Business management

A day in the life of Seafood Boss founder Jo Francis

In April, we launched the Go Beyond competition for female entrepreneurs, in partnership with Meta. Jo Francis, founder of Seafood Boss, shares her secrets of running a successful business.

Describe your business in 100 words or less

“Seafood Boss was founded in 2019, with the idea of bringing together the flavours of America, the Caribbean and the African continents. Our mission is to bring the ultimate seafood experience to customers wherever they are in England, Scotland and Wales. We offer nationwide delivery and aim to bring people together with mouth-watering soul food. It’s about enjoying seafood, surrounded by your loved ones and friends, diving in and getting messy.”

Why did you decide to do this?

“I recognised a gap in the market for American-style seafood platters, especially ones that were available for nationwide delivery. Many parts of the UK don’t have access to this cuisine, and I wanted to be the first to bring it to England, Scotland and Wales. Lots of people are also changing their diets away from red meat, so I thought it would be a good time to offer a delicious and healthy alternative.”

What’s the first thing you do on a working day?

“I check my emails, check in with customers by posting on social media and place orders with suppliers.”

What does a typical day look like?

“Each morning, I get a seafood delivery which I start by preparing. I do the nationwide orders in the morning, as I’ve got a courier company that collects them. After that, I start on late afternoon and evening pre-orders, which are either collected by the customer or delivered locally.”

I check my inbox and social media for customer inquiries and pre-orders for the following day or so.”

Failures or disappointments help you to strategize and move forward with a different perspective. I’ve learned to turn any failures I have into positives

What is your Monday motivation?

“I like motivational quotes. One of my favourites is ‘build your own dreams or someone else will hire you to build theirs’. On Mondays I tend to set targets for the week. Monday is a quieter day, so I can really think about what I want to get done. I’ll set a target for, say, sending out 100 emails in a week or contacting businesses about providing a lunchtime seafood service.”

Who is your all-time hero?

“My mum. When I was growing up I saw her juggling running a small business and raising kids: she did it all and achieved great success. I look at her as an inspiration to see that it’s possible for me to do the same thing, even though work can be quite overwhelming. She gives me that boost and motivation to achieve what I want.”

Tell us about your Go Beyond competition experience

You were one of the winners of our Go Beyond competition partnership with Meta. Part of the prize included access to a Digital Boost Small Business Boot Camp.

“I liked the Power of Mindset Workshop, which explored how it’s your mind that sometimes limits you. If you have limiting self-beliefs, they can actually prevent you from achieving your full potential. Everything that you want to achieve and are able to achieve is all about changing your mindset and believing in yourself. It’s not about what you’re doing, it’s how you’re thinking about it.”

What’s your biggest lesson in business so far?

“It’s okay to fail sometimes – failing is not necessarily a negative thing. It’s part of development. Failures or disappointments help you to strategize and move forward with a different perspective. I’ve learned to turn any failures I have into positives.”

Looking to the future, what are you most excited about?

“Expanding my business as the name Seafood Boss gets out there. I’m excited about having a Seafood Boss restaurant on a busy high street. I’m working towards it and I’ve visualised it already in my mind, and I believe it will come to fruition.”

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