A Letter from Head Honcho

When I profoundly stated ‘this is just the beginning’ in my last Head Honcho letter, I really meant it. It’s just that I thought it would be the beginning of a life of luxury and would go something like this:

New website launched. Have a party. Big sigh of relief. Brews all round. Chilled out happy office at long last. Money starts flowing in. I buy a yacht. With a hammock. Lie there counting bars of gold, drinking a brandy, smoking a cigar, wearing a sailor’s hat and slurring things about number-crunching, profit margins and ‘conference calls with the west-coast office’.

Head Honcho drunk in Krakow

Classic drunk 'cool' pose. I aspire to be like this 100% of the time. But if you see this guy you should peg it.

Basically, I was going to be a drunk, eccentric millionaire with a boat. However, real life prevailed and it was actually the beginning of post-launch mania as we realised that we had a million and one things to do.

But being busy is a good problem to have in business. We have resurfaced from the slump of the recession and have surpassed our 2008 record number ofweekends. 2014 is now, very proudly, our most successful year to date. In fact, there is so much to do that we haven’tbeen able to keep up with demand and our staff numbers are growing from 30-35 this August (34 more people than when this all began back in 1999 - andfortunately a better office than my University bedroom).

Amongst these million and one tasks, we have worked tirelessly over the last couple of months to launch our brand new stag night themes and hen night themes pages. In the spirit of our LNOF mission statement, ‘to enlighten, amuse, delight and empower our audience’, we wantto offer our customers more than shop products – we want to give you inspiration. To give you an idea of how these pageswere made, this mission entailed:

  • 10 models
  • 18 hours of photo-shoots
  • £7k worth of costume and accessories stock
  • Too much ‘Senorita’ by Justin Timberlake (don’t ask)
  • 1070 images edited and re-sized
  • 34 Theme articles written
  • 2 LNOF staff members refusing to wear pants (see Faux Real for evidence)
  • 203 product descriptions written
  • 2 major and at least 7 minor squabbles

After all of that, I can confidently say that our theme pages are looking awesome and our hard work is starting to pay off. But don’t take our word for it– our customers think so too and we’ve been getting some excellent customer reviews, as well as our Trustpilot ratings staying at atop-notch 8.9 out of 10.

We get some hilarious customer reviews too. A recent stag trip to Prague sent us the feedback: ‘amazing trip, my only complaint was that the pub crawl was too exciting’. If that’s not a testament to the new LNOF, I don’t knowwhat is. That’s right – LNOF customers have too much fun.

With the post-launch mania showing no sign of slowing down, it’s time for a small breather, but it’s fantastic to be at apoint where I can step back for a few days and know that the company is in safe hands. My biggest challenge over the next week will be trying not to look at the website whilst I’m out of the office, so I’ve been reunited with my old Nokia 3210, which actslike an internet prison and doesn’t let me do anything but phone and text. The battery lasts 3 weeks though, and it’s heavy enough to double up as aweapon, so it’ll come in useful for something. So it’s a week of rest and recoup for me – not on a yacht, unfortunately, but there’s still time for that.

About the Author

Matt set up Last Night of Freedom in 1999 whilst studying Business Studies at Manchester Met Uni. Fast forward 25 years, he now manages a team of 30+ staff with over 200 years industry experience between them. Matt and his team have arranged over 50,000 stag & hen weekends. Acting as a prominent voice for the industry, Matt has featured on BBC, CNN, Forbes and The Sunday Times. Not only that, he’s worked with Foreign & Commonwealth & Development Office as a stag and hen industry adviser to the British government. He’s a member of Entrepreneurs’ Forum and an expert in financial and package travel regulations. He’s also very good at table football and will thrash you if you challenge him to a game.

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