Sharon Daly, Chief Commercial Officer, reveals that Venture Life is a publicly listed company that develops, manufactures and commercialises self-care products around the world.  These are products that are either medical devices or dermo-cosmetics and can be found in the pharmacy channel.

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What are your main priorities and goals in your role?

Within my role, my biggest priority is to drive growth within the business, both here in the UK market, but also through our growing network of partners throughout the world.  We currently have  more than 100 partners across 40 markets.

What are your biggest challenges?

One of the biggest challenges we face is the new Medical Device Regulation coming into play in May 2020 and the uncertainty it is bringing at the moment.  However, Venture Life is well prepared and well placed for these changes, despite the current lack of clarity in these new regulations.

How do you keep your team/staff motivated?

By keeping them involved and engaged with the business.  We have a very flat hierarchy within the business and senior management are very accessible to all staff.  All staff have been given Share Options; we have fostered an environment that everyone cares about, and this means everyone will benefit.

What are the challenges facing your industry going forward?

The uncertainty of Brexit has been very challenging over the last few years, particularly throughout 2019; this will hopefully be somewhat appeased given the recent election results.

How did your strategy develop in the context of the banking crisis and economic crisis?

We started in the business in 2010, so not long after the crisis, where banks were not really lending to small businesses.  As a result, we had to go and ‘find’ the capital from other means, in order to start the business; our strategy was to find long-term holders, that would be very supportive, and they proved key as we started to grow the business in those challenging and uncertain times.

How will Brexit affect you, or have you started to feel the effects already?

We have been Brexit planning all year, building stock to ensure we don’t have any issues of bringing product into the UK from Italy.  We have had to do this twice in 2019, and we have been in a fortunate position that we had the cash to do so.

How do you define success and what drives you to succeed?

Success within a business context can be defined as continued growth against a back drop of a challenging and uncertain market.  My drive and determination to succeed comes from creating an entity that is both recognised and acknowledged by peers/organisations in the industry; it also comes from knowing that I have worked to the best of my ability, and have left nothing on the table.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given, or would give, in business?

If you are starting up, make sure you surround yourself with talented people who are aligned with your thoughts and vision.  Also, ensure you have access to capital as your business will always need more money that you originally first thought.  Finally, trust is critical, so ensure you partner with those whom you trust implicitly.

What have been your highlights in business over the past year?

Being awarded with the ‘1000 companies to inspire Britain’ for the 4th consecutive year by the London Stock Exchange – this shows we are doing something right!

What’s next for your company?

We want to continue to grow both organically and acquisitively in the coming years, so there will be more acquisitions and therefore more opportunities for us as a business.

What opportunities or plans for growth do you see in 2020?

There will hopefully be M&A opportunities in 2020, that will help to drive revenue and help to accelerate profitability.

Where do you want your business/brand to be this time next year?

I would like the business to be bigger and more profitable; I would also like the business to be inspirational to those wanting to start up their own business.  From a standing start 9 years ago, we have built a stable business that we are proud of.

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