Since the launching my own ethical fashion startup in January of 2013, I’ve learnt a lot of important lessons and one of those has been the huge importance of striking up good working relationships. This works on many levels, some rather obviously, whereas others not so much. It’s pretty obvious to all, that having a good working relationship with your employees will help to improve efficiency, productivity and success rates as to me, it’s obvious that if people feel respected and valued they will always put more effort into what they do, but you’d be surprised how many business owners and CEO’s don’t adopt that policy. Another thing I’ve learnt is the significance of building strong relations with external contractors and business partners. I think (with some people – obviously not all) the ego dictates a lot of decisions and there’s that feeling of ‘I can do this all on my own’. But what you work out soon enough, is that you can’t. It does depend on what kind of business you are running, but I think for the majority of them, it’s more than likely that you’ll need to establish good links with outsiders at some point or another. Whether it be with the media for reviews, or with governing bodies that evaluate products for consumers, the list is endless and the sooner CEOs realise this, the better for their business.
Sometimes it is just about finding the right kind of eternal business to forge links and partnerships with. Like for example BODO’s relationship with Smart Cookie Design, who designed many of our websites is one I am particularly pleased with. I feel we’ve established a solid working relationship and part of that is because the company’s were right for each other. For example, when I was deciding on who to get to create some of BODO’s websites, I was particularly impressed with the availability of Smart Cookie Design, as I am someone who works all hours of the day and night, getting a reply to my middle-of-the-night emails was a welcome change.
From the beginning, I’ve been adamant that our flagship product, the BODO Sandal, should be of exceptional quality and therefore forging a good relationship with a company like SATRA (independent research and testing organisation) was very important to me. SATRA are considered to be a leading technical authority for footwear and leather companies, so establishing contact and getting BODO’s Sandal rated by them was a definite achievement in my eyes.