Lessons I’ve learned on the journey to £3bn
Rob Jupp (pictured) is chief executive of Brightstar Financial
We have just celebrated playing our role in the completion of more than £3bn of mortgages.
Given that the business is just over seven years old, this is quite some achievement. It is even more of an achievement when you consider that it took us four years to originate the first £0.5bn, and I am extremely grateful to my amazing team who have worked so tirelessly to make the business the success it is today.
Any journey provides an opportunity to learn something and the road to £3bn is long enough and bumpy enough to provide hatful of lessons. Here are some of the biggest lessons I have learned on the journey to £3bn.
- Back yourself
Everyone hears those voices of self-doubt. Throughout the first couple of years of our business I feared another recession was coming to knock out all of our hard work.
But, to achieve anything, you need to believe in yourself and what you are doing. It’s so important to be brave and to back yourself.
- Look after your people
The most important people in your business are the people in your business. Your people are the beating heart of everything you do, so make sure you look after them. Don’t just pay lip service to the idea – a healthy culture is something you have to create, it doesn’t just happen. This is why we pay such attention to our people and pastoral care at Brightstar.
- Don’t be afraid to make mistakes
It’s ok to make mistakes – it’s all part of learning. If you are afraid of making mistakes you will stagnate and so will your business. One of my favourite sayings is “the person who never changed his mind never changed anything”.
Things will go wrong, so create an environment where it is ok to make those mistakes. It is much better that people feel they can be honest than try to cover things up.
- Love what you do
It’s a massive cliché, but we have always loved working with people and we love what we do. Another one of my favourite sayings is “what gets measured gets done” and so introducing Trustpilot reviews was a big step in demonstrating how our culture can create an excellent customer experience.
If culture is a key part of your business, so too is the recruitment process and it’s so important to employ the right people who understand your values and how you work.
This is why we go through three or four stages with each prospective employee and make sure they have at least half a day of working in the office with us. The only times our recruitment hasn’t worked effectively is when we haven’t followed this process.
- Value awards
Brightstar has won 58 national wards in the last five years and we are the most decorated business in the specialist lending market. I think it is so important to put your head above the parapet and compare yourself against your peers. It’s not about vanity, but an obsessive attitude to winning.