Paul Eatock, MD, Eatock Design & Build

We talk to Paul Eatock, the managing director of Eatock Design & Build about how he and his wife Jeni specialise in designing and project management in the construction sector.

With over a decade of experience in construction and project management, I thrive on finding innovative solutions to create the ideal workspace for our clients. I take clients through a four step process; consult, translate, design and build, to deliver projects which are perfectly tailored to our clients. Taking a collaborative approach, I make sure that clients are heavily involved throughout the process, as communication is key to achieving the best possible results with fit-outs. Together with my wife Jeni who specialises in design, we oversee every aspect of our projects to produce detailed fitouts and seamless delivery.

What was the inspiration behind your business?

My journey in the fit-out industry has been quite a ride, filled with challenges and a lot of determination. The dynamics of the industry underwent significant transformations amid the pandemic, discouraging many from embarking on entrepreneurial journeys. Armed with a decade of expertise in design, construction, and fit-out, I embraced the opportunity to launch Eatock Design & Build (EDB). The pandemic was far from the ideal time to launch a new business, especially as the dramatically changed business landscape saw many well established businesses struggle. I’ve never been someone who shies away from a challenge.

In fact, I saw it as a unique opportunity. With many workspaces emptying out, we made the pandemic a great time to start a business, recording an exponential turnover in our first year. Despite the homeworking boom, we’ve only accelerated since celebrating over 200 project appointments in just three years across a range of sectors.

I want to develop EDB into the number one, multi-award winning, ‘go to’ fitout name. We don’t create workspaces for the recognition, we do so for the legacy of our clients and the betterment of the people that work within them. But at the same time, we’re immensely proud of our portfolio of work.

Who do you admire?

I truly admire my team as they are the heart of EDB. With an amalgamation of diverse talents and skillsets, collectively they bring to life into any vision we put forward to our clients.

As a business owner, seeing the collective efforts of the team manifest into tangible successes gives me a deep sense of pride and fuels the drive to overcome challenges. My team is a source of inspiration, propelling me to face the future with confidence and optimism for the business.

I may not always have the answer myself, but I can maintain confidence that someone within my team will do or be there to offer a helping hand. Real, long term success is born from team collaboration.

What defines your way of doing business?

I always want to learn and no one can ever learn or know everything. I’m a doer – I am always wanting to learn more from practical experience and if we hit a challenge in a project, I thrive on coming up with a solution. I like to soak things up as I learn and put these new ideas into practice in creative projects.

It’s not about what I wish I knew in the past; it’s about how embracing a fresh perspective which can drive my skills forward. I believe that by consistently adopting a fresh approach to work, you can discover new opportunities you might have otherwise missed. Working across a vast array of sector fitouts, all the way from labs to restaurants, helps me consistently bring a fresh perspective to our fitouts.

We don’t follow a set template at Eatock Design & Build, the way we work and what we do is powered by the want to do what’s best for the client, and by doing that, we create schemes which, while personalised to the client, have our own individual stamp on them too.

We will continue to take on challenging projects, because it’s in those moments that you learn the most. If that means taking on a client in an alien sector or working to strict limitations, we’re confident enough in our own abilities to know that we can deliver workspaces that are perfectly tailored for longevity, productivity and staff wellbeing. When we handover a project and the client is taken aback by how far we’ve exceeded expectations, it’s an incredible feeling. You don’t get tired of that.

What advice would you give to someone starting out?

Approaching every project with an open mind and staying positive. I know it can sound a little clichéd, but when I think back to that period, just before I started EDB in the depths of the pandemic, I wouldn’t have arrived where I am today without a positive mindset.

Having a skilled and reliable team is instrumental, allowing you to leverage each other’s strengths. When confronted with challenges, being open to letting any team member take the lead in that moment can be immensely beneficial. If that team member is the one best equipped to solve that particular problem, they should lead. It isn’t about positions and titles – leadership isn’t about ego. The best leaders know when to lead and when to let other’s drive a project for the benefit of the project.