The program supported them to establish their own third party last mile logistics delivery business starting with 20 vans working out of a delivery station in Preston. They have gone from strength to strength and have really showcased what you can achieve with hard work and determination. Here is what they had to say:
Tell us about what you were doing before becoming a DSP –
JK: Before we joined the DSP Program, we were both serving as Corporals in the Army Air Corps.
What first made you want to start a business?
JRS: Even before we left the Army we were always looking for opportunities. I guess we have always had that entrepreneurial spirit. When we were still serving we used to buy and fix up second hand vacuum cleaners to sell on so it was natural for us to be attracted to the DSP program and all it could offer.
What attracted you to apply to the program?
JK: One of the big attractions was of course the brand. The opportunity to be associated with Amazon was too good to pass up.
What’s it like being an independent business owner?
JK: We couldn’t imagine doing anything else! It was an adjustment going from the military to business owners but we love the autonomy. It is a lot of responsibility but it is really enjoyable at the same time.
How has your military experience benefited your business?
JRS: Discipline, initiative and problem solving play a big part in running your own business, which is something the army instils from day 1 and is a major part of our success. There are some hard times and long days and it’s the ability to get up and crack on and often think outside the box to solve problems that really helps us day to day.
What have been the benefits of starting the business as a partnership? –
JRS: Having someone to rely on who you know is great. It helps having someone to split the problems with and also it’s good to have someone to bounce ideas off and help keep you going. Having two of you also helps if you want to grow your business.
What is your strategy to deal with differences of opinion between the two of you?
JK: After serving together all over the world for more than a decade, we both knew how the other operated. There are always stressful times but we think alike and have a common goal, so we focus on that.
How did you create a sense of teamwork?
JK: We try and instil a teamwork ethic and engage with our drivers to make them feel part of the business. It is something that we work on constantly.
How important is culture and diversity to your business? –
JRS: We think it’s important to any business however we mainly focus on the person being right for the job.
What do you think are the top qualities for a DSP business owner to be successful?
JK: Resilience and long term thinking; there are going to be tough times and long days. You need to be able to bounce back and it’s important to focus long term rather than short term.
What would you say to someone who’s thinking of applying?
JK: Go for it! It is an amazing opportunity to get into a growing industry. Last Mile Logistics is only going to grow in importance and size and we are excited to be part of that with Amazon.
If you were to choose 3 words to describe the program, what would those be?
Both: Challenging, fun, fast paced!
If you want to find out more about this program and what it could mean for you, please register your details here.