~John Griffin ~

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John Griffin started out as a taxi driver and ended up with a successful company turning over £170 million!

He started his business in 1975 because he wanted to make his son proud – he never imagined it would be so successful.

Now his London company, Addison Lee, has over 10 million customers and he appeared on UK TV on Channel 4’s Secret Millionaire on Christmas Eve, 2009.

John started out in his first job as a trainee accountant for a paper merchant. He earned £13 per week and after tax cleared about £10.20 per week. He made some progress and became an articled accountant but found the work boring. He began working as a minicab driver when his son was small and decided he could do better than the companies he’d worked for. He started his business from scratch in Battersea and, although it was hard work, his business thrived.

John works extremely hard at his business but he also believes that part of the secret to his success is the fact that he genuinely cares about his customers. For example he has a reputation for his cabs turning up on time – something that makes his company stand out from the rest.

His business hero is Richard Branson as he is admired by his employees and seems to be a decent person (he’s also made a heap of cash!)

John’s Top Tips

Who cares wins: John cares about his customers and he teaches his employees to care too. He believes in going the extra mile to ensure his customers are taken care of (more on this on page 8)

Don’t worry about the economic climate: John believes the economic climate is just fine. Don’t let this put you off. There are lots of opportunities out there...

Work hard: To be a success in anything, you just have to try that bit harder. Don’t expect things to land at your feet – you have to work at it.