Telling the truth about SME life today

Name: Stephen Falder

Age: 51

Company: Byotrol. An anti-microbial technology business based on a patented germ killing technology which protects against germs for hours and, in certain formulations, days after it has dried. We recently won a multi-million pound contract to supply Rentokil’s Initial Hygiene arm, for use in washrooms and kitchens across 16 European countries. We’re also used in products by Tesco, Boots, Tommee Tippee and Morning Fresh.

Turnover: £2m

First job: Working in the family paint business on the trade counter, selling industrial paints to panel beaters.

Dream job: Chief buyer for the British Museum collections.

Car: Bentley continental convertible. A fantastic car made in Cheshire by a really good business. Sometimes I go to meetings in a Land Rover Discovery but, if I really want to enjoy the drive, it’s the Bentley.

Economy, business or first class: If travelling up to five hours, I’ll fly economy. If it’s more than five hours, I?ll fly business. I don’t really like the idea of companies paying silly fares, so I pay the difference myself. 

Most extravagant purchase: I collect Byzantine and Roman coins so occasionally pay extravagantly for what is, after all, a disk of metal.

Most played song on iPod: Pink Floyd’s “The Wall”. My iPod is a standing joke in my family, as it has a “varied” collection on it (most people would call it rubbish!).

Best business book: Who moved my cheese by Spencer Johnson. A great book: fun, fast to read, easy to share, and hard to forget.

Worst business moment: I was heavily involved in a business which I had nursed back to health. I then passed it on to someone who I thought was a great manager but, in fact, had misled us for months. 

Proudest business moment: Finding out that a trial of Byotrol in an African clinic had saved the lives of several sick babies. A great moment!

Business mentor: My dad. He taught me to enjoy all aspects of business and to focus on the here and now, and not always obsess with where we might be in the future.

Next big thing: I see a growing movement towards the enjoyment of the simpler things in life on a local scale, from farmers” markets to local walks. I hope I?m right!


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