About two years ago, I was asked to attend an internal meeting with Julian Long, Managing Director of Foundation Recruitment. This is not unusual at all. In fact, it’s been at least a weekly occurrence for the 5 years I have spent at the business. The topic of discussion however, made this particular meeting slightly different –to discuss a possible International expansion of the company and my interest in leading it.
My reaction at the time was one almost purely of excitement, (probably because I didn’t fully appreciate the scale of challenges involved in taking a business from National to International!).
Fast forward to the present and we have been active in 19 countries across two continents so far (more to come soon…). We are connected with the most talented retail property professionals from over 40 nationalities and we are proud to work with some world leading organisations within our industry. We have a talented team of linguists who connect us with the rest of the world every day from our International HQ in London.
The exciting part is that we are still at the beginning of our journey. I am absolutely, 100% positive that there will be new challenges, along with new opportunities in the years to come, but in the meantime , here are a few things we have learnt along the way so far.
Make some friends – Like the first day at school, it’s better to make some friends quickly! We built some great partnerships with people and organisations who believed in our idea and thought we could offer genuine value to the industry. We like to think now that their belief was justified!
Be flexible – Expanding Internationally is an interesting journey. I can guarantee that not everything that happens will be in the initial business plan. Sometimes you have to take a chance and grasp an unexpected opportunity. Sorry for the typical inspirational quote but as Wayne Gretzky said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take!”
Enjoy it – It isn’t always going to be fun and it certainly won’t always be easy. But if you don’t ultimately love what you are doing then you might as well give up now because you won’t make it. (In case you are wondering, we love what we do.)
I look forward to updating you on the next part of our journey but if you are interested in us and what we do, join our group to see more.
Tim Forbes, Head of International Mall Management, Foundation Recruitment