Year in Review: Ian Smith – Just make it happen!

This story is over

2018 was the year that the plan went out of the window.

This year started with a clear focus for the team… 25% growth and we will be happy. What we didn’t expect was to reach the end of 2018 with the company growing by 600%.

What I found most fascinating about our journey this year was the resilience and determination of our team. We have so many amazing individuals in our team, from an ex-professional cricketer to a former member of the Secret Boat Service. We really do have the A-Team!

Our business model changed this year and we had to adapt the way we work very quickly as we transformed from a small easy to control unit and morphed into a corporate entity in a matter of months. The team’s hard work to grow the brand and build customer confidence has seen some of the largest motor dealers in the UK turn to Vision Drive as exclusive partners. I have made some great friends in the industry as well who I owe a lot too for guiding me and making our vision happen.

Someone at a recent event asked how I would describe the last year of growth? The best way I could describe it was imagine running a marathon knowing you are fit enough, and you have the stamina to finish, but unfortunately you have to run in a pair of trainers which are a size too small.

My biggest learning curve and advice to anyone who has a great idea, or a growing business would be to look at every option for funding. Always over fund yourself and leave headroom for the unexpected failures and successes. We have found being successful can be equally as painful financially. Especially when our fuel bill jumped from £4,000 a month to £30,000 in the last year.

One person I have to mention is my co-founder Jack and his family. Despite the pressures of 600% business growth, Jack and his wife Chloe have been incredible in supporting their 1-year old daughter Winnie who has a rare form of Epilepsy called Dravets Syndrome. This has meant their life has had to completely change and we almost lost little Winnie twice this year. You will be glad to know that Winnie is back on her feet… literally, as she took her first steps this week.

Again, it just showed me how great the Vision Drive team really is from the drivers and office team supporting Jack and Jack supporting them even when having to spend weeks in the hospital. Our team really does make it happen!

As we look forward in these last moments of 2018, I can only feel excited for the future. We have our fears of Brexit and what the car industry will do but ultimately, we can find solutions or innovate to get around a problem. When everyone else says it can’t be done, I am a huge believer in finding a way. We are ending 2018 by securing our largest contract to date which will see over 500 jobs created for us and our partners. I’m so excited to tell you all about it in the New Year as it will turn Vision Drive into the second largest company in our sector.

We can’t let others build our path for us, it is ours to make. Just make it happen!

Hope you all have a lovely festive break and New Year.