14 April 2016

Ten things I've learned in ten years

National Merchandise Manager Les Sevel celebrates a decade at Bedshed

Les Sevel, our National Merchandise Manager, recently celebrated his 10 year anniversary with the business. During his time, Les has come to know Bedshed extremely well, and he’s learned a lot since his first day on the job.

Here he shares the top ten things he has learned in his 10 years with us. 

1. People are our most important asset
The culture we have at Bedshed is something I think makes us really unique, and it’s all down to the people. Whether that’s our central office staff, our franchisees, or our external suppliers, the professional nature of the relationships we build and the way in which we treat each other is something we are proud of.

We are a supportive business that thrives on people looking out for each other. We like to talk straight, and don’t make promises we can’t keep.

2. Nothing ever stays the same – you have to keep learning!
My 30 plus years in retail has taught me that you’re never too old to stop learning. Things are always changing and evolving, and in this industry you can’t afford to take a back seat. I’ve learned to constantly communicate with those around me – there’s huge value in different perspectives and skillsets tackling the same problem. 

3. We are in a “fashion” business – you need to stay ahead of the game
Trends in the bedding industry are continuously changing, and we need to keep ahead of the game. In my 10 years with Bedshed, I’ve seen a number of bedding and mattress trends come in and out of fashion.  Keep talking to people and keep observing what is going on in the industry to stay ahead.

4. Customer service
Service is at the heart of the Bedshed brand, and is something I am personally very passionate about. In retail, there’s nothing more important than providing the customer with a great experience when they purchase your product. To ensure Bedshed is at the forefront in delivering excellent and professional customer service, we ensure all our staff, including franchisees, receive training and guidance from our central office.

5. Respect.
No matter who you are or what position you’re in, have respect. People don’t always remember what you say, but they do remember how you make them feel – having respect will ensure you make people feel valued and appreciated.

6. Delegate – it helps grow your people
I was once told that if you’re in a position of management and someone comes to you with a question, deflect that question back on the person and ask them how they would approach the situation.

To keep improving a business, you need everybody to be performing to their potential. Delegation empowers team members and allows those at a management level to make the changes needed to grow a business.

7. Be organised
This might seem like an obvious one, and everyone has a different process for being “organised”. Find what works best for you, and stick to it. It could be as simple as having a ‘to do’ list, or keeping a diary!

8. Preparation
I’ve learned through experience that a bit of preparation before a meeting or discussion can save you time in the long run, ensuring you get the right outcome the first time rather than having to backfill information later.

9. Flexibility
To stay relevant in retail, flexibility is key. Plans change and things happen, and it’s how you adapt and respond to these changes that determines the success of your business.

And finally… a hot tip for the bedroom

10. You need to change your mattress every 7 years…. avoid those bed bugs!!