It was while he was sunning himself in the Caribbean last year that Botterill made the decision to take on a new manager. “My business – thebestof.co.uk – had grown phenomenally over the past few years but it had turned into a monster that was sucking the life out of me. “I was working with 280 franchisees across the country, employing 35 staff and signing off every single invoice. Everything rested on my shoulders and it was too much.” “It just didn’t excite me anymore. I like building and creating businesses, not managing and developing them.” So, in February last year, Botterill got on the blower to Midlands-based headhunting firm Kendall Edwards and asked them to scour the country for a top-notch MD. “I wanted someone who was calm and measured – the complete opposite of me. And I was prepared to pay the right person a £100,000 salary.” After numerous rounds of psychometric tests and personality profiles, Kendall Edwards produced a shortlist of four candidates. “I met them all on the same day and spent an hour chatting to each one. At that stage, I didn’t want to know anything about them other than their names. That initial meeting was purely about finding out if I clicked with any of them.” One candidate stood out among the rest – Andy Hurst. But his current salary was way above what Botterill had expected to pay. “I had a stiff drink and a word with my accountant. It’s a bit like buying a house. You always end up blowing your budget but, if it’s your dream house, it’s worth paying over the odds.” The pair struck a deal and Hurst joined thebestof.co.uk in October. “I gave him my office and my PA. I wanted to send out a clear message that Andy was running the show, not me.” “Having an MD has been a Godsend,” says 41-year-old Botterill. “Andy deals with the day-to-day running of the business, so I can focus on strategy and new product launches.”Read how Botterill took his business Stateside here.
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