My name is Lee Biggins and I am the founder and managing director of CV-Library, a leading independent job site. I founded the company back in 2000 as a response to my own struggles with my job hunt. I’d been working at my dad’s carpet fitting business but felt it was time to move on and I was baffled at how long it was taking me to send out my CV to individual employers and recruiters. I saw the need for an easy-to-use job board which would benefit both job hunters and recruiters and so, with a £9,000 loan from the bank and help from a web developer that I met at the pub (who soon became my business partner), the CV-Library website was built. The years to follow were full of ups and downs, and after a slow first three years, the business soon skyrocketed. We’re fortunate to have had success ever since, not being affected by the recession and growing year-on-year. I put this down to hard work and determination, not only from myself, but the team I have built around me. I’ve always exhibited an “entrepreneurial spirit” and this is filtered down throughout the business. When I was younger I would sell cold cans of Coca-Cola to fishermen on hot days, before starting my own car washing empire as a teenager. The success of my business has been down to working incredibly hard, loving what I do and having a strong desire to take the business to new heights. Back in 2013, my business partner decided he wanted to focus on his family life, so I bought him out and now own 100 per cent of the business. Being a sole owner means that decisions are made quickly and I re-invest a significant amount to ensure our aggressive growth targets are achieved. The CV-Library team is expanding rapidly and we now have two offices in Fleet, Hampshire, in addition to offices in London, Manchester and Birmingham, housing over 160 staff. We recently launched sister website Resume-Library in the US, where the company has an office in Boston, Massachusetts. The business is set to expand, and we plan to take the brand global over the coming years. Expanding the business internationally is something I will be writing about over the coming months, as I have plenty of insights to share which might be of use to other businesses looking to grow across the pond. I’ll also be able to talk about what it’s like to manage remote teams, challenges I’ve faced and lessons that I’ve learnt. It’s been an exciting year for us so far, with plenty more opportunity in the pipeline to grow the business even more and I’m looking forward to sharing my thoughts in this column.
This article is part of a wider campaign called Founders Diaries, a section of Real Business that brings together 20 inspiring business builders to share their stories. Bringing together companies from a wide variety of sectors and geographies, each columnist produces a diary entry each month. Visit the Founders Diaries section to find out more.
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