“Your business is only ever as good as the people in it”
I remember my Dad telling me this phrase a while back when he was at the height of his successful career in media. I was only 13 years old at the time and was too busy worrying about school discos, blue hair mascara and Westlife to really consider what he was saying.
Now, 15 years later, my Westlife days are over (thankfully) and it’s now my responsibility to run a successful business and have a happy team. Quite a lot of responsibility on a 28 year old’s shoulders.
Like most start-ups, I was just a one-mad band when I first launched Sunshine Communications last year. I had a few great clients but I could manage them myself without needing any support. But I was so desperate for a team. I’ve always been a team player and thrive when working with others and feeding off their ideas and energy.
So I set ‘getting a team’ as one of my main goals for the business. The goals were as follows:
1) Get more clients
2) Hire a great team
3) Great new team to help attract new clients with their talents
Easier said that done but that was, and always will be the vision.
Around 2 months after I started the business, I won a new client and could no longer do everything on my own. Bingo! So along came my right-hand woman Siobhan, the most reliable and trustworthy person I know. One of these little gems in life that will always be there to help no matter what time of day. We’d worked together in a previous job, so I knew her strengths and her personality.
Once we started working with Edinburgh Airport, we needed a bigger team to service the client to the highest level. So along came Jen. We met on Twitter and have had a great friendship ever since. She’s clever, witty and wise and brings years of experience and also a little madness to the team.
Fino came shortly after. Male energy was so important to bring into an all female team. A true genius, Fino has every skill a creative marketer needs and more. Fino joining the team has helped us really push forward to the next level (or Sunshine 2.0 as I call it) with new client wins and new creative skills.
Claire is our most recent hire – a great communicator and a bundle of enthusiasm but with an attitude way beyond her years. Claire is so eager to learn and get stuck in which will take her far.
We’re now looking for a 6th person to join our gang and during the interviews this week a candidate asked me how I’ve managed to grow the business so quickly. The answer is of course the people.
Without them I would not have been able to grow Sunshine to where it is now. Their hard work and dedication to the business is second to none. I’m genuinely touched that they appear to feel as passionate about Sunshine as I am – that’s hard to find with employees!
I do work hard to make sure we have a great culture at Sunshine. We’ve all had that job when you wake up on a Monday morning and feel sick with dread about going in and I never want people to feel like that. I like to hope that the team enjoy coming to work and enjoy working with each other. It’s a collaborative environment where no question is a silly one and no idea will go unheard. We do lots of training, marketing events, pizza nights, wine nights and have a wicked office space to move into at the end of the summer. We also have a giggle day in and day out.
I firmly believe that culture of your workplace and the attitude of your staff is directly related to quality and productivity. Good happy people makes good work.
Who knows what the next year holds for us, but one thing I do know is that I’ll keep investing in the team. Because it doesn’t really matter if your business is marketing, make-up or microwaves – if you take care of your people they’ll take care of your business.