In this episode Alan Bennett, Director of Britannia Bennetts of Malvern discusses how he began in the industry some 40 years ago at the tender age of 16, for Ernest Batty Ltd (a 5 vehicle BAR member) where he remained until the company went into liquidation in 1985.
We discover that Bennetts of Malvern Limited (prior to Britannia Bennetts of Malvern) started on 27th March, 1987 and today is ran by Alan and his wife of 24 years Judith where they operate 4 HGV’s, 4 low-loaders (2 of which are from the van-hire side of the business), 8 removal staff, 4 office staff and a 20,000 sqft warehouse (on a 2 acre site), where half houses 350 containers and the rest is 130 Self-Storage units, with a further 130 Self-Storage units being fitted in the new year.
We discuss what the deciding factor was with Alan joining Britannia Movers International, which Alan points out is a co-operative and not a franchise that everyone seems to think it is (including me).
We discover Alan’s challenges, the house purchase collapse in 1989, the 2008 financial crash, but the biggest one has been Covid.
We discuss that the one thing Alan would change from his moving past would be to have undertaken a business life coaching course from the beginning, which after 20 years he has self-taught from reading books and watching YouTube.
We discover that Alan’s highpoints of being in the industry include taking on Judith, who became Alan’s wife and business partner. Alan claims that she’s the executioner of his ideas (I may have to get Judith on to confirm or deny that claim!). Other highpoints include joining Britannia (where Alan has just been appointed to the board), joining BAR, buying his first truck, and of course seeing his staff develop.
We discuss what Alan would change within the moving industry, reducing the VAT threshold is one, and although Alan has no problems with 3.5 tonne vehicles, he would like to change the enforcement of them, and finally completion dates.
We discover that the advice Alan would give himself just starting out in the industry, apart from a business/life coaching course is to just treat people with respect.
We discuss what changes Alan sees in the next 5 years, in the industry Alan believes the days of the HGV truck is slowly and sadly fading away as we utilise low loaders more and more. Personally, Alan wants to retire at 60 and give something back to the community, for no money, maybe even provide some business life coaching.
We discover that outside of the industry Alan enjoys home life on his 5-acre sheep ranch, cycling, walking the dog on the Malvern Hills, however, he really enjoys trips in his most luxurious purchase, a Morgan sports car, bought of course with the permission of Judith.
And as always we end Moving Matters with a funny moving story, regarding a trip to the Isle of Wight.
BONUS: Alan plays a game with me, the removal man’s slang, from when he started in the industry!
Links to Britannia Bennetts of Malvern: