- Jean Murad
- Pronutpia bridal & menswear franchise
- Franchise owner
Q: What made you choose to join your current employer?
When my youngest child started school, it was the time to start going back to work. The choice was either starting something new and from scratch or returning to interior design. Either way, I wanted more control over what I did.
My husband also wanted a change in direction and we visited the British Franchise Exhibition. We visited various stands, asked questions, and sought information. As we were stand-hopping, we saw Pronuptia in front of us. This is how we ended up with a Pronuptia franchise. We opened in North London in 2005 and have never looked back since.
Q: What is the basic function/purpose of your current role?
I tend to have more control over the-day-to day running of the shop whilst my husband sees to the financial side of the business. I also do the selecting/buying from the manufacturers and make sure the sales team are well trained and have all the support needed. This includes ensuring that they have all the relevant information needed during a consultation appointment, which hopefully will lead to a sale or booking!
Q: How relevant were your qualifications to you getting the job?
I don't have any formal qualifications relevant to this job. However, I am aware of different fabrics and garment construction. For the bride, buying the gown is a very important event in her life - it can be very daunting and confusing, so as a consultant you need a tremendous amount of patience and a close knowledge of the gowns and ability to interpret the bride's requirements.
Q: Describe some of the key tasks involved in performing your current role and the frequency with which you have to perform them.
Apart from sales and consultation to the bride and groom and general customer service, orders need to be regularly placed with suppliers. Weekly lists are drawn up with what is to arrive to fulfil orders and replenish stock as necessary. I also ensure that orders due to arrive within the next month are on track with no delays. Once orders are received, the items have to be checked, logged on the computer and the customers contacted. Later, fitting appointments have to be made and confirmed with the bride.
General enquiries from customers either by phone or email have to be addressed, menswear suits have to be prepared for that week and everything must be clean and in perfect condition.
Q: What’s the first thing you do when you arrive at work each day?
I check that both showrooms are presentable, check the diary and deal with correspondence (email and post). There is a 'to do' list from the previous day of outstanding things that need addressing such as contacting suppliers, borrowing samples and emailing prospective and current customers. If it is a fitting day, I make sure that the gowns/suits and associated items for each customer booked in the diary are prepared and ready. If outfits are being collected, these are given the final check prior to leaving the store. All display units are checked and stock is replenished if necessary and the window display is checked and changed on a regular basis.
Q: How big is the team in which you work?
The team consists of four staff members, with an additional part-timer - my husband! On a busy day, it is all hands on deck so it is essential that we all work and support each together at all times.
Q: Describe how your job interacts with the rest of your team.
I try to provide as much support as I can to my team. Each member of staff knows that if there is anything she/he does not have the answer to, then they refer to various manuals/guide books, and if necessary to me, for information. I encourage each member of staff to come forward with suggestions on improving the way we do things as well as sharing any feedback received from customers. We also discuss ways we can implement changes when problems arise.
Q: What career avenues do you hope to be able to pursue in the next: two years, five years & ten years?
I enjoy being self-employed and in control of my own company and see it like a child that needs a lot of attention and nurturing in order to grow and develop.
Q: What do you like most about your current role and why?
Each new bride and her groom are a new challenge and a new experience. We all get to know the bride and in time the groom along with others in the family. It is very satisfying when we work as a team and provide a service that is the best we can and take some the stress away from the bride and groom. It is also extremely gratifying to meet the bride and groom after the wedding and share with them some of the highlights of their "big day".
Q: What did you/do you find hardest about your current role?
Not having enough hours in the day to do everything!
Q: Would you recommend your employer to a friend and if so, why?
Yes - but only if they understand the hard work and determination required in establishing something from scratch. It is a big responsibility as you are dealing with a very important day that cannot be repeated or delayed thus everything you provide must be perfect. There is a lot of preparation required before you can be ready to open the doors for trading and then there is a tremendous amount of patience and organisation required in making sure that everything runs smoothly and like clockwork. But as with everything else in life, there are always hiccups along the way that lead to hair-raising stressful moments - which need to be overcome without the customer suspecting a thing!
If there's an employee you think epitomises your company ethos or you'd like to draw attention to a particular role, why not get in touch with our team right now? Just email: email@example.com.