I'm 20 - and one of the major banks has just given me £945,000

I'm 20 - and a major bank has just given me £945,000

Park Homes entrepreneur Alfie Best Junior gets backing for new site, and tells BQ about his tips for success

Park Homes boss Alfie Best Junior says his latest venture in Dunstable is proof that by the age of 20 a committed entrepreneur can be running his own national company.

Aflie’s Best Park Homes company has just acquired its latest site in Dunstable, following a £945,000 funding package from HSBC.

Alfie, who has just turned 20, told BQ: “I was selling sweets in school, and then going door to door selling office supplies, so for me I was always going to be my own boss. It’s not that I wouldn’t do it, but I just wouldn’t last because I believe in my opinions. I’m not saying they are right or wrong but I have ways of doing things and I stick to them so if I had a job with someone else I wouldn’t be able to do it my way.”

His lesson for young entrepreneurs with the world at their feet is… persistance.

“You have to just give it a couple of months not going anywhere, keep your head down and save a bit of money and before you know it you will be on your feet,” he told us.

“I would say just go for it – keep on trying and trying and trying because there is no quick fix and just saying ‘do this’ and it will work. And remember that some things that work for one person might not work for another, as my dad used to tell me ‘there’s no such thing as a bad company, just bad management’.”

Coming from a travelling family – his dad runs Wyldecrest Parks – Alfie also started hosting travellers’ parties, which led to him owning a nightclub which he sold to finance the first park site – a £500,000 deal in Basildon. After running that for two years, he impressed HSBC enough to back him for the  latest project.

But he has kept in the clubbing scene, buying a small 100-capacity venue right in the middle of London that he used to visit as a customer – and just in case that doesn’t seem like a very busy life for a 20-year-old, Alfie keeps fit by boxing – and has already won the only competition he has entered.

“It’s another reason why I like working for myself,” he says. “When the chance comes to spar, I know I can get along there. But I don’t mix business and having  a good time so when I am at work I have my business head on and obviously when I come back from work I like to be a bit of a lad – who doesn’t?”

The HSBC business loan will help in the acquisition and refurbishment of the Dunstable site, which is already an existing residential park for retired and semi-retired people. The deal will fund improvements to the park, including approximately 10 new homes, a new road and a renovation of the site’s grounds and communal spaces.

 Russell Marchant, HSBC’s Area Director of Business Banking for East London, said: “Alfie is a truly inspirational entrepreneur and he regularly hosts motivational talks across the UK. It’s been great to see how the business has gone from strength-to-strength over the past few years and this latest acquisition will allow the company to continue to grow at a rapid pace.”

Alfie agrees with that approach, saying: “I’ll be sticking to the parks because it is a business I know and I want to become the biggest park owner in Europe. To work for yourself you don’t need the qualifications, you just need to want to do it.”