Nicholas King purchased his first site in 1991 and has since built the company up to sales of £59m in 2008. Last year, the Bucks-based firm made a pre-tax profit of £3.2m, with King paying himself a dividend of £260,000 and his wife Fiona, part owner of the company. Today, Nicholas King Homes is a multi-million pound business known for bagging prime sites in Berkshire, Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Surrey and London. And the Kings are just as happy building stylish one-bedroom apartments as they are working on £1m prestigious residences. They argue that being privately (and family) owned enables them to have short chains of command, which means they’re able to make speedy decisions. The couple stresses their overriding commitment to quality: no client is allowed to move into a new home until the company’s quality control manager has satisfied himself that a 147-point checklist has been met.