Whilst studying for his GCSEs, Euan Kellie took a interest in how cities and towns evolve. His geography teacher mentioned a course in planning, in which he graduated from Manchester University in 1999. His degree placement employer, Warrington Borough Council, offered him a job on graduation and from there he joined consultancy Drivers Jonas. He stayed at the practice for five years before using a short stint at Turley Associates as a springboard into self employment. He set up Euan Kellie Property Solutions in 2009 where he is a director.
Q. What are your objectives in your current role and how are you measured against them?
As the founding director of the company I need to cover every dimension of running a business. Working with my co-director, Kelly Paddick, we need to identify opportunities; think about how we can promote ourselves; keep an eye on our competitors and do everything we can to drive the business forward. The key to success is to ensure the business remains nimble, agile and versatile so we can respond quickly to the market and client needs. A good selling point is that when clients employ us they know it is us who will do the work. When time allows I sit down to some good-old fashioned planning. We measure ourselves on profit and turnover, client satisfaction, and the size and scale of projects.
Q. What key lessons have you learned during your career that help you to fulfil those objectives?
A. Good working relationships are crucial. Planning – and business – is all about building and maintaining relationships that could last for years.
Never stop learning. It is crucial as a practitioner to evolve professionally, so never stop reading, meeting people and learning: when I set up the business I became a chartered surveyor to expand my knowledge and what I could offer clients. I also wrote a book, Rebuilding Manchester, which has opened up a range of opportunities.
Never underestimate what you can achieve. It is better to aim high and fall short than forever aim low, so be ambitious and hungry for achievement. If you set clear objectives and work hard, then you will be amazed what you can achieve.