Just because you work freelance, or as a limited company director, it doesn’t mean that you have to go it alone. Below, Ami Pilkington, who owns Moore’s Custom Campers Ltd with her fiancée Sam, tells us how she’s found her time as a limited company director.
Tell us a little about Moore’s Custom Campers Ltd
We started our company in 2013 and became Ltd in May 2014. We convert vehicles to customer’s specifications or sell completed Campervans. We also offer our furniture in flat pack form for customers to build into their vans themselves. We're launching our online Campervan Parts & Accessories Shop in January 2017 and a fleet of Campervan Hire Vehicles in April 2017.
Since starting your company, what has been your highlight so far?
My highlight over the years has been the many magazine articles we've created/featured in for VW BUS and VW Camper and Commercial Magazines (we've done around 15 now). Seeing our work in these magazines makes all the hard work worth it.
Have you had to deal with any adversity as a result of owning your own company?
We (touch wood) haven't had to deal with any adversity yet. Only how flipping hard it is to get a mortgage when you're self-employed!
What are your future aspirations for Moore’s Custom Campers?
Future aspirations would be to employ more (trustworthy) staff enabling us to get a little of our life back, and take some well-deserved time off. We'd like to have a fleet of 10 vehicles for Campervan Hire and a Forecourt with at least 3 completed Campervans at any one time ready to sell. And we hope our online shop launch goes well too. We're hoping to spend less time on Customer Projects and more time on our own.
Did you always want to work for yourself?
I'd never planned to work for myself. I grew up wanting to be a teacher and went to university to do a BA (Hons) Education and Early Childhood Degree and PGCE. We started Moore's Custom Campers Ltd 2 years into my degree. I carried on with my studies and graduated with a 2:1 but haven't used my degree... yet.
Did your university discuss starting a business as a viable option post-graduation?
University never discussed working for yourself or freelancing as an option. But then again, teaching isn't really a self-employed profession.
Would you encourage others to start a business or to work for themselves?
I'd definitely recommended being self-employed to anyone. It's so difficult, tiring and testing as times but the sense of achievement is so worth it. Knowing that all the hard work is for me and the future of my company keeps me motivated.
Is there anything you would change about your journey so far?
If I could go back to university, I would have studied business but up until 2013 I had my heart set on teaching. Never in a million years did I think I'd be running a company converting Campervans. However, I wouldn't change anything with Moore's Custom Campers Ltd; I can't believe how far we've come in 3 years. We're now always booked up to 8 months in advance.