Gareth is the Managing Director for UK Leisure Living, one of the fastest growing hut tub and swim spa companies in the UK over the last two years.
Explain your current role?
I set up UK Leisure Living two years ago. This was because of my passion for the industry – I have a hot tub myself. We work with the industry’s core markets and are building a growing reputation which has resulted in us moving to one of the biggest tub and spa showrooms in the UK.
What makes you different?
Even though we are newcomers I think we are already trying to change the industry. There is plenty of room for the industry to improve and we want to push the boundaries. We have recently started ‘7 Day Spas’ to make hot tub deliveries quicker. You see it everywhere now with online shopping, so we want to be the Amazon Prime of hot tubs.
What do you enjoy most about your job? I enjoy running a proactive and growing team. We are only two-years old but we can compete with some of the best. I put this down to our positive approach. We aren’t a hard sell but we have a good marketing strategy and we also work a lot with the holiday park sector, especially in Wales. This probably accounts for a third of our business.
What are your biggest challenges?
As fairly new blood to the industry we train our staff within. There aren’t many courses for this industry, but it means we can be selective to have a happy workforce and pick better people. Previously our lead time were longer, but we have added Hot Springs to our collection in our new showroom and this is helping us cut lead times and set up ‘7 Day Spas’.
What is your career background?
I own a group of companies where we have sold thousands of products to consumers. Hot tubs are a new challenge for me, but it is an industry I can see myself being a part of for a very long time. I always aim to be the best, I’m never happy with second place and that makes things exciting.
What’s the best piece of advice you have been given? And by whom?
I didn’t really take any advice when we started up the business. What I would say is that you should do your research. It’s important to look at the long-term goals rather than short term gain. It’s much easier to sell cheaper hot tubs and get cash quickly but it is much more important for the long-term well-being of the company that you have happy customers, not only after delivery but for the following years.
What are your goals for 2018?
Both work and personal. We are expecting to grow by 30 to 50 per cent again next year with hot tub sales in excess of 200 units. Not bad going from a company that only sold its first hot tub in January 2016. These are all high-quality spas that matches our ethos. Our target is to sell 163 tubs next year but I think we should hit around 180. Personally, I want to try and ensure some more family time.
What about outside work?
I’m a big fan of the Wales International rugby team, so I follow them when I can. I also do gym sessions which helps when it comes to moving hot tubs around the showroom. I also have a six-month old daughter, so I love spending time with her and just trying to switch off even when my phone is pinging. I’m lucky because my partner is a great mum.
Any other claims to fame?
I was recently a finalist in the Pleatco Spa Guy Awards and was the only finalist from the UK. I was nominated by one of the team and the competition required me to do several interviews. The winners went on to the presentation awards at the show in Florida. Unfortunately, I didn’t make it through, so I missed out on a holiday there but it was great to fly the flag for the UK. We also undertook a charity weight lift earlier this year where we lifted the equivalent of 1,000 hot tubs!