Hi-Way Services is one of the UK’s leading road marking companies, and has grown from its original premises in Ramsgate to become the largest road marking contractor in the South East of England – operating throughout the UK and even across the globe. Now located near Canterbury, we are a proud part of the Kent community and welcome any opportunity to support the local area.
Recently our founder and Managing Director, Andy O’Reilly, was invited to give a talk at The Royal Harbour Academy, a school in Thanet that is dedicated to ensuring students gain “life skills and qualifications that will allow them to lead happy and fulfilled lives whether their next steps are in education, employment or further training.”
Having built Hi-Way Services Ltd from his early days as a sole trader to a enterprise that employs more than 60 people across multiple sites, Andy was asked to share some of his experiences, advice and commercial acumen with a group of keen students interested in learning more about the concept of business and how it might impact their future decisions.
Starting with a brief introduction to Andy’s career, the session quickly became a lively Q&A where students were asked to share their perspectives on whether they want to be their own boss, (as a business owner, self-employed contractor or freelancer), and encouraged to ask their own questions to draw from Andy’s experience.
The talk also covered some of the basics of running a business, with visual aides helping to explain concepts such as turnover, costs and profit, and what the best practices are for a business owner. Exploring what makes a good business person, Andy shared his experience on the qualities that are most important, including good communication, knowing your skill set, being aware of your numbers, and being resilient enough to overcome any challenges.
For the students who felt that running a business wouldn’t suit them, Andy also gave some guidance on how to become a successful employee – by taking ownership of your job role and responsibilities and always trying your best. With such an engaged and enthusiastic audience, it was a great experience for Andy and a valuable class for the students, who were kind enough to let us know how much they enjoyed it. Head of Year Mickey Capeling, who organised the session, reported that,
“In the 17 years I have been teaching, this was the best student Q&A session I have seen… To break down a potentially complicated topic into manageable chunks to ensure students understood the key concepts around businesses was very impressive.”
A student writing to Mr. Capeling said that,
“Speaking to my peers, everyone thoroughly enjoyed it. This insight into how a business works was very helpful, as it gives us skills to use in our adult lives which we may not have necessarily have learnt within our classroom. Overall, this was a positive experience which we would all love to do again. We greatly value the knowledge and understanding this has brought to us.”