What I’ve learnt: John Hays

February 1, 2018

John Hays is founder and managing director of Hays Travel, the UK’s largest independent travel agency. After studying maths at the University of Oxford and completing a master’s in business administration at Manchester Business School, John set up the first branch of Hays Travel in his home town of Seaham in 1980. The company has since expanded to 147 retail branches, hundreds of homeworkers and the Hays Travel Independence Group consortium. The company employs more than 1300 people and is recognised as one of the Sunday Times’ 100 Best Companies to Work For in the UK

Look after your people and they will look after your business. This was my business ethos at the start and it hasn’t changed. But getting the right people in the right positions isn’t easy.

Customers’ satisfaction is fundamental to success. Clearly, there are financial and technical factors, but if you don’t focus on your customer needs relentlessly then nothing else will work.

You can still be successful even if you’ve failed at something. Only people who do nothing don’t make mistakes.

Have passion in what you do, take the best advice you can afford, roll your sleeves up and get on with it.

Don’t stand still. In today’s global, fast-moving, business environment if you stand still, you’re not likely to succeed.

Invest in you the way that you would invest in your business. Often, it’s how well you personally do that will have an impact on how successful you and your business will eventually become.

Be clear on your business’s overall objective and what every person’s role is in delivering it. Be as explicit and specific as possible and catch people doing things right.

Be determined, resilient, entrepreneurial and surround yourself with great people.

Hays Travel

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