Behind the Scenes at Tuminds
Tuminds Social Media is a small team consisting of Rene Looper, Founder and Managing Director; Pamela Looper, Project Director; Fiona O’Fee, Office Manager; Alastair Miller, Trainer and Consultant, and Emma Gibb, Content Marketing Executive and Trainer. (Plus a number of trainers and associates). In this post we’ll take you behind the scenes at Tuminds and share some tips and tools for running a small business.
Tips and Tools for running a small business
Regular team meetings
We like to have regular team meetings here at Tuminds to discuss what’s happening, what we’re all working on and any bright new ideas we’d like to share. At least once a year we have a meeting to assess where we are and how we can improve, involving situation and SWOT analysis. As well as going through our individual to-do lists it is also important to talk about the bigger picture, which helps to ensure that we are going in the right direction.
Slack is our favourite internal communication channel and is key in the day to day running of Tuminds. Slack was designed to replace email as the main form of communication between colleagues and it certainly works for us. As well as team conversations, Slack is great for sharing files and with Emma working from home this is a particularly useful tool. We all have the mobile app too so we can easily communicate with each other no matter where we are.
We have ‘conversation threads’ for different events, articles we’ve read, our social media etc and for having direct conversations between different team members. It is also useful to look back on conversations to find notes or files. It’s that straightforward and very efficient.
Customer Relationship Management
Copper (formerly Prosperworks) is our CRM (customer relationship management) platform. It is another great tool and firm favourite amoung the team that simplifies processes and helps things to run more efficiently at Tuminds, as well as improve customer service.
With it’s visual pipeline, we can easily see which stage we are at with clients and projects; who needs a proposal sent to them, who needs a follow up, who’s ready to start and what’s happening at all the different stages. It is really useful for creating tasks (which the team can tick when they have completed) and recording notes following meetings and actions.
At the beginning of the year Tuminds started an online ideas box. We are encouraged to leave a suggestion each month (we use Typeform for this) for: “anything that can improve work processes or quality of service, reduce costs, increase wellbeing or fun at work, or in general make your job or work environment better, easier or more enjoyable”. So far the suggestions that have been implemented include exercise mats for stretching in the office, more plants to add a touch of greenery, a webcam and microphone for filming, an office camera, time for online courses and more!
Health and wellbeing
Good health IS good business.Paul Dreschler, Chairman Bibby Line Group
Tuminds is a company that really understands the importance of their employees’ physical and mental health.
As mentioned earlier, the team are asked for suggestions on how wellbeing at work can be improved. We are encouraged to take walks at lunchtime, and to move around so we’re not sitting for long periods of time. We also work a 4-day week (see more below).
Emma has worked at Tuminds for two and a half years. “When I said that I had problems with my back, I was given a kneeling chair and a computer stand to elevate my laptop. These made such a difference. When they noticed that my confidence had taken a bit of a dip, I had some sessions with a life coach, which also helped me a great deal. I really feel that Tuminds care about the wellbeing of the team”.
Fiona is our Office Manager and has been with Tuminds for just over 5 years. This role is mainly office based and Fiona recognises the importance of escaping from her desk from time to time. On a fair weather day she enjoys the flexibility of being able to ride out on her bike around the circuits in Strathnairn where she lives, and catching up with work later on. Because she’s highly organised and very efficient, this arrangement works very well for both her and the business.
4-day work week
Here at Tuminds we work a 4-day week to help with work-life balance. Tuminds Founder Rene believes that a 4-day work week is better for team wellbeing. Although it doesn’t suit every business model, a 4-day work week is said to help increase productivity as well as improve the health and wellbeing of employees.
Emma works from home in Aberdeenshire and comes into the office once a month. “I’ve worked remotely since I joined Tuminds in 2017 and for nearly six years before that. It is ideal for me; I have two young children and my husband works shift work, so I work around his hours and the kids. I love the flexibility of working from home and feel that I am far more productive by working remotely. I have regular phone and video calls with the rest of the team, and attend meetings online (we use Whereby). The communication tool Slack means that I’m kept up to date with office news (I much prefer this to just email communication) and the team are great at making sure I feel included in discussions. I love my office visits and getting to catch up with everyone face to face.”
Other team members also work remotely on occasion and although we appreciate that it is not for everyone, allowing the team to work from home has worked well for us.
Cyber security is something we take very seriously, so much so that we have a Cyber Essentials certification. We use a password manager called LastPass to ensure that our passwords are locked in a secure online vault. More information on cyber security for business can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/cyber-security-guidance-for-business.
The tools that we use at Tuminds make the running of the business and communication within the team more efficient. But what is most important is the people who make up the team; a happy team is key to business success.