The FF&M team share what they have learnt so far this year
Juliet Fallowfield - Founder & Managing Director
As a founder, I often wish the days were longer. Growing a business involves a lot of meetings and conversations; the power of people is what has helped FF&M grow into the business it is today. After launching in 2020, I quickly learned that time was my most precious commodity. My key learning of 2022? Things always take more time than you think. I’m always looking for hacks to gather back as many minutes as I can, so when it comes to meetings, this is what I’ve learned.
Only arrange or accept a meeting with an agenda attached
Always book 45 minutes + for any meeting even if you know it'll be quicker. If it finishes earlier then you have spare time in your day
Never stack your meetings back to back, you don't want to rush a team member, journalist or client
Schedule them to finish at ten to the hour to wrap up and prepare for your next task
In-person meetings are crucial for forming relationships, just as dial-in calls are efficient: the blend is key
Time is precious; if you’re adding value, there should be a fee attached
Amy Wilson - Brand Communications Manager
Working remotely from Glasgow when your HQ is in London requires organisation and communication. I joined FF&M at the end of 2021 after years working freelance in the jewellery industry and being part of a team again has been amazing. I feel we’re made successful by the help of collective processes and working tools, some of which are shared here:
Google Drive - lets you share ‘live’ files with all colleagues and clients in order to collaborate efficiently. It reduces double handling and offers instant access to tracked changes that have been made with Google Docs and Sheets.
Toggl - is an effective way to track time and really see how you’re spending it. It helps with pricing, proposals and team support.
The design tool Canva allows anyone without a design background to edit images, design layouts and much more. Easily accessible via the desktop and mobile app to ‘working versions’ the team can access,you can create professional social media content, presentations, invitations, podcast artwork and more. Canva is an essential tool at FF&M and negates the need for an inhouse designer.
Sam Scougall-Knight - Brand Strategy Associate
Everyone’s organisational style is different, but when working remotely as we do, a collaborative but organised approach is key. Having now worked at FF&M for over a year out team has grown which is why we’re always looking at our organisation and processes to ensure we build systems better with a long term view .
Here are a few things that have helped me this year:
Take time at the beginning of a project to really map out what banks of time you’ll need and when. This includes time you’ll need from colleagues too. Planning ahead for project milestones and deadlines will save time and any stress down the path.
Structure your week for your own sanity, work out how and when you work best. No meeting Monday, WFH Wednesday, talkative team Tuesday are some of my favourites
Agree with team members how they prefer to work so you’re all supportive of each other’s time
Use your inbox as a to-do list and move emails to a folder only once they've been fully actioned
Francesca Knechtli - PR & Research Assistant
Asking for help is not something people are used to doing. It can be hard to admit that you need support, assuming instead that you are being disruptive or not good at what you’re doing. Since working with the team at FF&M I’ve learned that every time I swallow my pride and ask one of my colleagues for help, the job suddenly feels far more manageable and often gets done faster and better, with the added value that everyone gains experience and we become stronger as a team.
Don’t hesitate to say when you are feeling overwhelmed or need support
Use tech to help support you. Keep track of your tasks in your notes app and organise by client; this gives you a visual of how much there is to do and what to prioritise, also what might need to be reassigned.
Call out your own mistakes. It is a fact that we will all make them and the quicker we can admit to them and ask for help, the better chance we have for a resolution.
Milun Haggipavlou - PR, Marketing & Podcast Production Assistant
When you’re new in a role, it can feel that tasks can start to overwhelm us at work. When getting a handle onboarding in a role it can feel that you have too much to do but not enough time to do it. Feeling this way is not uncommon but I have a few strategies in place to help ease this difficult feeling.
Tick things off one item at a time. Manage it slowly and the list will get shorter rather than making you feel you have to do everything all at once.
There is typically a lot going on at once and while things are unfamiliar, always write things down in a to-do list: things will slip through the cracks and will be forgotten about if you don’t. If you write it down you can always come back to it later.
When balancing your various tasks, start to learn which you relish so that you always have something to look forward to in your day. This could be as simple a meeting via a walk round the block, or a delicious homemade lunch.
I find time blocking ensures that you take breaks and you’ll be more productive in those time periods.