WITH just £50 left in his pocket, Miros Bogdantsaliev was faced with a dilemma; hold onto the money or pour it all into promoting his fledgling handyman business.
Opting for the latter, he marched down to the nearest library and printed around 50 leaflets before taking to the streets of West London advertising his services.
It proved to be a critical decision as nine years later he is the managing director of Avalon Building & Decorating Contactors Ltd - a business on the up with a current turnover of £650,000 a year.
Mr Bogdantsaliev left his native Bulgaria at the age of 25 and initially settled in East London before switching to Fulham.
It was during this period that he relentlessly scoured the borough, going door to door offering his services, which included everything from painting to fixing door handles.
The 37-year-old, said: "When I came to the UK it was very difficult getting work because I'm Bulgarian and at that time Bulgaria wasn't in the European Union so I wasn't allowed to work as an employee, I had to be self employed.
"Me and a friend used to live in a cheap house in East London, but realised quite quickly that we had to move West.
"We thought if you moved to a more wealthy area, there would be more work. We were paying £50 a week rent, but made the decision to spend this on printing our first batch of leaflets.
"One of the first jobs we did was for a city lawyer who was so appreciative for what we did as his wife was pregnant and we were in and out quite quickly. He told his friends and we started to get more work, in fact he's still a client now.
"It is vital to provide good customer service as you want to make the client happy with the work that you do."
Through word of mouth, advertising and leafleting, the now father-of-two started to take on bigger projects, such as refurbishments, extensions and renovations.
As he took on larger jobs and hired more help he also began turning a healthy profit, so just two years after the £50 dilemma, he registered the company.
Having previously been working from his West Brompton home, he opened the company's offices in Glenthorne Road.
In 2007/08, Avalon recorded a profit of £611,000 but then as the recession hit, Mr Bogdantsaliev - like everyone else - started to feel the pinch.
He said: "I had had a couple of very big jobs, I had one which was about £250,000 and another which was about £100,000. However when the recession started I felt it the next year when, for the first time, the profits went down, which was quite scary.
"I thought long into the night and decided I needed to do something about it.
"I realised when I opened the Yellow Pages that the number of ads for builders had dropped dramatically, so I thought this would be a great opportunity to be more creative and have an advert which was more prominent and noticeable.
"So I spent some money on marketing and the following year the profits went back up."
Three years ago he set up Avalon Eco Cleaning and now with a client list of hundreds spanning both companies, Mr Bogdantsaliev is looking to expand by venturing into property management and architectural design.
Despite his meagre beginnings, the prudent businessman doesn't like to dwell on his success.
"I don't think of my achievements," he said, "I do things that I have to do, which is grow my business. On a small personal level it makes me pleased that I can provide for my family, but I haven't achieved much compared to others."
For more information on Avalon visit www.avalonbuild.co.uk