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Cardiff Hub is all about celebrating local business, so every month we’re going to name a business man and woman of the month. If you know someone in Cardiff who is doing an amazing job in business, please let us know about it so we can consider them for this award.
This month’s business man of the month is Thomas Stirling. Thomas runs Stirling Travel, one of the city’s best known and successful transfer firms. They have been added to our taxi category on the busniess hub, so check them out if you ever need to get anywhere.
They were launched in May 2018 and have a fleet of around 20 drivers. They have a selection of 4, 7 and 16 seat vehicles.
I asked Thomas a few questions about his business and how he came about starting it. Hopefully his answers will help anyone else looking to go into business in Cardiff.
Who are Stirling Travel and what do they do?
Our busines caters for clients needing transportation to destinations where they can’t or don’t want to drive to themselves. We take clients to places such as airports, wedding venues or holiday destinations. All of our drivers are fully licensed, insured and experienced and drive a range of comfortable, clean and modern cars. In short, we like to refer to ourselves as a transfer company.
How did you come to setting Stirling Travel up?
I’ve been involved in the taxi trade for approximately 16 years, both working in and managing a taxi office and driving on the road myself. A few of the Cardiff taxi firms have rules in place, some unfair to drivers in my opinion, so I set about launching my own service.
Our service has more of a chauffeur twist which is uncommon in the general taxi trade. Our drivers are happy to give a higher level of customer service that you wouldn’t generally expect from a taxi – simple things like holding a door open for clients which can make a big difference in someone’s day.
What’s the most rewarding part of running the business?
The most rewarding part is the constant positive feedback. It’s a huge boost to me and the company to know that we’re heading in the right direction.
What’s the most difficult part of running the business?
The most difficult part for me is that I rarely get a break. In the sense that we are operating for 7 days a week and are still in the early days on the admin side of things. It’s still solely done by myself and even when I was on holiday I was taking bookings and communicating with drivers. Everything needs to be run like clockwork so I find that the most difficult part.
Any plans for the future?
We never want to stop growing! I don’t just want to do long haul transfers – it’s a stepping stone towards breaking into the market that’s been dominated mainly by 3 companies for the past 30+ years. It’s my plan to build on what we’re doing now and see where it takes us. That could be an app or even breaking into Newport, who knows? The challenge is a lot of fun and I can’t wait to see what the future brings.
Finally, any advice to someone in Cardiff looking to start their own business?
My advice would be to not hold back out of fear of the unknown. Take that leap and just go for it. The worst that can happen is that you fail and end up back where you started but unless you try, you’ll never know. Also do your research t make sure your business ideas are compliant with the laws in your areas. In my trade there are licenses you need, so do some research to make sure you’re not breaking any rules that could stop you before you start!
A massive thank you to Thomas for taking the time to answer our questions, and congratulations on how the business is going so far!
If you know anyone who is doing a really great job in business in Cardiff, get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org . We’re always looking to celebrate local business talent!