Day in the Life: Robert Campbell

08 November, 2013
When Robert Campbell waves his wife and kids goodbye in the morning, he heads off to work with other family members
Page 46 

It's been another sleepless night thanks to either me thinking about the business, or the two kids bed hopping or both. Then it's a 45-minute commute to work, which gives me time to come round and fine tune plans for the day. I also use this time to check and see whether anything needs my urgent attention.

At the office in Barnsley, I greet my five collegues who are already beavering away. Upon my arrival, I'm often immediately presented with a cup of tea and sometimes even a home-made cake or a bun.

Julie, our office manager, heads up a fantastic team at Intake. We work in an open-plan office so if any of us has a problem we can air it and between us we always come up with a sensible solution.

I massively appreciate Jackie, Debbie and Gail whose dedication and problem solving makes every day a pleasure.

I always speak to my brother and fellow field agent, Richard, to discuss our plans, and where we are up to on ongoing projects. At the moment, it's the change over to LED lights we are converting the whole company. We also need to talk about temperature compensation on all our petrol pumps, reducing our business rates and obtaining cost savings from our suppliers. We spend as much time reducing costs as driving sales.

We're in the throes of replacing our car washes. We have a great relationship with WashTech, who manage and maintain most of our car wash facilities.

But, so we don't have all our eggs in one basket, we have just purchased a new M'Start rollover from Istobal. We dealt with sales director Dave Lindon and managing director, Steven Dunne. I have to say their support through the buying process has been second to none, they are great to deal with and we are very pleased with the new M'start machine.

I regularly check for any messages from Alasdair Moores, our key contact at Jet. We have worked with the Jet team for about 30 years. They are always helpful and have supported our company's growth. We really appreciate the great relationship we have with them. Alasdair is always positive and supportive, and gets back to us quickly about any issues we may have. Long may our relationship continue.

I then check yesterday's banking situation; fuel stocks; the likely fuel price for the following week; our competitors' fuel prices then make any adjustments. We deal with urgent matters first, such as any issues with fuel deliveries. I have to check shop sales too.

If the bosses my Mum and Dad are in the country, I check to see if they have a job list for us.

Mum is the company secretary while Dad is managing director. They started the firm about 40 years ago literally by selling one car then buying another and so on. They sold cars from a pitch in Sheffield then Dad bought his first pitch in Barnsley selling secondhand Volvos.

He then went on to service stations. His first was Pogmore, which we still have today.

Dad is still very much the boss, making sure we steer the boat gently in the right direction.

We have nine sites now and we are in the Top 50 Indies at number 42. Our newest site in Doncaster was bought in the summer.

At the end of the day, as soon as I get home, I'm greeted by my four-and-a-half-year-old son who wants me to watch him do somersaults or build a den out of the sofa cushions. My days are pretty full and any spare time I do get is spent working on the next big opportunity!

Name: Robert Campbell

Company: Intake Developments
Job title: Area manager
Career history: Joined the Asda graduate scheme; then operated a site for Intake and was promoted to area manager
Greatest achievement: Loving wife and two boys
Tips for business success: Ask me in 10 years' time
Most likely to say: "What's the return on capital?"
Least likely to say: "We can't do that."
Other interests: Family, cycling, canoeing, golf

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