We were happy to have Life Leisure’s Malcolm McPhail in the huddled office to talk about his views on business in the North. Along with his extensive industry knowledge, he also discusses why he thinks Manchester is at the heart of the Northern business scene. 

Malcolm McPhail – Life Leisure Transcript

What’s your name, position and where do you work?

My name is Malcolm McPhail and I’m the Chief Executive at Life Leisure in Stockport.

Describe your business in one sentence.

We are a leisure operator; we’re also a not-for-profit organisation and a charity.

What separates you from the competition?

People, culture and attitude.

What have been the highlights of your company so far?

Every single time that will prove the doubt in Thomas is wrong. I love it.

What qualities are needed to succeed in your industry?

You need an unbelievable attention to detail. You need to love people and you need to be relentless when you go for something. You need to make sure that nothing’s going to stop you.

Why do new businesses choose Manchester?

Manchester’s just such a vibrant city. The people, I like to think that the Manchester people are the Scottish Northerners. They’re just so welcoming, the culture and there’s such a great balance to the city and Greater Manchester. What’s there not to love?

Who are some local companies you would recommend?

Any local company that the money stays in Manchester or stays in the community, so naturally I’m going to say any local company that is a not-for-profit organisation, a third sector organisation, a charity. But also all the private companies that have great CSR policy, a corporate social responsibility, you know, that’s just huge for me, really, really important.

Who do you think are the most influential people in the local business scene?

I think that the most influential people are the guys who are willing to put something back. So any company or any individuals who are willing to be mentors and just give something back. They can be hugely influential. And anybody who wants to share success rather than keep it to themselves. These guys are the influencers.

Do you have any advice for new businesses in Manchester?

Do huge amounts of RNI and research intelligence. Do good profiling, know your market, and then spend as much money as you can on marketing yourself, getting your name out there. And then be confident to turn you external marketing to inbound marketing so that then you really focus on the brand and the quality and you let that speak for itself.

What’s the main benefit of working in Manchester?

Just the people and the culture and just, you know, I don’t want to be cliche,  Northern Powerhouse, you know, Northern Powerhouse is Manchester. I need to whisper that because Leeds and Liverpool and the rest of the guys will be upset but it’s just it’s where everything’s happening at the moment.

Where are your favourite places to eat and drink in Manchester?

Well two really favourite places and quite different places. Special occasions with the family, we just love to go to The Lowry and have afternoon tea. We just love it up there. And in complete contrast, The Rice ‘n’ Three in Bolton you can get like three curries and rice for under five quid. Boom! Magic.

Have you got any final words?

Just believe in yourself, you know, and make it happen and, you know, you’ll be surprised how tough you are. Just keep going, I said it before, and whenever I talk like this, I start getting passionate, and you’ll probably not understand me now because my Scottish accent takes over. But you can make things happen and don’t let anybody stand in your way so when you have momentum, the whole world will just step aside for you.

Thanks for watching, my name’s Malcolm McPhail, I’m from Life Leisure and you’ve been watching huddled.

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