Gerald Ratner Makes a Guest Appearance at Dream Doors 2017 Conference

The Dream Doors Annual Conference has featured some stellar guest speakers over the years, including Falklands veteran Simon Weston CBE and Olympic Gold Medallist Sally Gunnel, OBE. But this year’s keynote speaker was someone rather more infamous, with Gerald Ratner taking to the stage to deliver a cautionary message on how not to run a successful business.

Many will remember special guest Gerald Ratner from his unfortunate PR blunder in which he named and shamed his very own products, referring to one item in particular as “total crap”. Gerald was the prestigious owner of multiple jewellery businesses and in one fell swoop lost millions, as well as his position within the company. This mistake has gone down in UK history, birthing the phrase “doing a Ratner” for when anyone in business makes a public gaffe.

And while Ratner was arguably a leftfield choice to motivate a room full of business owners, there was still a positive message to take from the experience. Gerald has managed to build himself back up from a negative experience that would finish off most ordinary people – he owed the bank £1Billion at one time – and turn his life and career around again. His story shows that mistakes can be rectified, even brand-killing ones like his.

The company has grown exponentially every year, with the number of visits to their website doubling in 2017. Turnover is at an all-time high with new franchisees achieving record monthly sales before they’ve even opened their showroom. Word of their success has spread so that new franchisee applications are flooding in from all corners of the country. And with current franchisees opening second showrooms it looks like the service is as profitable as ever.

The Conference itself was a smooth, informative and celebratory affair with a focus on the customer journey. Existing franchisees shared their experiences, as did members of staff, the head office team and Sandler Training franchisee, Berkeley Harris. Troy Tappenden, MD of Dream Doors also took to the stage, delivering his vision for the business heading into 2018.

“The Dream Doors Annual Conference is always improving with more content and entertainment for our franchisees. With 2017 being the best year for the business so far, it’s only fitting that this year’s conference was also the best it had ever been. Gerald Ratner and Berkeley Harris gave great business insight, while keeping the mood light-hearted and entertaining. The evening was also fantastic with franchisee awards presented in a real atmosphere of celebration. Everyone was having a sensational evening and with over half a million-pound dedicated to Google, Bing and PPC going into 2018, were hoping for an even better conference next year.”

Troy Tappenden