Hello! Here at NPA, we very much value our customers old and new, and value also the users of our website, Just like YOU (!), with visitors numbering as they do, with nearly half a million visitors a year!
People from all over the world come and visit our website for various reasons and we really enjoy the questions and feedback we receive from people every day. Read on to learn more about who runs the very website you are on now!
As part of our ongoing commitment to informing the customer, and in providing a better overall experience in dealing with us, we thought we would start highlighting some of our expert staff within the organisation; what they do, how they do it, and how you can contact them yourself.
UNLIKE OTHER COATING COMPANIES, WE ARE RUN BY HUMANS, FOR HUMANS!!!!!!!
Where many businesses, especially online and web based, like to hide behind a facade, Guy Alexander Bell, the owner and editor of the famous house painting website NPA Never paint again introduces himself and his company, with gusto and enthusiasm to all and sundry and lets us know what makes him tick
Guy is a surveyor and building inspector for the contracting side of “never paint again”, and he is also a highly successful web publisher and webmaster. He is recently most well known for campaigning against dodgy selling practices in his industry and for being the pioneer in marketing domestic exterior wallcoatings online.
His site has had several attempts at being copied by competitors, ALWAYS without success. (The website you are on now gets about 35 million HITS per year, 3 million page views, and around 1.3 MILLION unique visitors every year!) (stats taken January 2008)
The company is managed by ex University of Plymouth graduate, Guy Alexander Bell, 40, who has been involved in the Property Maintenance industry for many years, specialising in exterior masonry paint and coatings. He currently lives in Plymouth, Devon, with his wife Amanda, who is also his PA, however he is originally from Deal, a small seaside town in East Kent. He is of English/Irish descent. He has also previously lived in Belfast, Brighton, & London.
He is an established expert author and he has written original content and features for some major publications in this capacity; he has been on the radio in the UK, in Spain and in Gibraltar in recent years, and has been quoted in local & national newspapers and prestige titles like Grand Designs and Ideal Home magazine.
He has also appeared as a film extra in the movie “Twelfth night” and worked with many famous actors, he has been interviewed and quoted by both bbc news, BBC Devon, BBC radio Devon, and Sky news.
His work has been published in many places online too, and his work is regarded by many as a credible source of information on his specialist subject. With constant press reports about poor customer service in many other service industries, Guy strives to provide the best customer service experience in the industry and his brand stands tall above others.
Guy was born in Dover, in 1970, and lived in Walmer, Deal, Kent. His family moved to Devon when he was a child
He started in the wall coatings industry right at the bottom, at a very young age (15), working in London for his late father Clive, who was a very highly regarded wallcoatings installer and general builder. His mother, Gail, worked for the local newspaper, the Western morning news, and also run a small guest house in Devon. She is now enjoying semi retirement in a cottage in Devon!
Through endless enthusiasm, commitment, vision, hard work and experience, Guy eventually became foreman of his own exterior wall coatings spray team at the tender age of 18, and worked for a now defunct coating firm, called London coating company (wallcote), based in Kingsbury, North London. At that time, Guy was the youngest person in the coatings industry in the whole of the UK to hold this position.
He eventually purchased his own equipment years later and became a freelance exterior coatings applicator. This job took him all over the UK, and he eventually became known for being a practical and effective skills trainer, having helped many people into the industry by offering practical on site training in the correct application of exterior spray applied wallcoatings. He later went to college and learnt how to be an adult education tutor to add to his teaching and training skills.
Due to a health issue, he gave up the practical side of the job around 1993 and became a surveyor instead for a Staffordshire exterior wall coating company, travelling around the UK seeing customers, measuring up and surveying house, processing orders, supervising workmen etc.
Guy found this demanding but very rewarding and often tremendous fun! He also balanced his time by attending University from 1994 and eventually got a degree in 1998.
During his time at university Guy was involved in Student politics, was a keen member of the University fencing team, and was also a film and TV extra!
He also co presented a live broadcast radio show in Plymouth (briefly) which he regards with fond memories. He has also been interviewed on local radio. He was also involved in the music scene for many years in his spare time. In addition to his packed and hectic life back then (!), he also found time to be a hair model for a very well known top salon and worked closely with NEXUS, the hair product manufacturer.
(guy asked me to point out, he was younger, thinner and had more hair back then!)
The sun always shines on TV!
Guy always had a keen interest in media and TV and when he was in his teens, he appeared a few times in the studio audience for several Saturday morning kids TV shows including Saturday Superstore with Mike Reid, Keith Chegwin, Sarah Greene, etc, and also in its predecessor, Noel Edmonds’ Multi coloured Swap Shop!
