It’s that time of the week again where we post a Q and A with a member of the Twenty4 family. This week, we have interviewed Alex Lloyd-Hughes; one of the Directors of the business.
Read on to learn about his professional background, tips for opening up post-lockdown and plans for the business.
Tell us a little bit about you and your career so far
I have had a number of roles over the years; all in fire safety and security. I completed an apprenticeship from 2000-2003. Then, I became an Install and Service Engineer; a role I assumed for 3 years before going self-employed. Then, after nearly a decade of working for myself I met Dave (Co-Director of Twenty4), set up Twenty4 Fire and Security the rest is history!
What made you set up Twenty4 Fire and Security?
I was a self-employed fire and security engineer with a team of subcontracts working for me. I had built up my own customer base but was realising I couldn’t concentrate on the installation work whilst servicing my customers well – it was too much. Myself and David had crossed paths a few times having worked together at another firm. He told me that he wanted to go self-employed and I started passing work his way.
This worked well and when I asked him what his plan was, he told me he wanted to set up his own company as that had always been his dream. David already had his business name and we were working on a project together so this is how Twenty4 started. We just merged all our customers and workload under the new name.
What does a typical working day for you look like?
My daily tasks can vary. As a small business owner, I need to wear many different hats. 20 months ago we made a business decision for me to come off the tools and manage the office and engineers. This includes booking in jobs, maintenance jobs, callouts, dealing with enquiries, ordering tools/equipment, liaising with wholesalers, sending reports, managing the finances and so much more.
What do you enjoy most about running the company?
I really enjoy the team aspect of what we have built.
I also enjoy brainstorming and moving the business forward with Dave.
Having run my own business previously, I know everything stops with you and there is nobody who has as much interest and investment in your company as you do. We really work well together as we are completely different people and bring so many different qualities to the table. Due to this, we can support each other in decisions made.
We both listen to each other’s points and always come to decisions together as we both have the business’ interest at heart.
What advice would you give to businesses looking to secure their premises post-lockdown?
Post lockdown I would suggest that businesses look at how security products can help them manage their business and staff. A lot of people will stay remote working for a while meaning there will be less traffic to their buildings and places will be left empty. Access Control technology can be used to manage things such as how many people are in the building at one time.
CCTV is also another device that can be used for screening people with high temperatures and people counting.
Where do you see the business in 5 years’ time?
I see the business with a larger client base.
We have expanded our skillsets into other areas of passive fire protection so look forward to ramping this side of the business up. I think the industry will change a lot in the next 5 years – especially with what has happened over the last 3 months.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
Outside of work I enjoy spending time with my family- that’s what I keep the weekends for. My wife and I have a young family and that takes up a lot of our time. We also enjoy going to our family holiday home in turkey as it is a way to take a step back, relax and reflect. My favourite sport is Ice hockey and I enjoy taking the wife and kids to watch games in Cardiff and the states when we can fit it in. I am also a big Welsh Rugby fan and looking forward to getting back to watch Wales play!