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Dec 2018

Daryl’s Christmas Message

So here we are looking back at 2018 and looking forward to a Christmas break and to all that 2019 has in store.

Apparently, it falls to me to bring you up to speed with all the comings and goings in the Bunker in 2018 – so pull up a chair – get yourself a drink and get comfortable and off we go!

I guess with all things Scribble the most significant events revolve around our people.

And the first of those significant events was the departure of Gordon back in February.

It was, unsurprisingly, an emotional time for me – Gordon and I have developed quite the friendship over the four years we had plugged away at this project together, working hard to breathe life into Inkost Ltd, but he was offered an opportunity to do something more exciting (don’t believe that for a second!)  something that he had wanted to do for a while – so off he went.

I will be forever grateful for the time spent the help given and the hours and hours of conversation we had planning and scheming, watching our little business develop and grow year after year, thank you Gordon.

It was the year we also said goodbye to the wonderful Karen, she was by far, our no.1 lady van driver! and by quite some margin the most wacky! – take a look at one of her positive quote videos on our YouTube channel if in any doubt! She loved it here and we loved having her – trouble is we got too busy selling stuff – the rounds became longer – and more importantly the boxes heavier (have you tried carrying 10 boxes of A4 paper up three flights of stairs multiple times a day?)

Now she works for one of our customers and so we get to keep in touch – and she gets to work in a nice warm office with no lifting to do!

We also keep in touch with her husband Steve, the region’s best oven cleaner by far (just ask Mrs Fulls) www.oventime2shine.co.uk

If you are wondering what has happened to the wonderful Carolyn, she has switched roles in 2018, she now heads up the finance department – ably assisted by the equally wonderful Jude – the two of them ensuring the bills get paid, invoices are sorted and all the numbers make sense

We have two new members of the Scribble team:

Connor is our new apprentice designer, he is learning lots and he is already producing some amazing work – check this little beauty out –Amity book link all his own work and the client is very happy, and Darren is very proud!!

We also welcomed Emily (Darren’s wife) into the business, she is taking on the massive responsibility of keeping her husband’s finances in order!

In April the design studio became a limited company in it’s own right, so now Darren gets to run his own business and Emily gets to help!……………………….So far there has been no fall out in the Graydon family…which is nice!

Young Robbie completed his apprenticeship this year – Congratulations Robbie. He has settled into his role as assistant designer and is producing some excellent work, so much so we are wondering if we really need Darren at all!!!!

Jesting aside Darren has done some amazing work this year – not least in transforming a department of Scribble and Ink into a standalone business – winning new clients, keeping existing ones – building a great portfolio and training both Robbie and Connor – it has been quite the year of development for him. 

We already have plans for more – the advert is out for another apprentice and the CV’s have started to arrive – hope to have another design seat filled by the end of February.

I guess a big development for us this year was the launch of our new website www.scribbleandink.co.uk

Lots of hours went into the design and feel of the thing, making sure we ended up with a site that conveys who we are and how we roll, after all you can buy stationery from anyone – why buy it from us?

In the Spring of 2019 we are launching our new webstore, we have a new state of the art platform that will enhance the customer experience and will enable us to use the site for prospecting and lead generation online which is a badly needed part of our marketing mix.

So look out for that.

We have just completed our end of year customer survey – this is a really important piece of work for us.

We need to know how we are doing and the best way to know that is to ask.

We received survey responses from 100, thank you to all those that completed it.

So in January my job is to review all the responses – follow up all the comments so we can learn where improvements can be made, and to write a report so everyone can see how we are doing and what our plans are in response.

2018 was the year we launched our monthly newsletter, and surprisingly for me, it has become our most-read communication piece, keep looking out for it in 2019 as it will be jam packed with new products and services interesting articles, and pretty early on, the Customer Survey report from me!

So, this year we have spent a lot of time improving our processes and policies, we have navigated GDPR and endured hours and hours of learning, discussion and planning around the whole subject ……Well I say we, what I actually mean is Lesley. She has done an amazing job of keeping us compliant (and some) and ensuring we are ahead of the game with everything. She has also managed our marketing and customer care team, listened to me rambling on and on, and just about remained sane through the whole process 

We have also updated the furniture in the bunker, now we all have matching desks and pedestals and our storage matches too, amazing!… We are still trying to cram rather too many people into what is effectively a corridor – but we like it and it’s cosy!

Lesley, Darren and I went to the Expo at Westpoint this year – a first time for us taking a stand at an exhibition of this size, we had a busy day, met lots of new people, picked up some new clients and we are planning on going back next year.

Ian has been running around the Westcountry, fixing things, delivering things, and generally spreading the word about what a wonderful place the Bunker is! He has been responsible for maintaining our copier fleet, slowly increasing the number of copiers we have on rental, trying out new ways of managing the servicing ready for a marketing push to develop this part of our business this coming year. He and Nigel gave the warehouse a good sort out this month, so now we have a much easier working environment for getting stuff in and stuff out.

Jake has been busy keeping the day to day business on the road, no-one likes it when he isn’t around as he seems to calmly get through more work than most of us realise! Added to which this past month or so we have had a real sales push which has upped his workload further. This year we changed our insurance provider – so now we have a 25+ van policy which has meant that Jake has been out and about delivering parcels too …..not sure he has ventured much past Newton Abbot yet – but we are working on him!

Tom has been faithfully recording our Thursday morning nonsense – another 50 videos this year! He has kept our social media activity up and engagement growing, he has designed our newsletter, managed our email and taking a myriad of instructions from Lesley on a daily basis, and on top of all that running parcels down to Plymouth twice a week – well done Tom!

And then there is me …!

Over this past year I think we have all decided that things run much more smoothly when I am out of the office!!

So, I have been weaning myself off a five days week and have been spending 1 or 2 days a week at home

Making calls, fixing appointments, taking meetings and generally introducing our business to people we’d like to be working with, so this year we have sharpened our focus and I have been leading the charge in getting us connected with companies who get us, and who want to partner with us 

Confidence and Consistency – our new Mantra for 2019

We have learned that it is through being consistent that we grow in confidence, and that consistency becomes easier as our confidence grows.

So in 2019 expect to see me and my team growing in confidence and delivering consistent results day after day !

If you have managed to read this far – well done – and thank you.

Thank you for being a part of this incredible journey we are on.

Thank you for your support, help and encouragement.

Thank you for enabling us to edge ever closer to becoming the kind of business we can be proud of and that everyone would want to work in!

I am looking forward to 2019, looking forward to hearing your story to sharing your journey  and to being part of what ever it is that causes our paths to cross…

Have a great Christmas,

Daryl

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