new ideas, they are a building business offering a range of services, and they have their own team.
Brad just turned 30, which means the business is also celebrating its 30th anniversary. At this important milestone, we spoke to them both about what they’ve learnt from the building business.
What services does your company offer?
Colin: We can do the whole build, from groundwork, building foundations, brickwork, through to carpentry and roofing. We also do tilling and plumbing and decorating.
Brad: We do extensions, loft conversions, full refurbishments and kitchens and bathrooms.
What’s at the heart of your company?
C: I like to walk away from the job delivering exactly what the customer wanted. I always, always want a happy customer and I want to look back on my jobs with pride.
What makes you different?
C: Our attention to detail and that we’re customer focused – we want people to be happy. We have a great relationship with our lads.
What advice would you give to those setting up their own business? What have you learnt?
B: Keep going – you will have hard times, and it is difficult to establish yourself as a brand – it’s a competitive industry.
C: There’s been times when it would have been easier to quit and get another job but I never wanted to because of the name. You have to keep going.
B: I’ve learnt so much. One lesson is that everything has to go down on paper – we like to give all the info upfront with no extras. Set it all out properly.
C: Bradley has put systems in place now but I didn’t. For example, keeping on top of accounts, suppliers and sub-contractors.
Where do you see your company in the future?
C: I’ve done the foundations and brad is doing the rest – he has so many good ideas.
Brad, how do you feel about having the business named after you?
B: When I was growing up I didn’t really notice. It’s only recently that I’ve embraced the sentimentality of it. As of 2010 I’m co-director and project manager.
C: He’s been slowly rising up the ranks – but he’s also an excellent bricky!
What is it like working as father and son?
C: It can be testing (they both laugh).
B: It’s difficult at times but we’re a good team – brains and brawn.
C: Just because he’s my son he doesn’t have to do what I say. Bradley has so much knowledge. He is the future. It gives me pleasure to know the company will carry on.