Clothes2order Founder Michael Conway Talks Company Culture Tess Healey January 4, 2019 Business tips Company culture is about the personality of a business. It can have the power to shape the environment you work in and the way that employees and customers interact with your business. The importance of company culture and team building has inspired our team at Clothes2order to start a discussion around how businesses create a successful culture. We’re marking January as Company Culture month here on the blog! We’ll be sharing one guest blog post per week, written by business owners and leaders who will share their thoughts on company culture and teamwork. What better way to kick off company culture month than hearing from our founder, Michael Conway, to learn more about his thoughts on company culture and the culture here at Clothes2order. About Clothes2order Our company was established by Michael Conway. We began trading online in 2003, with a team of 3 employees based in a small building in Manchester’s Northern Quarter. Fast forward 16 years and our team now consists of over 160 employees providing personalised clothing to hundreds of thousands of customers across the world. Below, our founder, Michael Conway discusses the importance of company culture and how it has contributed to our success. What does company culture mean to you? To me, company culture is all about what it feels like to interact with a business. Whether your a customer or an employee, the culture of the business should come across straight away. How important it is to have a good company culture? It’s vital and, I believe, one of the most important parts of a business. It’s the people within your business that look after your customers so if they feel good at work, they’ll provide good service. The company’s culture is essentially what the business stands for, so making it an environment that people want to work within is key. “It’s the people within your business that look after your customers so if they feel good at work, they’ll provide good service.”Michael Conway How would you describe the culture at Clothes2order? Our corporate culture rotates around our core values which are articulated throughout our business. Core values are what the business stands for. Culture is a reflection of core values. The core values we pride ourselves on here at Clothes2order are: Customer focusDesire to be number 1Constant innovationOne TeamRespect Customer Focus We look after our customers. I believe the way a business interacts with customers not only when things go right, but also when mistakes are made, speaks volumes. It creates a bond. I remember speaking to a customer 10 years ago and explaining some mistakes that had been made within their order. I proposed how we would rectify the mistakes and made sure we did everything we could to make things right. Because of this, they have remained a loyal customer throughout the past 10 years. Our happy customers! Desire To Be Number 1 We don’t want to be a regional business, we want to be the best nationally and internationally at what we do. We want every customer that buys from us to be delighted by their experience. We want to become the world’s favourite personalised clothing business. Constant Innovation Our business never stands still. From our people to our processes, we’re always looking to grow and progress. Take Simon Turner, for example, our Sales & Marketing Director. Simon started working at Clothes2order 10 years ago as a Marketing Assistant and progressed through his ability, hard work, determination and desire to learn and improve. We want to recruit from within wherever possible and help our team progress within their careers. This is also true with our processes. We are a dynamic business and work within a fast moving industry so investing in new technology and operational developments are incredibly important to continue growing as a company. Simon, along with our Manufacturing Operations Manager Adam Brant, attended the UK Customer Experience Awards in October 2018 where we won the Silver Award for Customer Satisfaction One Team This is vital. Our business has lots of different teams. Success doesn’t depend on a small number of individuals but everybody working together and contributing. Respect To us, it’s incredibly important to treat everyone around us with courtesy and respect. We want to maintain our culture of trust, integrity, open communication, responsiveness and fairness towards everyone that interacts with our brand. What do you think is the key to maintaining a positive company culture throughout a business? Constantly look to it. Don’t have it as something in the background. Embed it throughout your business. What advice would you give to start up businesses trying to create a company culture? Decide on what you want to do and why. You need to be passionate about what you are doing as most start ups fail. To succeed requires grit, determination and hours and hours of work. Decide on what matters to you and decide on your core values. Then, embed your values in everything you do, for example, recruitment, strategy, appraisals and so on. From this, a culture is created. Michael Conway was interviewed by the BBC to discuss business growth in today’s economical climate.