Oliver Morgan is the founder of Universal Fuels, a company he started in 2009, Universal Fuels is a supplier of heating oil, Kerosene and red diesel in the UK.
I talk to him about Universal Fuels, how the idea came about and his plans for the future.
Check out the full interview below
Hi Oliver, thanks for doing this interview with me, how are you doing?
I’m very well, thank you for having me.
Can you give us some background information so the YHP readers can get to know you better?
I’m 20 years old and live in London, I had number of business ventures as a teenager and in 2009 at 17 I founded Universal Fuels which is now a UK wide oil supplier, Universal was selected as one of the top future 50 UK companies by real business magazine 2011 and has just raised £200,000 of investment to help continue its fantastic growth rate. I’m also involved in an exciting new recruitment platform which is currently seeking investment and will hopefully be launching towards the end of 2012. I’ve just been selected this week as one of the top 10 young entrepreneur 2012 by startups.co.uk.
So how did you get into business?
I’ve always been in business in some form or another since about 12, from selling food and drinks at school to a small import export business, to solar panels to now Universal Fuels, recruitment and real estate.
How did the idea for Universal Fuels came about?
I was trying to think of an industry in which I build a global company in, the presenter on Bloomberg starting talking about ‘black gold’.
What has been your biggest challenge in setting up Universal Fuels? Any pitfalls/setbacks?
The biggest challenge from day one has been cash flow and credit, the company was set up with very limited funds and of course couldn't get any credit limits as a new company in 2009. Since 2009 we have taken on bank funding, earned trust with suppliers and now this recent investment has put us in a great cash flow positive position going forward.
What would you say has been key in growing your business to the stage its at, at the moment?
Persistence, low cost marketing and backing from the bank in our second year gave us a big boost. Now the recent investments we have taken on will help continue our fantastic growth rate into 2012 and beyond.
What would you say has been some of the key things that you’ve learnt on your journey as an entrepreneur so far?
A lot, most notably how key relationships are with both suppliers and customer. That lending money (ie giving credit) is extremely dangerous and a lot of caution must be taken.
What in your experience is the best thing about setting a company at a young age?
You’ve usually got nothing to lose, and can take the big risks.
What key advice would you like to give to aspiring entrepreneurs?
Be sure that’s what you really want to do. If you’ve got the drive and some common sense then your make it in the end.
What can we be expecting from you and Universal Fuels in 2012?
Universal is on target to grow 300% this year and hopefully we’ll hit the £1 million revenue mark by December, we’re also planning to enter the gas and electricity markets at the end of 2012. I myself have just starting to get involved in property so hopefully 2012 will see me build a small property portfolio. I’m also involved in a very exciting new recruitment platform which is also due to launch towards the end of the year.
Where do you hope Universal Fuels/you will be in five years?
Universal Fuels will be recognised as the market leader in customer service across the downstream oil, gas and electricity industries. And hopefully Universal will have passed the £100 million turnover mile stone. I’d hope that I have a few million myself and will be ready to risk it all in a new venture.
I’m always happy to talk business so I’d like to encourage readers to feel free to get in touch if you think you have something I’d be interested in, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org