This week we interviewed Martin Lamb of Maple Consulting who told us his start up story!
What did you want to do when you grew up and is this reflected in your business?
I wanted to be a dustman or work with my dad, then reality took over and I narrowed the choices through school and did an environmental sciences degree and a masters in Waste management. So in a way the dustman theme continued! However, this hasn’t been reflected in Maple Consulting because I’ve never had a master plan of what I wanted to do. After graduating I worked in contaminated land for about six years and then joined my previous company looking at contaminated land and waste management. From that it morphed in to what I’m doing at the moment which is focusing more on innovation in transport and new transport systems.
What inspired you to start your Maple Consulting?
It was something I was thinking of doing for quiet some time but had never had the capital to do it. Then, about six weeks ago my former employer said we’re going to make you an offer that you can leave and I took it. I also enjoy the fact that your in charge of what you do and in reason the projects that you want to work on. You are responsible for yourself rather than to anyone.
What have you found most challenging
I’ve been quiet fortunate in that I actually managed to secure a large proportion of the work already but that’s a constant thing in the back of your mind, you always need to think about where the work is. However, being a one man band I have found it challenging that you’re also director of IT, PR and HR manager and everything else. This has pushed me in to areas that I wouldn’t necessarily have been in before. This alone is challenging but also interesting as it has pushed me to develop new skills. For example, in social media, I’ve started a twitter account and I’m slowly but surely getting follows! However, there is someone from Welsh ICE that is designing a website for me and this will link both my twitter and Linkedin accounts together. Something that I found frustrating in my previous company was the inane management talk that was proliferating and a lot of the decisions seemed to take a long time to be made. There was also a lot of risk management where as being an SME you can make your own decisions and change direction if you need to according to where the business is.
Is your business your passion and does it reflect you?
If you think about my passions, unless there was a business that involved eating curry and watching rugby this is a good second choice. The sort of new things that are going on in transport like autonomous driving and new ways of how that’s going to link in and completely change the transport info structure in the immediate, for example are things I find interesting and are things that I’ve been working on for a number of years. I’m reflected in my business as a a one-man band inevitably it does, at least as a professional. In terms of corporate identity it’s just me.
Where do you see your business in 5-10 years?
The short term plan that I’ve got for the first year I’ll essentially be freelancing and then from year two some I’ take on some of the European work that would be leading to larger projects so Id be looking to take on some other staff. In five years time id like to see there be a small team and in ten years I’d like to have seen that team grow. However, at that point I might look to sell the company anyway.
Thank you Martin! To find out more about Maple Consulting follow their Twitter!