Both founders - Kate Methuen-Ley and Helen Corsi - were ready to take on the challenge of working for themselves. They had both come from very different company backgrounds from corporate leisure and marketing to property and market stalls but both wanted to be able to create a business that they enjoyed going to everyday and development a team that could grow with them.

Our main challenges when starting the business

One of the biggest challenges was how naive both were to the challenges they would come up against not only in the beginning but on going. They believed they could do it all themselves but quickly realised they couldn’t! Tiger was an unknown brand in Wales, they needed to raise finance and a lot of their family and friends thought they were mad so dealing with these three challenges were initially tough. Another challenge after the first year was (and still is) finding suitable and commercially viable locations to be able to expand as they have been faced with huge landlord challenges and unrealistic rents. However, their motto is ‘Nothing is a problem it’s an opportunity’, and they still use this everyday.

Success Factor

Tiger’s teams are the main driver of its success and growth and the business therefore invests time and money into developing, supporting and rewarding them. They look for people who show the ‘Tiger’ spirit, ambition and positivity, and invest in their development with both internal and external courses in key retail and business skills. The business has many company values which are embedded internally through focussing business development on three integral pillars –staff, stock and stores. These values are translated from high level strategy to ensure customers are getting what they need, what they want and surprising them with things they didn’t know existed, to ‘Everyday Magic’ which is the customer service training that they developed locally. They also have developed an internal vision of ‘Working Smarter’ which they use to sensecheck all processes, decisions and strategies at a local level. The founders have also spent a lot of time in 2016 ‘working smarter’ with the firm’s bottom line in order to increase profits. This has involved a review of many of processes which are attached to its highest non-fixed costs in particular wages. Tiger has implemented a time and attendance system which has not only improved efficiency in managing rotas and payroll it has also allowed a reduction in costs from human error and has improved rota efficiency across the business so there is optimum staffing at all times.

The Future

Tiger will continue to work smarter and develop its team to be the best they can be as the founders can’t ask for any more than that. They like to challenge themselves to evolve and constantly strive to ensure processes and approaches are the most effective and efficient with the right staff in place. The desire and hunger for more suitable locations with the required footfall is still key and are always thinking outside the box with new locations and ideas to ensure that Flying Tiger Copenhagen is represented as much as possible in Wales. An external financial director was recently hired who introduced many new processes and procedures for working smarter, which has helped streamline processes and efficiencies even more across the business, saving money and even more precious time.