Steve Bolton (entrepreneur)
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|Born||18 December 1967|
Steve Bolton (born 18 December 1967) is a leading British entrepreneur, property investor, author and philanthropist. He is the Founder and Executive Chairman of the franchised businesses Platinum Property Partners and Platinum Business Partners.
Bolton's personal vision is to help as many people as possible to achieve greater wealth, health and happiness and his mission and that of the Platinum companies is to help others be more, do more, have more and give more in life.
The son of a Lancashire miner turned professional footballer (for Bournemouth, Ipswich Town and Durban City) and a French mother (a hairdresser), Bolton was born in Bournemouth, lived in South Africa between the ages of two and five, and then returned to Bournemouth where he attended Winton Junior and Secondary schools.
At an early age, with encouragement from his father, Bolton was interested in wealth creation, following stocks and shares from the age of eight and writing basic computer programmes with the goal of predicting the outcome of horse races at the age of 13. Bolton was also exposed to property investment at an early age when his parents purchased a block of 16 flats and converted them into holiday apartments when he was 11 years of age. The family lived in one of the flats and Bolton spent his summer holidays helping his family run the business and working alongside his father as a carpenter's mate.
Bolton attended Winton Boys Secondary school and left aged 16 with no qualifications. After working a variety of jobs including as a kitchen porter and shelf stacker at a local supermarket, Bolton decided to follow his love of sports and the outdoors and accepted an apprenticeship working in outdoor pursuits.
Bolton worked as an outdoor pursuits instructor at the Joseph Allnatt chain of activity centres on the south coast of England where he was quickly promoted to hold the position of head of activities, with 25 staff reporting to him at the age of 19. He was then headhunted in 1992 to help set up and establish Brenscombe Outdoor Pursuits as the most senior member of staff.
Bolton decided in 1994 that he wanted to ‘be his own boss’ and he joined the recently established Ropes Course Developments (RCD) as a shareholder and Director.
He was a co-founder of a national association and helped to push through safety standards for both the construction and training of ropes courses. These standards were ratified industry-wide and paved the way for the mainstream adoption of high and low ropes courses, which are now commonplace in the UK.
As the business grew, Bolton established Vision Development Training, which operated out of Wokefield Park, now the De Vere Wokefield Estate in Reading. The company provided experiential outdoor personal, management and organisational development programmes for blue chip clients like British Airways, Microsoft and KPMG, as well as other high-profile organisations including the British Lions.
Following what he describes in his book as the ‘best worst experience’ of his life when the 2001 outbreak of foot and mouth disease in Britain and the economic fallout that followed the 9/11 attacks, meant that the market demand dried up and pushed Ropes Course Developments into liquidation, Bolton had to sell his family home to avoid bankruptcy in early 2002.
Bolton decided to exit all business interests related to ropes courses in early 2002.
Still an entrepreneur at heart, Bolton set about starting his first ‘virtual’ business and Mobile Team Challenge Europe (MTC) was formed. The company became the European distributor for Mobile Team Challenge in America and it imported training equipment from the US and sold it to clients in the UK and Europe. MTC was a business where Bolton employed no staff, needed no office premises, never handled the products and was able to work on a very part-time basis by outsourcing most of the work. The business generated a consistent six figure annual net profit for several years in succession before being sold to an investor.
Alongside running MTC, Bolton invested significant time and money to learn how to build a robust income stream for himself and his family through investing in property. Two years of very intensive research, learning and development between 2002 and 2004 took him all over the world and he was mentored and taught by the best investors that he could find.
Between 2004 and 2007, Bolton purchased £6 million of residential property and converted most of them into high quality Houses in Multiple Occupancy (HMOs), producing average annual returns of 15% and providing affordable shared homes to 80 tenants.
Platinum Property Partners
Bolton founded and launched Platinum Property Partners on 1 July 2007, with the goal of enabling its Franchise Partners to quickly, safely and successfully build profitable residential property portfolios in the UK, and to create more new and affordable rental homes for key workers and working professionals.
Platinum Property Partners (known as PPP) has since become the fastest growing premium franchise in UK history.
PPP is a successful and socially responsible franchise business that has helped over 250 Franchise Partners (as of January 2017) to source, own, develop and manage more than 800 buy to let properties) with a combined value of £250 million and an annual rent roll in excess of £36 million per annum. This portfolio provides high quality and affordable homes for over 5,000 tenants in over 100 towns, cities and London boroughs in England.
Tenants who live in PPP properties spend a lower percentage of their income on rent, enabling them to save more of their income each month, thereby accelerating their path onto the property ladder for those that have that goal in mind.
PPP is award-winning and a full member of British Franchise Association
Platinum's Franchise Partners are currently buying and developing property at a rate of around £10 million every three months, creating around 1,000 new rooms for young professionals in shared homes annually.
Platinum Business Partners
In 2016 Bolton and his partners expanded the tried, tested and proven Platinum franchising brand and system diversified into ecommerce and became the co-Founder of Platinum Business Partners (known as PBP), which helps its clients set up their own successful ecommerce businesses. The organisation currently has over 80 Franchise Partners selling more than 300 product lines to 100,000 individual online customers globally.
