Spa embodiment of business excellence

ANGELA Douglas, pictured, won last year’s Dacorum Business Excellence Award after being judged business person of the year. Here we find out what makes her tick.

Date of birth: 15/07/75

Angela Douglas

Angela Douglas

Town where you live:

Hemel Hempstead

What are your business qualifications?

No specific business qualifications. I’ve been on a number of Business Link Courses. Qualified ITEC and NVQ Level 3 in Beauty therapy.

Do you think business leadership can be taught or is it something that comes from a natural instinct?

It can be taught but I developed mine through instinct. I started off at around the age of 8 or 9 years old. I used to knock on friends’ and families’ doors and sell my home made perfume made out of rose petals. I’d wash cars, I even borrowed my mum’s books (with her permission) and rented them out for a small fee.

What is the name of your main business and what does it do?

Serene Beauty Spa, Charles Street, Berkhamsted.

What was the turnover n the last reporting period?

Approximately £120,000.

Where would you like the business to be in 10 years’ time?

I would like to continue in what I’m doing as I love my job and either expand my salon or open new salons if possible. I have a lot of beauty experience, so I would like to pass this on, and do some teaching in beauty therapy.

What positives can you extract from current economic conditions?

I’ve found it hasn’t affected my beauty salon too much. I think it’s taught me to be even more prudent and count every penny, whilst at the same time be more focused with my advertising, offers and promotions. In all, I think it’s helped me to fine tune my business and run a tighter ship.

What motivates you to get up in the morning and go to work?

Passion for my job, as I love my job and being able to put a smile on clients faces and make them feel good. A better lifestyle will be a bonus in the long run.

What is the most important thing in life and why?

Being happy in what you do, and enjoying what you do. You spend most of your time at work so it’s very important.

At what age do you aim to retire and what will you do after that point?

I’m not sure I would completely retire. If I did, I would like to either do training or counselling.

What is the most important thing you learned at school?

Team work. I loved sport at school and used to participate in after school athletic matches.

What one subject should be placed on the curriculum?

Starting up your own business. This should be taught at a young age to give kids goals.

What percentage of your success is inspiration?

25 per cent – Inspiration comes from researching new beauty treatments online , beauty shows, beauty magazines and visiting top spas for new ideas.

What percentage of your success is perspiration?

75 per cent. It won’t happen for you by just sitting around. It’s about planning your day, hard work, putting the hours in and working as efficiently as possible.

Who is your inspiration in business and why?

I read a lot of inspirational books like those by Duncan Bannatyne, Lord Sugar, Theo Paphitis, woman in business and The Secret, which I find to be very positive. This has given me the confidence to realise whatever background you come from, the bottom line is if you work hard enough at what you do you can just about achieve anything.

What time do you get up on a working day?

Most days 6am, sometimes earlier.

How do you switch off and relax?

I switch off by running and relax by watching wildlife and travel programmes.

How do you measure business success?

Customer feedback is the most important to me. By examining my revenue and profits on a monthly basis. Also, winning the Dacorum Business Excellence Award has been great.

What is your favourite piece of business jargon and why?

Anything is possible as long as you have the passion.

What is the most pointless piece of red tape you’ve had to deal with?

Music licences, although I realise it’s important for artists, writers and record companies to receive the royalties they are due. It does seem an awfully complicated and expensive way of doing things.

Where does your confidence come from?

Reading inspirational books and my friend’s dad used to always tell me, if you work hard and study what you enjoy you will make something of yourself. He taught me to be positive and anything is possible. He was a real mentor to me.

How do you ensure that people don’t go to sleep in meetings?

Make it fun and interesting.