A thriving Eccles boutique bed and breakfast is set for expansion. JAMIE BURR talks to owner Paul Carroll about making the switch from being a joiner to running the family business.

From frying eggs to running a property portfolio, B&B proprietor Paul Carroll’s versatility is paying off.

As manager, cook and receptionist at the Ivy Mount Boutique in Eccles, he has built a successful business which now employs 10 people.

Mr Carroll runs the boutique B&B in Half Edge Lane with his wife and heads a team which has gone from strength to strength over the past decade and is still growing.

After starting out as a joiner and helping his dad with DIY, at the age of 25 Paul was offered the job of contracts manager by the company he was working for. However, Mr Carroll took a gamble by rejecting the offer and instead bought his father’s B&B.

Mr Carroll said: “I’ve lived in a B&B since I was a little boy so it’s what I’m used to.”

Over the course of a few years, he bought four more houses, working up to 15 hours a day to pay off the debt as soon as he could.

Ivy Mount Boutique accommodates up to 50 people and 85-90 per cent of the time is fully booked.

Although Mr Carroll is a joiner by trade, he has a business mind.

He said: “I like meeting new people, and the idea of my own style.”

Describing himself as a risk taker, he said he is learning to delegate. He said: “We can’t do this forever. I want reception to run 24 hours a day. I can earn more money on my laptop than when frying eggs for breakfast.”

His most effective change this year was employing a bookkeeper who sorts out his bills, receipts and admin.

His plan is to move himself a few streets away, escaping living ‘above the shop’ and freeing up extra rooms to bring in more customers.

He said: “We’re in a good position to have the option to expand.”


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