13 March 2019

Partnership in business - Lawrence and Gail Jones with UKFast Enterprise MD Jonathan Bowers.

With my business partner and wife Gail, with our Enterprise MD Jonathan and my four-legged walking partner Indie!

Would you be able to work with your other half?

Interesting question isn’t it? Some respond saying that they would love to, whilst others say they can’t think of anything worse!

For Gail and I, it’s just part of our life. For 20 years we’ve worked side by side at UKFast, co-founding the business. Whilst I am the CEO, Gail is the MD. I firmly believe that UKFast would not be the business that it is today if we didn’t have this balance.

Gail brings her analytic, calm thinking, whilst I bring a creative and sales mind. In the early days that very clearly defined our roles – mine was predominantly on the salesfloor; Gail’s was in the office, making sure our team were paid on time, and everything was running smoothly behind the scenes.

These have stayed reasonably similar 20 years down the line. My passion will always be in sales, customer service and marketing. In being able to help to solve someone’s problem, to help their business thrive or to inspire the team around us. Gail’s focus as MD is quite software-heavy, looking at where we can improve the team’s and our clients’ lives with innovation.

Another side of the story

When you look at it that way, we don’t really cross paths on a work front all too often, unless it’s around a boardroom table. So when it comes to having dinner in the evening, we have so much to talk about, usually about different areas of the business.

Whilst you might say that this means we’re never switching off from the business, it’s not that easy to switch off from something you’re passionate about, whether you work with your partner or not. How many times do you come home talking about work? It’s the same concept, apart from we’re talking about the same business!

In this week’s Mind Your Own Business podcast, I welcomed Gail to share her side of the UKFast story. For many years, I’ve been the one to take centre stage when it comes to public speaking or sharing the UKFast journey. Taking on this role has always been something that I’ve done quite reluctantly. It’s not my comfort zone to be in the spotlight. So, considering Gail has not often spoken about her personal journey, it was lovely to have the opportunity to share the other side of the coin.

In the episode we talk about building the culture, recruitment and working in the wider community. Like Gail says in the podcast, we spend a lot of time these days trying to make things look easier than they are, but there are still challenges. There are still hurdles and roadblocks that we come up against.

Listen in and let me know your thoughts. I’d love to hear your business journey too – share in the comments below.

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