Discover the secrets to Tony Bray's success as he reveals who inspired him, his proudest moment in business and his aspirations of being a Tour de France winner in this candid interview with Greater Manchester Business Week.
Which individual has inspired you in business and why?
James Dyson - he's a fantastic example of an entrepreneur with brilliant ideas coupled with the drive and determination to succeed.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
Hire the best people you possibly can, provide them with the support they need, but give them the freedom to innovate and deliver (ie. stay out of the way!).
Which phone do you use and why?
It absolutely has to be an iPhone. With email, web, text and loads of useful business apps, I'm constantly in touch and can instantly respond, no matter where I am. Heck, it even makes phone calls...
What is the most inspirational book you have read?
My current favourite is The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window And Disappeared, by Jonas Jonasson. It's really amusing and inspirational.
Do you prefer to dress up or down for work?
If I'm meeting customers, then I'm always suited and booted, otherwise, definitely dress down. More and more companies are adopting dress-down Fridays. This is really annoying when they forget to tell you and you're the only one in the meeting in a suit, surrounded by a sea of Hawaiian shirts.
What items do you always have with you?
Wallet, phone, keys and boundless optimism.
How do you make contacts that can be useful for business?
I meet people everywhere that can help in business. No matter whether you're at a conference or on the train, talk to as many people as possible and you'll be surprised by the results.
Tell us one tip that could prove invaluable in life and business.
Be as friendly and as helpful as you can to everyone you meet - people respect you and want to help you in return.
Do you use Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn and with what success?
I use them all, but mainly LinkedIn and Twitter for business. However, call me old-fashioned, but I much prefer real-life networking to social networking.
What is your business's biggest asset?
It's definitely the absolutely fantastic team of people that I work with.
What is your proudest achievement in business?
It's nothing to do with winning numerous business awards or prestigious customers, but having the great pleasure to work with so many fantastic people over the years, many of whom have become great friends.
What's your favourite film?
The Seven Samurai - combines a great story and brilliant cinematography with my love of martial arts.
If you weren't in your current role what do you think you might be doing?
As a keen cyclist and triathlete, my dream would be to lead my team to victory in the Tour de France. In reality, I'm happy to achieve the occasional age group triathlon win.