Welcome to ValiantCEO Magazine, where we introduce you to the brightest minds shaping the business landscape. In this edition, we’re thrilled to present Luke Smoothy, CEO of Get It Made, a manufacturing company that’s redefining the industry.
With a humble start of just £200, Luke’s entrepreneurial journey is nothing short of inspiring. He’s transformed his company into a manufacturing powerhouse, and his story is a testament to grit and innovation.
In this exclusive interview, Luke reveals how Get It Made simplifies manufacturing processes while maintaining exceptional customer service. With manufacturing partners in the UK and China, they’ve become a dependable source for high-quality components used in cutting-edge technology.
Luke also shares insights on employee satisfaction during the Great Resignation and offers advice for business success in the ever-evolving landscape.
Join us for a deep dive into Luke Smoothy’s vision for business and personal success in 2023.
Check out more interviews with entrepreneurs here.
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Table of Contents
We are thrilled to have you join us today, welcome to ValiantCEO Magazine’s exclusive interview! Let’s start off with a little introduction. Tell our readers a bit about yourself and your company.
Luke Smoothy: I set up Get It Made in 2011 with just £200 after eyeing a gap in the market. I found the customer service aspect of manufacturing companies to be extremely frustrating, to the extent that it was making it very difficult to manufacture anything. I know this as I was a designer and engineer myself so knew too well how long, drawn out and complicated manufacturing could be.
So I decided to partner with a few great manufacturing companies in the UK and China, and to ensure we are highly integrated. This was the beginning of Get It Made. The fundamental purpose of setting up the business was to make manufacturing easy. It adds a very slick level of customer service to these great manufacturers.
We get access to expensive and complex machinery and skills; our partners have a dependable source of income due to happy clients. Happy due to the service they receive and the components we manufacture are of a high quality.
I have always been involved in the physical side of business, either designing and engineering physical products or as I am now, manufacturing mechanical components.
The parts we manufacture are used in high-tech hardware like satellites, scanning equipment, rockets and camera equipment.
What advice do you wish you had received when you started your business journey and what do you intend on improving in the next quarter?
Luke Smoothy: It is difficult to say to be honest, things have turned out pretty well. But advice I think would have been helpful to improve my confidence would have been:
- Don’t take any investor money, bootstrap the business, growing it organically and steadily. Keeping a sharp eye on profits.
- Understanding recruitment and managing a team is the hardest part of running a business.
For me, the next quarter involves training up a new team member in a new role that we haven’t recruited for in the past. So there will be a lot of learning on both sides.
Here is a two-fold question: What is the book that influenced you the most and how? Please share some life lessons you learned. Now what book have you gifted the most and why?
Luke Smoothy: How To Talk To Anyone by Leil Lowndes. One thing I took away was “active listening” -this can be incredibly useful in a business setting. Lowndes suggests that by showing genuine interest in what others have to say, people will view you as a great conversationalist.
This can be as simple as using subtle non-verbal cues, like nodding your head or maintaining eye contact, or verbal techniques, like repeating back information or asking insightful follow-up questions.
In a business context, this has really helped me to build rapport, leading to a deeper understanding of colleagues, clients, and partners.
I’ve recommended this book to quite a few people I’ve come into contact with, both within and outside of my business network. The lessons you can learn from it can be applied in everyday aspects of life.
Business is all about overcoming obstacles and creating opportunities for growth. What do you see as THE real challenge right now?
Luke Smoothy: In an era marked by unprecedented supply chain shortages and inflated shipping costs, triggered by the pandemic and the Ukraine conflict, for many businesses, this has led to reshoring or localization.
Managing that sudden change is the challenge. Not just hardware and products, but also information and data.
Privacy requires data to be kept inside a country’s borders. It’s crucial for organizations to keep what they can close to them – so it is more in their control – and to diversify their risk.
2020, 2021, and 2022 threw a lot of curve balls into businesses on a global scale. Based on the experience gleaned in the past years, how can businesses thrive in 2023? What lessons have you learned and what advice would you share?
Luke Smoothy: The key lesson I’ve learnt is to do the basics very well. Quality products and quality services. Growth, organic solid foundation growth comes from doing a job really well.
After all, the reward of great work is more work! Don’t let growth at all costs be what drives the business. In my opinion, it is better to have a smaller business with a really solid customer base, than a larger, unsteady business.
What does “success” in 2023 mean to you? It could be on a personal or business level, please share your vision.
Luke Smoothy: For me, success means running a busy and profitable business. And in 2023 I feel that if we can maintain these, that would be a big win. Maintaining, not growing would be a success this year. The current trading environment does feel difficult, 2022 felt far easier.
And in a very personal way, if I can spend lots of time with my young daughter, taking her to football, gymnastics, swimming, and soft play, all during the week, during “normal” working hours, I see that as a big success in my living my life as I want it.
Jerome Knyszewski, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Luke Smoothy for taking the time to do this interview and share his knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Luke Smoothy or his company, you can do it through his – Linkedin Page
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