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Sarah Jones: criminologist, chicken farmer, and container company boss.

Aug 15, 2018
Mr Box Director Sarah Jones had a varied career before joining the Ipswich-based container company and discovering her true vocation: this is her story.

Sarah didn’t always want to be the boss of a storage company. The director of container provider and conversion specialist Mr Box originally went to university to study criminology, before leaving after the first year.

After a brief spell managing a free-range chicken farm, Sarah started as an admin assistant at Mr Box in 2007 – and the rest, as they say, is history.

“I decided university wasn’t for me – the debt would be too much and I just wanted to get stuck into work,” said Sarah. “I took the admin role at Mr Box to get me into an office environment, and worked my way up from there to sales to general manager to where I am now – director.”

Sarah credits her success to a number of factors – not least having to face her fears head-on during her time managing the chicken farm.  “Having a phobia of birds and having to enter a shed filled with 16,000 of them on a daily basis was interesting – although it taught me resilience, as well as invaluable management and commercial skills,” she said.

Those skills were to come in useful when Sarah joined Mr Box, which at the time was a relatively small business – meaning she had to hit the ground running. “When I started I worked closely with the managing director at the time and learned so much about so many areas of business - I was absolutely hooked from the start,” said Sarah. “With such a small team – there were only four members of staff when I joined – I’ve worked across each department. This means I understand the full workings and processes within every department and it allows me to be involved wherever I’m needed. One thing I have learned across each department is that if you put the customer first at all times, the rest will follow – and I still live by that mantra today.”

As in all industries, customers’ needs are always changing, and Sarah prides herself and her 11-strong team on being ahead of the game. “One of the main changes I’ve seen over my career is the technology, and how customers are using it to communicate their needs with us,” she said. “Customer expectations on lead times are also shortening, and we aim to be able to meet their demands in today’s ‘instant’ world. In business, everything moves at a million miles an hour, and we’re always trying to spot the next thing our customers want, ideally before they know they want it themselves – and that’s what makes the business so much fun.”

Asked about her career highlights, Sarah laughs as she says she is spoilt for choice: “Where do I begin? We’ve seen our hire fleet grow six-fold, our team has grown from four to 11 and our profits and revenue are growing consistently year on year – all while maintaining our small business.”

Not one to rest on her laurels, the Mr Box boss has ambitious plans for the future too, following the firm’s takeover by Mobile Mini UK in 2016. “Following our takeover, we have access to a wider range of services such as a full marketing team, call centre and finance team, so we’re able to offer an even more efficient service,” said Sarah. “I want to take full advantage of these services to take Mr Box to the next level, while

And if she had to pick the one thing she’s most proud of?  “I am so proud to be part of the team that took the company from its tiny beginnings to being one of the biggest players in our market.”
 continuing to maintain the outstanding personal customer service we provide and ensure that this is not lost as we grow. Never rest on your laurels or take your business and customers for granted. Continuous improvement is a must for both the company and people within it.”
Sarah Jones

Photo: Sarah Jones

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