An unpleasant teen job led Luke Mead to start up a computer repair business, LMS Group. It’s now an established firm in Chichester.
How did you come to start up?
I was 15 and working in a café after school every Wednesday and all day on Sundays. On Wednesdays, the team would leave me to clean the gravy bowl from Sunday, which was covered in an inch-thick layer of dried gravy. I knew there had to be a better way to earn money, so I followed one of my passions and started repairing computers.
How has the business grown since then?
We are now in our 10th year as a business and operate from a 6,000sq ft office in Chichester. Our customer base has grown to more than 200 clients, including household names and international companies.
Can you run me through a typical day?
This can vary, from business development and enhancement of internal processes/systems to liaising with the team, managing
the extension to the office, client account management, new business enquiries/sales, and so on.
What’s been the highlight for your business so far?
It must be fixing the WiFi at Keith Richards’ house.
What’s the strangest request you’ve had from a customer?
I was contacted to fix a computer that wasn’t turning on. The reason it wasn’t turning on was because of a regional power cut.
What one thing couldn’t your business function without?
Our team – we have invested a lot of time and resources into finding the best people to improve our service offerings and bring something fun to the workplace. Oh, and coffee!
What’s the best thing about working for yourself?
Having control over my life and being free to spend more time with my wife and son. I can also work from anywhere in the world, although I love to be in the office.
And the hardest part?
Knowing when to stop. I often get a burst of energy
of an evening and before I know it, it can be 1am!
What do you wish you’d known when you first started out?
Figures. Bearing in mind I started trading when I was 15 and set up the limited company at 19, it took me a few years to grasp it all.
If you could go back and change one thing, what would it be?
I feel I wasted the first few years. If I’d had a clear focus, we would be further ahead. We may have a strong business, a freehold building and an amazing team, but this could have come sooner.
How does your FSB membership help?
FSB has helped us build relationships with local businesses and has provided great advice to continue growing. The business advice and articles have been of great value, keeping us up to date on new laws and so on.
Where will the business be in five years’ time?
We plan to have a headcount of 24 and will still be based out of our office in Chichester. We’re currently expanding and rearranging our office to make room for further growth.
What do you do outside work?
I enjoy spending time with my family, walking, socialising, good food, beer gardens and skiing.