Spotlight on – DART FM

DART FM

DART FM Ltd is a newly established facilities management company based in South London.

It specialises in commercial and residential development, maintenance, and cleaning services. They pride themselves in being competitive, transparent, and flexible to meet the unique needs of each client.

Founded in December 2024, DART FM Ltd was born from the collaboration of two separate companies: Leon & Co, a painting and decorating company, and Totally Clean, a residential and commercial cleaning company.

With support from charity Tree Shepard, DART FM were connected to ELBA, a charity collaborating with one of the UK’s largest property development and investment companies.

We sat down with Andre to learn more about their business venture.

Why did you start your business?
“We had the skills and the knowledge amongst us and wanted to utilise these to establish our own business, something we have all individually aspired to do. Driven by the desire to generate a sustainable income and ultimately attain financial independence long term.”

Where do you see your business in five years? Ten?
“Our immediate goals include securing recurring maintenance contracts, building a stable team of employees, engaging and employing people within the community with relevant skills and interest along with our own personal development. 

Looking ahead, we aim to establish ourselves as respected leaders in the facilities management and property development industry, whilst maintaining and expanding our teams to meet growing demands.”

How does your business look different now vs. when you first started? Is it what you expected?
“Breaking into the industry requires extensive preparation and administrative work, leading to a slower start than anticipated, particularly while managing our own full-time employment. This has required longer hours to progress toward our goals. Despite the initial challenges, we have made promising steps and are continuously learning from our experiences.”

What have been some of your biggest learning experiences in running a business?
“To make things happen, you must have a dependable team in place! We’ve also learnt that not all clients are ideal; some may not appreciate quality workmanship and prioritise quick and inexpensive results, which is not sustainable – skilled tradespeople come at a higher cost in today’s market. 

Also, handling various personalities has been a learning experience, requiring patience and professionalism.”

What will you never compromise on with your business?
“Health and safety, workmanship, and respect. These are the foundations of our company.

What advice would you give to someone just starting their own business? 

  1. “Start with a vision: Understand your goals and what you want to achieve with your business. Having a clear vision will guide your decisions and actions.
  2. Research and plan: take the time to research your market, understand your target audience, and analyse your competition.
  3. Be resilient: Building a business takes time and effort. Stay committed to your goals, be resilient in the face of setbacks, and keep pushing forward. 
  4. Create a solid team:  Surround yourself with talented and motivated individuals who share your vision and can contribute to your business’s success.
  5. Be ready to adapt: Be prepared not to sleep and adapt to the change in market! Be flexible to accept criticism whether good or bad to overcome challenges. 
  6. Seek help: Don’t be afraid to ask for help! There are schemes, mentors and charities out there available to help you, like Tree Shepherd! 
  7. Celebrate small wins: Acknowledge achievements and learn from any failures or mistakes.”

How do you make it all work with other commitments?
“Balancing family commitments, a full-time job, and running a business is undoubtedly challenging, but staying grounded in your goal and understanding the journey keeps us on track.

We rely on careful planning, prioritisation and efficient time management. By setting realistic milestones and goals helps us manage expectations allowing us time to focus on what matters most. 

We often ensure we stay mentally healthy with self care activities like meditation and exercise and simply spending time with our loved ones. This can have a boost in our morale and productivity levels. 

Lastly, looking at progress and small achievements serves a source of motivation, inspiring us to continue to strive for success.”

What do you do when things don’t go to plan?
“When things don’t go as planned, reassess the situation and identify the causes of the issue. Review and consider alternative solutions – you can also look into seeking help or advice. Staying calm and focused. View setbacks as learning opportunities allowing you to gain insights and improve your strategies for future endeavours.”

To learn more about DART FM or if you would like to engage their services you can contact them here