Around this time he was also a regular contributor of content to the fledgling kids and teens pages on channel 4 Teletext service during the early 80s. He has also appeared in 4 different corporate videos and 4 obscure student films!
He was also a valued member behind the scenes of the Glastonbury festival in the 1990s and got to know many famous names there too, rather (in)-famously getting into a heated debate (to say the least), with a very famous (and drunk) actor who I probably should not name on this website!
So whats behind the NPA Brand?
Located in Plymouth, Devon, UK, with offices in London, Leeds and Leicester, Never paint again wallcoatings is the brand name of NPA International paints and coatings, an expanding business that provides painting, decorating and exterior wallcoatings to clients throughout the UK. Set-up in 1986 by Guy Alexander Bell and his late father Clive Bell, the company has many years experience in the Property Maintenance sector.
The brands core values are: Integrity, Honesty and pride in quality.
Guy became interested in the internet around 1994 before it became the popular shopping method it is today. NPA had an initial online presence as far back as 1999, and the site you see today was started in 2001 by guy himself and has been tirelessly updated every week since then!
Whilst running an exterior coating company at the time with a business partner, Guy started to hear from more and more interested parties online, and started receiving requests for quotations from interested homeowners, which were in addition to the sales enquires he used to get from mailshots and leaflets, a very time consuming and competitive advertising method.
As the site grew, more and more people started contacting the company for quotes. This culminated in the abandoning of all direct mail, in favour of taking the company wholly online. The site now occupies a dominant position within its industry, beating several blue chip companies for web exposure and traffic.
Moving the entire company online and away from paper based methods was a difficult decision, and a gamble, especially as everyone else in the industry said it would not work. Well, a few years down the line, and several million dollars worth of orders later, Guy proved them wrong and the site and the brand continues to go from strength to strength!
NPA pioneered the way people buy services such as external wall coatings and related building products and their site has tirelessly campaigned online and in the print media to rid the industry of bad selling practices.
Guy’s company are one of the UK’s premier pebbledash painting companies.
They have been involved in several TV property shows, and have been featured in media worldwide. With state of the art facilities and expert staff with many years experience, the company offers a professional building repair and decoration service to businesses and homeowners throughout the UK.
The service is intended to totally eliminate exterior maintenance of both new and older buildings, allowing clients to save a lot of time and money over a long period of time.
More about the editor
His dislikes are the words “I can’t”, and “No”, and also dislikes people who are pathological liars!
His wife is from Plymouth, although she has lived abroad extensively in Spain and in Gibraltar.
Guy is also a seasoned car boot veteran in his spare time and has found many rare and interesting items over the years. Guy has also sold on ebay, and has supplied many film and TV companies with props for various shows, including the BBCTV show “life on mars” and also the sequel, “Ashes to ashes” (look out for a small red toy Audi quattro in one of the forthcoming episodes, plus the 1970-‘s Dinky cars used in a mock up for a bank heist in a Life on Mars scene!).
Guy has also supplied items to the Royal Cornwall Museum, the Imperial war Museum, the BBC, museums in Japan, USA and Canada.
Guy also collects vintage Dinky and Corgi toys. (No, don’t laugh!)
More recently, in 2010 Guy re-branded the English magazine in valencia (Britchat) to its new name “inVLC” and he also ran various expat community groups when he lived in Spain and not working away at his Plymouth office.
He is also an accomplished travel writer and writes for some top name publications.
Guy says that owning your own company is A lot of effort! It takes hard work and determination to succeed and inspire your team. As I have created my own office complex, I do quite a bit of work at home, (in between numerous site visits, and the constant telephone calls)
………..flexible working is certainly the way forward and a habit I started at university with all those late study evenings! Don’t expect to work 9 to 5 and become successful, it wont happen.
“Also be aware then when you become successful, jealous people will crawl out from under their stones and try and take that away from you. Ignore them.”
With their eye firmly fixed on the future, the success of the NEVER PAINT AGAIN brand seems to look very good, but they have learnt in business not to rest on their laurels and to always expect the unexpected.
Being in business, and then keeping the business going is a job in itself, but with the credit crunch biting, and people choosing NOT to sell, more and more people are deciding to improve where they live and stay put, so unusually in this day and age, NPA has a pretty full order book for the coming months!
Staying power in a competitive industry
Above all, Guy has seen many people in his industry come and go, but with the high level of care and commitment that his company puts into each project.
Guy is available for consultancy work including website development, risk assessments, Marketing consultancy work and building surveying. Guy also builds very successful websites (obviously)
Please feel free to contact him at any time and thanks for reading. Have a great day!
Interview by Joanne S. 2009.
Why not connect with Guy on Google?!