Paul Smolinski is a managing and operations director at Introbiz, Wales’ leading professional business network. Having worked in retail all his life, he made the leap into running a business alongside his wife, Tracey.
What is your background?
My background is in retail and worked in management for a number of stores throughout the country. I used to ensure that all the major sporting stars and business owners had the best when it comes to suits. My wife Tracey owned a networking company called Introbiz and we both decided that I should join in order to grow the business to something bigger. I came up with the idea of hosting a business exhibition in Cardiff as there wasn’t anything similar going on. Six years on, the Expo has grown year on year and in 2017, the event will be hosted for the second consecutive year at the Motorpoint Arena Cardiff.
Where do you see Introbiz in 10 years?
I see myself continuing to work hard, running Introbiz and hosting events throughout the country as well as internationally. I also hope to ensure that we make a huge difference to the business community by connecting people together.
Who was the most influential person to you as a child?
My nan was extremely influential to me as I was growing up. She used to run restaurants and shops in Cardiff and Barry and I learnt a great deal from her. It’s fair to say that she sparked my interest in retail and she constantly encouraged me to do what made me happy, to make a difference and to become an entrepreneur.
What is your favourite thing about Cardiff?
I’m a proud Welshman and I absolutely love the city. There’s always something going on, sporting events, new businesses and stores opening and the atmosphere is constantly electric. Cardiff has developed tremendously over the past few years but it still has that charm of a small town.
What is one piece of advice you would give to other young entrepreneurs starting out?
Make sure you take the time to build invaluable relationships. You never know who you’re going to meet and who they may know. My other piece of advice is to always follow up with your new connections. It shows that you’re keen and willing, which is a great way to show that you’re a serious entrepreneur.