- Being in a board meeting at a guest house in Stoke-on-Trent 8+ years ago (still no idea why we were in Stoke) and being told ‘this is a company going bust fast’ I crawled back to my car. Everything I had, literally everything, was in 14IP. I suppose the fact we were in Stoke gave me a decent drive home to think and to wonder what to say to Victoria when I got home! What we did sums us up, we kept on smiling, kept on working hard and doing the right things, and forgot about the negatives. A few months later, in January, orders started to appear and they kept on coming, thankfully they are still coming to this day. I remember calling Vicki a few weeks down the line and nervously saying ‘we are going to be ok aren’t we’ ‘Yes’ came back as the answer, phew! If Vicki thinks so we are definitely ok! and we never looked back or changed who we are or how we do things.
- IHTF and HOSPACE events with Natasha and Carl and their teams. We cajoled much bigger companies like LG, Samsung, and HP to give us money and back our silly ideas to help market us (and them) it really worked and we had such an amazing time doing it. It’s something we want to do more of, particularly in the US. The Star Wars evening in Barcelona was simply amazing, closely followed by Steve Waldron as a zombie!
- We picked an office at the start of our journey that might just have been a bit too big! It was massive for 5 or 6 of us, but those early days were amazing and set the template for who we are now and how we do things. We outgrew that office and we have outgrown our US office 3 times already!
- Our People, we are so lucky to have such amazing, dedicated, do-anything-for-anyone people it’s a genuine honor to work with them, crazy as they must be to follow my plans
- Why did we pick hospitality? Because we love it! And again it’s the people, we have made such great friends, our annual Christmas lunches and trips to Star Wars opening nights have been amazing. I can’t imagine working in another industry and observing how everyone has pulled together over the last year, to help and to do their bit whilst still staying positive is incredible to witness.
- Christmas and hopefully a 10-year party! Our Christmas events take some planning, months and months, but they are so worth it and again we have some amazing memories, from Peter winning the dancing competition at Blackpool Pleasure Beach to the 14 Way awards and mystery tram rides. Again what an amazing bunch of people to be able to spend your working lives with.
- My Wife Victoria and our daughter EV sorry Evie have been amazing and so supportive of a husband and father often away, be that in the US or up in the office for hours on end.
- USA! We set off on our Orlando adventure just over 4 years ago. We have moved office 3 times and we serve hundreds and hundreds of properties across the country. It’s been tough, very tough at times, but incredibly rewarding and again our people just shine and our customers have been way more than just customers. We are so lucky with our supplier partnerships too, more great relationships and friends. Our Christmas Pirate theme bowling party with our team, customers, and supplier partners in 2019 was one of the great nights and one of many more to come. I am a very lucky man
Neil Tolley, Founder and Managing Director of Fourteen IP has been named as one of The LDC Top 50 Most Ambitious Business Leaders for 2021.