Meet the MD: Paul Crewe

PUBLISHED: 13:10 12 June 2015 | UPDATED: 13:10 12 June 2015

MD Paul Crewe

MD Paul Crewe

Manu Palomeque 07977074797

The director of Netbox Digital started out selling photocopiers and now has one of the top 10 fastest-growing companies in Kent

Tell us a bit about you

I was born in Sussex and grew up in Burgess Hill until my teenage years, when my parents moved to Heathfield. I moved to Kent when I rented my first flat in Tunbridge Wells and shortly after that bought my first house in Rotherfield.

I met my wife 19 years ago and we moved into our first house together in Pluckley, where we brought up our children. In 2013 we moved to Shottenden, near Canterbury.

My whole working career has been in sales, starting with a fastening company then after a brief spell selling stationery, I got a job as a photocopier salesman.

Since then I’ve enjoyed a very successful career in sales and have won several awards.

Tell us about your business

I set up Netbox Digital at the end of 2006 and started trading in January 2007, mainly covering Kent but also London and the Home Counties. My first steps in getting the business of the ground were finding a manufacturer to offer a dealership and raising finance to support the business.

Initially, I sub-let a small box room in an old work colleague’s office, just big enough for me and two others, but it gave me the springboard I needed to build my business.

After six months we had taken over half the main office and needed to move, so we leased an office on Rocky Hill in Maidstone.

Three years on I wanted to expand the sales team further and take on my own service department, which meant we needed bigger offices with warehousing. We found the perfect office in Bearsted and took out a new three-year lease.

In 2013 we moved again to where we are now in Rochester and our 7300sq ft of office and warehouse space has allowed me to expand the business further and employ more people, bringing staff numbers up to 30 by the end of 2014.

Any plans for future expansion?

Now we have a solid base, acquisition is the way forward. My targets would be a small IT company ideally based in Kent and the other a photocopier/printer company in London, North East Essex or Surrey.

To bolt on an IT company would create an effective, large sales team and a good customer base with which we could cross sell managed services and hardware into our own clients, as well as create more business opportunities by selling our service to the IT company’s client base.

Another photocopier/printer company would give us an immediate presence and client base in that area and our revenues and profit margins would grow overnight.

We finished the year with just over £4m turnover, which represents growth over the year of over £1m. I am hoping we will maintain our position for the third year in the top 10 fastest-growing companies in Kent. As well as expanding Netbox Digital Ltd, I have also started a new recruitment company called Netbox Recruitment Ltd.

Best piece of business advice?

Never give away anything without getting something in return, particularly when trading concessions for commitments.

What makes a good boss?

Being firm but fair and having the ability to motivate, inspire and reward.

Your most prized possession?

Our house, which is the focus for a lot of socialising with friends and family. A close second is my new Aston Martin; owning one was a goal I set myself a long time ago.

Where do you eat out? When we were in Bearsted, the White Horse or the Oak on the Green used to be regular haunts to take clients and suppliers. Since moving to Rochester we either take a trip into the High Street or to nearby Bridgewood Manor for a club sandwich.

If we are at home, Canterbury is our best destination and I love the Trappiste with its Belgian café atmosphere and unusual beers.

A big favourite is our local, the Rose and Crown at Perry Wood as we can walk there with the dog and the family. Fresh air and beer, what more could you want?

What did you have for breakfast?

Jordon’s Harvest Crunch and a banana!

GET IN TOUCH

Netbox Digital

107 Laker Road,

Rochester Airport Industrial Estate,

Rochester ME1 3QX

07831 554636 or Pcrewe@netboxdigital.com

www.netboxdigital.com

n

More from People

Yesterday, 16:02

80 years after the Battle of Britain, Richard Bates recalls the role his father H.E. Bates played in telling the stories of the famous ‘Few’ | Words: Richard Bates

Read more
Thursday, September 10, 2020

They were petty Kent criminals, sentenced to transportation to New South Wales, who became ‘Australian royalty’ as part of the ‘First Fleet’ | Words: John Wright

Read more
Friday, September 4, 2020

The Princess Royal, who celebrates her 70th birthday this month, reflects on her happy time at Benenden School near Cranbrook | Words: Bernard Bale

Read more

Kent Life meets some of the people working hard to save our historic vessels from the scrap heap

Read more
Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Take a step back in time to the good old days with these vintage videos from around Kent

Read more
Tuesday, August 18, 2020

King Kong star Naomi Watts may be an Oscar-nominated actor, but she’s proud of her Kentish roots

Read more
Monday, August 10, 2020

Like any place of learning, an independent school should be a second home, somewhere pupils can count on for support and inspiration as they develop as individuals.

Read more
Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Tradition continues at Chartwell, the family home of Sir Winston Churchill in Westerham, with the arrival of its newest recruit – a marmalade cat named Jock

Read more
Monday, August 3, 2020

Phil Wise, Head of the Senior School at Kent College Canterbury (KC), shares the benefits of pastoral care and why student welfare should be the number one priority for any school.

Read more

Nina Callow reveals why she’s documenting her family’s life in lockdown

Read more
Kent Life Food & Drink awards. Open for entries.

Subscribe or buy a mag today


subscription ad


Follow us on Twitter


Like us on Facebook


Local Business Directory

Search For a Car In Your Area

Most Read

Latest from the Kent Life