The Calderdale community, and my modest but incredible team, have worked really hard to recover our business and customers following the Boxing Day floods.
As the owner of a gift shop and cafe, my role covers all aspects of running a small expanding business: - from customer service, dealing with stock and health and safety, all the way through to staff rotas and wages.
We re-opened the business at the end of February which was an amazing feat, but the turnover didn’t return to pre-flood takings. My wife and sister-in-law, knowing that I was depressed at the lack of footfall, suggested that I try the Business Mojo sessions at Hebden Town Hall.
I have to be honest, it definitely wasn’t what I was expecting! However the Mojo team was most welcoming, and I had committed to giving it a go........
The first question I picked was: Am I 100% committed to my business?
Although I answered that yes obviously I was, and hadn’t working like a dog to re-open it proved that?, I realized that I had used up so much energy in just recreating a physical business again that I was resentful, worn out and lacking in my previous charm with customers and staff alike. Thus with clearer understanding (and confirmation from my wife!) I made more effort to engage my staff in cheerful conversation; within ten minutes of laughing about some YouTube video two of my staff said ‘how lovely it was to see me laughing again’, and a regular customer shouted up ‘thank goodness, the old Martin is back’.
The third week I attended Mojo, I got another memorable question : How would I most like to be supported at work?
Immediately, I felt tears prick my eyes! Supported? (as if), then something really strange happened, just as I was explaining how no-one else could take on the roles that I had given myself, I realized that two of my staff have been with me for 7 and 5 years respectively - they are both brilliantly capable and regularly deal with suppliers, and run both the cafe and gift shop if I’m at the wholesalers or trying to catch up with the books.
I have had more revelations since the first few weeks that I started playing Business Mojo (I even feel comfortable telling people about it now). I have promoted two of my staff, Brenda is managing the gift shop and Linda manages the cafe, I work fewer hours as I am able to delegate better, the shop had a really successful Easter campaign and our new range of smoothies have really taken off with the office block staff across the road (Linda’s idea).
The all-important question? How are profits? – better than ever, but funnily enough, whilst that is still really important, I am more grateful to Mojo for helping me to realize what a marvellous team I have and regaining my enthusiasm.