This past week we cornered Emily, founder of M&G, to get her to spill the beans on what she has learned thus far in business; along with what works and what doesn’t!
Read all about Emily’s tips & tricks –
For me, everyday is filled with something different. One day, I might be in the stores rearranging merchandise, or working on a complete redesign. Other days I might be traveling to market for buying merchandise. And some days, I spend at our warehouse, reviewing, organizing inventory, or helping to push orders out the door. One constant is there is always a lot to manage. Between managing our stores, putting out endless fires, and trying to push the brand forward, with new designs and innovations, sometimes it feels overwhelming to stay organized. In order to do so, we rely heavily on technology and different apps to help us, and because I’m mostly on the go means I rely most heavily on my phone. (My screen time usually says 6.5 hours, and that doesn’t include time on my computer). Here are some of the apps I use most frequently. Some of them are for work, and some to help my family life. Hope they too can help you be more productive in your day!
What’s App – We’ve been using What’s App for years to communicate with our teams. Because our stores are generally run by only a couple of people with one team member working in the store at a time, we need to make sure they are supported when issues arise.
When I Work – We manage our scheduling with this app. It’s great because through my phone I can always check who is working where and at what time, and I get a notification when people are late. Then I can plug in everyone’s hours into ADP to calculate and process payroll.
Asana – We use Asana to manage our to dos, and also to manage our graphic design projects. It’s great because you can assign tasks to people. We also have our marketing and production calendars on Asana to make sure we are on time with our launches (which often times we still aren’t, sigh) and to make sure we are on target with our marketing plan.
TradeGecko – is our inventory management system that we currently use. Inventory to me is a nightmare to manage; and I’m not yet convinced TradeGecko is the best option for us, but because we are considered small business cost effectively I do believe it’s one of the better ones out there. I write all of my purchase orders to our manufacturers through here, that way I can track what’s coming in, and I can also plug the total into our cash flow so I can calculate payments.
This week we are counting EVERYTHING in our warehouse to update our inventory. (Please send us your prayers). It’s critical to make sure we don’t overspend and/or have important products missing. Our store managers also place their orders through TradeGecko, so that the warehouse can replenish their stock in the store. So it’s a streamlined process.
Shopify – We use Shopify for our POS systems in our stores. It’s great because on my phone, I can check in and see how each store is performing at any given time.
QuickBooks – We organize all of our finances in QuickBooks, and I work with my bookkeeper two days a month in order stay on top of everything. Those days we check our P&L and Balance Sheet. But mostly on an ongoing basis we update our Register, to include upcoming payments. It’s a shorter term way of managing cash flow, but by keeping the registers up to date, I can better manage our cash flow. We also run all of our payments through QB, that way I can organize and manage all vendor payments .
Peloton – Who has time for the gym right? I haven’t exercised in years, but I’ve been missing it so badly. Just recently I downloaded this app and have been using it to help me run on my treadmill at home. I don’t have any peloton equipment, and I don’t need it either. I just know if I don’t have someone telling me what to do for exercise, I just constantly tell myself it’s fine to take it easy.
FreshDirect – Who has time for grocery shopping either? This is a must for me, and I get it delivered at 6am. That way I can get it out of the way early, and then I run to Costco maybe every other month to spend a crazy amount of money buying bulk. Every time I get looks from the cashiers I just say I have mouths to feed and I’m not planning on coming back.
Amazon for Business – We use Amazon to order supplies to our stores. Sounds obvious right? Well, our stores are always in constant need of supplies, and to cut down on time heading to the store, it’s so easy to just have everything delivered. And, I also do this for my home too. 🙂
Calendars – Ayhan and I share our calendars, and we have them separated by color for work and personal. All of our kids appointments are in there and color coded. We could use this better, and probably will have to when are kids get older and have even more commitments.
A little secret…Honestly, I still jot down all my to-dos on Notes on my phone. 🤗. It’s super fast just to open and write it down. Each week, I really have to think about how I’m spending my days, and how I’m going to be most effective with my time. Ayhan (husband) and I have a little exercise that we do. Each day we ask each other what is the most critical decision we can make today to help our company succeed. Sometimes, it’s just remembering to sign our kids up for summer camp before they are full and we are screwed, lol.
This compiled list has taken me years of trial & error to figure out what actually works in the most efficient ways! Hopefully, this will only save you time and headaches.