Having given some thought to what I want to do with my career going forward I’ve decided that for the moment I will be happiest helping smaller brands in their next stage of growth. Having worked for large corporate businesses and very small ones (Leon had 4 stores when I joined them) I’m comfortable operating in an environment where there is a lack of resource, in fact this isn’t necessarily a bad thing as less people forces you to really focus on the wildly important and ensure that decision making and execution happen quickly. Having taken a brand to market and also raised debt for a brand I have some experience of engineering an eventual exit for founders. I think I know just how much needs to be introduced in the way of systems and process to ensure consistent delivery without strangling the culture and values of the brand and finally I have worked alongside some founders (with generally good results) and learnt a lot about what makes for a good working relationship with a more entrepreneurial founder.
I don’t intent to gloss over the Vital situation, things did not go as we hoped but we managed to navigate our way through a complex process and eventually secure a future for the brand. I learnt a huge amount through the process and gained a few “battle scars” in the process. It’s not an experience which I wish to repeat but it’s made me a much more rounded MD which will be of benefit in the future.
I am working with the Wrapchic team today and I am looking forward to it, the founder has built a unique brand and in terms of franchising is pitching it to exactly the right market. With a little luck, lots of hard work and good decision making the brand has a bright future.