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more about the starfish...

Mat Short...

Jeannette Tokeley »

Retail Development

Mat's first retail experience began selling discounted books on market stalls for fun with his dad in 1990.

Between 1994 & 2001 Mat went on to develop a retail chain of bookstores as part of a four strong management team, selling discount books and then current releases. This role encompassed stock purchasing, control & management; promotions; systems implementation; marketing; advertising; recruiting and working and developing teams.

This business was sold in 2003 and currently Mat splits his time between several businesses including working with the management team of a 'Jazz-themed' coffee bar brand where he specializes in the training and development of teams to create "the best coffee you'll have today".

The business was developed from scratch (Mat having never made an espresso in his life!) into a sizeable business.


Specialist Areas

Identifying areas for improvement and /or areas of strength within a business. Developing and building on those areas with the management team and the sales team.

Developing existing or new systems and providing training to the people involved in using those systems.

Web design, development and management. Graphic design and production. Marketing.

Communication - effective presenter of ideas and concepts.


To find out how Mat can help your retail business reach new heights, call now on 01636 642 816

Mat's Core Business Values

Everyone must have a sense of ownership in a business.

People need rewards.
Appraisal systems tell an individual what to improve on and how to do it. It also gives people a focus to stay on track if unsupervised.

Integrity. Say it and make it happen.

A manager/leader must work with the team in the trenches. This gives them an accurate insight into the way the team works under pressure, when having fun, in the face of negative etc. It also facilitates a realistic appraisal based on real experience rather than theoretical opinion. A hands-on manager builds rapport with the team.

Leaders show people what to do. Managers tell people what to do. Managers will usually therefore always be tied to the job. Leaders will create space to let stars in the team perform unassisted.

Find leaders to develop and give them responsibility to let them grow - this will require trust.

Be approachable. Be transparent. People must be able to share their thoughts, ideas and challenges with you. Otherwise, you may create a 'them & us' mentality.

Keep growing. There is always room for improvement. We just have to look and we'll see where we can get better.

A coach needs to be actively involved in processes which relate to his area of coaching. Theorists cannot help people to grow and move on. Coaching from past experiences alone will only offer limited value.

Leaders cannot be afraid of telling those who want to move on what they need to hear. Leaders are not looking to be popular - they are looking to get better and help as many people as possible in the process.