Communication and getting the right message across is equally as crucial in business as in any other relationship.
When you have 35+ staff, there are a lot of personalities to keep happy, many of the people we work with spend more time with us than they do with the love of their life, so clear communication and understanding is key.
The only trouble is at OB it seems like there just isn’t enough time to talk (or write blogs for that matter).
Since Christmas everybody has been crazy busy, in the factory with orders and sampling: in the office, we have been travelling, to all corners of the UK, Europe & America and I don’t see it improving any time soon!
For example, this week; Chas & Ken are off to Chicago & New York; Mark is visiting clients in all four corners of Southern Ireland, and here I am en-route back to Scotland for an event called Brands Collective.
Brands Collective, is all about communication, meeting, talking and building relationships with customers and prospective clients.
Old-fashioned wholesale trade shows are becoming less and less popular, especially in our field, customers don’t want to have to trawl through hall after hall in huge soulless silos like the NEC, hunting thru tat (that all looks the same) from importers of mass produced “stuff”; nowadays the educated consumer knows that stuff is actually of no use or ornament, well technically that’s not true, cuzz a lot is just that, dust collecting ornaments and not environmentally friendly ones either.
Anyway, fortunately here at OB we have found an alternative, no longer do we have to stand in aircraft type hangars trying to engage with uninterested buyers who haven’t got time or appetite to talk to some unknown, possibly sleazy sales person: point of clarification here, obviously at OB we don’t have any such Del boy’s! although I do think we still have a few old Del boy type sheepies** knocking about somewhere madam, do you a deal, if you want one!
Owen Barry and a group of like minded businesses (mainly West Country based) now travel as a collective and POP UP in lovely venues or suites much closer to where the buyers are based, Manchester, Bury St Edmunds, Glasgow etc.
Doing this enables the shop owner time to visit at their convenience and much more affordably; they can look at the range in comfort, learn about the product, without other people waiting in line, or interrupting, it is much more relaxing, civilised, and worthwhile because we can communicate, both parties learn about the others businesses, needs and plans, it is proving at fantastic concept with many more venues on the diary, i.e. Clevedon, Ashbourne, and of course London !
As we know, this week has seen the very sad passing of two of UK’s greatest communicators, Ken Dodd and Professor Stephen Hawking. It is strange how two obituaries can have such different, yet ultimately identical effects;
Ken Dodd’s tributes had me laughing merrily, everybody reminisced about going to his marathon gigs, his clean cheesy jokes and the generations of comedians he inspired. Question- could Ken sing really well ?.
Conversely, Stephen Hawking’s obituaries moved me to tears, as I am typing, I am welling up again now – no idea why !!, I guess because he was such a massively inspirational man in the face of such huge adversity.
It is that ability to communicate, inspire and stick to your goals, that I fear we are losing in the UK, this has been, for me, amplified by their passing, both Ken Dodd and Stephen Hawking were hugely loved/admired by the whole of the UK over a certain age, I wonder, are we guilty of not communicating as well as we used to? And do our young people have the same calibre of role models as we did? – I fear not.
So, in an effort to communicate more, now that Emma has left OB, yours truly must take up the Facebook and Twitter gauntlet and reach out to you “social” lot more frequently!!
Hhhhmmmmmmm it is going to be interesting!! I wonder whether I would be better off trying to read A Brief History of Time and learn how to split an atom or fill up a black hole, no pressure then.
**Sheepies = Sheepskin Coats.