James Mason, The Business Centre (Cardiff) Ltd and Masons Self Storage

Notes: This was written as an awards entry for Young Business Person of the year & James would probably prefer I didn’t use an image of him here… 😉

When James Mason was 16/17 and thinking about the family business, he was stubbornly determined to find his own career path separate to the Mason family name. However in June 2007, when he was 17 and finishing his A-Levels in Business Studies and Physical Education, he could just feel that the company needed something new and fresh, there was something niggling in him to contribute to and develop the family business. The focus had always been on Removals and he knew they needed new blood to expand and grow. He knew he was capable of making a big difference and to take the company to another level. The Masons Group of Companies now consists of three companies, two of which James runs: The Business Centre (Cardiff) Ltd and Masons Self Storage.

When he joined the Masons Group in 2007, it was with an objective of running the new family business project: The Business Centre (Cardiff) Ltd which was a relatively new concept at the time, the provision of serviced office and business support facilities. At first, there was another manager working alongside James in The Business Centre whilst he was still learning the ropes and what it meant to run a business. However, by the age of 21, he had completely taken over the running of the centre and was managing a team of 6 people.

James completed his ILM Firstline Management course back in the first 3 years with the company, however, most of his management experience has come from hitting the ground running and sometimes jumping and taking risks, some which have paid off, some have not. He didn’t go to a Business School to learn how to run a business but simply he had to learn on the ground. Currently, his management experience has so far spanned nearly 7 years and we’re proud to say that in the past 7 years The Business Centre has been continually at least 90% occupancy levels and excitingly, we have conquered 100% occupancy twice spanning 2 and a half years since James has been the manager here!

It’s obvious that to James, the most rewarding part of his role has definitely been helping and supporting over 300 small businesses over the past 10 years by providing flexible business support services to help them grow and expand into successful and flourishing companies! Our tight-knit and attentive team guarantees that all of your requirements and needs are met, no ask is too small or too large; from 6am breakfast networking meetings to providing a bit of holiday cheer at Christmas! We really thrive on being an attentive team here at The Business Centre, being a family business means that here at the centre we are more like a community, supporting local businesses than anything else.

The Business Centre is only one of the companies that James manages, back in January 2016 we were close to finalising a full renovation of the Mason Self Storage facilities which would result in increasing the storage units and containers from 100 to 244, totally renovating the building to include new state-of-the-art ESCORTA lifts, new technology to allow 24/7 access and turning Masons Self Storage Ltd into a state of the art Self Storage facility that stands heads above the competition in the Vale of Glamorgan. He successfully oversaw the project and has been running that business alongside The Business Centre ever since. Excitingly, in March 2017, only a year after the renovation, we had already increased to 91% occupancy at Masons Self Storage even with the extra 144 storage units!

In the next few years, we’re planning more expansion to the services both The Business Centre and Masons Self Storage, for example, we’re planning to strategically open and operate a number of self storage and serviced office facilities around the South West area as our removals business also expands, allowing the entire group to develop and expand with our services complimenting one another.

Running two businesses doesn’t leave a lot of spare time, but when James isn’t at one of the sites, he really enjoys playing a round of golf and spending some time in the gym, as well as discovering local eats and restaurants to explore with friends, family and his partner. A super film buff, James takes full advantage of his monthly cinema pass! Although, he’s always just as happy curled up on the sofa at home with his girlfriend, Charlotte and their new cat Mabel getting addicted to a new box set!

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