Owner Nick Findlay set up City Room Rentals when he noticed a gap in the market while working in the tourism industry. He said: “I graduated with an honours degree in Tourism Management from Glasgow Caledonian University and then attended the first Travelodge UK Graduate programme, before securing a position as a Hospitality Manager for The Mansion Group.
“Having worked previously as a Regional Manager for a student investment management company I spotted a gap in the market and thought now is the right time.”
Since it began, the company has gone from strength, allowing clients to sell rooms through a variety of platform and in turn increasing their returns and profits.
Nick said: “We’ve grown from a handful of customers and universities in Edinburgh to now representing a national client base of investors, property management companies and universities, which is extremely satisfying.
“The company has also received some fantastic recognition, most recently receiving the Spirit of EIE Award from Informatics Ventures as part of the EIE16 showcase.”
Although City Room Rentals has enjoyed success, starting your own business is rarely a smooth journey, Nick said: “In the sense that you run your own business, it’s fantastic.
“However, you are never truly your own boss. Companies have a variety of influences from different stakeholders, including investors and partners to name but two. Our biggest boss though is the customer; if you don’t please them then you don’t have a business! “
Nick hasn’t been completely alone in his start up journey, he has had the support of his business partner and wife, Anna, and he advises anyone looking to start a business to have a business partner. He said: “Going it alone in business is a tough ask. If you’re thinking about setting up a company I would advise to find a CoFounder to help share the burden.
“I was fortunate myself that Anna had worked in the same industry so complimented each other’s skill set, it also helps we’re married!”
He also advises other start ups to get a good support network, and be realistic with what you can achieve, saying: “Always validate your business idea before you pursue it and waste both time and money. Will customers buy your product or service? How do you know this?
“My advice would always be if you are going to fail, fail quickly and fail cheaply.
“Finally, surround yourself with good people and advisors that have been there and done it. You’d be surprised how much support and advice is available if you just ask.”
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