What I’ve Learnt: Antony Michaelides

May 3, 2016

Antony Michaelides, managing director of The Assembly Rooms, has followed in the footsteps of his father, who bought the iconic Newcastle building with his brother 42 years ago. Antony opened Bonbar bar and restaurant at the historic venue in 2014

If you spend more than you earn then you’ll be left with nothing. I learned this from my father the first week he ever gave me pocket money, so I must have been aged around five or six. In essence he was teaching me a really important financial lesson – keep debts to a minimum. It’s a lesson I’ve carried with me in business ever since.

Focus on providing quality with no compromise – whatever product you’re offering. This has been my ethos throughout my entire career.

Be a strong character for when it comes to making tough decisions, coupled with being a good listener – to the market place as well as the people around you.

When your head is down and you are trying to micromanage it’s like wearing blinkers; you often don’t see the bigger picture. Sometimes you have to step back.

The worst mistake you can make is believing that you are always right! It’s imperative you understand your market place and are able to adapt. As for many businesses, the 2008 slump was a major milestone for us, but we took the decision to invest in the business when everyone else was battening down the hatches. This meant when things started to improve, we had a new business model ready for a completely different economy, post-recession.

When starting a business, get the financials right, spend time on your business plan, understand it and always underestimate your sales and overestimate your expenditure, then see if it all still works.

Learn to delegate and build a great team around you. There are only so many hours in the day and once you’ve worked all 24 there’s none left!

Try and include the whole team in all major decisions, even if it won’t have a direct impact on them as individuals – it will help them feel as though they have a voice.

Stay grounded, remember what you set out achieve and always stick to that end goal.

Don’t ever stop listening or learning, respect those around you and aim to be the very best at what you do.

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