I’m often asked why we’re called Fram. Well, firstly, it’s harder than most people think to name a company. You’re kind of stuck with it once you’ve done it and somebody once asked me why I didn’t call it “Simon Roderick Associates”. I think that idea falls down on two fronts; firstly, it requires quite a large ego, and, secondly, after a while a company becomes far more than a founder. They become the sum of all their parts.
Another school of thought came from people who asked me why we didn’t not choose something beginning with “A”, so that we’re on the first page of the phonebook? Well phonebooks weren’t that popular when I set up in 2010. Indeed, if you want to know what confusion is, ask a millennial to describe a phonebook to you. Maybe choose something signifying “Mayfair” – grand, prestigious, and solid? We work across the UK and increasingly overseas – so that was out. I’ve always wondered what plumbing firms which are named after their local town do when someone from the next town calls them with a new job – “sorry, our van doesn’t travel across postcodes, ciao”. Name it after a child? No children, and if you did you can’t name it after one of them, thus proving you really do have a favourite. Get drunk to “get creative” and then name it, mmm “Rioja Executive Search, how can I help you?” – probably not my aim either.
So, what did I do? Well I’m married to a Norwegian, my father ran a company with Norwegian roots, and so I have good associations with the country. Everybody likes Norway and Fram means “ahead, forth, forward” in Norwegian and the Norwegian polar explorers named their ship “Fram”. I’ve seen it in Oslo and it’s a lovely ship, albeit it looks small next to the task it was designed for. Less relevant, I went to a nice school, a happy place, with a famous castle opposite in a town called Framlingham in Suffolk and so it sort of played on that too, but I must admit that was an afterthought. At first I loved the name “Fram”, then one day someone answered the phone and put me through to their colleague as “Simon from Farm Search” and the glamour faded for a bit, but over time I think it’s become quite a well known and slightly quirky name, it fits well on a business card, and it’s a good talking point.
One thing I have learnt since I started my firm in 2010 is that the getting on doing when starting a company, or indeed new job, is far more important than the hours of planning and fretting.
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