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ScaleUp Radio

Dec 2, 2019

Sam Bailey has always had a love of cars. When he was in school, Friday’s weren’t taken up with football games and girls - it was reading the Auto Trader, and dreaming of classic cars.

The dream has become a reality for Sam - he founded The SL Shop and in 12 years it has now become Europe’s largest specialists in Classic Mercedes Benz SL’s.

In the latest episode of ScaleUp Radio, Kevin Brent speaks to Sam about how this business came about, and what challenges he faced over the past 12 years, as they’ve scaled from a one man band business - through to the present day with at team of 36 people.

Sam covered a tremendous amount of ground in this conversation, including:

 - What makes a good first employee - how do you know that you’re getting the right person?

 - Don’t be shy about your expertise. If you are an expert in your industry, use that as a selling point to your customers

 -  Be ready to change or adapt the nature of your business, if the industry begins to demand it. The SL Shop never intended to be a parts seller - but as Mercedes stopped making certain parts and they became harder to source for the workshop, Sam began to develop a network of suppliers for those hard to find parts and the parts business became a natural step

 - Surround yourself with good people. It seems common sense, but Sam talks about *why* building up the right team over the past 12 years has been vital in the success of the business.

 - How to plan a premises move for the business - is there a benefit between renting or buying the building that your company is based in?

Sam is very honest in this episode; not just about the things that they’ve got right - but also when the business has got things wrong.

Also, it doesn’t matter if you don’t like cars, or your business has nothing to do with cars, you’ll definitely find something in here to help you in your own scale up journey.

Sam can be contacted at - 

Sam recommended 3 books – they can be found below:

Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi can be found here -

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey can be found here -

The Alchemist: A Fable About Following Your Dream by Paulo Coelho can be found here -