Anthony recently spoke to the Financial Times’s Natalie Graham for the My First Million column. The interview traced the success story from its very beginnings thirty years ago, when Anthony founded Anthony Ward Thomas Removals with just £500 and a small loan all the way through to the market-leading status the company enjoys today, with an annual turnover of £22 million and clients including Boris Johnson and Cate Blanchett.
Anthony chatted about the state of the removals industry three decades ago: “The removals men were hopeless. They were swearing a lot and I actually saw them trying on my shoes! When the job was done several pairs of shoes and a jacket were missing. I then joined a well-regarded removals company in Camberley for a week, and my eyes were opened. Stealing was endemic, but the people were paid so badly it was almost supplementing their income.”
…and on what makes Anthony Ward Thomas Removals different to the competition: “It is simply doing a difficult, personal job just a little bit better than everyone else. We speak to everybody and we go and see everybody. What we do is almost the ultimate personal business. We must never lose sight of that. People’s effects may or may not be valuable, but to them they are precious.
We started off differently, too. All our guys wear high-grade cotton uniforms and leather shoes. Likewise, the vehicles are liveried and top of the range like Scanias and Mercedes.”
…his plans for the future: “I’ve got good guys, we are all good friends, why change it? I have plans for further acquisitions. I do different challenges that keep me going on various levels. This year I plan to pedal across the Atlantic on a customised boat for a multitude of charities, to be chosen by the people who will be sponsoring me. Another personal challenge I took up was the 1,000-mile horse race in Mongolia in August 2013. I was riding three different horses each day, over eight days. It was attritional, nothing like a holiday, but I’m glad I did it.”
Read the full interview here.