29 June 2012

From Brookes Architecture graduate to successful entrepreneur

Upon leaving Brookes, Richard Phillips started a number of businesses with Chartered Surveyor and Brookes MSc Real Estate Management graduate Tim Bailey.

The B38 Group is the umbrella brand under which they launched ventures in; Design and Architecture, Property Agency and Valuation, Property Developments, Facilities Management and Capital Investment. The group has gone from strength to strength and now employs 20 full time staff, and many more on a consultancy basis.

Their Facilities Management team have recently won major contracts with Nationwide Building Society and the Sixt Group for both reactive and planned maintenance which will allow them to continue expanding rapidly over the next year. Growth has been quick and they are managing a number of interesting projects including the development of 65 residential properties, contracts with various blue-chip companies, and a number of architectural design projects mainly in the commercial and education sector.

"Push everything you are working on as hard as you can and reinvest in your business."

More recently they have gained contracts with Assura Medical (part of the Virgin Group) for their landscaping requirements across the UK, and undertaken Reactive and Planned works for BT Plc, GoOutdoors, American Express, Betfair, VW and Audi. At 24 and 25 Richard and Tim aim to grow the business sustainably, always drawing on the experience of older employees, to reach a position in which each company can compete in its own right with the current big market players. They will be adopting a mergers and acquisitions approach to building both profile and service levels around the UK.

His advice for setting up a new company is not to be too complacent. "Push everything you are working on as hard as you can and reinvest in your business." He stresses that it is important to establish new contacts and to keep them up to date with your activities so you are in the front of their mind. Richard feels he benefitted enormously from studying the Oxford Brookes degree and diploma in Architecture.

The business plan he produced in his final year based around Virgin and how a new scheme and funding stream in the private sector could support the growth of affordable housing in the UK, helped him to win the prestigious RIBA South and Assael awards. Visit the B38 website for more info: