The holiday season is a time of joy and celebration, but for businesses, it can also bring a myriad of financial challenges. As you gear
“Talking to craft brewery owners around the world was important because we realised we needed to be able to bring something different to the market, creating beers which would break boundaries but still follow tradition,” Luci says.“ The UK craft beer market is sufficiently mature so we couldn’t launch with crap branding or a beer which needed improvement; customers wouldn’t be prepared to give us the benefit of the doubt because they already have expectations of quality when it comes to craft beer. So everything had to be right from the get-go.”
“The biggest challenge though is time – the number of hours in the day. That’s why a managing director has to recognise they will have a better understanding of particular parts of the business and that they can’t specialise in everything. That’s why you’ve got heads of department. Your role is to bring it all together.”
“At the beginning I found it difficult letting ago – most founders are something of a control freak – but I worked out that if I carried on trying to do everything, the business couldn’t continue to grow,” says Young. “Of course, it’s difficult to delegate, but I realised, for example, that there are more important things for me to do than update Twitter – and that someone else could do it better as they would have more time. If we fast-forward to now, I’ll check up on things if I need to, but I’m focusing on what’s ahead, not looking over anyone’s shoulder. And then you realise that people are coming up with ideas that you’d never have thought of when you were doing those tasks.”
“Rather than simply setting a target and then hitting it come what may, building a business is best achieved by consistently surpassing customer expectations – because sustainable growth doesn’t come from putting your core principles at risk.” Not that Lisa Dargan, a director of URM Consulting Services is suggesting that an ambitious company should eschew something to aim at. She says it’s about context.
“It’s all too easy to set up food or drink business because there are so many companies who will help put the recipe together, source ingredients for you, and then do the manufacturing. But I wanted to do it the hard way, knowing the provenance of what I would be working with. So, in terms of the botanicals in our gin for example, the watercress comes from the beds just outside our premises, the lavender from just around the corner, and spring water bubbles up on-site. It’s about authenticity.”
“But it’s really important that a growing company, desperate to fill positions, is even more selective. Just because the candidate sitting in front of you can do the job, you still need to do the due diligence; as well as their skills and experience, do they have a thirst for knowledge, a desire to progress? If they haven’t, it isn’t going to work out for us, and the impact of that on a small, independent company can be colossal.”
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