Lessons I Have Learnt: Steve Leech

Director, Granite Transformations, Ipswich and Colchester

Steve reflects on his younger self and the importance of going that extra mile.

Published in Suffolk Director Magazine Winter 2023|24

About Steve

I’m the Director of Granite Transformations, Colchester and Ipswich. We’re widely known as a  kitchen makeover company, but we also create brand-new kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms and outdoor kitchen areas media walls to name just a few! Also, less known us about is our work for our commercial clients, such as supplying and installing kitchens, eating zones restaurants, cafes and reception areas.

We asked Steve to look back and reflect on his younger self.

How would you describe yourself at 18?

I was an incredibly ambitious and motivated apprentice for construction company, R G Carter. As soon as I passed my NVQ in carpentry and joinery, which was a three-year course, I left to go self-employed and fulfil my ambitions.

What are three essential pieces of advice you’d give anyone starting/running a business?

  1. Follow your gut instinct – whenever I’ve gone against it, I’ve fallen flat on my face.
  2. Go the extra mile – when you do more than a client expects, it leads to repeat business,recommendations, and referrals. Making money is great but making it in an honourable, genuine way gives company growth a whole new dimension and feels so much more rewarding.
  3. Step away from the day-to-day – regularly take time out with a trusted person to discuss and review the business from afar (some of my best ideas have come during these conversations).

If you could relive one day, what would it be and why?

A bit of a cliché, but it would have to be my wedding day. My wife is the silent partner in my business – a sound voice of reason, who has without a doubt supported me in reaching where I am today.

What’s one of the biggest lessons you’ve learnt from running a business?

I’ve actually got two: It’s very important to recognise talent and reward your team accordingly, and  to delegate. As a control freak, this doesn’t come easily to me, but I’m glad to say I have got so much better at this. I began to focus on selecting staff and contacts with care. For example, I struggled with advertising, so I decided to bring in someone with experience in this field – not only is the job being handled better, it has freed up my time to do what I’m good at and enjoy.

What does the future have in store for your company?

Exciting times are ahead! We are currently looking at opportunities to develop our business further in the Bury St Edmunds area, which includes a new showroom. We are midway through works to expand our Ipswich showroom and finalising plans to renovate and improve the workshop at Ipswich.

What does the future have in store for you personally?

Hopefully, more time on the golf course which will help me become a better golfer!

Photo of Steve taken by Alison Self Photography



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