Hi there! Welcome to my site and thanks for taking the time to read my first blog post! I must admit to you that I’m a bit nervous to start this journey but I hope you find the ride just as worth while as I will.
My name is Meaghan and I have recently started my company, High Tide Writing Services. At High Tide, we aim to connect with other new start up companies, specifically retailers, to help them develop a winning business plan that will bring their vision to life. Why retail? Well, let me dive into my background to explain how I got to this point and why I’ve started High Tide Writing Services.
I played the retail game for a long time, about the last ten years. When I dropped out of college for the first time, I moved back home and got a job as a sales associate at H&M. I had such an engaging and hands on Store Manager who made sure that everyone working there knew exactly what our goals were and how we were going to reach them. I quickly realized that being in retail was more than just greeting customers and walking them to the dressing room. It was a business and one I knew I could thrive in. So I worked and worked and worked and absorbed every ounce of information I could from my managers. I worked my way up to an assistant manager’s position with Forever 21. It was with them that I experienced my first store opening-BOY was it exhilarating and exhausting! I was in charge of hiring and training all new sales members. I created a training system (from scratch) that reflected the company mission and covered all necessary steps to be a successful sales associate. I participated in overnights assisting the visual team in floor sets and oversaw several overhauls of our stock room to ensure we were storing and pumping product out to the floor in the most efficient manner. I learned how to exceed my sales goals and motivate my team to make sure they also wanted to meet our goals.
From Forever 21, I moved on to Uniqlo. Uniqlo is a Japanese company that thrives on perfection and works their staff members down to the ground. I really don’t mean to speak negatively of a former employer but frankly, I was miserable. However, I learned SO much. I trained at 34th street location in NYC and participated in my second opening of the Garden State Plaza location. I learned how to manage not just my time but delegate and ensure my team was working efficiently too. I learned how to write action plans, read inventory reports, create replenishments reports based on top sellers, grid the floor, draw a floor map…the more technical side of visual merchandising. Most importantly, despite how miserable I was, I was forced to learned discipline and the importance of following through and up.
I lasted less than a year at Uniqlo. As very loud and outgoing person who firmly believes in a fun work atmosphere, I felt stifled and uncomfortable in the atmosphere my higher ups had created. I got my ” big break” when I was hired by Desigual in NYC to be the assistant manager of their Soho location. I knew from the moment I was hired, that they had recently cleaned house-literally and figuratively in the store and I was going to be the acting store manager until they found someone to fit the caliber of the store. I knew I had my work cut out for me but I was eager to get started and show them what I was made of. In the first 6 months of running the store (without an SM), I had brought the store to highest ranking in the country. I’ll skip all the drama that incurred as store managers were brought in and out on rotation. Within less than a year, I was promoted to Store Manager of their Herald Square location. This store was my baby for the next two and a half years. I had developed a great management team, promoting 3 key holders to assistants and 4 associates to key holders under my leadership. I had the lowest turnover rate of employees of any store in the country because of the environment we created for ourselves while we worked. I communicated with my DM and corporate leaders on a daily basis. I wrote weekly and monthly action plans, I had regular touch bases with my management team and had a completely transparent relationship with everyone on my team. The store was always under the watchful eye of corporate at all times because we shared the same building as their office. When international higher ups were in town, I executed flawless corporate walk throughs of the store. Answering any and all questions about our top sellers, annual/monthly/and weekly budgets. I knew my business inside and out. At some point, I was overseeing the Herald Square, Soho and New Jersey outlet locations acting as a mini DM to all three while my assistants held down my home store. Side note, a true testament to how smoothly a store should run is how it runs when you aren’t there. I was so proud of my team for stepping up and doing a great job. It meant I had done a great job teaching them. It was truly a great experience. But as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end and after 3 years, it was time to move on.
I left Desigual for Dressbarn where I was a Store Manager for the next year and a half, running a successful 1.6 million dollar store. It was during my time in Dressbarn that I realized that I had spent my entire twenties living like a work horse. I fell very sick and ended up taking a leave of absence for 6 months. During that time, I did a lot of soul searching and accepted that I was done working for major corporations. I had run successful businesses and could work a store with my eyes closed, but for what? A paycheck every 2 weeks? That paycheck goes a long way acting as a security blanket and paying bills but it wasn’t making me happy. I felt like a slave to the industry with no real work/life balance. I also knew I had never aspired to be a District Manager so I really felt as though I had plateaued. Especially after experiencing a significant amount of time off, I couldn’t bring myself to go back. So I didn’t.
I’ve always loved to write but never thought it was something I could do professionally. During several stints back in college as a Business major, I came to realize that I am extremely attracted to small businesses. I also realized that I still love retail and the idea of generating revenue gets me excited even though my time working in stores has come to an end. A second side note, I wouldn’t change a damn thing over the last ten years. I had learned so much about business and myself. I learned what where my strengths and weaknesses lie. I met SO many wonderful and smart individuals that motivated me and kept me going. There are always going to be highs and lows when you are running your own store/business. It’s how you process and learn from all of the experiences that determine how successful and worthwhile the journey will be. With that said, I decided I needed to find a way to marry all of these interests. Cue High Tide Writing Services.
As I mentioned in the beginning, Hide Tide Writing Service aims to meet other entrepreneurs who are starting their own retail business. We want to make sure you’re process of getting your feet off the ground goes as smoothly as possible. We will write your business plan for you or enhance an existing one that may have fallen to the way side. We will work with you every step of the way to ensure your plan reflects the vision you have for your company. From setting realistic financial plans and projections, hiring a great team within your payroll budget, creating a training plan to ensure your team is set for success, marketing your business, brand development, creating a mission statement and executive summary and all other aspects of your plan, preparing your inventory, stock, and operational and POS system, and analyzing your KPI’s to see where your biggest opportunities lie, and creating an omni channel, amazing experience for your customers. High Tide Writing Service has you covered. We don’t want to take you away from everything you should be doing to get your business off the ground therefore we will do all the writing for you! We will make sure the plan we development maintains the autonomy of your brand and is presentable to future investors.
In this blog, I will post about the importance of a business plan and key factors that cannot be overlooked. We will talk about your planning and research stages when you are still in the incubation stage of developing your company. And just because its a passion of mine, we will talk all things retail and what being a good manager and leader looks like, especially from the perspective of your team.