2 years on, it's not all Champagne & Skittles!

I hope you all had a great Easter. I spent it walking. For miles. And miles! We opted for a change of scenery this time around (the glorious Devon/Cornwall coastline is the norm) for a week in the Peak District. I must say, it was awesome, the weather was good (albeit a bit chilly at times) and the sights were breath-taking. The viaduct near the Monsal Head – WOW. As well as some QT with the family, peace and tranquillity was the aim of the game, taking some time out to reflect on our first 2 and a bit years in business, and thinking back to then and now.

From the ‘Broom Cupboard’ at Fromeforde House, which was cosy to say the least, we are now settled in to our HQ in Chipping Sodbury. Motorway networks are close, and a fine selection of coffee and sandwich shops on the Sodbury High Street even closer. It’s a great town, and a popular tourist attraction if you haven’t visited before. At the foothills of the Cotswold’s, we see a lot of runners, ramblers and cyclists (the Tour of Britain went past the offices here last September) ourselves, and cricket lovers tend to come from far afield in the hope of finding Jack Russell rustling up another masterpiece in his gallery on the High Street.

This journey for me, thankfully, has not been spent alone, and I wanted to take the opportunity to thank those who have been with us from the outset and helped us to reach this milestone.

Business West helped immensely with the initial start-up, supporting and guidance in the main coming via Sam who is still active within the business today.  Legend.

Victoria is incredible and has been an inspiration throughout the journey. Her professionalism and personality continues to shine and we were delighted last month when asked to become a Business Partner of the Bath Spa University, as a reward for the engaging and informative seminars Victoria has admirably performed for their students.

Back in the summer, we were also thrilled to welcome Rachel to Clever. Rachel’s HR knowledge and expertise is undoubted, with her Employment Law background it brought a whole new dimension to the team, and we are really excited at what the future brings. The two complement each other (and our clients!) so well.

Tom Brown has been focusing on the search and selection of Financial Planners. Having joined us straight from Cardiff University when we were just a couple of months in, Tom has been superb in his own right, building and developing excellent relationships with clients and candidates alike. It is great to have him on-board and hope to see him further develop his career with us.

I’d also like to mention our old neighbours at Fromeforde House, Roger and Sue of Cool Ventures, and our Virgin Start-Up mentor Anthony Nellis, who all listened, guided, and supported me in the early days. Harry Webb’s artistic flair, and also Benno and Nick who, though moved on, have been a part of the experience and helped us along the way.

Before I start rambling on, I think back to Delboys line on Only Fools, ‘it’s not all Champagne and Skittles!’. He was not wrong, and I appreciate our business is still young. However, with this team around me, it makes all the tougher more testing times worthwhile, and I can’t wait to see what the next 2 years bring.


Thanks for reading, JR.