Joe Elson explains how he went from heading up B&Q store development in China to building an angling brand
We chatted to Joe Elson, co-founder of TackleTarts, to find out more about how a part-time role at B&Q launched him into the world of business.
My first job was an interesting one and not the graduate 'norm'. I was studying business and accountancy, and I was pretty sure I was going to do something in finance but had no idea what. Whilst I was studying to have some extra 'going out' money I got a job with B&Q (the normal part-time job, 16 hours a week) filling stock etc. Well, this job actually turned into a 10 year career, full of opportunities, development and reward.
I was working for a manager who straightaway saw potential. I worked hard, wanted to make a difference and to do whatever task I had been given to the best of my ability. My manager started giving me more and more responsibility and encouraged me to do more. The next thing I knew I was I was on the Management Programme, running departments and then stores. A world away from finance.
I was always ambitious to do more and I knew if I worked hard and said yes to opportunities good things would come my way. My next step was in head office as a Project Manager and then a Programme Manager across Europe. My last two years with B&Q, I was heading up Store Development for the whole of China. During this time I was living in Shanghai, with a personal driver, apartment, maid, and being flown first class back and forth from the UK. Not a bad finish for a 16 hour part-time job!
So I learned this; opportunities are everywhere and sometimes not where you think they will be. Say yes to things. Be committed, work hard and find where you can make improvements and just do it. Any good company or leader will see people who want to make a difference and will help them and encourage them to achieve their ambitions. It's a win/win for everyone.
I am the joint founder alongside David, my business partner. We started the business a year ago and to be very honest we saw an opportunity, took the risk and decided to go for it.
I know absolutely nothing about angling but I am learning! David and Harry are the 'very keen' angler's and it is their passion. When it gets technical, we go to them.
I have never forgotten the opportunities I was given in my early twenties and how I was supported and encouraged to do my best and learn. We want to do the same. We hope we can give opportunities to either grow within our business or support young people for their next roles. You never know, we could be helping and supporting the next e-commerce billionaire!
We want to be the number one angling platform in Europe. No mean feat, but It is achievable with the right people and dedication.
Your interview really reflects who you will be in the role. Be enthusiastic, ask questions because you want to learn more, do your research, be willing to take things onboard and be the best you can be.
You may have no e-commerce or social media experience but everyone has to start somewhere. The most important aspect for us is how you will approach the role everyday.