My summary for 2013


2013 has been one of the most interesting and challenging years in my life, certainly for business.

Me and my team were excited to roll out ‘YBIS’ (Your Business Internet Solutions) on an International stage, expecting to maximise profits throughout 2013, building from the lessons learned in 2012, thinking we had got it spot on.

After a full redesign of our website we relaunched ‘YBIS’ in January 2013.

We evaluated the marketplace and established a solid marketing campaign for YBIS, generating a record month in sales for us, propelling us into February, which wasn’t quite as good as the January. Throughout the rest of 2013, we saw the website’s traction decline to a total halt in inquiries and ultimately, sales. The main reason for YBIS’s demise was that we couldn’t really get the sale people to understand the business model and sell it correctly on the world stage. I personally felt it was a great concept for selling as Affiliate’s marketing websites the way it was packaged, but after a gruelling 18 months of marketing it, I eventually lost heart in it due to me not being able to put enough into it and having to rely on other people that didn’t share the same passion for business and hunger for success. If you don’t love what you do, then it is just ‘work’, and I found that I didn’t have the passion for it anymore and so without me fully committed to it, YBIS ground to a halt where I eventually decided to close the company on October 31st.

Self Trading bought the YBIS website and its assets, and has since repackaged it and sold it, selling it to a colleague who may be better positioned to work it.

Self Trading and Clearance Catering Supplies have plodded on throughout 2013 bringing in steady cash flow, which to be honest, they have for a number of years now. During this year however, I have decided that it was better to look for a pension plan, so to speak of, as I’m not getting any younger; hence the launch of – Oven King.

This company is not about cleaning ovens, for me it’s about building a business that can be franchised, creating the track record of success. Once we are approved by the BFA (British Franchise Association) we will start rolling the franchises out nationally.

The formula does work. We have three vans are flat out all the time. If my guys were the franchisee, they would be earning £1,000 per week on a regular basis, which would satisfy anyone.

What is also been a bug-bearer for me this past year was that I was looking to launch my flagship fast food/restaurant in Bournemouth, but unfortunately the site I had in mind went into receivership which has delayed my plans for this venture.

I am sure this project will be a winner, but I will tell you what is funny; I went to my bank to see if they would finance 50% of the funding, and surprise, surprise, the bank turned me down. The govt say that they are helping small businesses, but as we all know, even with my many years of business experience and success and on top of that banking with the same bank for around 20 years, seeing my account balance anywhere from £10,000 to in excess of £1 million, they still declined to provide the loan facility, totally in contradiction of what we are being told in the Media. Doesn’t the public own RBS, aren’t we the shareholders? I would like to run a business that doesn’t make a profit, but will still pay me a bonus at the end of the year!

In light of these circumstances, this will not stop me from continuing with my plans. I will always find a way to get it done. Hopefully in 2014, the site will become available again and I can move forward with my project.

DS_brainstorming copyAs things are now, with my various brainstorming sessions with myself, I have decided to really push on a couple of businesses that haven’t let me down in the past.

These companies are Self Trading, Self Global and Clearance Catering Supplies. I intend to get them flying in 2014, as they have not had the attention they have deserved this past year.

During November and December of this year, we have started pushing our efforts and full resources into these companies, redoing the website and restructuring the SEO for them, and so far, it is looking really promising. It is giving me hope for the future and I am excited about pushing it to the next level in the New Year, while pursuing the other ventures I have mentioned.

My conclusion to all of this for 2013 is:

Keep on going with business, and if it doesn’t go as planned at first, just keep on going and never feel defeated. If you feel you have the ability, then keep the enthusiasm high and the effort you put in just as high.

What has also kept me going during 2013 has been my loving and supportive wife and the love of my kids, and the continued support of my valued, loyal friend amongst all of my other great mates and colleagues, along with my loyal staff who are all looking forward to the new challenges that are ahead of us, where together, we will succeed.

For everyone that is taking the time to read my blog, I wish you all the happiest of Christmases and the very best of success in your endeavours for

Girlfriends & Children Holidays and Adventures

Late Posting of my Antigua Wedding

Here is our Antigua Wedding video, it seems a little late but 6years ago when we got married YouTube were only allowing 10miniutes playing time. Thankfully this has now been extended so I am able to share the video of our fantastic day with everyone.

It was a brilliant day in Antigua, it all went without a hitch. We decided to incorporate our wedding with the back to life tour. It was great because we had planned to join the party with many of our good friends that were also going for the tour. Back to life for those of you who don’t know is a weeklong party by soul to soul gang hosted by Trevor Nelson, Jazzy B and organised by Nigel Gore. We initially stayed at the Jolly Beach hotel and also booked for our wedding event 2-3 days at the 5star Carlisle Bay, which is a fantastic hotel complex. What made it so good being a fun packed weekend was the organised events at the various bars, the Harbour Heights night, beach party and also the boat trip, incorporating with the wedding the holiday was wonderful. I had all my children there, my son Louis turned 4 on our wedding day making more of a reason to celebrate. Unfortunately Lexi my youngest wasn’t born then, so we must take her there some time to see where we got married.

