Showcasing the Best of Welsh Business

Exclusive Interview: Steve Evans, The Premier Group

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With a history going back more than sixty years, The Premier Group has grown to become one of the most respected providers of liquid fuel storage, measurement and dispensing systems in the UK. Steve Evans, managing director of the Swansea-based construction division of The Premier Group, tells us more about the company:

  1. Tell us about your business?

We are the construction division of The Premier Group, which is the largest independent specialist company within our market. We build and maintain all types of fuel installations from petrol filling stations through to bulk fuel storage for air and rail. We employ around 80 staff at the construction division based in Swansea, with an annual turnover of £13 million.

  1. What are your plans for the next five years, and where do you see your challenges and opportunities?

Our strategy is to continue to grow within our existing market by taking a larger share of the work that is available to us, as well as entering into new sectors of general construction and fabric maintenance.

Steve Evans logo shot

  1. What do you wish you had known when you started out in business?

How rewarding it can be.  Although it’s tough most of the time, when you get it right, it’s very satisfying and is worth all the hard work.

  1. Looking back at your career, are there things you would have done differently? 

I would have taken opportunities sooner. I declined opportunities, as I didn’t want to expose the family to any risk, but in reality there will always be a reason not to do something. My advice is to take every opportunity that comes along and make the most of it.

  1. What do you think are the most important qualities for success in business?

Honesty, adaptability and fairness.

  1. What advice would you give to anyone thinking of starting a business?

I would say to make a plan, get as much advice and support around you as you can, and go for it. Don’t expect to be rich overnight. You need to take the wins when you can, the failures on the chin and move on. Never dwell on a failure, just learn from it and then move forward.

  1. What are your top three tips for success?

Employ the right people, empower them to be able to work to their strengths and reward them well.

  1. What do you think Wales’ strengths and weaknesses are as a place to do business? Strengths: The people. We employ the majority of our staff in Wales and they have a great work ethic.

Weakness: How we are preserved as a nation. We need to promote ourselves more. We do some really positive things in Wales and the world should know about them.

  1. What can Wales do to attract more inward investment?

As mentioned previously, we should promote Wales as a nation. We have talented people, superior universities, attractive areas throughout the country for visitors and it’s a great place to live.