Paul Maher is the founder of MMA Transfers, a Manchester Private Hire Taxi Service. Paul has always been passionate about racing, which posed some issues when he wanted to build a flourishing taxi hire service.
Thankfully, Paul has answered some questions about his life and business ventures.
How did you get started in the industry?
After going through a breakdown in a relationship, I decided to start taxi driving instead of going to the pub drinking. My license meant more to me than a few beers, so this kept me on the straight and narrow to focus on making plans. I studied a map of the Manchester area for 3 months and then sat a knowledge test with Manchester City Council for my Private Hire driver’s license.
Speaking with people from all different sides of the world was the start of my journey. I worked as a driver for a couple of years for another company and then established a partnership with another private hire taxi company in Manchester. However, this unfortunately didn’t work out, so I had to make other plans.
What’s the story behind how MMA Transfers got started?
I took up motorbike racing after visiting the Isle of Man in 2014, which was the start of my racing dream. I had ridden motorbikes since the age of 12 and visiting the Isle of Man opened a new doorway. I started to do track days but then I was involved in three bike accidents due to mechanical failures after having work done from a garage. I raced for 3 years and started to get good at it. This meant I had to start taking it more seriously.
After needing more time for my racing hobby, my business partner refused to come to a compromise which would have allowed me more time to race. So, I decided I needed to make a plan to fulfil my racing dream to race at the Isle of Man. I decided to split the partnership and established my own private hire company. Sixteen months later, MMA is rated number 2 for Best Taxi and Shuttles in Manchester on TripAdvisor.
What was the biggest challenge in establishing the business and how did you overcome it?
Selling my bike so I could get my dispatch system was a big challenge. However, I can’t really look past the agony of waking up some days with serious injuries (7 broken ribs, a punctured lung and a broken collar bone). But, every time I felt like giving up, I looked at my bike pictures on my wall and knew I could do it. I worked and slept for the last 12 months. A big thanks to my mum for dragging me out of bed every day and, despite a million heart attacks, we got through it.
What steps have you taken to grow the business since the beginning?
I have studied Google day in and day out and learnt how to develop my own website doing SEO and all the IT for the company. I have bought 3 extra vehicles and didn’t take wages for 14 months, so all business expenses were covered.
I have also taken on a member of staff for the office who is now on the payroll and is very polite. Shemaine is a good asset to the company, which takes a big weight off my shoulders and helps me to grow the business.
How did you go about developing the MMA Transfers App?
The App is part of the dispatch company which we pay a license fee to. I had to program the App and dispatch system, which I learnt as I went along. In the future, I want to develop my own dispatch system and App. As we grow, I’m sure we will be able to develop this as we take on more work and more drivers.
What does the future hold for MMA?
The future for MMA is bright. We have gained 20 very good drivers since setting up and slowly we are looking to grow to 200 vehicles, which will turn it into a million-pound company, so we have great potential. I believe that with hard work, dedication and good motivation, we will get there in the near future.