We hope soul to soul hold another event in Antigua in the near future, if not I will try to organise somethinng with Nigel as it is such a lovely Caribbean Island, the perfect place for relaxing and parting!!

Hope you enjoy the video!


Buisness is very tough at the moment, and Banks dont understand!

banks dont know buisness photoI have had to write a letter to my landlord today as I need a reduction on the rent as my business like every other one in the UK is finding it hard going, I am also going to write a similar letter to my bank manager next week as 4 or 5 years ago I have account balances over £1/2 million and they can’t be even the slightest bit flexible.

I would love to opportunity to stand in front of all the pension companies, banks, landlords stuck in their ways and mortgage companies and give them a speech on business and how it really works. Perhaps they could learn something.

Holidays and Adventures

Last holiday for a while

 holidayI have recently come back from enjoying my family’s 2nd trip this year to Majorca! We had such a great time last time it made sense to go again and enjoy a last bit of sun before winter sets in here in the UK.

Like last time I joined my friends again for a day chartering a huge Sunseeker yacht which we took out around the bay before returning to Porto Patels for another evening of good food and entertainment. One of the best parts of the holiday this year was a large pirate show that took place on the outskirts of Magaluf believe it or not, it was a great show and we all loved it.

Also managed to bump into my old friend Jamie Redknapp who has a place out there and also Steve McManaman it was good to catch up and talk about times gone by.

Later in the evening my friend Josh and my family I drove into Magaluf and while my friends and family attended the pirate show my friend Josh and I got a real eye opener when we went to BCM square which has lots of shall we say ‘varied’ entertainment happening at night which we both enjoyed. When we drove back to Patels which was like returning to civilisation we had a few more beers and both went our separate ways.

Upon returning home it had become quite evident that I need to stop taking exotic holidays and knuckle down in the office as the finances aren’t what they used to be! The business has had to reduce its staffing numbers unfortunately but now I am flat out working 6 ½ days a week to get things back on track.

YBIS is still pushing into America, with the appointment of a new sales guy who works the evenings to fall in line with the American time difference. Oven King is heading in the right direction, we have now rolled out our 3rd and largest van on the road a big Sprinter van which is being used as a large advertising board and point of sale for local promotions and seems to be working well. Oven King now also diversified a bit and are now offering carpet cleaning services too. Oven king has now started launching our franchise opportunities nationwide.


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For a bit of a laugh and to clear out some much needed space my wife, kids and I are doing a few local boot in the big sprinter van at the weekends, doubling up to promote oven king at the weekends. Last weekend however, our takings for the day were hindered by the bad weather, but we’d definitely do it again as it was a good day out with the kids.

Holidays and Adventures

Long weekend in Majorca

I have recently returned from a long weekend away in Majorca. My trip to Majorca has been the first break my wife and I have had without the kids for many years as I tend to be quite reluctant to leave them with family when I go away. Jo however feels differently as she likes to have a rest from the kids from time to time, then again she deserves to as she spends a lot more time with them than I do and they can be quite a handful.

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We ended up going to Majorca after winning an apartment on a charity auction, I managed to win the apartment for £800 and this covered all usage for 4 days and nights. The money was extremely good value considering the apartment was a 2 bedroom split apartment with a swimming pool on the roof balcony and featured breathtaking views of Portals harbour. We did the normal things like visiting restaurants and bars within the vicinity of the apartment as well as doing some sightseeing.

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I went to Majorca with one of my best friends Steve Mac and his wife and also bumped into another one of my friends also called Steve on the plane flight and invited him to spend the day with us on a chartered yacht which was one of the highlights of the holidays. We chartered the Sunseeker yacht for the day which we then proceeded to take to the various coves in and around the shoreline. We spent the day in and around Nikki’s beach which is one of the private nicest beach clubs in the area and stopped off at a few more of the local bars during the evening.

I am really looking forward to going back with the children for a fortnight’s holiday in the near future which won’t be quite as relaxing as we will end up catering for the children by attending water parks, ‘Dolphinariums’, swimming, snorkling other child type things. Although that might sound relaxing I’m sure anyone with children will agree that it’s tough work.

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I call myself lucky on a daily basis that I have wonderful children to spend my days with, as providing for my family is what keeps me working hard when I’m not on holiday. Be sure to keep in touch with my blog for all the latest pictures of this most recent holiday and my latest business endeavours.

