Friday, 7 May 2010

Centre of Excellence

Celebrate good times, come on! Well it's taken a while, but finally after 16 years we get the recognition that is surely deserved. We've been awarded the exclusive BSA Centre of Excellence standard, a standard that many aspire to but only a handful achieve. 

This seal of approval is something that we're very proud of! Having pioneered so much in the industry, it's been a long time coming. Much of what we've pioneered since 1995 is taken for granted now. But we've changed surfing in this country, no question. 

We've been waiting for the approval for a short while, now we can press the button on our marketing drive. At the same time, I'm putting my name forward for the Exec Committee of the BSA as head of Strategy. Certainly we've noticed in more recent years that our opinion carries more weight. As it should - we run the largest surf school this country has ever seen (possibly the world), have written training programmes for the governing body since 1996; and have developed a surf club for local kids that is unprecedented. You have to be voted in ... I'm hoping to go one better than David Cameron and get a clear majority!

It's funny really, I'm not a certificate man! I've always felt that I can decide for myself how brilliant I am! But this is a good moment and myself and Janey would like to thank all who've been on the journey with us over the past 16 years. Clients, instructors, office staff and friends - each and ever one. We've been very fortunate to have been surrounded by some very good people. Life really has been a Beach!

In what direction do we go on now? I touched on this yesterday, but having watched Bloomberg live as the Dow crumbled, we know that basics are where we're at. Over the short term that means keeping it simple and working on the quality. 

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Vote for the Beach Party

I can't be the only one who entered the polling booth still unsure who to vote for? As enjoyable as the leaders debates have been, I couldn't find a clear favourite. But, in the end, I just felt that change would be good and ticked the Tory box. 

No matter who comes in, we can expect some tough times. Over the past few weeks we've been in negotiations for a new business, one that we felt would sit very comfortably with our long term vision of Surf's Up! - but yesterday we pulled out. We couldn't reach a deal on the ingoing figure. And the thing was that actually during the negotiation period I was sure it was the right thing to do, on reflection it was exactly the right thing not to do. It would have required a good deal of investment in both money and time. Now is a good time not to be spending money, in fact we've made some serious savings on our running costs both in the office and on the beach. So rather than feeling disappointed, I actually felt some relief. I knew that Janey wasn't 100% into it, and that for me always sets the alarm bells ringing. No matter how amazing I think it's going to be, Janey is the reality check. And the reality check is that whatever is around for sale today, will most likely still be for sale in a couple of years time, and it'll probably be cheaper. And then of course, we have a very good work/ family balance right now. That's where we're at - priceless really. Talking of family - we took the boys to the go kart track down at St. Eval on the weekend. I can't help myself, as soon as the visor goes down, I'm in the zone. Can I apologise to all the mums and dads who complained about this idiot barging their kids off the track! haha - what fun!

Have you taken a look at the austerity plan for Greece? These are serious measures that could potentially come our way. It's not out of the question. So our game plan, is to keep things simple; make sure that we're efficient and avoid waste. Simple as that. And then when everything settles down, then we can emerge from our hibernation, refreshed and energised. 

Off to play squash with the Billyman... as soon as that racquet comes out of it's bag...!