We recently caught up with Phil Jones MBE, Managing Director of Brother Printers, Husband, Father and Cyclist and we thought we would ask him a few questions about, well him really
1. How does running such a successful company make you feel?
It brings with it a lot of complexity due to the nature of the market and that ensures that the job has always stayed interesting. Leading it is like being an orchestra conductor overseeing all the various elements of operation and synchronising them to play your score. The diversity of our products and markets means you have to be very adaptable as a person to think flexibly and creatively. Ultimately it feels great to come to work each day knowing there will be a new challenge to overcome whilst working alongside some brilliant colleagues (far smarter than I am).
2.How easy do you find it to balance work/cycle life?
It's all in the allocation of your available time. I look to fit in around 12-14 hours of training a week split 50/50 between the Wattbike and on the road. It means rising early to get the sessions done and also riding with specificity when on the road to ensure the miles contribute towards getting fitter, stronger or faster. My kids are both grown up now so the pressures at the weekend are very different than when they were young.
3. Do you have any top tips to offer for any business owners / busy people trying to balance work and cycling?
Ensure you prioritise the time to ride as it is one of the best places for you to creatively think or solve problems. Running or growing a business can be very demanding and it's so easy to get caught up in the day to day events meaning strategic thinking can often get overlooked. Spending more time figuring out your overall direction of travel, reflecting on past successes or mistakes and letting your brain drift are surefire ways to become more successful in my experience. Don't feel guilty if you want to ride in work time, your job is to make great decisions, so it's important you invest in your physical and mental health to achieve that. Riding a bike ticks those boxes at the same time.
4. What's your favourite type of ride?
A rolling route out in the countryside, with some warm (not hot) weather.
5. Are you the member of any clubs?
I used to be a member of a club however I let my subscription expire when I started working with a coach. I'd got to the point where I wasn't making much progress on the bike in terms of capability and wanted to shift up a gear so decided to re-orientate the time I was spending on club rides into more structured training, which has proved very successful for me. I would recommend anyone to join a club, you get to meet some great people and really can develop your skills as a new rider.
6. Outside of cycling what other interests do you have?
I'm big into Soul music and you may often see me at a Northern Soul or Modern Soul event in the North West at the weekends. I also enjoy reading, craft beer, public speaking and also do some work assisting fast growth businesses.
7. Which of the Grand Tours do you most look forward to and why?
The Tour de France is the one I watch religiously each year, albeit I also enjoy The Giro and The Vuelta. The Tour is the pinnacle race that every pro wants to win stages on for their Palmares and has some iconic climbs like Mt. Ventoux and - of course - the finish in Paris. It's so iconic a race that it demands attention. Even Mrs Jones watches it with me now.
8. What moment in your life are you proud of the most?
Being appointed MD here at Brother. I'd started as a fax salesman in 1994 and had no idea that this would ever occur or that I even had the capability to lead a business. However as time passed and opportunity presented itself, combined with some hard work and lots of personal development, it was a very proud day to walk through the front door in 2013 into the top job.
9. Campag or Shimano?
I work for a Japanese company, so it has to be Shimano.
10. Favourite mid ride cake?
11. Your on the turbo trainer, hammering a hard session out, which tune do you blast out?
Would normally be a house track. Something like 'they Don't Know' by The Disciples.
12. Where in the world do you love riding the most?
Anywhere warm with quiet roads and long climbs. My wife and I visit Tenerife each November and I always enjoy riding there, Mt. Teide is a particular favourite.
13. When did Brother start getting involved in cycling and why?
It started back in in 2010 when we first sponsored the Neutral Service vehicles as we'd spotted a connection between the customers who - in their day jobs - specify and buy our products and services. There's evidence to suggest that these people would be two to three times more likely to buy your product over a competitors if you invest in a sport/pastime which they actively participate in. That's where it all started and it has led us to now have a whole portfolio of cycling sponsorships including four teams and three major races series (The Tour Series, Womens Tour and Tour of Britain). Our footprint works very well for us in raising brand awareness with our key business audiences.
14. How are you getting on with the VeloSkin products, be honest, we can take it?
I like the products a lot. They technically do the job well, particularly the chamois cream. The facial products have a nice fragrance to them. I'm converted.