Don’t be afraid to surround yourself with talented people

4 Minutes

Why every business needs a team to be successful

Reed Words is a verbal branding agency, which means we make businesses and brands stronger through language. We specialise in the way these companies sound: what they say – and how they say it. It’s an interesting blend of strategy and – of course – brilliant writing.

We started the business in 2013. Mike, my co-founder, was turning away more and more interesting work as a freelancer. So, we decided that by joining forces, we could test the waters and begin an agency focused purely on the verbal side of branding. We’ve never looked back.

I’m the Commercial Director, so I look after all the business’ non-creative elements. My remit covers everything from the financial aspects of running the business, to HR, operations, PR and marketing. It’s a brilliant role: you’re constantly putting on different hats and learning new things.

I get a buzz from working with our team, who produce gorgeous work. They’re also some of the most talented and lovely people in the UK.

On that note: expanding the business into the US over this past year has also made me incredibly proud. We have a growing team and client base out there – this is exciting and no mean feat when put against the backdrop of Covid.

Thankfully, there haven’t been too many lows. It was difficult having to furlough and reshape some of our team during the pandemic. But it gave us a real opportunity to work on our strategy, making sure the team and structure reflected the business we had become, and where we wanted it to go. As a result, we’re a tight-knit team; every single person is critical to our growth.

Along the way, I’ve learnt so much that I could probably write a book.

I’ve become more temperate and kind, plus my financial planning skills are off the scale compared to where they were at the beginning.

But the most important lesson relates to the wellbeing of the team. You will only be successful if they’re happy, motivated and all pulling in the same direction. To achieve this, they need direction and to feel valued.

My advice for anyone starting out is two-fold. First: get your financial planning and reporting absolutely nailed down. Set up good systems and practices from the word go. Second: hire the best people you possibly can. Never compromise, and don’t be afraid to surround yourself with people who are brighter or more talented than you (put it this way… I’m never going to get into a conversation about literature with my writing team!).

The future looks great for Reed Words. We now have three offices, and we’re purposefully growing and developing the business and our team. We’re well on the way to creating a business that can operate pretty effectively without so much input from Mike and me.

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