1 UNIVERSITY IS A GOOD THING
I never truly knew how much I had learnt in my undergraduate degree course until I started Café Kumbuk. I studied Advertising and it was never really on my agenda to work in an advertising agency – I mostly did it as it was a solid degree to have under my belt. It was in my final year of university that we were asked to create a brand for our final project, for me that brand was Café Kumbuk. I never thought for a second that it would become a reality and I thank my lucky stars everyday that my degree taught me all the skills necessary to build, brand and market my very own café.
2 PEOPLE CARE ABOUT PROVENANCE
Where and how things are made. It’s super important to me for my customers to know where we source our ingredients, the faces and hands behind it and document each and every process for them to see. I am proud to work with each of my suppliers and will continue to shed light on the amazing things they do.
3 PAY PEOPLE A DECENT WAGE
Keep your team inspired and motivated. My team is the foundation of Café Kumbuk and they work tirelessly everyday to meet our customer’s expectations and make them happy. Paying my team well allows them to look after themselves and their families and keeps them striving for more. If my team isn’t happy, motivated and inspired then the whole chain falls to pieces.
4 PEOPLE NEED OTHER PEOPLE TO DO THEIR BEST WORK
‘Good ideas and businesses are made through debate – of the face-to-face variety. And people are much more motivated when they work among like-minded types.’ It’s a good thing to share ideas, talk about the things that work and be honest about the things that don’t. Celebrate other people’s successes and don’t be afraid to ask how they did it! Some will share, some won’t – those who do you will most certainly learn something valuable from. Stick together.
5 REMEMBER HUMAN NATURE
In the same way as its important to pay your team well, its also important to look after them in other ways. Every few months we find a way to bring our team together outside of the work place and allow them to let loose and bond with us and with each other. ‘Give people a good desk, a comfortable chair and a welcoming light. And then let them do their work.’
6 BUT THIS IS NOT TO DENY FLEXIBILITY
‘Be open to change’
7 NEW COMPANY NEW RULES
‘Working for yourself should be fun, rewarding and allow you to shape a company that matches your beliefs and life. Be cautious of falling in with how your rivals do things.’ Competition is inevitable and instead of focusing too much on what others are doing, get inspired and go a mile further! Find ways to reinvent your offering and get creative.
‘Just as vital: you need to see who else is benchmarking quality in your field. Go see your competition in action.’ Okay so this point and my last may be slightly contradictory but not if you omit the word competition. Its important to know what others are offering and how they are offering it so you can better your own business. Don’t look at it as competition, look at it as a chance to get inspired. I often travel to get inspired, to see how service is elsewhere and to try and implement specific learnings in my own café.
9 COULD YOU RUN YOUR COMPANY FROM ANY CITY IN THE WORLD?
‘Choose an HQ capital that also delivers the quality of life you want; balance urban efficiency with pleasure. But remember: a company should be part of a community it sits in. Come out from behind those walls.’ I am happy to be here, living in this tropical paradise and it suits me just fine. I have lived in the UK for most of my life and London for the latter part before moving here and although I loved it I also didn’t feel as happy as I do here. Find your happy place.
10 DESIGN GOOD SPACES FOR PEOPLE TO WORK IN
‘Make spaces that people like to visit, linger in and be creative in.’ Its important to me that my team enjoy the space as well as café customers. I felt inspired to create the space and I hope people feel inspired within it.
11 SPREAD THE WORK
‘When things go wrong you need to be there but otherwise let people grow rapidly in their roles and even keep you a little tested.’ The first six months of Café Kumbuk was especially a learning curve for me. I felt like without me there my team wouldn’t be able to manage and what I eventually realized was the opposite. Without me there pushing everyone and micro managing they were able to feel more relaxed, happy and in turn do their job better – much better than I could have imagined. Often I feel compelled to get behind the front desk, talk to customers, clear tables and that’s OKAY but make sure you aren’t hindering the processes put in place by you and your team. Find balance, find space.
12 RESPECT TRADITION
Respect the culture of those that you work with. Everyone comes with their own ideologies and beliefs, work with it and although you may not agree with certain things try and broaden your horizons and learn from it.
13 CREATE COMPANIES TO LAST
‘Too many businesses are created by people looking for the exit strategy before the paint has even dried on their shop sign. We need to honour people who are in it for the long haul.’
14 KEEP YOUR COOL
More often than not you will face situations that are difficult and totally uncomfortable. Every week or so I face a customer complaint or perhaps a harsh online review. Remember you cannot please everyone and when dealing with difficult people always keep your cool. Kindness costs nothing and is always much better received.
15 ENJOY THE PROCESS
Anyone can do business, but doing good business is tricky and can take a long time to get the formula right. Remember through it all to keep learning, keep asking questions and keep enjoying the process. Remember passion fuels purpose.