Big thank you from

Jenny Munro talks to Peter Sloan

Peter SloanPETER Sloan, 31, from Lisburn runs ProCraft Joinery Contractors Ltd. with his business partner Chris Lewis. Peter broke his leg and was off work for a lengthy period. During his recovery he decided the time was right to branch out and start up his own business and he completed an HND Business Studies course and set up the company in April 2006.

I wake up at 6.30am, have breakfast and take my dog Jake for a walk. I then head off to pick up some of the people on my team and we travel to wherever we are based that particular day

When I arrive at a site I organise the joiners and the sub-contractors and make sure everyone knows what has to be done. Being organised ensures we have an effective system.

Chris might be with another team on a different site but we keep in touch regularly to see how the jobs are progressing.

Some days t might have to travel between sites.

We make and install wooden structures, fixtures and fittings, which are used in a wide variety of construction projects. This could include fitting floorboards, skirting, window frames, preparing and assembling doors, staircases, to putting on roof trusses and partitions.

Site work involves working in all weathers, climbing ladders and working on scaffolding or roofs. Health and safety is very important in this industry so I inspect the scaffolding to make sure it is erected properly before anyone goes on it and check the safety gear.

I usually take a walk about the site and make sure we have all the necessary equipment and material.

Before working on a new site both Chris and myself will have had discussions with the site manager and the developer to talk about the work to be done and materials required.

Working on a root of a new semidetached house could take two days but there are a number of factors which determine how much work we get done including the progress of a new build. If a house isn't as far on as anticipated I'll have to juggle the work about.

I have several apprentices who I am teaching so I spend some time with them and generally make sure everything is running smoothly and going according to plan.

If there is time to spare, myself and Chris will drive around and go into new sites to speak to the builder and find out if they require our services. We are always on the look out for work.

The business is really expanding and my phone never stops. Ursula, Chris's wife, does the administration work for the business and answers the phone in the office but Chris and I like to deal with any enquires for builders directly.

If I'm not working on a site l might be in a meeting with a developer, organising prices and drawing up plans and schedules and working out how much timber will be required. I'll work out measurements, inspect plans - which in itself is a skill but after time you get used to it. I have to be methodical and able to plan accurately and follow technical drawings and plans.

Most days l am home in Lisburn by 5.30pm. I take the boots off, sit down and relax for a few minutes. I make sure the dog is ok and then have dinner.

I am getting married soon so I might be with my fianc�e sorting out wedding preparations or socialising with friends and family. I like to play golf to help me unwind.

I am enjoying running the business. Chris and I make a great team and while it is often stressful, it is definitely worth it and I really hope that the company will expand to be bigger and even better in the future.

Ulster Star