In 1991 Kai Midgley was in trouble. His business partner had disappeared and Midgley’s roofing business was left with debts of £160,000. He was on the point of filing for bankruptcy, but decided instead to take a risk and set up Apex Contractors, a construction and refurbishment business. ‘I was just doing everything I could to get money,’ he admits. With sales growth of 84% a year from £880,000 in 1997 to £5.4m in 2000, he seems to have made the right choice. The Kent firm works mainly with insurance companies, local councils and housing associations and has built its success on strong customer service. It bends over backwards to help. ‘If the skirting boards need painting, we’ll do it. If the garden needs to be swept, we’ll do it,’ says Midgley, who employed 143 staff in 2000. ‘We just go that little bit further to get the business.’
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