We sat down with Paul Tribouillard, owner of Surelock Homes and star of our recent brand campaign, to learn more about his business and the keys to success.
Paul was one of two Simply Business customers to feature in our nationwide advertising campaign, where we celebrated some of the most creative names in small business.
Having been in business for over a decade, we thought we’d pick Paul's brains on branding, getting started, and more.
See what he had to say below...
When did you start Surelock Homes and why?
I started Surelock Homes in 2006 after locking myself out of my new home! I called one of the national locksmiths and it cost me a weeks wage at over £400 – I felt pretty ripped off to be honest and wanted to do something about it right away.
Anything you can do in life to help other people is a good thing, so I called one of my friends who lives in Spain and owns a security shop and asked him about setting up my own business.
I was installing fire alarms at the time and wanted to switch things up a bit. He said that the locksmith training in the UK was not up to scratch and that I should go over to Spain and he would train me instead. It was the best thing I ever did.
Where did the name for the business come from?
My mate Carl from Spain came up with the name. He said if you choose a funny name people will always remember it – and he was right!
Why did you choose Portsmouth as the location for your business?
My family's from Portsmouth and I've lived there all my life. Down the seafront there's a good selection of shops and restaurants which are nice in the summer.
Now, however, I live in the Estepona region of Spain near Malaga and it is fab – with amazing beaches and great weather all year round. We get something like 325 days of sunshine each year which is a big difference compared to the UK!
Is it hard to manage the business from abroad?
No I don’t find it tricky. I have my main man Dan who I have known for over 10 years. He's absolutely spot on and I trust him completely.
I'm good with computers so I spend most of my time on the old SEO and admin side of the business.
Tool theft and van break-ins are hot topics among our tradespeople customers at the moment, with thefts on the rise. What’s the best way to secure your van?
Sadly there are lots of techniques to defeat locks – and even the door itself from other angles of attack, which can’t be helped much.
You'd either want to put a deadlock on the door or remove the tools from the van and store them inside the house if you are leaving it overnight.
Is there any make of lock you would recommend to protect homeowners?
I would recommend Chubb as one of the best brands of lock – really solid and if you can get a six pin anti-pick lock then even better. Then for real no-nonsense security there is always the trusty deadbolt – you can’t go wrong with one of them!
What are the biggest pressures facing business owners such as yourself?
I would say rogue traders are a big problem, and people taking advantage of other people.
It’s not right to overcharge customers or treat people unfairly as that puts people off the industry for life.
What are your plans for the next three years?
I'm really excited about developing our online strategy in SEO and improving the website. As there won't be any more Yellow Pages soon, we will have to be really hot online to keep the business growing.
And finally, why did you choose Simply Business for your insurance?
Because it’s easy, hassle free, and the cheapest price!
With Simply Business you can build a single self employed insurance policy combining the covers that are relevant to you. Whether it's public liability insurance, professional indemnity or whatever else you need, we'll run you a quick quote online, and let you decide if we're a good fit.Start your quote
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