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Specialty Fabrics Review interviews Tony Marsh, managing director and owner of L.H.Woodhouse & Co. Ltd.

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What is your advice to other business owners regarding subcontracting?

I’ve learned the hard way early on that the only product you should hire during high season is your own. Because if you’re cross hiring from anyone else, you’ve no control over the product quality or condition and you’ve no control on delivery time. If you hire your own stock you’ve got the quality, you can deliver on time and you can stand behind the promises you’ve made to your client.

How do you stay connected with employees who work out of the office most of the time on installations?

I may not see my key team leaders at base for months at a time because they’ll be out at jobs all over the U.K., so I go to them as often as possible. I get out into the field and check in to make sure they don’t have any problems, or if they do, to help them find solutions and hence keep their minds on the job.

Sigrid Tornquist is a freelance author and editor based in St. Paul, Minn. She is also the associate editor of InTents magazine.

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