By title, I’m the commercial manager at SSCo, but the reality of a small company means that I’m involved in everything regardless of whether it’s liaising with clients, designers and fabricators or overseeing the finances and ordering stationary. It has to be that way, especially in the early days, to make sure we stay focused and on track. I tell myself that even Richard Branson did it all once upon a time!
At 1300 I leave the office for a lunch meeting with the company’s directors, Josh and Claire Richardson, at a local pub called the Butt and Oyster. It’s on the river, serves great food and most importantly it’s only five minutes from the office. The water might not be azure blue, but it makes for a picturesque backdrop and a peaceful setting. It’s a good opportunity to catch up on how things are going,not just with SSCo, but also Josh and Claire’s other successful company, Superyacht Tenders and Toys (SYTT). Having already built up an established and thriving business, their insight is invaluable. They always take the time to engage with the progress and challenges within SSCo and we regularly take time away from the office to touch base. SYTT focuses on the project management and third-party supply of tenders and toys and SSco manufactures associated deck and ancillary equipment, so the two businesses are closely aligned and there is plenty of crossover. The afternoon proves to be no exception as Josh and I excuse ourselves after lunch to go and test an e-foil board that has just landed in the SYTT office. We drive five minutes down the road where we launch the board and spend the next hour teaching ourselves to foil. On the way back to the office, adrenaline fuelled and salty, I drop in on our aluminium fabricators to check on the set of chocks we have in production for a client’s Ski Nautique wake surf boat.
Then it’s back to the office and back to reality. Tonight, I’m flying out to the Netherlands ahead of tomorrow’s meeting with the chief mate of a 100m+ yacht in build at Oceanco. We are supplying the transom fenders and aft step arrangement and we need to drill down on the details to make sure everything is just how the owners envisage it. I prepare the templating kit and make sure I have everything required to accurately template the yacht’s transom and ensure the fenders will fit perfectly. I’m sure most heads of companies have someone to do templating for them, but we’re a new and growing business and I want to look future employees in the eye when I ask them to do something, knowing that I’ve done everything I ask of them myself.