Charlie Mullins launched Pimlico Plumbers in 1979 with just a bag of tools and a very old van bought at auction, and now the company boasts more than 205 professional trades people and a support team of around 100 staff serving customers across London including some of the world’s most famous names, including James Bond star Daniel Craig and actress Dame Helen Mirren. The company, which has a turnover of £30 million, serving central and greater London with its fleet of more than 200 vans, trucks and motorbikes on the streets of the Capital.
Charlie is the archetypal entrepreneur having started his business from scratch and building it into a multi-million pound enterprise. His company’s iconic blue and white vans can also been seen in Spain after Charlie launched a Marbella branch of the company to serve both local and ex-pat customers.
Outspoken and often controversial Charlie has become a radio and television regular, has starred in Channel 4’s ‘Secret Millionaire’; presented the BBC’s ‘Young Plumber of the Year’ programme, is a regular guest on The Daily Politics Show, and has even ventured onto Question Time.
Why I’m Supporting #MicroBizMattersDay
This text was written by Tony on behalf of Charlie.
Charlie Mullins OBE was probably the star of the first #MicroBizMattersDay in January 2015. He was kind enough to say that out of the ‘days’ and charities he is asked to support that #MicroBizMattersDay was a no brainer and common sense – ‘problem is common sense ain’t that common’.
Always a massive supporter of small and micro business owners and how they can take on the corporates, here’s an example of his practical advice to viewers on #MicroBizMattersDay 2016:
People tend to associate the concept of PR in business with huge budgets and dozens of executives, meeting each other inside glass towers and arranging world changing campaigns over lunch. And that might be true if your name is Bill Gates! But there are many ways a micro business owner can make a big noise on the PR front to gain more #customers.
On Twitter you might not reach as many people as the world’s most successful CEOs, but do you really need billions of people all over the world knowing about your plumbing and heating business in Oxford? Cost effective small business PR isn’t the art of being noticed, it’s the art of being noticed by the right people.
Even traditional media like local newspapers is stacked in your favour once you manage to crack it, and believe me get things right and they’ll keep coming back for more. And once you are on that business page your three column inches looks just the same, and will be seen by just as many people, as the story next to it, no matter how big the other company is.
Take a ‘What the hell’ approach – think of an idea, kick it around in your head, say it out loud to a few people, and if they are not in fits of laughter (or maybe because they are) and it still sounds like a good idea, give it a go. Some of my best PR hits sounded a bit ‘out there’ to begin with, but when the idea didn’t go away all day, I thought – what the hell!