Continuing on from the interview published in the January 2017 issue, you can read Angela’s full interview here:
Swedish born. Angela Spang is a serial entrepreneur who runs three companies. Here she shares how she does it all:
I run three companies. Two are medical device companies and the third is a training company. JUNE MEDICAL is focused on bringing safe, effective medical devices used to treat female health into the UK. JUNE MEDICAL INTERNATIONAL sells galaxy to a number of distributor partners around the world. LONDON MEDICAL EDUCATION ACADEMY trains doctors from all over to be better surgeons using donated cadaveric tissue. Our customers include surgeons in gynaecology and urology in the UK as well as doctors and surgeons from all over the world.
In 1990, I got my first employment with Johnson & Johnson. I have worked in pharma and medical device ever since. I didn’t always want to work in this industry. After leaving school at 16 I went to a dance school for two years and that was what I wanted to do until I realised that I would have ruined my body by the age of 30. Ballet training has taught me how to never give up, fight through the pain and exhaustion, and always believe in myself.
For me a typical day starts around 7am when I get up, I play with the kids, have breakfast and by 9am, I go to the office. I have all three companies in the same building which makes it easier. I start off with catching up on things, address anything urgent and get stuff done.
My definition of success is if I can provide a safe, fun environment for my employees, where they can grow and develop at the same time, fill a need with good, well documented products, then we have done well. Profitability is, of course, important but so is doing good. We have an enormous charity and social responsibility programme in the group of companies and I firmly believe in paying it forward – doing good is very important to me.
Being in a highly regulated environment such as ours makes it challenging being an SME. We have the same requirements as large corporations like Johnson & Johnson but with fraction of the resources.
For all companies, we have a specific marketing plan that we follow. I have a sales and marketing manager, a product manager and a back office manager in my leadership team. They manage the daily business with the help of their teams. My focus is strategy, finance and hiring the right people.
There are 12 employees between the different companies, who say that my biggest strength is that I can see what people are good at before they know it themselves and that I can bring the best out in people. They say that my biggest weakness is having way too many ideas and I try to do them all at the same time. That is absolutely spot on – my brain just won’t stop solving problems!
In the next five years my medical device company will continue to add selected, well documented innovations to the portfolio to help doctors improve outcomes for patients. FOr the surgical training company I would like to see that we can offer our training to large growing economies like China, India and South America.
If I had to give advice to anyone just starting out I would say hire well – products don’t sell themselves, people do; make sure that you have an exit strategy in case you need to abort mission and scrap your plan. Decide this before you get started so that you don’t get dragged along for too long due to being emotionally invested. Finally know your numbers. You need a basic understanding of finance and someone who can help you with the details. Don’t get blinded by proft; focus on cashflow as well.
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