Here at instantprint, we’ve seen a lot of growth. From our recent £3.25m investment to launching in the US, we’re constantly moving forward and trying new things so we can help our customers reach out to their customers with print that shows off how fantastic they are. As part of this growth, we’ve seen a lot of change in the office as well as outside it, including some terrific career progression.
In celebration of our colleagues’ growth, we went behind the scenes to find out more about their instantprint journey. Here, we speak to Head of instantprint, Jon, to discover what challenges he’s had to overcome and what advice he’d give to someone just starting out in their career.
- What does your current role consist of and what aspect of this do you enjoy the most?
In my current role, I’m responsible for the performance and strategy of the instantprint brand in the UK and the US this includes marketing as well as operational teams such as customer services. The bit I enjoy the most is working with such a great team. It’s very diverse and they genuinely work hard at everything they do. Also, the growth of the brand is really exciting; it’s been incredible watching us grow from 30 people to over 50.
- When did you first starting working at instantprint?
I first started working at instantprint in March 2015, so I’ve been here about three and a half years now. I originally came here to look after our PPC campaigns, and I was the only one working in the digital marketing team at the time!
- What’s the biggest change you’ve seen during your time here?
The biggest change has got to be the number of people. When I first started, there were about 150 of across the entire business, so we’ve doubled in size since I joined. Another big change was the factory move; before we moved here, we were in two separate buildings and it was quite a tight fit. It was a massive change when we moved from two quite small factories to the one we’re in today, where we’ve got 100,000 square foot of space!
- What standout training opportunities have you had whilst working here?
I think the big one has to be the management training that every manager in the business goes through, which has really driven how I manage people. Since then, I’ve also done an advanced leadership course which gave me and other senior managers the opportunity to present a HR strategy to our board. This gave us a chance to influence what the business does to look after the people who work here – things like flexible working, quick wins such as benches outside and also the internal branding (meaning the offices now look a lot better).
- What’s made you stay at instantprint?
I joined the business because I knew it was a brand that going places. With lots of awards behind us and a consistent fast growth, that has definitely happened. I’m also constantly pushed and challenged so it never gets boring; no day is the same and that makes it a really exciting place to work.
Also, it has to be the team – I am lucky and proud to come to work every day with a fantastic group of people who are all committed to the same goals.
- How do you see your role flourishing in the future?
I want further growth for the team in the UK – we want to be the UK’s biggest online printer. This year we launched in the US, which is really exciting, so for me I see my role really developing to manage brands in different countries.
- What’s your best memory of working at instantprint?
That’s a good question! I think it has to be when we moved into the new factory and offices, it was very all-hands-on-deck. We didn’t really do our normal job for three or four days during this transition. It didn’t matter who you were, we were all emptying drawers, carrying desks, doing everything. There was a real sense of community and teamwork – we all rolled up our sleeves and helped.
- What challenges have you faced in your role and how did you overcome them?
I think one of the biggest challenges – that we all face constantly – is making sure we stay ahead of the market and that we’re always trying new things. We try and stay one step ahead by constantly challenging and questioning what we do, such as looking into new ways of doing things, and not being afraid of failure. We’re also honest and candid with each other which means we can admit if something’s not gone quite right; we use it as an opportunity to learn and try and do things differently.
- How do you feel you’ve grown during your time working at instantprint?
Massively. I started out managing PPC and now I’m responsible for 40-50 people. It’s been a huge change! I expected to grow with the business, but not necessarily this quickly. instantprint really is unlike any other business I have worked for.
- What advice would you give to someone just starting out in their career?
I would say always be honest. Even if you get it wrong, you will always be respected if you can admit when you’ve made a mistake. Also, don’t be scared of failing – if things don’t go right, don’t take it personally; dust yourself off and keep going. And one final piece of advice: be relentless. Pick something, and go at it with as much effort as you can. Just make sure these projects, tasks, whatever are the things that will drive your business forward.