Ashwood General Manager Vacancy:

(see other current vacancies below)


Ashwood exists to ignite smiles and inspire delight! We design, create, import and distribute all kinds of toys, gifts, games, logo printed souvenirs and grotto presents, to all kinds of visitor attractions and high street/online retailers throughout the UK and Europe. We are currently a team of 14 (including 4 external sales reps who visit the office once a month).

We're on a mission to become European visitor attractions' gifts and souvenirs supplier of choice and our BHAG is to achieve sales of £25,000,000 by 2030!

Are you a ‘hands-on’ General Manager with proven experience of operational excellence? Do you exude positive energy and inspire others to win? Do you have excellent people management/relationship skills? Would you relish the opportunity of joining a dynamic, fast growing family business, where you could really make your mark?

We’re looking for a General Manager who can lead the office, warehouse and operations in a commanding way. Someone who will effectively run the core of the operations. Someone to take full control of day-to-day issues and deal with minutiae; thereby freeing up the owners so that they can focus on creative, value-adding activities. With a safe pair of hands taking care of admin and operations, the owners can focus on the front of the business and drive sales performance and new product development, in order to advance into the next phase of growth. We will need input into sales and marketing management too, but the main day-to-day responsibilities will be operationally focussed (the MD will continue to run sales and marketing).

You'll enjoy:

• A generous salary plus bonuses
• A host of benefits – including on-site parking and free lunch every day
• A close-knit team of motivated people to lead and work alongside
• Training and personal development opportunities
• Quality premises in Bristol

• Clear, easy-to-follow systems and procedures
• A healthy, collaborative culture – your opinions and ideas will be valued and respected
• Being part of a business that has grown rapidly in recent years and which has great prospects ahead!

Ashwood Core Values:

 You'll need to live and breathe our core values, and keep them top of mind by frequently giving feedback to staff specifically related to these value (we hire and fire based on these values):

Flexible – we’re flexible as elastic (Are you prepared to do tasks which are not detailed on your job description? Can you quickly adapt to changes?)
Always Exceed – we go the extra 10 miles (Do you regularly do more than is expected of you? Would you do anything in your power to ensure a customer is delighted?)
Speedy – we’re faster than lightning (Do you enjoy a very fast-paced working environment? Will you supply answers/solutions rapidly when required?)
Teamwork – it’s all about the team (Would you notice and be prepared to help any other member of the team that needs help with anything?)


Primary Responsibilities:


• Exude positive energy at all times in order to motivate and inspire the team
• Responsible for keeping the purpose, mission and core values alive on a daily basis

• Chair weekly management meeting with the MD

• Helping part-time senior director develop new systems/processes
• Running daily 20 minute conference calls with all staff; asking probing questions and facilitating problem solving

• Make arrangements for celebrating successes; both small and large


• Logging all agreed action points that arise out of any conversation/meeting with any employee and following up on them relentlessly

• Chairing weekly operations meeting 

• Weekly warehouse walk to ensure standards are being maintained
• Implementing 'Lean' methodology to decrease waste, improve systems/processes and streamline overheads
• Resource planning including organising holiday cover

• Problem solving of day-to-day issues that crop up


• Develop clear reporting structure in the business (i.e. who reports to who) and develop clear job function descriptions and expectations for all roles

• Monthly one-on-one meetings with all non-sales staff members to listen to any concerns/ideas and give them feedback on their performance (develop clear performance evaluation and reward & recognition system)

• Quarterly in-depth performance reviews with all staff with Hugh

• Recruitment – develop adverts, liaise with agencies, interview candidates etc.

• Organise on-boarding/training of new employees

Sales & Marketing:

• Weekly marketing meeting with MD – assisting him with marketing ideas

• Monthly sales meeting with MD and sales team


• Prompt and thorough review of monthly management accounts with the MD


Essential attributes:

• Candour – you must be open, honest, frank and candid at all times

• Have a track record of recruiting/developing ‘A’ players and developing/removing ‘C’ players

• Proven ability to manage people – set clear performance standards and expectations and hold people accountable to them by giving candid, consistent feedback

• Constantly evaluate, coach and build self-confidence in order to upgrade the team

Excellent written and verbal communication skills

• Courageous and decisive – able to make unpopular decisions and tough calls

• Humble – happy to talk openly about your mistakes, and give credit and recognition to others

• Probe and push with curiosity – ensuring your questions are answered with action

• Excellent organizational/time management skills – you'll need to juggle multiple tasks and prioritize effectively on a daily basis

• Exude positive energy, optimism and passion – you’ll need to inspire and enthuse the team on a daily basis


Other key attributes:

• Action-orientated – proven ability to take ownership of tasks and to execute on time
• A love for customers! Superb customer service is the hallmark of Ashwood, so any contact you have with our customers must reflect this
• Enthusiasm! A positive 'can-do' attitude and demeanour
• A sense of humour!

