Photo Credit: Professional Cricketers’ Association
Glamorgan all-rounder outlines remarkable business progression.
Winner of the Overall Futures Awards in 2020, Glamorgan all-rounder Andrew Salter has told the PCA he used the accolade as a springboard to develop his businesses.
The 29-year-old has rapidly developed his motorbike inspired Baffle Culture brand to include a coffee house, retail store and kitchen, in part due to his success at the PCA initiative.
His remarkable success has been developed alongside AGS, a branding, graphic design and content creation business to add more strings to the extensive bow of the professional cricketer.
Salter has spoken ahead of the 2022 Futures Awards applications opening in October, with the event once again sponsored by Lodders Solicitors.
The Futures Awards provides an opportunity for the most proactive PCA members, both past and present to showcase their personal development. The awards will happen for a 10th year when they take place in December and Salter starts by explaining his journey over the past few years…
- It looks like plenty has happened since you won the PCA Futures Awards in 2020, tell us what you’ve been up to?
- I think it’s fair to say it’s been a whirlwind couple of years for everyone! I suppose covid in its unprecedented nature brought with it unforeseen situations. In a nutshell, we officially opened the doors to Baffle Haus (our moto-inspired destination), initially we kick-started the coffee house, followed by a retail store, followed by our most recent project, building and opening a fully converted container kitchen. So, as you can imagine, myself and the business hasn’t stopped.
When the first covid lockdown hit home, I always struggled to stay still so I jumped at the opportunity to progress my content creation (photography & videography) and graphic design (I was doing for Baffle Culture) into a freelance role. A daunting idea and definitely required a dive into the deep end but it’s been rewarding to find myself out the other side working with some great clients.
- What did winning the PCA Futures Award mean to you and how did you use the prize?
- The whole process of applying for the role and presenting to the PCA panel was a very worthwhile experience and coming away with the award was the icing on the cake.
Baffle Culture started as an Instagram page six years ago, so in order to progress the brand and make an online venture tangible and physical, it required various investments in multiple areas in which the funds from the award was a major help.
- How do you manage being a Managing Director and professional cricketer?
- It’s a balancing act, trying to spin the various plates and juggle roles is tough but when right, it’s invaluable.
Having these roles and responsibilities away from the game has really helped my head space when either being left out of the squad or having a bad day in the office. It provides me with a distraction and a way to step away from the demands of the game. Which I think we can all agree is tough at the best of times.
- What led to setting up AGS?
- As Baffle Culture started to grow its online and Instagram presence, I started investing in my equipment for its photography and graphic design needs. I always wanted our ‘in-house’ content to be of the highest standard so naturally I had to teach myself how to use a full frame DSLR camera and get busy with the Adobe suite. So when some contacts of Baffle enquired about using ‘our’ services for their business needs it made sense to formally and officially offer my services.
- What have you learnt about yourself and the business world?
- It’s hard and it takes time. I could add loads of clichés here so I’ll stop myself. Truth is, what started as an Instagram page has naturally taken six years to grow and become a viable business. The business consists of five shareholders and we stated from the beginning that profit made from our first three years of trade will be reinvested back into the business and that has proven crucial to the rate of growth we’ve seen from the business. I may as well finish with a cliché that has become very apparent, you have to spend money to make money.
We have purposefully prioritised customer experience and standard of product, so sometimes it means employing more staff and ordering better standards of product. All of these can cost more than other options on the table but has resulted in a reputation to hold customer retention.
“Anything can happen so it’s important I develop the skills and experience to prepare myself for a career in various fields.”
- How do you combine Baffle Culture, Baffle Haus and AGS?
- The role as co-founder means I generally work closely with Sam (fellow co-founder and day-to-day Baffle boss) on our business decisions and direction. We liaise with our fellow directors at various stages to formulate a plan of attack and then the fun begins!
Most of my responsibilities lie in designing our graphics, creating and implementing our content. Not to say that I haven’t spent plenty of time behind the coffee machine and helping with the operational side of the business. This has definitely helped gauge a good understanding of the business demands for our staff members.
So a role with lots of hats to swap and change where needed. My love and passion naturally falls into designing and capturing the brand to try and promote it on various channels. This is where AGS and baffle align nicely where it’s a similar skill set, just various clients, parameters and guidelines to work with.
- What would your advice be around personal development?
- Dive in the deep end. Get outside the comfort zone and learn the hard way. Cricket is a game of failure and so is the business world (or any other professional field). Learn quickly, adapt and try to enjoy the process. If you can find others to ‘share the journey’ with you then even better as it’s important to find times when you can enjoy success.
- How do you see things beyond your cricketing career?
- I’d like to think that my own personal freelance work and Baffle as a business will be in a place to financially support me. Anything can happen so it’s important I develop the skills and experience to prepare myself for a career in various fields.Professional cricket is demanding. It requires various sacrifices which I won’t dive too far into. I would like to be able to move into a social and professional world that is exciting, challenging and fulfilling.
- How important is it for players to look at the bigger picture and look beyond their cricket?
- I believe it to be important because my 10-year career has been turbulent at times and I’ve required that distraction and a way to deal with the setbacks. This career and passion outside of cricket has also opened many social opportunities and it really is a blessing to have close friends away from that circle that could realistically vanish overnight.
- Why would you recommend players apply for the Lodders Futures Award?
- The experience in itself is worth applying for. It forces a moment of self-reflection and challenges how you see life after professional cricket. Since applying for the award three years ago, I still revisit clarity in life after cricket and this has been a platform to jump into such discussions.
The Futures Awards, supported by Lodders Solicitors are set to return in December 2022, with applications opening on Monday 10 October.