I was studying for my master's in industrial engineering when a friend I knew from earlier in my studies asked me if I wanted to work for a hemp Startup as a sales representative.
As most people's reaction would have been, the first thing I thought about was weed, illegal drugs, and THC. This and the term CBD, without understanding what CBD really means, was the only thing I had heard regarding hemp at that time. I had absolutely no idea how profound and far-reaching the topic was.
At the moment I agreed I wouldn’t have thought what a variety of tasks would develop out of this over the time, how much I would learn about hemp and that I would regularly use hemp products like our full spectrum hemp extract, which we sell whitelabel, in my daily life.
As aforementioned, I started as a sales representative on a working student basis. Nowadays I still work a bit in sales, but less and no longer as a cold caller. I have my customer base and take over some customers from others in the company sometimes when they, for example, have too much to do or they don’t know so much about the special field of interest of the customer.
I myself don’t know so much about the food market but I have a lot of experience in the whitelabel business, so I help others in this area and we can complement each other.
Additionally, I am responsible for everything that has something to do with our ERP-System. I take care of the master data of our products and every time an order has been made I’m involved in filling it in our system.
Another part of my job is that everytime someone writes something to our firstname.lastname@example.org mailadress, it ends up on my desk from where I distribute it to the responsible person or answer it myself.
Furthermore, I also support our sales representatives when they have any questions regarding what is possible for us in principle, what we do have in stock, or something regarding the costs and concerning the system.
Due to the support of our new team members, I will probably soon have some time for managing some controlling tasks as well.
This variety of my working topics is something that I really appreciate.
Most days I get up at 8am and at the latest at 8:30am I begin to work by reading emails and answering internal messages from the previous day. This usually takes about 1 hour and is followed by the period where the communication between the companies gets going, orders are placed, and calls are held.
At this time everything regarding orders and customer- or supplier issues has the highest priority and internal stuff is secondary if it’s not super urgent.
Especially in the time up to 2pm there is always a lot going on, because all orders have to be registered in our system by then if they are to be shipped the same day.
This “external communication period” goes until around 4pm, as most of our suppliers close at this time. For this reason there's not so much going on from the customer and supplier side from then on.
Now comes the time when I can plan more freely and take care of all the internal matters that came up during the day and were not a super high priority.
I don’t have a fixed time when I close my laptop and call it a day. Nearly everyone of us works at least till 5pm, but after that I can decide what I do next very flexibly. Somedays, for example, I go to the gym inbetween and eat something before I go on with work.
Every revenue, no matter how small, is important for us and that’s why my favourite part of the day is when I receive an order and make money for the company. Unfortunately this doesn’t happen everyday, but when it does it’s just amazing.
Because of our remote working concept I don't have to travel to work, so I have more time available during the day. I am definitely more flexible in planning my day and can enjoy my favourite work place in the morning: The Bed-Office.
But I don’t dislike office work, either. It’s great to be in a room with people, as the remote work can be a bit lonely sometimes when I don’t have a lot of contact with customers or colleagues over the day.
However I don’t have anything against working remotely in principle and in my opinion there is no perfect work concept. It’s always up to you, what you prefer and what fits in your life the best.
In any case, I am really happy about living together with my friend and colleague David and our more or less spontaneous decision to move to Valencia, which wouldn’t have been possible with a normal office job.
We as a Startup have a little harder time than already established companies. For example, as a manufacturer we aim to cooperate with big companies but those often request certain certifications and documents. Older companies usually don't have a problem with that because they already have these certifications, but we as a young, growing company have to acquire them first. That costs time and money.
But despite all the difficulties, I am sure that we can make Signature the biggest hemp supplier in Europe! Mark my words.