Keith Norris, Founder and Managing Director of Hadley Executive Chauffeur Service, is passionate about building long-term client relationships. Having his wife and two daughters in the company helps enormously in creating the caring, family-run, service-orientated culture that characterises his firm. In this issue EVA profiles Zoe Norris, Keith’s eldest daughter.
Zoe Norris had always been involved with the family business on a small level, but in 2003, she left her job as a PA for an art director in a hair company to work full-time with her father.
“I was a little apprehensive about working for my Dad as both of us are very similar and passionate about what we do, and it was quite a big change in my career. I wanted to be taken seriously and not just be seen as the boss’s daughter,” she says.
“I think as much as my dad respected my work it was hard for him not to look over my shoulder and check up on what I was doing! I think that being related to most of the company means you have to work much harder and also remember to leave work at work, which is sometimes hard as Hadley is a 24/7 company. The other disadvantage is I can never really take a sick day!
“I started my work at Hadley by getting to know all the clients. My role was in the sales area, which involved client bookings. Now that area has grown and I look after booking management, client liaison, FBO liaison and itinerary planning, along with new client introductions, marketing and PR. All industry changes at such a fast rate, so another part of my role is to keep up to date with new businesses that our service would complement.
“Having always dealt with clients in my previous job I found it really easy to relate to Hadley’s clients. One thing I really wanted to do was to introduce new ideas to my Dad for the business, such as understanding how social media plays such a massive part in all our lives. I pushed for Hadley to use Facebook and Twitter.
“Coming from an image-led background, I took over the project of updating all our brochures, with new photo shoots and designs which led to updating all our web pages. I made sure that we had a new design for our stands for our exhibitions and it was very important to attend as many as possible so clients got to know me, as I think it’s always important to put a face to a name.
“I think because my Dad has grown the business from a three-vehicle fleet to the success it is today has made it a challenge for him to allow me to take some of the reins, but now I feel confident in putting new ideas forward and being able to run with them.
“I have built great relationships with our clients, and really enjoy working in the busy office. No two days are ever the same as being in this industry things change by the hour, and clients’ trips don’t just start as they get in the vehicle. It’s our job to help their trip run smoothly from the start of planning their journey.
“I am really glad that I came to work with my Dad; we have a very close family and humour plays a big part in making working life work.
“It is really nice to think that Hadley is progressing within our family throughout its generations. Even my 11-year-old son says when he grows up he is going to work with Granddad… or be a professional footballer!
“Hadley Executive Chauffeur Service has always prided itself on being a friendly, professional, family-run company, and I am really pleased that I have played a part in its growth.
“I may have to ask for a increase in salary over Christmas dinner!”