Business Opportunities

Business in general

I would like to take today to share an update on the business side before I embark on another holiday next week. On the whole things are very good business-wise with both Self Trading and Clearance Catering Supplies both selling out our warehouses of stock, which leaves us open to accept many new offers for clearance stock from within these industries.

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We have had a great couple of years buying up large parcels of stock but don’t seem to be able to purchase any more as the recession seems to be having more of an effect for companies now than it ever has. Companies are less willing to part with their excess stock to make room for more they all seem to be holding out with the stock for better money, cracking down on their own sales offering 70-80% off.
We are actively looking for big parcels of stock up to a value of £1million + to refill our shelves as they are currently looking quite sad.

Being quite a diverse business man I tend to be able to cover myself when one side of a business begins to show a sign of shortfall and build up a separate venture to cover myself this way. I am continually finding that online affiliate businesses are ticking over nicely and our launch of YBISWorld in the USA has proven to be a great success with plans to open up offices in the USA in 2014.

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Oven King, our newest venture is proving exceptional oven cleaning services in Poole, Bournemouth & Christchruch to be a good opportunity for any budding franchisees, we’ve only recently launched back in May 2013 and have already developed into a fully fledged business with both website and rounded marketing platforms in place leading to steady streams of enquires and bookings being made for our oven cleaning services. We are now even at this early stage considering putting a 2nd van on the road to meet the ever increasing demand. Once we have attained a level of 4 vans on the road then we feel we will be in a position to offer nationwide territories to franchisees with our attractive entry package that is currently being developed in time for this opportunity to become available.

Business Opportunities

Launching the Oven King franchise

Oven KingSo, the day after returning from my family holiday in Dubai just so happens to also be the official launch day for Oven King Ltd. The team have been hard at work behind the scenes conducting vast amounts of market research, kitting out the first of our service vans, sending staff off for comprehensive training and we are now ready to launch our brand into the market place.

Our intention will be to roll out a fleet of vans within the Poole, Bournemouth and Christchurch postcode sectors initially establishing a reputable and respected multi-van operation becoming a local name for professional local oven cleaning.

With a combination of our own marketing efforts and the consistent delivery of the highest standards of service Oven King hopes to become an established household brand in as quick a time as possible. Ultimately we aim to be rolling out franchises by early 2014 with secure revenue coming from our local fleet proving the strength of the Oven King business model, offering training and a fully equipped service van included in the cost of a franchise, something which other oven cleaning franchises do not offer from the outset.


With a strong business plan and the idea to sell 40-50 franchise sectors a year to an ultimate goal of nationwide coverage in the region of 250-300 individual franchises Oven King has the foundation in place to become a market leader within 5 years. Subject to things going to plan after 12months there are other franchising opportunities that also appeal to me that I may be looking into at a later stage.

Holidays and Adventures

Back to Dubai

After taking a trip to Dubai with my son Louis when he was 5 years old, I decided at the time that if we had another child that I would share the same experience with them as Louis had such a good time, after we had Lexi this gave me that opportunity fulfil that promise. The last time I went to Dubai around 5 years ago the country was in quite a state of decline as the boom had slowed down as a result of the city expanding too quickly.


So as promised little Lexi and I, along with the rest of my family and a few friends packed up for our holiday in Dubai leaving at the end of May and coming back in the first week of June. Again like last time we stayed at the Atlantis hotel, which embodies the term ‘everything under one roof!’ It has a fantastic Aquarium, 17 different restaurants, its own shopping complex, private beach as well as numerous swimming pools and play areas for the kids to enjoy.

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When we arrived I was quick to reserve judgement on my previous opinions as none of the hotels seem to have been effected by the downturn. The high standards that they offer, quality of service and the fine decor are second to none and you would be mad not to want to return, let not forget to mention the excellent weather!

Since my last visit they have begun development of a fantastic monorail system which acts as an alternate transportation method to the usual cars, taxi’s and limo service operating locally. The monorail is not yet completely finished and will soon lead directly into the city centre. I had the pleasure of taking a helicopter trip acting as a guided tour of the area which proved very informative, we managed to see one of the small islands off the coast that was home to one of the kings wives, sounds like a great idea leaving your wife on an Island to herself and visit her when you need the washing done, only joking!

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During my trip I covered most of the various activities that Dubai had to offer including visiting water parks, going shopping and enjoying the local scenery. One of the highlights of my visit was my trip up the world’s tallest building the Burj Khalifa with 163 floors and sitting at 829.2m high! It made everything else around it seem like a dot in the shadow of this magnificent building.

