This issue, we talk to Alex Lineton, managing director of Beaumont Grounds Maintenance who won Service Business of the Year at the 2015 Make Your Mark awards…
1: What do you do?
A: I’m managing director of Beaumont Grounds Maintenance, a commercial maintenance, sports pitch and landscape specialist company.
2: Who have you worked for in the past?
A: Nobody. I’ve literally been here since I was old enough to push a grass cutter! I worked part-time for my Dad from the age of about 14 and then started working full time for the company when I left school at 18. I worked my way up through the business before becoming a Director and then Managing Director.
3: Best part of your job?
A: The diverse sites and clients we get to work with. One day we could be at Redworth Hall Hotel and the next a professional sports ground, so that keeps it interesting. Also the geographical nature of our clients takes us up to Newcastle, down to Hull and across to Cumbria so we get chance to explore the region, which is nice.
4: Is there anything about your job that you really don’t like?
A: The weather! We’re too weather dependent for my liking. So if it’s chucking it down with the rain the lads can get a bit soggy, but there’s not much we can do about that.
5: Favourite thing about working on Aycliffe Business Park?
A: I like it when nobody knows about the business park, they come here and are taken away by it. A lot of people don’t realise just how big it is and the volume and quality of businesses we have here. I think it’s a bit of a hidden gem for the North-East.
6: Which company/individual on the park do you do the most work with?
A: Compound Photonics is our biggest client. We’ve worked for them since it was originally Fujitsu and later Filtronic. Geographically it’s the biggest site we work on also.
7: Who’s your tip for future success?
A: Patrick Stephens from The Shred Centre, he rents some space from us. They offer a confidential waste service and have been going two-and-a-half years now. Patrick came from a big corporate firm to set up by himself and hasn’t looked back.
8: Four famous people you’d love to have round for dinner and why?
A: Lance Armstrong (I’m sure he would have some stories to tell), Ricky Gervias (to add some humour to proceedings), Chris Martin (I’d make sure he had a piano to add a soundtrack) and Gary Vaynerchuk (entrepreneur, investor, author, public speaker, and internet personality).
9: If you could do something else in business, what would it be?
A: It would be something sports related. I dabbled in setting up my own sports team a few years ago and I just got too busy trying to run the two enterprises. Running a cycling team would be good and I’d go exploring the mountainous regions of Europe.
10: Who’s your favourite Tweeter?
A: Gary Vaynerchuk, check him out for great business content!
11: Have you ever done anything really daring?
A: I used to be in to endurance sport and ran a few marathons and an ironman triathlon, which I guess were quite intimidating at the time, although I’m not sure I can put down as daring.
12: What’s the best piece of business advice you’ve been given?
A: It’s not so much advice I’ve been given, but a Sir Richard Branson quote, which was, “You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing, and by falling over.”
13: If money was no object, what would be your ideal car?
A: An Aston DB9. That’s part of the 10-year plan!
14: Money no object, your dream holiday would be?
A: We have a place in France, but we don’t spend enough time there. It’s a lovely, peaceful place but we struggle to find the time to get over there. So we kind of already have our dream holiday, it’s just finding the time to go on it.
15: Do you have a favourite band or type of music?
A: I want to say Jay Z, but people might think I’m some kind of white boy gangster wannabe. But I’m not afraid to say I like rap music.
16: What is your greatest achievement?
A: My five-year-old daughter, she’s testament to my wife and I.
17: How would you best describe yourself in four words?
A: Ambitious, driven, friendly, factual.
18: Where do you see yourself in five years?
A: Still running Beaumont Grounds Maintenance, but hopefully bigger and better. We have a 10-year plan to triple turnover, we’re two years into it now so we want to keep building on our success.
19: Who’s the most famous person you’ve ever met?
A: I’m not sure I’ve met anyone famous, I’m just a country bumpkin who likes his village. I did meet Rob Andrew when he used to play for Newcastle Falcons and I was in the Academy when I was at school.
20: Do you have any guilty pleasures?
A: Unfortunately at the moment my guilty pleasure is Little Mix. My wife and daughter love them, but recently I’ve found myself singing along to it in the car.