It’s been a whirlwind 18months here at MOVE HQ, since the initial launch I have had little time to sit back and reflect on what has really gone on and how this has actually come about to the point we are at now. Via some personal development work personally, I have only started to reflect and journal a lot more about my life and the business here at MOVE, it’s a great way to actually take time to see where you are at in your life and how you can start tweaking things to improve little aspects of your own life and business life. Over this blog series I will give some of the visions of what worked for us and I will try and break down what MOVE really stands for now and what we hope to stand for in the future as we progress through the years. I will give an insight on why I think it is important to have a happy work place for yourself and your employers.
Here at MOVE we have tried to connect to the authenticity of what we want to stand for from day dot. As the Director (I hate using that word) I am extremely fortunate that all the staff here are on the same page. We all share the same values as people and that seamlessly fits into the Brand via the work we do each day together.
What is authenticity in terms of a brand? Well, every great brand is built upon robust foundations via strong values, this is a great guide for the brand to follow and to create a loyal fanbase. When you have this instilled within the company then you are off to a great start. If anyone out there is starting up their own brand then I urge you to get the right people around you who follow the same life principles as you do; this in turn will make it a lot easier for your brand to flourish to where you want it to go. I know that sounds very broad so I will try and explain this the best I can.
I am only a year and a half into this journey so I am obviously still learning and that’s the beauty of this experience – no one in this world knows it all, it’s a constant learning experience. I do not want to patronise anyone as I am in no way a business guru but I will tell you what has worked for us and MOVE and hopefully you can take something away from it.
When MOVE started to take off we knew that we had to adapt in order to stay on top of the progression that was happening week on week. When we initially started in May 2020 it was only myself; today we have 5 full time staff. My first piece of advice for anyone reading this is don’t expect to do it all on your own and I say that for a number of reasons. If your brand is starting to grow or you’re at a situation where you feel you’re at a crossroads in your business where you have hit a plateau in sales. Have you looked at how much you’re working within your business? Are you doing jobs you don’t enjoy or are you working ridiculous hours just to stay on top of it all? My first big decision within the business here was taking on my first employee, you always put off decisions like this as you are constantly worried about what could go wrong. What if I can’t afford it? How will I pay their wages? All those questions put you off the idea and before you know it the months are passing you by and little do you know you’re still working those long hours that you months prior. If you have a good scaling business and you are in a good way with profits and income then I would highly recommend taking someone on. Yes, you will probably pocket less money yourself but for the long run it will be worth it for your business and yourself. Take some time and dissect what part of your business you spend the most time on or a part of your business that you don’t enjoy doing the work on. Again, if you can afford to make this move then I’d recommend doing it.
For me, I hated the logistics/numbers element of the business, I hated having to worry about stock and having to keep on top of numbers that provided us with the info on when to order more stock etc. I just wanted to offload that to someone who was good at it and could help MOVE grow a to a stronger position that it was in. My best friend Paul had just turned a qualified teacher and I managed to poach him to join me in the business; I am delighted he could do so as he is a huge part of this business now. By adding another member to the team, it allowed me to delegate the jobs I was poor at and Paul was strong at. This made me a lot happier within work as I didn’t have to worry about these jobs anymore, it also allowed me to spend more time doing things I actually enjoyed doing. If you are reading this as a business owner or just as an employee in general. Do you actually enjoy what you do? If not, then why the hell are you doing it? I feel that you work best and get the most work done when you are doing something you actually want and enjoy doing. As I mentioned its hard to delegate jobs or take someone on when you aren’t financially free yet, but when you feel you are, make the step.
To back up what I said above about being an employee and doing jobs you don’t particularly enjoy doing, you must start taking some action – no job or task is worth your happiness. When I say that I don’t mean you turn your nose up at any monotonous task your boss gives you just because you couldn’t be bothered doing it or it’s not a perfect fit, but if you feel that you are doing a job or task on a regular basis that you don’t enjoy doing then speak up, your boss and his/her business will benefit from it in the long run. Spend time doing more of what you enjoy as the work quality will be higher and you’re going to be completing tasks a lot quicker.
As MOVE has progressed over the last year, we have added 3 more members to that duo. The girls Aby, Fiona and Kaitlynn have been brilliant since coming in, covering everything from Marketing, Customer Service right down to Email Campaigns and social media. I myself, have withdrawn myself from a lot of the tasks I used to do when we initially started up. I feel for myself it allows me to get a better understanding of what’s going on. Its like when a Football Manager watches the game from the stands, they see a better overall view of how things are playing out, this allows me to step in and make the necessary changes when they’re needed. I have a perfect team around me right now and we all see MOVE in the same light, we are positive about making changes for the right reason and because we are so close within the office, our opinions are never far away when making important decisions for the brand. We all have a say within the office, whether it’s from a product design down to where we want to eat when we go out for lunch together on a Friday; creating a tight knit work community is hugely important for me. As I previously mentioned in the last blog I had wrote, if you dread Mondays sitting on your sofa on a Sunday night then it’s a good indication, you’re not entirely happy within either yourself or your job.
A task I set for example during this year was that everyone in the office had to go off and independently make 2 pieces of clothing from scratch with a low budget. They had to design their pieces on software, find a supplier of their own, negotiate or haggle with the supplier for the best price and then get it manufactured and delivered here to the office within a small 4-week window. We kept it private so we had to do this in our own time and made sure no one else in the office seen what we were designing or see the suppliers we worked with, we were not allowed to help anyone with any process. We then had a presentation day to unveil our pieces to the rest of the group. Everyone was marked on how much they spent, the look of the product, the sizing and the quality of the product; The winner then got to launch this product to sell on our site.
Fiona ended up winning this task and her product now sells as part of our high-performance range. Everyone made a first-class piece and the task turned out to be a huge success. The reasoning behind setting the task was I wanted everyone to be able to work across all codes of e-commerce from the design process, to negotiations to being able to work under pressure of having a small-time frame. This task enabled everyone in the office to work with their own freedom to express themselves, it also was a very fun task that I will complete again in the future. This is just a small example of how you can offer some entertaining but beneficial tasks within your work place.
By creating an office/workspace that is happy then your brand will grow, I am certain of that. To create an environment where everyone has a say within the brand/business I wanted to instil a level of confidence where everyone here was self-assured of speaking up regardless of how big or small the problem was. As I mentioned, all our decisions are talked about around the table and within that we are creating honesty but furthermore we are creating a setting where we all grow together as the brand grows itself. I have pledged to the group more than once that as this brand gets bigger then as will we together, as a group. Its important to have that freedom for growth; I would hate to work in a setting where your job title or even your salary is fixed no matter how much the company/brand grows, I think by having a vision for everyone here at MOVE is much more important than just mine. To conclude Part 1 of Building The Brand, I feel we have thrived a lot because of the atmosphere we are allowed to work within here. Obviously its easier for me to apply this to the office here as there only is 5 of us but I would like to think as grow I will still apply the same vision for ALL workers to be happy within their jobs and to have the ability to speak up if anything ever became an issue. So, my first takeaway from this last 18 months is implant a good workspace where your workers are happy and when that starts to flourish, your business will also.