Lakedale has experienced only a minor dip in sales of six per cent in the past year, while rival companies are reporting drops of between 25 and 30 per cent. Gabriel founded Lakedale in 1983, funded with a £10,000 loan from his father. Within a year, he’d moved his powertool distribution firm to a freehold property. The company has since moved sites a further four times and acquired four companies. The business is now based in a 10,000sq ft property in Plumstead, with one more site of a similar size in Croydon. “I didn’t realise just how big the company would become,” comments Gabriel. With an annual turnover of £5m and nearly 35 employees, Gabriel says he believes the company will maintain natural growth and has no current exit plans. He is still completely involved in “every single aspect of the company” and says this has been vital to his success. In Gabriel’s line of business, supplying the volatile building industry, strict credit control is crucial, so he constantly monitors the company’s finances, allowing him to keep a close eye on, and control, any potential losses. Related articles:"Recession’s no handicap" says golfing entrepreneur
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