That’s right, we may be a mere fledgling of a start-up but we’ve already been on our very first business trip.
Monaco? New York? NOPE. Instead we set our sights on tropical Manchester!
An early start at Euston on Friday meant plenty of caffeine was required to fuel the train journey up North. As we began to see less concrete and more green I could sense we were getting closer to my motherland and I felt a rush of excitement. This was the first time I’ve been back to my family home since we set up Mac&Moore. Whereas I usually make the journey back to stock up on home cooking and catch up with friends, this time I was having REAL LIFE business meetings … And looking forward to giving Jess a snapshot into where I grew up.
Our first stop was Zeven Media HQ in Old Trafford. It was great to see what these two Northern lads have built. From starting out in their family kitchen to now employing a full team and with a client list as long as your arm it was a clear reminder about determination and being relentless in trying to get what you want. Their very first client was Selfridges after a very bold cold call from co-founder Josh asking them to install one of Zeven’s photobooths. Amazing. Plus we loved the fact that the strategy session was conducted sat around the ping pong table … Priorities well and truly in order.
Next stop was coffee and catch ups with the gorgeous Eve Jones of Sisterhood Clothing. You’ll remember Eve from our VERY FIRST blog and it was great to see her. We had a good rant about all the frustrating parts of #goingsolo and it reinforced how lucky I am to have my partner in crime … the Mac to my Moore. It’s one thing having someone by your side to celebrate with but another thing entirely having someone to moan at and have a good tantrum with when things aren’t going your way. Eve is doing an unbelievable job all by herself and we’ve already got a clothing order in our heads for when our next invoice comes in!
After that we headed to my hometown of Poynton and Jess had one of the aforementioned tantrums because I’d failed to mention the half hour walk wheeling our cases to reach my house. She was livid. This provided great content for me to test out Instagram’s new ‘stories’ feature and generally keep asking her how angry she was with me every ten minutes.
(In case you’re wondering … the answer was VERY).
Friday night was a quiet one … Jess got to meet my beloved hound Tally who she almost immediately threatened to put on the BBQ (Tally’s response was to throw a stuffed lion at her … That dog is a genius I swear!) and my little bro (also beloved of course) and we all ate pizza and chilled out.
Saturday was lunch with the Black Pearl Oyster Company boys – another couple of characters you should recognise from the Mac&Moore blog of dreams. They were filling us in on their business schemes and turns out they’ll be heading South for a big event in September so it’s great to see the oyster word being spread far and wide. After we left the lunch (and had a ride in the oyster van in-between the first apparently unacceptable restaurant that I chose and the second far superior restaurant that they chose) it was back to Moores HQ in order to meet our accountant for the very first time.
I cannot express strongly enough the value we derived from having someone who knew exactly what they were talking about explain everything to us in detail face-to-face. I’m a big believer in playing to your strengths and I’d rather invest in someone to handle the finance side rather than tear out all of my carefully grown hair stressing about learning it myself. After that we had a really good steer on where the business needs to go for us to become IMMEDIATE MILLIONAIRES (or not).
There was really only one thing left to do after all this running about interacting with Northern people … Head to the local pub to raise a glass (or too many) to our successful weekend. We have spent a lot of time recently pushing ourselves to meet new people constantly, a wise person once told me:
‘The best thing you can do each day is ask yourself how you can be having more conversations‘
…and there’s a lot of truth in that, but it’s equally important to maintain relationships and communicate with the people you know … the grafters working hard every day to boss the freelance world… WE SALUTE YOU!