Paul joined the Army when he was living in Northern Ireland, at just 16 years old. “Being in the forces gave me a skill set that could easily be transferred to business. I guess you don’t really realise at the time!” Honesty, integrity, discipline and hard work are all traits that Paul values.
“It was all about getting stuck in and making the impossible, possible. That experience gives you determination and drive as a person”. Nearing the end of his 25 years of service, Paul started to consider the direction that his career path would take.
Having a chat with a friend, it was suggested to Paul that there was a gap in the market for a professional Locksmith in Plymouth- and so the seed was sewn. Paul signed himself up and funded himself through a 2 week Locksmithing course to learn the basics in the profession.
Whilst on the course, Paul became good friends with Chris Belcher- a Locksmithing legend and a famous role model within the industry.
Chris was key in helping Paul set up his business by training, mentoring and guiding him through the first three hectic years, as he juggled a full-time army career and a part-time business. At the time, Chris had retired from the day-to- day Locksmithing duties to focus on other aspects, and offered his client base to Paul once he had finished serving in the Forces.
“It was mad! There were so many qualified Locksmiths out there and he chose me. I always wonder why Chris and his lovely wife Suzzie chose me”.
Chris and Paul grew a valued friendship over a number of years and Paul explains that he had never met a better man.
“Chris was the most exceptional human I had ever met. There was no one quite like him. He was kind, he was polite and he never, ever had a bad word to say about anyone. I couldn’t have asked for a better role model and a better mentor to solidify my knowledge in the industry”.
Sadly, Chris Belcher passed away last year, leaving behind a legacy in the Locksmith world.
With Chris’ guidance, Paul built up the business during his time in the Army- and when he left he took on Belcher’s client base. “He had some very high profile clients that trusted him to do their work- some of them continue to use me to this day and I am very proud to carry that on”.
Needing an identity- Paul set about creating a brand for his company. Sir-Fix-A-Lock is a clever play on words that fits perfectly with Paul’s personality and it doesn’t stop there!
Guinevere- Paul’s steed, a black Volkswagen Transporter, serves as his mode of transport, and after a hard day’s work with his loyal companion- Yorkshire Terrier Lottie (Camelot-y!) he returns to his fully kitted out office ‘Camelock’- based in the city Centre.
You’ve got to have a bit of fun. If you’re not enjoying what you do- move on. You have to find happiness somewhere and you are more likely to be successful when you do. People like happy people! Positivity is infectious.
Offering his professional services to customers throughout Devon and Cornwall- where his reputation certainly goes before him; Paul has expertise in non destructive entry, UPVc door and window repairs, key cutting services and master key suites. Sir Fix-A-Lock also specialises as a professional safe engineer.
“Cracking safes is my niche in this particular area. Chris sent me off on a course in London where I could learn everything I needed to know- and I haven’t stopped learning since! With a safe, you have to have a plan. Some can be opened in a matter of seconds, but you have to be prepared for certain types to take several hours. Planning is key when it comes to getting into a high security safe”.
“A job has to be done properly or not at all. I pride myself on giving the best service I possibly can, so if I am not confident in a job on a safe- I will happily refer it to a higher grade safe engineer up country”.
Sir Fix-A-Lock has the most 5 star reviews for a Locksmith in the entire South West on the Trading Standards ‘Buy with Confidence’ scheme, from Swindon through South Wales, all the way down to Lands End. This is perhaps a reflection of his values- honesty, integrity, motivation and hard work.
It isn’t just his professional approach and positive attitude that brings Paul business. He firmly believes that customers have to have complete trust and confidence in himself and his abilities. “We have to put our money where our mouth is in terms of quality of product and service, and a lot of trust leans on genuine testimonials”.
Sir Fix-A-Lock has been nominated for numerous awards, and has won a respectable amount. Paul doesn’t shy away from the fact that to be in the running, he self nominates to get himself, and
his brand out there. “I’ve been nominated for a total of 12 awards, some I have been nominated for- and others I have nominated myself. You have got to be confident in your services, and put yourself out there. If the judges didn’t think you deserved to be there- you wouldn’t be.
You’ve got to rise above, and constantly punch above your weight to get to where you want to be, always.
After several years of hard graft and pure determination, Paul is finally in a place where his work life balance is starting to look a little healthier! In his spare time he enjoys listening to his favourite band, punk heroes Stiff Little Fingers. He even has the privilege of owning the bands previous drum kit- which he aptly named ‘Sir Drum-A-Lot!’
Sir Fix-A-Lock offers discounts to senior citizens and member of the HM Armed Forces, as well as NHS staff.
Although he works long hours, Paul finds time to support local charities wherever he can. Having recently taken part in the ‘Plymouth Superheroes Black Tie Ball’- of course dressed up to the nines in his Sir Fix-A-Lock chainmail, himself and other Plymouth Business owners managed to raise over £7000 for local hip hop community interest group, Street Factory.
Paul also prides himself on being an eco friendly business- selling his scrap metal rather than binning it, and donating the funds to local charities each time.“It’s important to me to give back to the community. Not just because it’s right- but because it makes you feel good about yourself. It’s a great feel good factor!”
Paul sums up by stating that every job he takes on is a challenge, and that is what motivates him to succeed. “I love my life and it feels like I’m living in the Crystal Maze, solving puzzles for a living every single day! I am extremely lucky to love what I do”.
Paul’s broad accent, infectious happiness, drive and determination (and of course little Lottie) all go towards his popularity with customers- and as a result he has gained a fantastic reputation within the Locksmith industry in the South West. If you would like to find out more, you can contact Paul on the details below.