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In the downtown district of Dubai under the shadow of the Burj Khalifa is the worlds largest shopping mall with over 2,000 shops proving to be an eye opener on its own! Not a single shop was empty with even the Rolex shop having a line leading it out of it like a sweet shop! This proved to be a stark contrast to the current high street climate in the UK. What shocked me also was that they too had an aquarium lining the walls of this great shopping complex, which so happens to be 3 or 4 times larger than the one back at the hotel, which used to be the worlds largest aquarium obviously until now! The shopping centre was filled with American franchises such as restaurants, coffee shops and bars all equally as busy which just goes to show how profitable this part of the world seems to be at present.

When you finally left the shopping mall you were greeted by a 50ft water fountain display much like that seen outside the Bellagio hotel in Vegas. This seems to be the thing with Dubai, they take inspiration from buildings and structures all over the world and make them bigger, better and with more grandeur! Though they didn’t get their attempt at Big Ben quite right, attempting to build a 16th Century building amongst a sea of 21st Century architecture didn’t look quite right.

The trip back and forth between the city and the hotel was an enjoyable one as you get to see a vast majority of Dubai in the process. The Atlantis hotel itself is situated on the end of a man made peninsula known as the palm towards the seafront away from the more industrial areas that Dubai is known for. It really is a stunning building and I can’t quite imagine what else can match it, I have stayed in a lot of hotels in my time and none can match the Atlantis when you are considering taking a family abroad.

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All in all the Dubai experience was a whole lot better than the last time I went as they seem to have gotten their act together finishing what they start before moving onto another venture until the previous one is finished. I’m sure if money becomes an issue for them they can simply dig another hole in the ground and pump out some more oil or borrow from their neighbouring countries! I wish it was that easy for us over here in the UK! I intend to go back to Dubai on an annual basis now as this time I really did fall in love with it. There’s something alluring about the guaranteed weather and quality of life there, there’s just so much to do and see. I would also like to see some kind of financial interest develop over there to give me an incentive to return, maybe I could buy the Atlantis since I love it so much… LOL!

In the meantime feel free to browse my photo collage of the trip below.

Flash Fast Cars

The Brand New Range Rover!

Range Rover Autobiography 4.4l

I finally received delivery of my brand new Range Rover. I ordered my Range Rover way back in January with anticipation to receive it in March. Before I ordered the Range Rover I had heard how good this particular model was and how Range Rovers are back to being the best 4WD cars in the world. I simply had to have one. Also being a fan of Top Gear when I saw the car being tested off road alongside a gigantic Terramax unmanned ground vehicle on a recent episode that sealed the deal.

I put an order in for the 4.4litre Autobiography model with Premier Sports Solutions in Bournemouth. After paying my deposit I was promised a delivery date for March but unfortunately it didn’t arrive until last week, which was May! I experience quite a few forwards and backwards calls with Premier Sports Solutions changing the spec on the vehicle. After losing quite a bit of heart with when it was actually going to arrive I was finally delighted to see the new car on my drive when I got home from work the other day.

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One of the things I didn’t like was the stock wheels that came with the 115k car! So that was the first thing to change. I took a trip up to project wheels near Bristol to change them and drove back a very proud man in the new Range Rover, it all felt worthwhile.

My wife has also been very happy with her new car. We recently swapped in our cars at home for the new Mini Countryman actually came on time and the new Range Rover! So all said and done, all the best to Rich and Rob from Premier Sports Solutions for looking after us.

One of the things I didn’t like was the stock wheels that came with the 115k car! So that was the first thing to change. I took a trip up to project wheels near Bristol to change them and drove back a very proud man in the new Range Rover, it all felt worthwhile.

My wife has also been very happy with her new car. We recently swapped in our cars at home for the new Mini Countryman actually came on time and the new Range Rover! So all said and done, all the best to Rich and Rob from Premier Sports Solutions for looking after us.

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Business Opportunities

Disappointing news for our Sierra Leone deal

Disappointing news for our Sierra Leone deal

If you have been following my blog recently then you might be aware of a pretty big deal that I have been working on over the past few months.

My plan to purchase a large selection of power generators to connect to Sierra Leone’s national grid to provide power for an additional 300,000 homes in the area has recently fallen through as the Local government opted to purchase a more expensive selection option of Caterpillar generators worth over $5 million.


It would seem that although our generators met the specifications that they were looking for because we were unable to offer the back up and support at the flick of a hat by sending trained technicians to oversee the units we were not a suitable candidate for the job. We can’t win them all the time.

These units are still available however and we have began receiving enquiries from Scandinavia for them already. Our plan to continue to supply heavy plant equipment to developing countries is still in motion and I hope that this can prove a fruitful pursuit for me in the near future.


We are however, still looking for a total of 300 articulated tractor units for a deal taking place in India and sourcing these has been a slow but steady process. If anyone has any other units available we are still trying to source more as we will always have a need for this type of equipment and plant.