Letter To My Younger self: Dale Parmenter, DRP

Dale Parmenter, group chief executive of DRP, has some sterling advice for his younger self.

Letter To My Younger self: Dale Parmenter, DRP
Letter To My Younger self: Dale Parmenter, DRP

Dear Dale,

So you’re 15, and for the last two years you have been following your dream of running your own business. I’m sure your parents have forgiven you by now for digging up their garden to start your horticultural company.

You’ve also been helping out a local mobile DJ, but be prepared as later this year he will leave the area and you will have the opportunity to buy his equipment. I know you’re only 15, but you might want to employ a roadie and driver. Again, the experience will set the scene for time to come.

When you get to 17, your interest in your Dad’s cine-camera will grow. In fact, you will eventually win Young Film Maker of the Year and end up on BBC TV. Video is new, everyone will keep telling you that it will never catch on, but trust me, it will.

DRP will be born in 1980. You’ll also be running solo, focusing on video, but not to worry - you won’t be on your own for long. The wedding market will be your biggest focus to begin with, but everyone has to start somewhere. Just continue to get out there and network as those contacts will come in handy later on.

In 1989 you will move premises, gain a management team and, although this may seem odd to read now, you won’t just be a video production company anymore. You’ll be delivering events, technical, multimedia and print services. Breathe and just embrace this change of deliverables. At the time it may feel like a risk but it’ll all be worth it.

There will be tough times ahead. A world event in 2001 will see you lose a lot of business overnight. You will be on the verge of losing the company. But you have a fantastic team around you however and you’ll all work together to get through it. You can get through those hard times and you’ll find both a solution and a way to get back on track.

Hopefully this insight will put your mind at rest fine. You’ll learn so much about business and it’ll be like being on a rollercoaster at times. Just strap yourself in and enjoy.

One last thing: have no regrets. I would do it all again with you if I could. And remember – anything’s possible.

Take care,

Dale Parmenter is the founder of DRP, as well as the current chairman of EVCOM. He began his business 35 years ago and now employs more than 165 people across offices in Worcestershire, Leeds and London, providing events, video, digital media, exhibition, design and print for clients such as Sainsbury’s, Jaguar Land Rover and JCB.

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