Redundancy was the catalyst for my success
Our very own Nik Ellis on how he made it in today’s Echo…
Nik Ellis, owner manager of Laird Assessors and Whitfield Business Support
My first taste of business began in my father’s Toyota dealership in Liverpool where I spent five years learning everything automotive – from how cars go together to what happens when they crash. IT was the latter area which captured my imagination and I soon became a self-employed automotive crash repairer. It was a passion which often saw me working beyond midnight. After landing a role as production manager at Wirral repairer Fred Littler (now Nationwide) in Moreton, I was catapulted into a larger organization which ramped up personal development.
I remember dealing predominantly with Direct Line who had fastidious customer service standards – a key area which I greatly value in my businesses today. I was soon headhunted to work for Howard Basford flagship body-shop in Ellesmere Port.
However, I had always wanted to be a motor engineer. A fairly new motor assessing company had opened up and was looking for Engineers. I was there for three years, loving my job, before receiving a sledgehammer blow of redundancy.
I was out of work within days. It was sink or swim. But it was this adversity which brought out the best as I spent a weekend setting up Laird Assessors (LA). I started trading on the Monday.
We act as an expert witness firm supplying the legal, insurance, motor trade, police and fleet firms with independent motor vehicle reports. Necessity is the mother of invention and I ran LA from my spare bedroom for the first year, in 2000. When staff joined I needed office space and moved to what is now Whitfield Business Hub, in Heswall.
At the time I was just a tenant, but as Laird grew we expanded and I bought the site two years ago. We carried out a complete overhaul dragging the office space into the 21st century and created a modern business hub.