Building a Beautiful Business

Bella shares why beauty can give you the advantage with top tips for building a beautiful business…

Following some exciting ‘evolutions’ at Salad last year, we took a long hard look in the mirror to decipher what our proposition had grown to become. With a reputation for producing impressive design and the integration of a strategy and planning team with clout, we became purveyors of the ‘Beautifully Effective’. And so, here I present some of the steps I took to making my business – and proposition – beautiful.

Find a nice place to be.

I’d like to think that this goes without saying, but our environment has a huge impact on our productivity and general welfare. So why wouldn’t you make it a bright and enjoyable place to be? As creatives, we take pride in having a quirky and charming space that our clients and team want to spend time in. A view of the sea helps too.

Take pride in knowing what you’re not.

I cherish this piece of advice both personally and professionally. We all tend to spend our time looking around us to see what our peers are doing. I’m extremely happy to say that over the years, we’ve taken comfort (and seen greater results) from keeping our focus on our own vision. We invest energy into what makes us unique.

Be honest & cut the fluff.

It’s such a privilege to have a talented team around me and despite founding Salad 16 years ago, I’m proud to share I’m still learning. It’s attributes like these that allow us to connect with people more deeply. Stick to what you know, be true to your own beliefs and share it.

Find the balance.

We are a team of grafters. When a deadline hits and the pressure is on, I’m continuously impressed by the work we can produce. It’s some of our best. But we’re not in the habit of asking one another to work late. We have a culture of trust and if the work gets done and clients are happy, we want everyone to enjoy their downtime. Trust breads loyalty, there’s no question.

Grab opportunities to help others.

I used to think that supporting peers in my personal network was a nice thing to do. But I’ve come to understand that going the extra mile for people who seemingly have nothing to offer you can lead you to your next dream-team employee or an exciting new client recommendation. We’re all busy all the time – make time for them.

Attitudes > skills.

While most businesses recruit skillsets, we’re looking for cultural fit first and ‘transferable abilities’ second. When we have to thrash out a tough challenge, the attitudes in the room will have as much of an impact on the resulting work as the skills. We are creatives, developers, marketeers and strategists but when we are in the room with clients, we’re people.

Be humble and let people see it.

This leads on from attitude but it’s important I throw light on this. There’s a lot of bravado in our playpen and we have to think up imaginative unique ways to keep clients impressed. That’s why we work hard so that our work and results can speak for themselves. Quiet confidence is much more appealing than arrogance.

Eat well and move about.

We’re food by name and food by nature at Salad. Amongst the team we have vegans, vegetarians, no-sugar-ers, and eat-what-I-wanters but every Friday, we down tools and share a small feast and some important time together. We’re also an active team who run, yoga and cycle about when we can. I think inspiration comes easier when you have fresh air in your lungs.

Support purpose.

Now this one’s a biggy. While they completely throw our schedule out of kilter, everyone in the team has a special review they can use as a forum to share their aspirations. This year has been absolutely fascinating and we approach them without expectations for everyone to say ‘I want to be here forever’. These meets are a chance to understand the purpose and future ambitions of the people in our business and to consider how we can help them on their journey. And there it is, some of the crucial methods I’ve used to make our business into a thing of beauty. Not every business has a focus on aesthetics to the extent that we do but there’s no denying that a more ‘beautiful’ approach to work can support a happy and healthy business…

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