• Willingness to work extended hours when required

• Persuasive – able to galvanise others into action

• Able to facilitate and encourage healthy debates/discussions

• Readiness to help out on the frontline when required – we’re currently a small team and when fires break out, everyone has to grab a bucket, from the dog to the MD!

Start time: 7am-9am

Finish time: 4pm-4:45pm

Preferred hours: 7am-4:45pm

Lunch break: 30 minutes-1 hour

Salary: £40,000.00-£50,000.00 (depending on experience/ability) + monthly individual and team related performance bonuses

OTE: £45,000.00-£55,000.00

Holiday allowance: 25 days

Sick pay allowance: 5 days

Pension: You contribute 3% of salary and Ashwood contributes an additional 2%

Probation period: 6 months (this may be extended)


What does success in this role look like?

• MD can be away from the business (i.e. work remotely most of the time) and Ashwood continues to function day-to-day with at least no difference (ideally much better! J) than when he was running it – i.e. Ashwood is running efficiently and effectively without his involvement

Team morale is high and staff are happy and achieving

Overheads are within budget

Marketing is timely and of excellent quality

Operations are running smoothly and systems are functioning well

Warehouse is organised and tidy

All employees have very clearly defined roles, know exactly how they are performing and what they need to do to improve

This is an opportunity for you to enjoy leading a friendly, hardworking team in a growing business in a fun industry!




Other Current Vacancies:

Office Administrator / Sales Administrator

Sales Representative in France/Germany


Would you cherish the opportunity to join a thriving, fast growing business where you could really make your mark? There may well be an opportunity for you to join Ashwood in Bristol – a friendly team in a rapidly growing business in a fun industry. At Ashwood, we all work hard and help each other, communicate transparently and celebrate successes frequently!

Before you apply – will you fit our culture? Here’s how you’ll know!

We’re passionate about our Core Values, and it is essential that every member of our team lives, breathes and makes decisions using them day in, day out. In fact, we only hire staff who live up to them:

Ashwood Core Values

Flexible – we’re flexible as elastic (Are you willing to do ad-hoc tasks which may not be detailed on your job description?)
Always Exceed – we go the extra 10 miles (Do you regularly go above and beyond what is expected of you?)
Speedy – we’re faster than lightning (Do you enjoy a fast-paced working environment and can you keep up with constant change?)
Teamwork – it’s all about the team (Are you a genuine team player who looks out for and assists others regularly?)

As part of our Teamwork core value, we believe that all team members must consistently adhere to certain behaviours for the good of the team. These are as follows:

Ashwood Behaviours

Celebrate successes frequently
Recognise and allow for different personality styles 
Express and listen to opinions 
Awareness of current workloads 
Maintain a positive attitude at all times 

Other key attributes you’ll need:

-    Efficient and accurate – you need to be able to work quickly and accurately
-    Diligent, hardworking and persistent – you’ll need plenty of mental stamina   
-    Dedicated to using a CRM – if your role involves using it, you’ll need to ‘live’ in the CRM and meticulously record every contact with every customer/supplier
-    Presentable, driven and motivated, with proven ability to take ownership of tasks and to execute them 
-    Strong organizational/time management skills – you’ll be busy all the time, so the ability to prioritize and simply get stuff done will be vital
-    A love for customers! Superb customer service is vitally important at Ashwood, so it is imperative that you have a passion for delighting them – however little/much you have to do directly with customers in your role

You’ll enjoy:

-    A generous salary plus bonuses
-    A host of benefits; including free lunch every day!
-    A wonderful team of highly motivated, easy-going people to work alongside
-    Being part of a business that has grown rapidly in recent years and has great prospects ahead
-    Quality office facilities in Bristol with equipment available for your role (remote working from any location also a possibility)

Ashwood Staff Testimonials
‘I enjoy working for Ashwood because I’m treated with respect and can rely on being understood and listened to. I have been helped a lot on a professional (work-related) level as well as on a private level. Being part of the Ashwood team is a journey of hard work as well as learning new things, improving myself and becoming a better team-player. I also like the environment of the workplace, the free lunches and the free and safe company car park.’ Rafal Neryng (Operations)
‘Joining the team at Ashwood was the best career move of my life – I absolutely love my job here! Ashwood is an awesome company that is going places; team members are all challenged and rewarded well, and I get real job satisfaction here.’ David Webster (South East Sales Representative)
‘I Iike working at Ashwood because I can manage my work week how I want to – which jobs I need to finish today, and which I can do the next day. I can speak with my boss like with my friend, but he still is a boss! All problems are always sorted so I feel happy.’ Konrad Krawczyk (Warehouse & Logistics)

Please email to apply for any of the above listed current vacancies, or even if you are interested in joining our team in any capacity!