November 02 2011
Today has been a very expensive day. Marissa and I bought a house – and this morning I paid for it. A year ago, we bought a short lease on a mews house in a lovely road in the heart of Chelsea, and then set about the tortuous enfranchisement process. What could and should have taken a few months (in my mind at least) took more than a year – and has cost a fortune. So after I popped round the corner to Walton Street’s Itsu to meet my private banker friend who shared news of the crumbling economy, we’ve decided to stay home tonight for our celebratory supper and get a take-in – much to my wife’s delight as she doesn’t want to roll her 40-week belly anywhere.
Carlo, my sales and marketing manager for Boujis, has spent much of the day making a compelling case for me to come down to the club for a nightcap after supper – once I’m a dad, escaping on a Tuesday night (one of our biggest nights at Boujis) will be difficult. He has a good point, although I also think a blissful, full night’s sleep – the alternative to indulging in Boujis’ infamous shots, Crack Babies – will also be more difficult once I’m a dad… a Tuesday night in it is.
Back to today: this morning, Samir (my operations and development director) and I met to discuss our growth plans for the Middle East. We want to open at least two units – a Boujis club and an Eclipse bar – in the UAE next year. I get very excited about expanding abroad – our international Eclipse site in the Barcelona W hotel has been such a success – and learning about new markets, the challenges and nuances of each territory, is one of the things I love most about what I do. Samir is going out to Dubai and Abu Dhabi in a few weeks to research potential sites – I usually go with him on these trips and would have liked a sunny autumn respite, but with a baby on the way, I am grounded.
While international openings are exciting, it is the local units that pay for our extensive expansion plans, so there are a few other meetings today to discuss ways to maximise sales during December, our busiest month. We assess how each different brand traded for the past few years and we apply those learnings to our upcoming Christmas sales campaign. All marketing team members pitch in and we stress-test all ideas. When we are confident in our plan, the relevant marketers put the theory into practice. If we don’t learn by our previous mistakes, we are fools. After rounds of these marketing meetings, we were all ready for a drink – and perfect timing as it is my indispensable marketing assistant’s birthday, so champagne in the office to celebrate Kelly.
After toasting Kelly, I head to the osteopath. Over the summer, I managed to rupture all the ligaments in my ankle – in a very unsporting and embarrassing accident – and now, finally, after four months, it is almost healed. And although I can walk normally and exercise again, my osteopath still likes to stick loads of painful needles into me on a regular basis – all I can think of as I lie on the table is that the acupuncture is doing positively nothing for me apart from draining me of more money. It’s a bit of a theme for today.