The business supports it Franchise Partners in sourcing and buying products wholesale from places like China and the US and then marketing and selling them through retail ecommerce platforms like Amazon, Shopify and others. It also helps existing retail business owners pivot and turn their ‘bricks and mortar’ business, into a ‘bricks and clicks’ business.
Always keen to lead by example, Bolton also formed an ecommerce business in 2016 with two partners and this provides a growing range of dog supplements under the Buddy & Lola brand.
In 2017, Bolton and media entrepreneur Natasha Courtenay-Smith launched the digital marketing agency Bolt Digital.
The business supports retail business owners and retail brands as their scale their direct to consumer sales and also builds the personal brands of CEOs, experts and influencers.
Other business interests
Bolton also has interests in residential and commercial property projects. He is a co-founder of Platinum Asset Management, which owns a range of commercial property providing inspiring workspaces for small businesses, some retail shops and three hotels in a prime development location in the town centre of Bournemouth. He also has interests in multiple ecommerce businesses.
The charity is dedicated to achieving global ceasefire and non-violence for one day every year on 21 September and is ratified by the United Nations. 13 million people are estimated to be acting more peacefully as a result of Peace Day (source McKinsey's).
The organisation has also seen 4.5 million children being vaccinated against polio in previously unreachable areas after Peace One Day ambassador Jude Law travelled to Afghanistan to spearhead a campaign.
During his involvement with Peace One Day from 2007 to 2015, Bolton created and led the Patrons programme where he helped to ensure that the organisation was on a sound financial footing. He also led a project to acquire, fund, purchase and convert offices premises in Richmond, Surrey, which continue to be the headquarters for Peace One Day.
Bolton and his Platinum businesses have also provided funding to the King's Kid Orphanage in Mitiana, Uganda since 2007. This funding and investment has resulted in the purchase and construction of housing, classrooms, a deep water well, farming land as well as food, teachers’ salaries, secure accommodation for the orphanage director, medical procedures and further education funding for orphanage. The orphanage is home to 300 children and is self-sustaining.
Books and speaking
He is also a keynote speaker having spoken on stages alongside Richard Reed (Innocent), Simon Woodroffe (YO!), James Caan (Dragons Den), Kriss Akabussi (World Champion athlete), Davina McCall, Ben Fogle, Michael Gerber (Emyth) and many others.
His primary keynote talk is ‘Standing on the Shoulders of Giants’ which promotes the core concept Bolton believes in passionately - ‘everyone should have a mentor’.
Bolton also speaks regularly and for free at local schools and universities on the subject of wealth, health and happiness, as well as entrepreneurship, principles of success and personal development. He is passionate about inspiring the next generation of entrepreneurs.
Axe the tenant tax
In 2016 Bolton co-founded and continues to lead a grassroots not-for-profit campaign called Axe the Tenant Tax.
In a UK first, Bolton united the private rented sector by forming a Coalition of all of the major organisations who are opposed to new government legislation that restricts landlords’ ability to deduct mortgage finance costs as a business expense. Coalition stakeholders represent more than 100,000 landlords who provide housing to more than 1 million tenants in the UK.
Bolton and fellow landlord Chris Cooper were co-claimants in a Judicial Review against the UK government in relation to the legality of Section 24 of the Finance (No. 2) Act 2015. Their legal team was led by Cherie Blair CBE QC and their legal challenge campaign broke two legal crowdfunding records in 2016 by raising over £200,000 within the fastest recorded timeframe.
The campaign has been covered in hundreds of media articles, and Bolton has met the housing Minister, the Chancellor of the Exchequer and MPs. Bolton believes the tax is a disaster for the UK housing market and is championing the cause for the small landlords and tenants who will suffer badly if this tax comes into force.
Their Judicial Review was thwarted at the High Court on 6 October 2016. Bolton and Cooper have since focussed their campaign efforts on lobbying the UK government and working with MPs and Tenant Tax coalition members to get the government to do a U-turn.
For six years Bolton was a mentor for the Key Person of Influence programme, mentoring several thousand entrepreneurs and business owners during that time in a group setting.
Bolton provides high impact one to one mentoring to multi-millionaires, celebrities and global change-makers. His mentoring efforts in recent years have focussed around ‘mentoring the mentors’ and all of the Platinum franchise businesses have at their core, a one to one mentoring approach that the Platinum team deliver.
Bolton and his businesses have been featured on a number of TV programmes and in media outlets including BBC, Channel Four, Sky News, Financial Times, Sunday Times, The Telegraph, Guardian, Express, the Mail and many trade publications in the franchise, entrepreneur, property and business sectors.
He is often quoted in national media in relation to franchising, property, entrepreneurship and mentoring.
Steve Bolton lives in Bournemouth with his wife, four children and two dogs. He takes three months holiday every year with his family and has done since 2004. His personal interests include parenting, world-travel, boating, sport and spear fishing, free-diving, health and juicing, running and he is a keen AFC Bournemouth season ticket holder. Bolton is also an avid reader and learner with a personal library of books, audio programmes and DVD's valued in excess of £100,000.
- Bolton, Steve (2012). How to earn 50,000 pounds to 150,000 pounds a year from property investing. Platinum Partners Press. ISBN 9780956364616. OCLC 936100333.
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