Interview with a director
This week we catch up with Sarah House one of our Directors and a family member of the House family who own and operate the business operations within Brean Leisure Park & Holiday Resort Unity.
How has 2018 been?
2018 has been great. The snow at the start of a year was a challenge for us as we had holiday breaks in and were busy trying to get some crucial construction elements of our new country club completed. Easter in March also presents challenges as the weather is cooler and we need to recruit our seasonal team members earlier as a result. However the prolonged sun and warm period this Summer helped many areas of the business and led to a good trading period.
What is your area of responsibility?
I look after HR and health and safety holding a degree level qualification in health and safety, both of which being crucial aspects within a business.
What's a typical day?
No day is the same in the leisure industry. As always there are emails and messages to respond to but I try to get out in the business as much as possible to see what's going on. When you are dealing with the public it is all about service and standards and these need to be consistent in all business areas for it to work.
How many new employment roles have been created this year?
Our business is still growing and as a result we created several new permanent roles this year. A new senior management role of Estates Manager was created to oversee our estates grounds and buildings. We cover a 200 acre area with multiple facilities and business areas.
A recruitment & training officer dedicated solely to recruiting the best team members and helping arrange training and ensure all the necessary training is completed as well as building links with locals schools and colleges.
We have also expanded within our maintenance and accounts departments to reflect increased in demand in these areas.
Our exciting project due to complete shortly is our Brean country club. So far this has resulted in four new recruits with more joining us as this area of the business develops.
What have been the challenges this year?
Recruitment is always an on going challenge and with Brexit on the horizon we are naturally concerned for attracting EU workers who form an important part of our team. Having on board a recruitment and training officer allows us to spend more time promoting our vacancies along with the fantastic benefits and perks we offer our team members.
Managing on going costs and purchasing across the business continues to challenge us and by buying smarter and negotiating supplier deals helps with this, to avoid off loading too much of these to our guests in increased pricing.
What's next on the horizon?
Our new Brean Country Club and lodge development opening early November at a cost of £4m so it is all hands on deck currently with the building contractor and finishings.
As well as this building being a home for our golf course members we are entering a new business area with weddings and premium dining expanding on our current business offering.
We will also be offering lodge sales in a fantastic lakeside position around the golf course.
Our #teambrean employee awards mark the end of the holiday season providing a well earned celebration and awarding several prizes from employee and team of the year to service excellence and best newcomer.
What's the secret to a successful family business?
Our team members are our greatest asset. Without them we cannot operate and be a success. It's important we engage, support and retain them to ensure continued business success.
We have to keep looking to see how you improve as you always can. Involve your managers and teams on the improvement journey. To say you can't or don't bother to try does not lead to efficiency or success.
Re investment into the business leads to improvement and growth. We are always looking ahead to see what can we do next. The competitive edge is maintained by keeping your business offering fresh and dynamic.