I've never regretted starting my own company, not even for a second
"I've never regretted starting my own company, not even for a second," says the young entrepreneur, who invested great effort in his company, setting it on the path to success. Dirk Schneemann - a strong man with a lightning-speed career. He went from an ordinary painter to boss of LTH ("Lackiertechnik Hannover") in just three years thanks to his hard work and creativity.
He's open about it, "I didn't want to work for other people anymore. I wanted to make money for my own business."
This was back in 1995. Schneemann had gathered experience as an intern and employee in 16 companies by then. That was when he started his own company with plastic coating. The orders just kept coming. He was onsite at the facility even weekends, working away.
He hired 12 people that same year. Today, he has almost 170 staff. Of them, 20 are handicapped. And his company keeps growing. "We're going to have another 16 construction fitters at the beginning of next year."
The made-in-Hanover value, the know-how: in the meantime, the system supplier is working for international companies on his premises of 14 000 sq. m. Gas storage containers for MAN buses, circuit boards for Siemens. Currently: full trim and casing for agricultural machines for the company Welger in Wolfenbuettel (12 million German marks) and plastic casing for the subway in Taipei (Taiwan) for 2.15 million marks.
Schneemann's turnover amounts to 18 million marks per annum ("we're a big team"). His plans are for it to reach 38 million in 1999. How does he motivate his team? Schneemann explains, "Apart from a good hourly wage, we pay 20% of the profit out to each employee monthly." Despite his success, the young manager (married, three children) remains humble. He pays rent (2000 marks including utilities) and drives a company car, an Audi A6.