My Working Day – Amelia Peckham – CEO and Co-Founder of Cool Crutches
As the leader of a company, you are there to set an example, to lead and inspire a team of individuals to achieve a series of business goals. But how do these business leaders go about their daily routine? Business Leader spoke to Amelia Peckham, CEO and Co-founder of Cool Crutches, about her working day.
What time do you wake up?
I am usually awake just before 6 am, which gives me some time to post across our social media channels, have a quick look over emails and enjoy a cup of tea to be as prepared as I can be before my two small children (four and two) appear!
What do you typically have for breakfast?
I usually make a quick protein shake or my other go-to is boiled eggs on toast – because my mornings are so tight timing-wise, it has to be quick and filling!
What is the rest of your morning routine?
Once my two sons are awake, the house is pandemonium. I usually spend my first hour with them reading books and then we all get dressed before I drop them off at nursery at around 7.45 am. I usually exercise after I’ve dropped them off, which entails either a fast walk (as fast as I can!), a spin class or a weights session. As a result of my spinal injury, exercise is key for my stamina and pain management, but also it keeps me mentally much better focused.
What is the first thing you do at the start of your working day?
The first thing I will do is check Xero and reconcile all our transactions. Next, I check all our social channels (this is usually before 9 am) and I personally reply to all messages, enquiries and comments across Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Once I sit down at my desk at 9 am, I will first speak to my mum who I run the business with. We will go through any priorities, operational deadlines and issues to map out a to-do list for the day.
Next, I prioritise customer enquiries before speaking to our warehouse to go through any queries they have from customers, with a view to then resolve any customer queries within four hours.
Our focus on customer service is something we feel very passionately about and I believe is what sets us apart from our competition, so ensuring our customers are happy sits at the top of any to-do list!
How do you prioritise your day’s work?
I use a traffic light system where I will have a running to-do list and bump things up in order of urgency. I use Trello to keep track of everything I am working on, so it’s easy to just open it up and instantly see what’s next, add to my list and tick off things that have been done.
Do you plan meetings or are they a waste of time?
We are a small and very fast-moving company, we only have one fixed meeting bi-weekly which is to discuss marketing. Otherwise, it’s a case of checking in with the various teams as and when there is something new to discuss or an issue arises.
I worked in a corporate environment in London for ten years before running Cool Crutches full-time and spent days in meetings that weren’t always necessary, so now I suppose I am very careful about organising meetings with purpose only.
Do you have a working lunch or do you take a break?
It completely depends. Due to my physical health, if I’m out and about for a day, I will likely be non-stop on that day and have lunch on the go. Sadly, I can’t really manage two or more days of meetings a week, so tend to pack them into one single day a week and then work from home the rest of the time.
When I’m at home, I will try to take at least 30 mins for lunch to give myself a break.
When does your working day finish?
My day breaks at 5.15 pm when I go to collect my children from nursery and I try (I’m not always as good at this as I would like to be) not to check my phone until they are in bed at 7 pm. At 7 pm, I will try to answer urgent emails only, check our socials one last time and then call it a day at around 8 pm!
How do you prepare for the next day’s work?
I am meticulous about my inbox: I will red flag anything I need to prioritise but otherwise, I file emails into folders so I usually have less than 20 emails in my inbox and can quickly see first thing what’s urgent.
Before I finish for the day, I will file all emails that don’t have flags so I don’t wake up to any surprises!
What’s your favourite piece of technology?
My phone. I have an iPhone 13 and there is genuinely nothing I can’t do on it.
Our business has always been online only due to the nature of my injury. We knew running a physical shop was unsustainable so since we started in 2006, our entire business has been virtual. This was quite an oddity at the time but it has paid off in spades.
We have always been able to run the business from anywhere and even now, I live in North Yorkshire and my mum is based near Cheltenham, so having everything running like clockwork with minimal physical interaction has been a game-changer!
How do you switch off?
I have to hide my work phone! Sadly, if I can see or hear my work phone, I just don’t switch off. I very rarely don’t have my phone on me because our business is 24/7 and it’s a small team.
Bank holidays are about the only time the business quietens down and often we run a promotion during this time to ensure it keeps thriving, so really I don’t ever switch off for more than an hour or two!
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
My grandfather is a very successful businessman and he has always said this, “Business is about problem-solving, problems will always arise but it’s your ability to foresee them, fix them and prevent them as well as resolve them when they come out of nowhere”. I think it is a brilliant way to look at it because when a problem does come along, it helps me to tackle it with energy as opposed to feeling defeated!