Wales Outdoor began life as a small business in the Brecon Beacons and was originally known as Beacons Experience. This small business was cycling specific, in fact the first Mountain Bike Hire point in the Brecon Beacons. Andy, the Wales Outdoors owner, added activities as he gained experience and qualifications, so navigation training and hill walking and gorge walking and team building etc until a fine range of adventure activities and training was on offer.
When Andy moved to Talgarth he bought and ran Joe's Lodge, the towns bunkhouse and also opened an indoor archery and target shooting range in the town. At this time Wales Outdoors employed three full time and a crew of sessional activity staff.
Andy has been chair of Brecon Beacons Tourism, was the dynamic influence behind the creation of the activity providers environmental charter for the BBNP, was a part time warden for the BBNP and was it's guided walks and volunteer coordinator and he held various posts working with difficult young people including for the Duke of Edinburgh's Award, the South Wales Probation Service and the Princes Trust.
Andy sold Joe's Lodge and closed his indoor facilities in Talgarth and moved to Cardiff and that is where he remains... mostly...
Since becoming self employed Andy has run into a bureaucratic lack of vision, preferential treatment and nepotism offered to competitors, has witnessed outrageous activity delivery and has had several providers attempt to undermine his business and steal his clients.
He assumes that this is normal. But in an industry that ought to be populated by those who love the outdoors Andy believed that people would be rather more honest and transparent than, say, the banking industry. But not so it seems.
In a series of posts Andy will tell the tales of these events with absolute honesty and will describe the issues that an ethical small business owner has had to contend with. This will then be final comment on these events.
And why won't Wales Outdoors grow it's business? Well, to grow one needs to play the games and tow the lines set by others, one needs it seems to undermine colleagues and to line the palms of 'the great and the good' and most importantly, to compromise ones ethics and principals. And quite simply, Andy is not prepared to do that.
These posts will be weekly on Wednesdays. Do subscribe to this blogs feed so as not to miss the forthcoming revelations...