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The Entrepreneurial Exchange

Farmer’S Hair-Raising Advice Is Ignored

SIR Tom Farmer’s words of wisdom have proved invaluable to Greg Allison in setting up his first business.
But in one area of career he has ignored his mentor’s advice: his appearance.

One of the first things the entrepreneur told him he needed to do to succeed in his new business was to get his hair cut.

He refused, believing his spiky look made him stand out from the crowd.

It is just about the only piece of advice he has ignored as he develops his new online business – www.garages4you.com – with the help of Farmer.

Allison wrote to the founder of the Kwik-Fit chain looking for tips on starting his own business. He was amazed when Farmer wrote back.

Thanks to his advice, the business – which allows customers to book their MOT tests with a network of local service stations at a discounted price – is now going from strength to strength.

Allison, 26, has put much of Farmer’s advice on starting up into practice.

He dropped plans to include an online payment facility when Farmer pointed out customers would not want to pay up-front and would instead want to make sure the job had been carried out satisfactorily before handing over their cash. Farmer, who is also honorary president of the Entrepreneurial Exchange, which aims to motivate and support growing businesses, told The Scotsman:

“I give them advice because, when I was developing by own businesses, I had the courage to ask people questions and pick people’s brains. I found that a tremendous asset and so I’m prepared to help other people.

“People need a mentor when you’re starting out but it’s also a huge compliment to me and gives me that feel-good factor.”

Allison, said: “Someone like Sir Tom, who has done so well, can’t help but inspire you.”

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