Shred Direct’s founder Graeme Carter is interviewed in the upcoming second edition of East Durham Business magazine.
Here’s an excerpt from Graeme’s My Working Day feature:
EDB: What’s a typical day for you? GC: Every morning, at 8am, I have a meeting with my drivers and we go through their upcoming data destruction collections for the day. I then head off to the office in Peterlee where I spend the rest of the morning dealing with incoming enquires and preparing the paperwork side of our business. After that it is usually out of the office and visiting our customers.
EDB: Running your own business can mean long hours. Is that something you experience regularly? GC: Initially when I started the business in 2013 the days could be extremely long especially when I also have an office at home that I can work from. However, we now have four full time members of staff and two part-time and this has helped me to have a much better work-life balance. I make time to spend with my family and I still enjoy playing football and coaching each weekend.
EDB: Your clients are across the North East. Does that mean you spend a lot of time on the roads? GC: Our customers include Newcastle Building Society and Hays Travel and they both have a lot of branches throughout the North East. We schedule our collections so that we are in various parts of the North East on certain days of the week. This helps us to keep our mileage and transport costs down to a minimum.
EDB: You’ve got an office and staff now. Is that more or less stressful than being a sole trader? GC: It’s far more enjoyable having an office and staff working for me because it is beneficial for the business but it also allows me to work on the business and not just in the business. It also gives me the chance to bounce ideas off other members of staff and it has helped us to build a very efficient team. I am enjoying watching our company grow and both keeping our existing clients happy and bringing new customers on-board.
EDB: You recently exhibited at EMCON. How was that for you? GC: It was really good. Two years ago, I took part in the show’s first Incubator Zone programme which was fantastic exposure for me. It was the first time I had done something like that and got so much work from it – in fact until as recently as this year I was still securing contracts from connections made then. For that reason, I decided to exhibit as a fully-fledged exhibitor this year, with the assistance of my daughter Eleanor. We both had a really good day, making connections with potential customers which I will be following up on over the next few weeks.